Not every sports fan can spare $250,000 to invest in a rare digital collector card featuring Lionel Messi or a $120,000 NFT avatar of Lebron James' slam dunk. However, most fans can afford a fraction of their favorite sports teams or celebrities in the form of fan tokens. This is where Chiliz (CHZ) comes in.
Chiliz strives to offer sports and entertainment businesses blockchain-based tools, enabling them to engage and monetize their activities seamlessly. It’s also known for its sports fan engagement platform Socios.
But what exactly is Chiliz, how does it work, and what are the recent Chiliz developments and partnerships? Read on to find out.
What is Chiliz (CHZ)?
Chiliz is a popular cryptocurrency for sports tokenization, fueling the world’s first scalable sports engagement and rewards platform - Chiliz.net. It’s also the first sports-based crypto exchange where fans can trade customized fan tokens and participate in club-based surveys and pools. As such, the tokens give the fans voting rights - the more your token holdings, the more your voting rights. The tokens also allow fans to access discounts, promotions, and limited content, test their sports knowledge against each other, and win prizes like signed club merchandise.
At its center, Chiliz solves two problems: funding and engagement. Other than allowing fans to own fractional shares of their favorite teams and participate in their daily activities, the platform also offers sports and entertainment businesses access. This enables them to scale their development plans and thrive in the global sports industry.
Chiliz was established in 2018 by Alexandre Dreyful, the founder of interactive tourism guide company Webcity and co-founder of the biggest online poker website in France, Winamax. Dreyful thought about how he could use blockchain technology to offer fans a seamless way to engage with their sports teams and the teams with an effective way to monetize their global fanbases.
The concept has grown into a successful global venture – a blockchain unicorn projected to be 300-strong by the end of 2022 – leading a revolutionary change in the sports and entertainment industry through fan tokens and the Socios fan engagement and rewards platform.
Before diving into how Chiliz works, let’s briefly discuss Socios.
What is Socios?
Socios can be described as the first consumer-facing product of Chiliz. It’s a scalable, mainstream app that lets fans acquire tokenized voting rights in their favorite clubs. The app allows fans to engage with their teams and provides access to unique rewards, including not-to-be-missed experiences, prediction games, and match-day challenges.
Socios is powered by the Chiliz side-chain and allows interested teams to issue fan tokens. These tokens are exclusive blockchain assets with the imprint of the issuing team they are associated with. As such, they give holders the ballot rights to participate in decision-making, opinion polls, and surveys regarding the management of teams.
Through Socios, fans can directly participate in the decision-making processes of their favorite teams. For example, Arsenal Football Club fans can vote on merchandise designs, in-game banners, naming playgrounds, or selecting a goal celebration song through the AFC fan token while receiving rewards and unique experiences. The platform ensures the club honors the fans’ voting outcomes through smart contracts.
In summary, these are the six key features of Socios:
Crypto entry point: You can use your credit card to purchase CHZ.
Trading section: After buying the CHZ token, you can use it to purchase your favorite team’s fan token. Moreover, you can exchange one fan token with another or convert it back to CHZ.
Polls section: After acquiring a fan token, you can influence the decisions of the related team.
Rewards section: As a fan token holder, you can acquire club merchandise at discounted prices and other perks.
Pokémon Go-like feature: This is a virtual reality feature for chasing and acquiring CHZ tokens for free.
Locker room feature: This tool allows teams to monitor the demand for their potential fan tokens.
How does Chiliz Work?
Chiliz’s success in championing the mainstream adoption of its fan engagement and monetization platform is because of its customer-oriented products and services, which are easy to use even by new cryptocurrency users. Its products (Socios and Chiliz exchange) have user-friendly interfaces and responsive customer support to guide you through. Besides, they haven’t experienced any security hacks yet; thus, they can be considered safe for use.
Chiliz’s blockchain application is also important in ensuring that cryptocurrencies in its ecosystem – CHZ tokens and fan tokens – are easily traceable, confirmable, and immutable.
In October 2018, Chiliz issued a fixed supply of approximately 8.8 billion CHZ tokens on the Ethereum blockchain and distributed some to interested parties. The company didn’t conduct any public sale other than what they sold through cryptocurrency exchanges. Although CHZ began as an ERC-20 token, it was redesigned to accommodate the BEP-2 token standard because of Binance’s role in issuing new fan tokens as part of its strategic partnership with Chiliz.
Contrary, fan tokens are issued on the Socios side-chain, which leverages a Proof-of-Authority (PoA) mechanism to achieve consensus. Unlike Proof-of-Work (PoW) and Proof-of-Stake (PoS) mechanisms, PoA relies on pre-approved authority nodes to issue and confirm transactions.
Since the nodes play a crucial role in safeguarding the Chiliz blockchain, the entities and persons behind them are publicly revealed to increase trust. The Chiliz team operates most of the nodes, but the European retail giant Rakuten recently started operating authority nodes on the Chiliz network. As the company continues to the mainstream, it hopes to strike more strategic partnerships to safeguard its network further.
PoA blockchains, like Chiliz, are not as decentralized as other blockchains, such as PoW chains. Nonetheless, PoA blockchains are highly scalable, secure, and capable of handling more transactions per second. This makes them ideal for powering collaborative social engagement platforms like Socios.
Besides, all activities of Socios, such as trading and voting outcomes, are securely stored on the Chiliz side-chain instead of the Ethereum blockchain. This enables Chiliz to regulate gas fees, ensuring fast and low-cost transactions.
The side-chain also runs smart contracts that implement the decisions reached from Socios polls and surveys. Therefore, the Socios app is an oracle linking the Chiliz side-chain with the Ethereum blockchain. By the way, it’s the only bridge facilitating the exchange of CHZ and fan tokens.
The Chiliz Ecosystem Tokens
Apart from the CHZ tokens that fuel the Socios platform, Chiliz offers three more tokens that play various roles:
The Chiliz fan tokens facilitate voting and offer perks to clubs. Some popular football clubs with millions of followers have already issued fan tokens. Examples of these tokens include the AFC token for Arsenal Football Club, ATM token for Atletico de Madrid, BAR token for Barcelona Football Club, CITY token for Manchester City, PSG token for Paris Saint Germain, and more.
Moreover, Chiliz has a Fan Token Offering (FTO) launchpad that enables clubs to issue and distribute fan tokens. There is also a fan token burning feature that burns tokens to create scarcity for performing teams, thus, boosting their values.
If a team wants to join Chiliz, it sends an application request. Once Chiliz approves the request, the team creates a “locker” where investors can hold their CHZ tokens for four months and exchange them for locker tokens.
After a team successfully launches its fan token, Chiliz swaps the locker tokens for fan tokens (plus 10% CHZ cashback), which are mostly worth more than the CHZ token. If the fan token fails to launch, the platform refunds your CHZ tokens.
Chiliz ERC-1155 NFTs
In February 2020, Chiliz announced a collaboration with leading blockchain technology developer Enjin to develop branded digital collectibles for clubs. Chiliz leverages the Enjin tools to mint Ethereum-based non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles for partners.
ERC-1155 is a multi-token standard for creating fungible and non-fungible tokens under one protocol invented by Enjin. The idea behind it is to create a token that performs similar functions as an ERC-20 and ERC-721, and even both concurrently. And better still, enhancing the functionalities of both standards, making them more effective, and fixing fundamental implementation issues of the two standards. You can buy Chiliz collectibles on the Enjin Marketplace using ENJ or CHZ.
Recently, Chiliz also started collaborating with Chainlink to mint NFTs in real-time. This helps them respond to live sporting activities (such as a champion league winning goal) and create limited edition NFTs to honor the goal.
Chiliz and Sports
Multiple iterations of Chiliz’s product concept were conceived as early as 2016. Actual work, including product and team development, started in early 2018. The company managed to fundraise $66 million through a private sale and used most of the funds to build Socios.
Juventus was the first team to issue fan tokens (JUV), conduct an FTO, and allow its fans to vote on the blockchain. Since then, the platform has onboarded over 130 partners. Paris-Saint Germain, Atletico de Madrid, Galatasary, A.S Roma, and FC Barcelona were next, and many more teams have followed suit.
Inter Milan and Valencia C.F promoted their fan tokens from the front of their jerseys in the 2021/2022 season. Even national teams like Argentina and Portugal have joined the Chiliz bandwagon. English Premier League teams like Manchester City, Everton F.C, Arsenal, Leeds United, and Aston Villa have also issued their fan tokens on Socios.
Chiliz has not only been embraced by football teams. Formula One teams, major esports clubs, the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), and more have joined Chiliz. After its successful 2021 partnerships with various teams from the National Hockey League (NHL) and National Basketball Association (NBA), Chiliz seems well positioned for the 2022 growth of its fan engagement application.
Chiliz’s Scoville Blockchain Development
In April 2022, Chiliz launched Scoville testnet, a blockchain that will speed up the creation of fan tokens. Chiliz Chain 2.0 (CC2) will enable clubs and brands to mint NFTs, issue fan tokens, and other DeFi products, like Play2Earn games, Play2Win, and merchandised certifications.
CC2 will be fueled by the CHZ token, further increasing its utility. Currently, CHZ mainly acts as a medium of exchange that enables entertainment and sports fans to buy fan tokens of their favorite entertainment joints and clubs. CC2 will open the deeper value of CHZ by transitioning it from an optimal in-app currency to a network enabler of the open, multi-vertical Chiliz ecosystem.
Previously, CHZ was used to purchase fan tokens on Socios. Now, the token will be applicable in the new and multi-vertical Chiliz ecosystem. The launch of the Scoville testnet is the most significant milestone since Chiliz revolutionized fan engagement in the entertainment and sports industry by introducing fan tokens and establishing the Socios platform in 2019.
Chiliz develops CC2 in partnership with Ankr, a leading developer of blockchain technology. Besides, CC2 is Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM) compatible and offers transaction costs of almost 200 cheaper than Ethereum. It will leverage a Proof-of-Stake Authority (PoSA), incentivizing CHZ investors to stake their holdings.
Organizations with approval may comprise those that are already Socios’ official partners. Moreover, they will be allowed to validate the network, ensuring its security and benefit from its growth. CC2 will offer an open ecosystem to allow vetted third-party developers to build along with Socios. This will create externalized applications for fan tokens and offer new experiences across new use cases, which stretch beyond fan tokens.
The Future of Chiliz
Chiliz has forged strategic partnerships with major sports clubs and brands globally. They have staff in almost all corners of the world and offices in Malta, Spain, France, Turkey, Brazil, and South Korea. Besides, they are planning to add to their collection of global hubs with more offices in the U.S. and the United Kingdom.
Besides, Chiliz is optimistic more teams and brands will join them soon. CHZ will fuel this seismic change in how fans engage with their clubs. Socios is the first consumer-facing revolutionary project of Chiliz thought to enhance its profile mission by bringing more visibility to fan tokens and CHZ worldwide.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do you buy Chiliz coin (CHZ)?
There are multiple ways of buying CHZ.. First, you can create an account on a crypto exchange that has listed it and buy using fiat or cryptocurrency. Some popular exchanges where you can buy CHZ include Binance, Coinbase, OKX, Digifinex, Kraken, etc. Most of these exchanges will allow you to connect your credit/debit card and buy CHZ using fiat currency.
Secondly, you can buy CHZ on Socios or Chiliz exchange and use it to acquire fan tokens.
How does a team, league, or club join Socios?
Teams, leagues, and brands can join Socios by sending a joining request to Chiliz through email@example.com.
Which teams use Chiliz?
Manchester City, Arsenal, Everton, Paris-Saint Germain, Atletico de Madrid, Galatasary, A.S Roma, and FC Barcelona are some of the teams that use Chiliz. Besides, national teams, Formula One teams, major esports clubs, the UFC, NBA, and NHL are also using Chiliz.
Who owns the Chiliz?
Alexandre Dreyfus is the founder and CEO of Chiliz. He is a serial entrepreneur in the gaming and sports industries, having founded Webcity and Winamax. He applied his digital technology expertise to launch Chiliz in 2018.
How does Socios relate to Chiliz?
Socios is the first consumer-facing product of Chiliz. It’s a scalable, mainstream app that lets fans acquire tokenized voting rights in their favorite clubs.
Who was the first ever Chiliz partner?
After the launch of Socios in December 2019, Juventus was the first ever Chiliz partner to issue a fan token, hold an FTO and allow their fans to vote on the blockchain. Since then, Chiliz has partnered with over 130 teams and brands worldwide.
Josiah is a tech evangelist passionate about helping the world understand Blockchain, Crypto, NFT, DeFi, Tokenization, Fintech, and Web3 concepts. His hobbies are listening to music and playing football. Follow the author on Twitter @TechWriting001