New Partnership Aims to Bring Blockchain Sports Tokens to the NFL, MLB

Chiliz CEO Alex Dreyfus told Cointelegraph that – as part of the partnership – Lagardere’s sales team will present Chiliz and its blockchain-based fan interaction system Socios to new sports teams, leagues and sports federations.

American sports fans could soon be using blockchain-based tokens to interact with their favorite teams.

Blockchain sports firm Chiliz has partnered with major marketing agency Lagardere Sports and Entertainment, according to a press release on Feb. 17.

Dreyfus explained that, since Lagardere has a major presence in the United States, it will help expose Chiliz and Socios to teams in major sports leagues such as the National Football League and Major League Baseball – where average team valuations are in the billions of dollars:

“The strong presence of Lagardere Sports in the U.S., especially in NFL and MLB, will help Chiliz to have a footprint for the first time. Our existing portfolio with FC Barcelona gives us a strong leadership in the U.S., but we want to start to go to the next stage by onboarding U.S.-facing sports in the next few months. This partnership will help, as some others that will be announced.”

Per Lagardere’s quarterly reports, the company saw over $435 million in annual profits at the end of Q3 2019. Legardere has contracts with athletes in the NFL, MLB and professional golf. Dreyfus claims that Chiliz already has 120,000 users and hinted at more potential future partnerships that could help increase its user base:

“This strategic partnership is the first one to be announced for Chiliz, with a leading sports agency, but aims to partners with leading telecom operators, major tech corporations, phone makers and media groups.”

By adding major teams, Chiliz aims for mass appeal for tokenized assets

The Socios platform currently allows soccer fans of various teams to purchase blockchain-based fan engagement tokens, which can then be used to vote on certain club decisions and to access exclusive events and merchandise.

Spanish soccer powerhouse FC Barcelona recently joined Socios to create a token for the franchise. In September 2019, soccer club Atlético de Madrid also joined the platform, as did London-based soccer team West Ham United that previous April.

In a recent interview with Cointelegraph, Dreyfus explained that Socios may be the first way for the masses to experience tokenized assets just like the mobile video game Pokemon Go was the first way for the mainstream public to experience augmented reality.

New Gov’t Initiative to Put South Korean Trade on Blockchain by 2021

The South Korean government is planning to establish a digital trade foundation to reduce the costs of trade by using blockchain technology.

Reduce trade costs by more than 90%

On Oct. 14, South Korean Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki introduced the country’s Development Plan for Digital Trade. Under the plan, technologies such as blockchain, big data and AI, will be applied to digitize the entire Korean trade finance ecosystem by the year 2021. Finance Minister Hong Nam-ki reportedly said:

“We will build a digital trading platform that can be easily and conveniently used in all stages of export, such as contracts, customs and logistics.”

The Korean government also established a digital trade foundation, with the aim to promote e-commerce exports and reduce time and cost related to trade finance with more than 90%.

Vice Minister of Commerce and Industry Chung Seung-il added that these initiatives are focused on South Korea’s lead in the global digital trade market and upgrading the Korean online export support base, adding:

“We will make trade more convenient by integrating and providing trade information and export support services of government and trade organizations.”

South Korean mobile carrier on the blockchain

Cointelegraph reported on Sept. 11 that Union Mobile, the fourth-largest mobile carrier in South Korea, announced the launch of its blockchain project called ELYNET. The project aims to use blockchain technology to make telecommunications more efficient for those users who rely on a single carrier for telecom service and allow those clients to use data communication services without roaming fees and contracts.

New Blockchain Tool Promises Verifiable Audits in 30 Seconds

Accounting and business consulting firm Armanino launched a new blockchain-based tool Wednesday promising firm-originated financial audits in seconds. Called TrustExplorer 2.0, the product is one of several promising to overturn how accounting is done within companies.

Which is hardly surprising: by definition, “ledger technology” should improve accounting and provide a competitive threat to the way things are done today. Blockchain and accounting are made for one another, as much of the industry acknowledges.

Aramamino’s TrustExplorer is an auditing protocol offering real-time, distributed, and final audits, according to Armanino partner Andries Verschelden. “We have this digital ledger that becomes the single point in truth capturing all these transactions”, Verschelden said in a phone interview:

“You open up the possibility of real-time audit and being able to provide transparency.”

Blockchain technology offers immutability ( permanence) and accessibility (wide distribution of data-entry points). Armanino has been trialing its suite with  accounting and finance firms over the last year, Verschelden said.

Armanino is one many projects in the accounting industry taking advantage of blockchain, including at big firms like PwC and Deloitte. Blockchain technology can automate the capture of accounting data and verify its accuracy, reducing the risk of alteration or corruption. Deloitte said in a 2016 report:

“Since all entries are distributed and cryptographically sealed, falsifying or destroying them to conceal activity is practically impossible. It is similar to the transaction being verified by a notary – only in an electronic way.”

Verschelden said accountants have no need to fear for their jobs just yet. Instead blockchain will make their lives easier (in theory anyway). Instead of doing tedious handwork and number crunching – which often takes weeks to months – firms can get an expert view of their finances in seconds. For final audits, however, accountants will still come in to employ traditional methods for a more nuanced approach to risk management and financial inspections.

“Our industry is slow to embrace technology and has really looked at technology and blockchain as a threat than an opportunity”, Verschelden said. “We asked how did the blockchain change the audit process and how did it improve it?”

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