Chiliz marks a record year for SportFi and fan tokens in 2023

abdelaziz Fathi

Chiliz, a blockchain provider in the sports and entertainment industry, has celebrated a year of achievements and growth in 2023, marking new milestones in the SportFi sector and fan engagement.

The year, which marked Chiliz’s fifth anniversary, saw the launch of its native Layer 1 blockchain, Chiliz Chain, validating its genesis block on February 8. This platform has since become a pivotal foundation for developers creating SportFi applications, shifting away from the original chain running on Ethereum. As an Ethereum Virtual Machine-compatible chain, Chiliz Chain 2.0 is still compatible with Ethereum tooling though.

With the launch of Chiliz Chain 2.0, the project enabled sports and entertainment brands as well as developers to mint non-fungible tokens (NFTs), build decentralized finance (DeFi) applications, or play-to-earn games.

Despite challenges in the blockchain sector during the first half of 2023, SportFi, which bridges real-world sports with web3, has seen notable growth. Chiliz Chain’s introduction has been instrumental in this expansion, offering a range of SportFi use cases such as NFT minting, Fan Tokens, DeFi products, innovative games, and web3-ready ticketing.

Chiliz’s ventures in 2023 also included the launch of a $50M Chiliz Labs incubator and accelerator program to promote early-stage blockchain projects in sports. Furthermore, Chiliz acquired a 20% stake in MatchWornShirt, to support the authenticity of sports collectibles through blockchain technology.

The company’s SportFi ecosystem has onboarded 25 key partnerships with projects such as Blockasset, FanFest, LiveLike, Football at AlphaVerse, TopGoal Footballcraft, and Lillius. Chiliz also collaborated on the One Shirt Pledge with the sports charity Common Goal, using blockchain for philanthropy by auctioning athletes’ match-worn shirts authenticated on Chiliz Chain.

Socios.com, Chiliz’s fan engagement and rewards app, also saw strong growth in 2023. It reported a 30% increase in users across 160 countries and onboarded major clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur from the English Premier League. The app introduced features like Locker Room, which lets fans obtain unique digital collectibles, and conducted over 3,000 Fan Polls, involving fans in decisions ranging from kit designs to squad numbers. Additionally, 50,000 fans were rewarded with signed merchandise, match tickets, and VIP experiences.

Chiliz Chain alone recorded over 3 million transactions in 2023, contributing to Chiliz’s total revenue generation of $437 million for the sports industry to date. Looking forward to 2024, Chiliz aims to build on these successes and further mainstream SportFi for the benefit of clubs and fans.

Founded in 2018, Chiliz provides blockchain solutions for the sports sector, with products like Socios.com revolutionizing fan engagement through digital assets known as Fan Tokens.

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