Chiliz, the company behind the Socios platform and its native CHZ token, continues to gain ground as a curated sports memorabilia platform. To verify the authenticity of items from sporting events, such as tickets or match-worn shirts, the firm recently launched a new service called GameUsed.
NFTs for Sports Memorabilia?
During the ups and downs of the NFT market for the last two years, sports-focused NFT sales have been consistently high. NBA Top Shot, tokenizing NBA highlights, has generated over $1 billion in sales volume across 22 million transactions.
Sorare, revolving around fantasy soccer tournaments, accumulated over $500 million in sales, according to Cryptoslam aggregator. The latest Market Decipher report forecasts the sports memorabilia market to reach $227.2 billion by 2032, from the current modest size of $26.1 billion. The tokenization in the form of NFTs is yet to tap into that growth, with NFT sports collectibles projected to balloon to $92 billion by 2032.
An important tokenization infrastructure on that road is Chiliz (CHZ). The company created the Socios marketplace powered by the CHZ token, as Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard. With CHZ tokens, sports fans can buy branded NFTs issued by sports clubs and even vote on minor decisions. As the largest ecosystem for sports fan tokens, the value of the Socios marketplace is now boosted with GameUsed.com.
How Does GameUsed Work?
How to grow a sports collectible business, without having a costly investment in blockchain technology first? GameUsed is a turnkey business-to-business (B2B) solution for sports memorabilia verification and management. Building upon the Socios NFT marketplace, GameUsed mints NFTs which are essentially collateralized by sports memorabilia and merch.
For example, if a sports club issues trading cards, tickets, or match-worn shirts, GameUsed verifies the merch by embedding near-field communication (NFC) chips, already ubiquitous in contactless payment cards.
Chiliz blockchain would then store the items’ records and mint the corresponding NFT, tradeable on Socios with CHZ tokens. This way, a digital asset becomes collateralized by an authenticated physical asset, potentially making it more valuable. Due to NFC chips, sports merch can also be easily and instantly verified for authenticity with a smartphone.
Chiliz (CHZ) Likely to Corner the Sports Token Market
There are two notable players in the NFT-specialized arena. Presently, they are neck-in-neck in terms of market caps: Dapper Labs’ Flow (FLOW) blockchain at $868.4 million, and Chiliz (CHZ) at $818 million, soon to launch its own layer-1 blockchain network Chiliz Chain 2.0 (CC2).
While Flow secured the NFT service for NBA, UFC, NFL, Ubisoft, and others, Chiliz is more focused on sports teams. Led by Alexandre Dreyfus, Chiliz and Socios CEO, they helped over 170 teams and federations to launch fan tokens. One of Chiliz’s largest deals to date was in August, with a €100 million euros stake in FC Barcelona’s Barça Digital Entertainment, which was one-quarter of the company.
With the recent addition of end-to-end authentication via GameUsed, Chiliz aims to increase tokenized assets as a bridge between fans and sports teams.
“We believe that blockchain technology can bring new ways for sports teams and companies to deliver ownership and engagement to fans, and by bringing blockchain authentication and distribution to sports memorabilia through GameUsed.com we are taking another important step forward in our offering.”Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Chiliz and Socios.com
In the upcoming months, Chiliz will undergo a significant milestone with 2.0 as a semi-decentralized layer-1 blockchain for enterprise-grade sports and media integration. Due to its dependency on major partnerships, CHZ token is not in lockstep with Bitcoin as most altcoins are.
On Thursday, CHZ went up +10%, only to erase those gains on Friday. CHZ is likely to become even more important in Chiliz Chain 2.0, as it gains more utility for Chiliz ecosystem. This is similar to ETH for Ethereum but for curated (white-listed) 3rd party developers. Chiliz 2.0 will also adopt PoSA (proof-of-stake authority) in which white-listed tokenholders become node operators themselves.
Have you traded in tokenized sports memorabilia? Let us know in the comments below.