What is Chiliz (CHZ)?
Not everyone has a spare $290,000 to spend on a rare digital collector card featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, or a $208,000 NFT video of a Lebron James slam dunk. Some sports fans are content to own just a small token that represents their favorite team, and that’s where Chiliz comes in.
Chiliz (CHZ) is part of a group of altcoins that cater to a specific niche and are gaining traction quickly thanks to it, with its focus firmly on providing crypto incentives for sports fans. Having found this niche, Chiliz looks like it’s on a championship course.
But what is Chiliz, what are the use cases of the CHZ token, and why has the project been described as ‘an emerging unicorn’ in the crypto space? Read on to find out.
What is Chiliz and What is the CHZ token?
Chiliz began by raising $66 million in private funds in 2018. The appeal is clear and easily understood by the general public: a cryptocurrency exchange for sports fans where they can trade in official digital assets linked to famous brands in world sports. CHZ is the token that powers the network, and it has a total supply of 8.8 billion.
CHZ is listed on Binance, which is one of the project’s strategic investors, but CHZ is also an ERC20 utility token on the Ethereum blockchain, which means that it can bridge between the two popular blockchains. CHZ is a utility token used for sports and entertainment, such as buying team-themed NFTs, but its main raison d’etre is to purchase fan tokens, which act as Proof-of-Authority and convey voting rights when teams call for fan input, which is done via the Socios.com app. You can also “hunt” fan tokens by playing games on the mobile app, winning some for free.
The Socios.com network calls itself “the world’s first fan influence and rewards platform that helps sports entities achieve digital transformation through blockchain technology.” The term “socios” comes from the term for democratic management frameworks used by various major teams, including Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, and the Green Bay Packers (the only publicly-owned franchise in the NFL). The platform uses tradable Fan Tokens, which are specific to sports teams, providing a finite digital asset that conveys voting and membership rights. Essentially it allows fans to participate more actively, and through the blockchain, in supporting and influencing their favorite teams. And many of the world’s biggest clubs are involved: Juventus, AS Roma, Atletico Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan, to name but a few of the football clubs already on board, with more signing up every month. And it’s not only about soccer--Chiliz have also partnered up with UFC clubs, like Team OG and Team Heretics, and other stalwarts of American football.
How are Socios.com and Chiliz Related?
Chiliz actually was launched in 2018, before Socios.com, but it didn’t make much of an impression. It was Socios.com that really took off when it began establishing itself as the leading blockchain-based sports platform in 2019. This makes sense--there are so many altcoins out there and they need a critical mass of people with a reason to trade in them in order to make any headway in the market. Socios.com was able to recruit the millions of fans of the teams they covered. It was an easier, swifter step for major sports teams to sign on to a pre-existing platform rather than try to reinvent the wheel themselves, one club at a time. Socios.com benefited from being an early, attractive way for sports teams to easily engage with fans via the blockchain.
Already engaging a network of hundreds of millions of registered, proactive fans of major teams, the network run by Socios.com and powered by CHZ is expanding rapidly. They recently announced that they’ve become official partners with La Liga, the top Spanish football league which houses two of the world’s most popular football teams: Barcelona and Real Madrid. And you can only buy Fan Tokens with CHZ. So you’re looking at three linked components. CHZ is the cryptocurrency that can be traded on exchanges like FTX or in wallets like Exodus. You can buy Fan Tokens with CHZ. And with Fan Tokens, you can buy digital assets, like NFTs, linked to your favorite team, and the more Fan Tokens you hold linked to a specific team, the more voting power you have when the team opens up issues to fan votes. It should be noted that fan voting is not usually for major club issues, but more along the lines of a recent Arsenal fan poll via Socios.com to determine which song should be played at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium should the home team win. But CHZ has practical value (beyond trading it for other cryptocurrencies) only on the Socios.com website, where it is used to purchase Fan Tokens.
Fan Tokens and FTX
Socios.com and Chiliz have newly expanded (as of 2021) to offer a second group of digital assets, each one of which functions as its own cryptocurrency traded on FTX. The launch of a selection of team-specific tokens means that, while you can buy CHZ and then acquire your team’s assets on Socios.com, you can also now directly buy team-specific tokens on the FTX exchange. These team tokens are traded under tickers like $BAR for Barcelona and $PSG for Paris Saint-Germain. Their initial price is 2 EUR per token and the market will determine where they go from there. You might think of CHZ as the “mother” currency for Socios.com and this expanding array of team-specific currencies as extended members of the same family. Setting up each Fan Token as its own, tradable, separately listed asset allows fans to skip the step of first buying CHZ in order to buy Fan Tokens. It may well result in fan groups for individual teams encouraging one another to help drive up the price of their team token, while investing in CHZ will be the way to hedge your bets and invest in Socios.com as a whole.
CHZ can be staked but only on Binance as of writing, and it can only be staked against Fan Tokens from select teams, including OG (an eSports team) and football clubs ATM (Atletico Madrid) and ASR (AS Roma). Staking CHZ earns you Fan Tokens linked to these teams.
Is Chiliz a Good Investment?
In early 2021, Chiliz was something of an undervalued gem, and has since soared in price dramatically. The appeal is obvious and logical even to those outside of the crypto world. Fans adore their teams and want to engage as much, as often, and in as many ways as possible.
The future success of Chiliz may rest on that of Socios.com, but Socios is still doing well. Their number of official partner clubs jumped from 20 to 48 in just the first half of 2021, and the company announced more than $200 million in revenues during that time. In 2021, they announced plans to partner with Visa to issue cards emblazoned with the Fan Token logos of the biggest teams on Socios’ books. While CHZ is built on the Ethereum blockchain, their recent partnership with Binance means that fans can expect faster trades and lower fees, which means more CHZ can be spent on your favorite Fan Tokens.
How to buy CHZ
The easiest way to buy Chiliz is to use the Exodus wallet. All you need is some other cryptocurrency already in your wallet and you can swap it through Exodus, securely and quickly, with just a tap.
Which team will you support with your Fan Tokens? That’s entirely up to you, but Chiliz is the digital way to do it!
This content is for informational purposes only and is not investment advice. You should consult a qualified licensed advisor before engaging in any transaction.