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SBI Digital Assets forms joint venture with Socios fan token blockchain Chiliz

SBI DAH Chiliz

Today SBI Digital Asset Holdings (SBI DAH) announced a Japanese joint venture with Chiliz to bring its football club fan tokens to Japan. The tokens are known under the Socios fan engagement brand and include top soccer clubs such as Arsenal, AC Milan, Manchester City, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. Additionally, SBI DAH plans to operate a node on the Chiliz Chain. To date more than 2 million users have engaged with the Socios fan tokens.

While companies such as Sorare and Dapper Labs are focused on sports NFTs, fan tokens are not unique. They’re fungible. Some have compared them to tracking stocks. Hence, while Socios has inked fan engagement deals in the United States including with Major League Soccer and 13 NFL teams, we’re not aware of the issuance of any fan tokens stateside. Apart from the trading aspect, the tokens enable fan engagement in the form of voting, competitions, VIP experiences, merchandise and exclusive offers. 

On the topic of stockholders, in Japan private investors typically engage more with companies than in the West. That includes receiving discount coupons, gift cards, points and memberships. Hence, while fan tokens don’t represent any ownership interest in the clubs, they offer similar engagement opportunities. Shortly after Chiliz launched, a Japanese version emerged, FiNANCiE. It has various relationships with Japanese sports teams, including J-League soccer clubs. However, Chiliz provides the international exposure.

“At SBI DAH, we prioritize the utility and underlying value which technology  brings to communities. Technology is an enabler in the new world, and we are pleased to bring new experiences to the Japanese audience by working with strong players like Chiliz,” said Fernando Luis Vázquez Cao, CEO of SBI DAH. 

“The partnership between SBI DAH and Chiliz will bring together the best-in-class capabilities of both traditional finance and Web3, leveraging fintech innovations to transform the sports and entertainment experiences for communities.”

The Ethereum-compatible Chiliz blockchain used to be Proof of Authority, which equates to a public permissioned ledger. It recently migrated to a Proof of Staked Authority version and is signing up node operators, including Paris Saint Germain.

SBI DAH’s blockchain interests

Meanwhile, SBI DAH has numerous blockchain interests. They include a AsiaNextSBI Digital Markets and SBI Zodia Custody. SBI DAH partnered with Switzerland’s SIX for AsiaNext, and Standard Chartered and Northern Trust for custody. Additionally, SBI DAH invested in Swiss digital asset bank Sygnum, Blockdaemon and the Tangem wallet. SBI Holdings has an even more extensive range of blockchain investments and activities.