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Athlete NFT platform Blockasset announced today that it is expanding beyond its original home to Solana for Chiliz Chain 2.0, the new Ethereum virtual machine-compliant Layer-1 blockchain from sports fan token company Chiliz.
Alongside the expansion, Blockasset will receive an equity investment from Chiliz, which owns Socio’s fan token and rewards platform. Socios works with more than 170 partners, including teams across the country NFLNBA, NHL and MLS, plus top soccer leagues around the world. The investment comes through Chiliz Labsthe $50 million incubator that Chiliz launched with VC firm Jump Crypto to support blockchain projects in sports.
More than 40 athletes offer NFTs through Blockasset, including former England soccer star Wayne Rooney, NHL veteran Alex Ovechkin, New Zealand rugby player Jonah Lomu and UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal.
Blockasset joins the live streaming provider FanFest and media gamification platform LiveLike in moving to Chiliz’s blockchain.
In a blog post from Chiliz and Blockasset, the companies wrote that Blockasset “will now move the next development phase” from Solana to Chiliz Chain 2.0. However, i a tweetBlockasset co-founder and chief product officer Mike Dickens said the company is “not abandoning Solana” and that the firm will take a cross-chain approach.
However, other Solana projects have made more recent moves to leave the ecosystem. DeGods and y00ts, two of the most popular NFT projects on Solana, will bridge to Ethereum and Polygon respectively this month through a “burn-and-mint” process for each new chain. Tiny Colony, a Solana NFT game, is heading to Ethereum scaling network Immutable X.
“Blockasset’s athlete-verified token approach is different but completely complementary to the Socios.com team’s Fan Token model, allowing us to strengthen the utility of our Fan Tokens and grow our catalog of rewards through cross-activations,” Chiliz CEO Alexandre Dreyfus said in a statement.
Fans can purchase Blockasset’s NFTs to access perks such as Discord chats with athletes, meet and greets at events, merchandise and signed memorabilia.
Chiliz offers similar rewards through Socios, its fan token platform that allows users to vote in polls related to their favorite teams. Socios has other agreements with the UFC and the Professional Fighters League, and owns a stake in FC Barcelona’s digital studio. Lionel Messi, football’s biggest star, is a global brand ambassador for Socios.
Chiliz says they plan to further invest in Web3 projects to help them with their blockchain network, with an emphasis on NFT tickets and games to make money.
Editor’s Note: This article was updated after publication to clarify that Blockasset will not terminate Solana entirely, but rather cross-chain as it expands to Chiliz Chain 2.0. We apologize for the error.