We have had a very hectic summer — we launched our CHZ token, got listed on a few exchanges (Binance.com, Bitmax, Kucoin etc) and we announced that 4 more major teams will join our platform: OG (esports), AS Roma, Atlético de Madrid & Galatasaray. We now have 7 teams from very different territories that are all complimentary of each other.
I wanted to share with you today our vision/roadmap over the course of the next 12–18 months, to help you understand what we are trying to achieve and how.
First of all, a quick reminder about what we are, and what we are not. We are not a new blockchain protocol, layer2 tech, wallet or anything related to pure crypto technology. We don’t want to change the world or disrupt the payments industry 🙂
We are a consumer-facing platform, that uses blockchain, and that allows sports teams and entertainment brands to get closer to their fans by offering something we ‘invented’ — Fan Tokens. We are issuing a club’s Fan Tokens — not cryptocurrencies as a means of payment but rather digital assets that give you rights and access to club benefits. All of this, the platform leverages the CHZ native utility token, globally.
Think of us as the “Binance of Sports”. We have a ‘launchpad’ platform — we call that a Fan Token Offering (FTO, our registred trademark) where you can buy Juventus Fan Tokens, Paris Saint-Germain Fan Tokens, etc. Users/fans can buy directly in our mobile app Socios.com, where everything is pegged against CHZ. Once users own Fan Tokens, they will be able — in the same app — to enjoy the full utility of features offered by the clubs, one of the most important being having a ‘voice’ and voting on certain decisions offered to them. They are many other fan-centered features to be released, which will be detailed on future blogs.
So what’s next for us? Here is a glimpse.
Release of the Socios.com mobile app (soft launch)
First and foremost, our product & development team are focused on releasing the first version of our app. This first version is like a ‘testnet’ in the crypto space. The goal is to get the first users onboard using our Token Hunt feature, so they can hunt for free Fan Tokens and, of course, free CHZ. This soft launch will be a chance for us to identify issues, debug and to prepare for the commercial launch. Indeed, in order to launch our first Fan Token Offering (FTO), we need to have users already signed-up.
I want to make sure that everybody understand that this first release will not be massive, but rather the foundation of our next release, and the next release, and the next release, etc 🙂 This is planned for the end of October (keeping some space for last-minute small fixes, but for now we are on time).
Then, the second release (by the end of November) will allow users to buy CHZ directly in the app (against FIAT) in order for us to onboard more fans, and to enable them to participate in the first Fan Token Offering that will be Juventus. This will be the first test of on-boarding users, with a decent (but definitely not perfect) product.
It will be followed in Q4 2019 / Q1 2020 by the launch of the Fan Token Offerings of all our other team partners. Only then will we launch the Marketplace feature where fans can buy/sell their Fan Token against CHZ and some other features.
Also, for the first few months, we will only allow people to buy CHZ (or deposit CHZ) to purchase Fan Tokens, and will not allow CHZ to be sent outside of the platform. This feature will be released once the token economics have stabilized and the acquisition of fans/users will have proven scalability.
How to grow from zero to 1 million users
Once we have our platform live, with users on-boarded and teams starting to engage with their fan token holders, we will have to become a B2C business like any other e-commerce site. It will be about the acquisition of users, conversion ($) and retention. That’s why we have hired specialists in Malta, that come from either the online gambling industry or the mobile software industry.
Once we get our first customer (and yes, we will celebrate him or her), the question for us will be how can we increase the amount of customers and buyers of CHZ & Fan Tokens, how can we increase the utility of our CHZ token and how we can reach a million registered users in 12 months.
I can list a few initiatives we have already working on and that will be announced and/or launched in the next 6 months:
More ways to acquire CHZ offline, using the IP of our partner clubs:
- Prepaid Vouchers in traditional retail shops
- Prepaid Vouchers in Team’s own shops
More ways to acquire CHZ online (through Socios.com app or 3rd parties):
- Integration of more & more payments service providers with local specificities (SMS payments for emerging countries …)
- 3rd party e-commerce site that could resell CHZ/Fan Tokens vouchers to their communities.
More ways to spend & use CHZ:
- 3rd party payments integration to allow WooCommerce and similar shops to accept CHZ (including fiat settlement if needed)
- Integration of CHZ into ticketing & merchandising platforms (offline/online)
- Adding new Socios.com digital services & goods (customization with clubs, upvoting, etc …) paid in CHZ.
- Socios United & Socios Legends. I can’t say too much about that, but let’s say events/teams that are fully controlled by CHZ token holders and Fan Token holders.
We want CHZ to be seen as a sports & entertainment token, that is driven by the marketing and user acquisition we do with sports teams.
While we want fans & users to buy CHZ to engage with Fan Tokens, we also discovered the interest from clubs’ sponsors to use our Token Hunt feature to ‘airdrop’ Fan Tokens in front of their shops, malls, events, etc. This is something in which we will invest more at the end of Q1/Q2 2020 and for now we call this Socios Enterprises Solutions (SES). It will be when brands or even small shops, could buy Fan Tokens directly in the app (after crediting a CHZ account) and give these away to attract people in their locations.
- Strategic & Marketing partnerships with leading sports, media & telecoms companies, with large userbase in targeted & specific markets (live scoring platforms with 50m+ visitors, TV channels, YouTubers & influencers to create content)
- More community features that will allow Fan Token holders to be part of a broader & active community, globally. These features including chat (for token holders only), ranking, tagging (ie: you and your friend are watching a match in a sports bar, as a token holder you get rewarded) etc … We want to innovate on how we can improve the relationships between the club & their fans token holders.
- More integration with the apps of our partners. In our agreements with teams, we aim to develop some of the CHZ/Socios.com features to be embedded in the mobile app of the teams, to increase acquisition of users and monetization.
- More Fan Tokens (teams, sports, new IPs) and especially eventually allowing any ‘small or medium’ team to be on-boarded from anywhere in the world. In 3 years, we want to have hundreds of teams.
- Improving our blockchain infrastructure & token economics, based on the first FTOs and business model analysis. This would lead, over time, to the full implementation of the fact that each club become a node of the CHZ/Socios.com blockchain. That will take time but is one of the major goals.
On top of our commercial and ‘traditional’ activities, our strategy in terms of trading initiatives is to focus on listing on exchanges that can bring value to our userbase and market opportunities. Our priorities are Korea, Japan, Asian-focus, US, Turkish, Fiat-CHZ gateways, etc. Based on feedback from Binance, we also improved our Token Vesting Schedule, information on which will be released soon.
I hope this gives you an updated view of where we are and what we do. What we are doing does take time, mainly because it is a consumer-facing product and not ‘just a protocol’. We have to focus on UI/UX, focus on getting new money (fiat$$>CHZ) into the ecosystem.
We also want to leverage more and more our community, through the Chiliz Alliance, but also to reward our CHZ token holders with free VIP tickets & experiences with our partner clubs. That will be much easier too, in our app 🙂
Thanks for reading and talk to you soon,