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New Platform Digitizes The ‘Socios’ Model, Fusing Crowd-Management With Blockchain Technology To Create A New Era Of Fan Engagement & Monetization In Football
Mediarex, the Malta-based, Binance-backed fintech and sports company, who recently raised more than $65 million through a private token sale for its blockchain-based sports platform, will launch the world’s first fan engagement and fan monetization platform for the football industry through Socios.com.
The ultimate fan engagement tool for the football industry, Socios.com is the world’s first scalable, tokenized voting platform where football fans can buy, trade and execute voting or ‘crowd-manager’ rights for their favourite football teams. Powered by the chiliZ fintech platform and $CHZ token, chiliZ has committed $20 million to the Socios.com venture that will take football fan engagement into the mainstream.
The desktop and mobile platform, which is currently being developed for the booming esports industry, was originally inspired by the ‘socios’ or fan-controlled management frameworks of many football teams around the world. Perhaps the best known examples are Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, which are run by their 90,000 and 145,000-strong fan base respectively, but they are by no means the largest – indeed, that title goes to FC Bayern Munich, arguably the biggest and most successful example of this democratic/mutual management, with 290,000 affiliate fans. Portugal’s SL Benfica has 184,000 partners, while Sporting CP has 160,000.
The ‘socios’ concept is tried and tested, and has created powerful relationships between the clubs and the fans for decades. Socios.com represents the digitisation of this framework, and the football industry will be encouraged to embrace new technology and fintech innovation. The fully mobile solution means fans will no longer be restricted by geography, with the ability to connect the 4 billion football fans worldwide to the 1000 UEFA clubs and 2300+ professional football teams in existence.
Once onboard, teams trade voting rights for management decisions within the Socios.com platform. Each team will operate their own ‘token sale’, from which they will receive funding from fans and investors in exchange for voting rights. Although each team will receive the same number of voting tokens, it is up to the team to decide how the fund is handled to support their vision or what decisions are put up for fan vote. The platform then acts as an exchange, meaning fans can trade and re-trade those voting rights. The underlying blockchain technology is the most practical and eloquent way to unite the needs of maintaining voting integrity and transparency with transforming voting rights into an ‘ownable’ commodity.
“We believe that technology and innovation can bring so much value to both the clubs and their fans in the future,” said Alexandre Dreyfus, CEO of Mediarex. “Socios.com will allow football teams to create a completely new economy that can be monetized, whilst building a new fan engagement ecosystem. We understand that this will bring a certain degree of disruption to an established industry, and it will no doubt require require a lot of education, but the first mover advantage will be critical in paving the way for a new democratic, digital, and international standard in club management.”
The chiliZ/Socios team is comprised of 25+ industry experts, experienced in regulated gaming and tech. Members of the Advisory Panel include Dr. Christian Mueller, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, InFront Sports – one of Europe’s leading sports marketing agencies – and Sam Li, Head of Strategic Partnerships for Sina Sports, who leads domestic and international sports content acquisition for China’s largest online media portal. Chief Strategy Officer of Perform Group, John Gleasure, is a shareholder of Mediarex. In addition, Socios.com is backed two of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, providing the liquidity required to create a global fan exchange market.
The company will present the Socios.com platform at the World Football Summit in September, with a view to announcing their first strategic partnerships in due course.
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In recent regulatory news, the United States Office of Government Ethics has issued a document advising employees of the U.S. executive branch to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings. In other news, Bank of Korea has rejected the notion of central bank-issued digital currencies, Crypto Finance AG has received licensing from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), and France is expected to develop a framework for regulating initial coin offerings (ICOs) by 2019.
U.S. Office of Government Ethics Advises Employees of Executive Branch to Disclose Crypto Holdings
The United States Office of Government Ethics has published a legal advisory that requires all employees of the U.S. executive branch to disclose their virtual currency holdings.
The advisory states that “U.S. Office of Government Ethics (OGE) has determined that virtual currency is ‘property held . . . for investment or the production of income’ for purposes of public and confidential financial disclosure, pursuant to the Ethics in Government Act. […] Executive branch employees are therefore required to report their holdings of virtual currency on their public or confidential financial disclosure report, subject to applicable reporting thresholds for property held for investment or the production of income.”
The advisory also makes note of potential conflicts of interest that may arise through government employees owning crypto assets, stating, “Virtual currency is an investment asset and, like other property held for investment, it may create a conflict of interest for employees who own it. Furthermore, it is not subject to the conflict of interest exemptions in 5 C.F.R. part 2640. Agency ethics officials should, therefore, analyze whether their employees’ official duties would have an effect on the value of their virtual currency, just as they would any other property held for investment or the production of income. They should also alert their employees to the potential conflict of interest risk posed by ownership of virtual currency.“
Bank of Korea Rejects Central Bank-Issued Digital Currencies
Korea’s central bank, Bank of Korea, has flatly rejected the notion of central bank-issued cryptocurrencies. A report issued by the bank concluded: “It’s desirable that the BOK is the only entity to entirely control issuing money.”
In the report, Kwon Oh-ik, a researcher at Bank of Korea’s economic research institute stated: “We reviewed the possible feasibility of digital currencies as currency; however, our thoughts are that digital currencies have been exposed to various categories of risk associated with credit, liquidity and legal management.”
Kwon also stated that “Technology improvements don’t mean private sectors will be allowed to have the rights for money issuance. If this happens, the BOK should regulate them but properly.”
Crypto Finance AG Gains FINMA Licensing
Crypto Finance AG, a Zug-headquartered company providing financial services pertaining to cryptocurrencies, has successfully received licensing from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority. The licensing makes the firm a legitimate distributor of collective investment schemes in Switzerland.
Jan Brzezek, the chief executive officer and founder of Crypto Fund AG, stated: “For us, getting the FINMA license is a big step in the right direction, to establish us as the first point of contact for crypto assets.”
France Expected to Regulate ICOs by 2019
A forthcoming bill providing regulatory guidelines for initial coin offerings is expected to be delivered to the French Council of Minister this month.
A report published by law firm Kramer Levin states that “The proposed legislation would introduce a new chapter to Book V, Title V of the French Monetary and Financial Code, or CMF, which will be renamed ‘Intermediaries in Miscellaneous Property and Token Issuers.’ Chapter 2 of Title V will be titled ‘Token Issuers’ and will detail the rules applicable to ICOs in articles L. 550-6 et seq.”
“Chapter 2 provides a definition of tokens, indicating that a token is intangible property representing, in numerical form, one or more rights that can be issued, registered, conserved or transferred using a shared electronic registration mechanism that facilitates the identification, directly or indirectly, of the owner of said property. It also defines an ICO as any offer to the public, in any shape or form, to purchase tokens. However, it excludes offers made to a small number of buyers. Under the proposed legislation, the issuer should notify token buyers of the status of the project the ICO funds were used to finance, and of the establishment of any secondary market for the tokens,” the report continues.
Kramer Levin characterizes the proposed regulations as differing significantly from the legislative apparatus adopted by other nations – arguing that France is moving toward the development of a unique regulatory framework from the ground up, as opposed to attempting to apply existing securities laws to the virtual currency sector.
Do you think that employees of the U.S. executive branch should be required to disclose their cryptocurrency holdings? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Wikipedia, Finma.ch
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The Bank of Korea (BoK) has revealed it is against the idea of issuing a central bank digital currency following a feasibility review. South Korea’s central bank isn’t keen on issuing a central bank digital currency (CBDC) citing concerns related to its impact on the basic mechanics of monetary policy and implementation as well as
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The association comprising of 16 government-approved cryptocurrency exchanges in Japan has reportedly provided a sneak peak of its self-regulatory rules. The focuses are on banning insider trading and preventing exchanges from listing privacy coins.
Insider Trading Banned
The Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA) has given a sneak peak of the draft self-regulatory rules it has been working on, “in an effort to step up consumer protections and improve transparency,” Nikkei reported on Monday. The main focuses of the new regulations are on “insider trading and the trading of new currencies that cannot be traced easily,” the publication detailed, adding:
The proposed rules explicitly ban insider trading. Word has leaked previously that a major exchange would start handling a new currency, which led to a surge in the currency’s value and left many suspecting market manipulation. Such activity would represent a clear violation of the new rules.
Privacy Coins and Other Restrictions
Previously, news.Bitcoin.com reported that the country’s top financial regulator, the Financial Services Agency (FSA), had pressured exchanges to drop privacy coins. Nikkei soon reported that the agency intended to introduce a rule banning them. Subsequently, Coincheck delisted XMR, DASH, and ZEC.
According to the news outlet, the JVCEA has also introduced its own rules on privacy coins, stating:
The association also wants to prohibit exchanges from accepting new currencies that cannot be traced to previous sellers, since such currencies could easily be used for money laundering and are hard to monitor. Highly anonymous coins like Monero, Dash and Zcash could be forced out of the mainstream.
In order to prevent another Coincheck incident, crypto exchanges must better protect customer assets and report audit results to the association. “Customers’ private keys, which are needed to complete transactions, must also be managed offline to minimize hacking risk,” the publication described.
Furthermore, “exchanges will be required to keep their quoted rates from widely deviating from the prevailing market rates. Exchanges would also need to introduce circuit breakers to halt trading should a currency’s value suddenly surge or plunge.”
Strict and Costly Compliance All Around
The agency has handed out a number of business improvement orders as well as suspended a few exchanges. Out of the 16 registered exchanges, only two were issued business improvement orders – GMO Coin and Tech Bureau. Prior to the Coincheck hack, Japan had 16 “deemed dealers” or those exchanges which were allowed to operate while their applications are pending. However, since the FSA started strengthening its rules, eight of them have indicated that they will withdraw their applications.
The JVCEA was established in March, also in response to the Coincheck hack, in order to regain public trust in the crypto industry. The association consists of the 16 government-approved crypto exchanges. The chairman and president of the organization is Taizen Okuyama of Money Partners. Bitflyer CEO Yuzo Kano is the Vice Chairman, along with Bitbank President Noriyuki Hiroeno. The other two directors are SBI Virtual Currencies’ Yoshitaka Kitao and GMO Coin’s Tomitaka Ishimura.
In addition to the JVCEA, Japan already has two older associations: the Japan Blockchain Association (JBA) and the Japan Virtual Currency Business Association (JCBA).
According to the news outlet, the JVCEA has drawn up nearly 100 pages of self-regulatory measures which could be costly for crypto exchanges to comply with. An official at one exchange was quoted saying:
We’re being subjected to rules almost as tough as the Financial Instruments and Exchange Act.
What do you think of the association’s self-regulatory rules? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and the JVCEA.
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Over the past 24 hours, the cryptocurrency market added $12 billion, as major cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and Bitcoin Cash experienced a short-term corrective rally. Breathing Room, But Not Entirely Optimistic The Bitcoin price rebounded from $6,300 to $6,700, breaking a descending trendline since May 3, when BTC achieved $10,000. While it is too
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Brave Software, the publisher of an open-source web browser boasting enhanced privacy features, built-in ad blocker, and built-in cryptocurrency (Basic Attention Token [BAT]), has commenced the trial phase of its ad program. Brave users who participate in the trial for the program will be paid a sum of BAT proportional to 70% of the company’s advertising revenues in exchange for viewing ads.
Also Read: Six Alternatives to an Initial Coin Offering
Brave Browser Begins Trialing Advertising Program
Brave Software has commenced trials for its browser’s ads program.
The company, which was founded by former chief architect and CTO of Mozilla, Brendan Eich, and former senior software engineer at Mozilla and former software developer lead at Khan Academy, Brian Bondy, claims that its browser offers a number of speed and privacy advantages over its competitors. Brave’s website claims that the browser loads pages up to two times faster than other browsers on desktop, and up to eight times faster of mobile – owing in large part to its inbuilt ad blocker that seeks to eliminate undesired bandwidth expenditure.
Once the product is fully launched, the browser will allow its users to choose between either block ads entirely, or earn the browser’s inbuilt cryptocurrency, Basic Attention Token, in exchange for viewing ads. Basicattentiontoken.org describes BAT as comprising “a utility token based on the Ethereum technology that can also be used as a unit of account between advertisers, publishers.”
Ad Program Participants to Receive 70% of Advertising Revenues
The company’s ad program will see users view a “few relevant ads” several times each day. Each time an advert is viewed, the browser user will earn BAT tokens – with Brave set to distribute 70% of the profits generated through advertising with browser users who opt to view ads.
As participants in the trial will have their browsing histories sent to Brave for analysis, the trial may not be appropriate for those seeking to reap the full privacy benefits of the browser.
In April, Brave Software announced that they would partner with Dow Jones Media Group. The agreement was described as comprising “Brave [providing] access to premium content from Down Jones Media Group to a limited number of users who download the Brave browser.”
Daniel Bernard, the senior vice president of Dow Jones Media Group-owned Barron’s, expressed optimism regarding the deal, stating “Our partnership with Brave is an exciting and innovative step […] As global digital publishers, we believe it is important to continually explore new and emerging technologies that can be used to build quality customer experiences.”
What browser do you use? Tell us why in the comments section below!
Images courtesy of Shutterstock
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