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

SBI Digital Asset Holdings (SBI DAH) has announced a joint venture with Chiliz to introduce football club fan tokens to Japan. These tokens, known under the Socios fan engagement brand, represent major soccer clubs such as Arsenal, AC Milan, Manchester City, FC Barcelona, Inter Milan, and Paris Saint-Germain. As part of the collaboration, SBI DAH plans to operate a node on the Chiliz Chain. So far, more than 2 million users have engaged with Socios fan tokens.

While other companies like Sorare and Dapper Labs focus on sports NFTs, fan tokens operate differently as they are fungible rather than unique. Some have likened them to tracking stocks, and while Socios has struck fan engagement deals in the US, including partnerships with Major League Soccer and 13 NFL teams, fan tokens have not been issued there yet. Besides trading, fan tokens enable engagement through voting, competitions, VIP experiences, merchandise, and exclusive offers.

In Japan, private investors typically engage more with companies than in the West, often receiving benefits like discount coupons, gift cards, points, and memberships. While fan tokens do not represent ownership in clubs, they offer similar engagement opportunities. FiNANCiE, a Japanese version of Chiliz, emerged shortly after its launch and has partnerships with various Japanese sports teams, including J-League soccer clubs, providing international exposure.

Fernando Luis Vázquez Cao, CEO of SBI DAH, emphasized the focus on utility and underlying value brought by technology to communities, expressing excitement about bringing new experiences to the Japanese audience through collaboration with Chiliz. The partnership aims to leverage fintech innovations to transform sports and entertainment experiences for communities.

The Chiliz blockchain, formerly Proof of Authority, has recently transitioned to a Proof of Staked Authority version and is enlisting node operators, including Paris Saint Germain.

Apart from the joint venture with Chiliz, SBI DAH has various blockchain interests, including AsiaNext, SBI Digital Markets, and SBI Zodia Custody. Collaborations with Switzerland’s SIX for AsiaNext, and partnerships with Standard Chartered and Northern Trust for custody, are among its initiatives. Additionally, SBI DAH has made investments in Swiss digital asset bank Sygnum, Blockdaemon, and the Tangem wallet, reflecting its broad involvement in the blockchain sector.


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