CHZ Token Caught in SEC Crosshairs

10 Jul 2024

SEC v. Consensys Software Inc. Court Filing, retrieved on June 28, 2024, is part of HackerNoon’s Legal PDF Series. You can jump to any part in this filing here. This part is 15 of 26.


179. CHZ is a token on the Ethereum blockchain, advertised as the “native digital token for the Chiliz sports & entertainment ecosystem currently powering,” a sports fan engagement platform built on the Chiliz blockchain. The Chiliz blockchain was introduced in early 2018 by protocol founder and current CEO Alexandre Dreyfus, under a Maltese entity named HX Entertainment Ltd. The Chiliz whitepaper describes the Chiliz protocol as “a platform where fans get a direct Vote in their favorite sports organizations, connect and help fund new sports and esports entities.”

180. The CHZ token purportedly allows “fans to acquire branded Fan Tokens from any team or organization partnered with the platform and enact their voting rights as their fan influencers.” Examples of voting polls that allow holders of “Fan Tokens” (purchased with CHZ tokens) to influence team decisions with their vote include selecting player warm-up apparel and choosing team pennant designs.

181. According to the Chiliz whitepaper dated November 2018, during the second quarter of 2018 the Chiliz team completed fund-raising of approximately $66 million in exchange for approximately 3 billion CHZ in “Chiliz’s Token Generation Event” purportedly “executed via private placement.” CHZ were originally minted in 2018, and there is a maximum supply of 8,888,888,888 CHZ tokens. However, it was not until the second quarter of 2019 that Chiliz made “Fan Tokens” on available for purchase with CHZ.

182. CHZ has been available for buying and selling through the MetaMask Swaps platform since at least December 2020.

183. From the initial “private” offering of CHZ tokens in 2018, through public statements made in 2023, the Chiliz team has disseminated information and made statements, including statements made and available during the period when CHZ was available to trade on MetaMask Swaps, that have led CHZ holders reasonably to view CHZ as an investment in and to expect profits from the team’s efforts to develop, expand, and grow the platform, which, in turn, would increase the demand for and the value of CHZ.

184. For example, the Chiliz website,, introduces the Chiliz team, which is “comprised of nearly 350+ cross-industry professionals across 27 different nationalities and is constantly growing.” The Chiliz team operates both the Chiliz protocol and

185. In fact, the whitepaper and other public statements by Chiliz also identify several members of the Chiliz leadership team, the bios of these “Leadership” or “Advisory” teams, and their past entrepreneurial and technology experiences and successes. The Chiliz website touts that the Chiliz team is “building the web3 infrastructure for sports and entertainment.”

186. The Chiliz team also stated publicly that it would use the proceeds from CHZ sales to fund the development, marketing, business operations, and growth of the Chiliz protocol and, consequently, to increase the demand for CHZ in connection with the protocol. For example, the whitepaper explains that funding raised through token sales would be allocated as follows: 58% to Operational Expenses (“A majority of funds will be passed on from the Issuer to an affiliate to develop the platform, secure partnerships & realize the platform’s digital infrastructure.”); 20% to User Acquisition (“Funds will be used to acquire new users for the platform and grow engagement in its voting utilities.”); 10% to Corporate Structuring; 5% to Security and Legal; and 7% to Ecosystem Support.

187. Moreover, 5% and 3% of the total CHZ tokens distributed were allocated to the Chiliz team and an advisory board, respectively—the two groups responsible for the creation and development of the platform—aligning the fortunes of management with those of CHZ investors.

188. The CHZ whitepaper further makes evident the mutuality of interest (and the alignment of fortunes) between promoter and investor when it cautions that “if the value of BTC, ETH and/or Chiliz fluctuates, the Company may not be able to fund development to the extent necessary, or may not be able to develop or maintain the Platform in the manner that it intended.”

189. The Chiliz team also frequently touts the growth potential in the sports and esports industry that it seeks to monetize through the Chiliz team’s efforts to expand its platform. For example, the CHZ whitepaper highlighted the size of the gaming industry and potential for esports revenue as well as the use of CHZ to drive and monetize fan engagement for traditional sports. In reference to the June 2018 “Token Generation Event,” the whitepaper stated: “[w]e are no longer pursuing fundraising measures, instead focusing our efforts on leveraging accrued resources to realize the Chiliz/ vision.” The whitepaper continued: “[w]ith foundations set, Chiliz and the platform it powers will look to use Football as a benchmark to expand our Tokenized Fan Voting model to other sports in order to cater to a global marketplace where different competitive verticals are dominant – prime examples of diversification are Cricket in the Indian market, Baseball for Japan, and the like.”

190. Public statements that the Chiliz team and its executives made indicate that CHZ tokens are primarily deployed for purchasing “Fan Tokens” on and that the demand for and price of CHZ tokens is directly reliant on demand for Socios fan tokens and their benefits.

191. The Chiliz team also made other public statements that emphasize the economic reality inherent in the design of the Chiliz blockchain’s reliance on CHZ to function—that as Chiliz is able to grow its platform by partnering with more teams, and those teams grant attractive opportunities to token holders, the value of the respective “Fan Tokens” will increase, and in turn, the value of CHZ will also increase.

192. For instance, the FAQ section located on the Chiliz website, which was publicly available from at least December 2021 to December 2022, provided: “Demand for the Chiliz token will increase as more esports teams, leagues and game titles are added to the platform, and as more fans want voting rights.”

193. Chiliz’ CEO has echoed this same sentiment in other public statements. In February 2020, he stated: “Tens of thousands of regular football fans have already started to use crypto, purchasing $CHZ in order to buy Fan Tokens, and in time we expect millions more to do so as we continue to add more partners to the platform and increase our reach and grow the brand.” In March 2021, he tweeted: “Monthly Active Users (MAU) of the @socios app, powered by $CHZ. You can see how the demand for $CHZ (exchanges, Etherscan wallets, …) exploded. Everything is correlated. We are building a mainstream consumer-facing product, powered by @chiliz blockchain.” And in February 2023, he tweeted: “I’m biased but I’m very confident that the Chiliz ecosystem is gonna bring a lot of value to fans, sports properties, and innovation in general. Long journey ahead of us. $CHZ.”

194. The Chiliz team has also made efforts to drive secondary trading of CHZ by offering the token on crypto asset trading platforms. For example, an earlier version of the whitepaper highlighted “ongoing discussions” to offer CHZ on trading platforms across Asia, and the Chiliz website features a “Listing Content and Q&A” document reflecting a proposal to offer CHZ on the Binance DEX platform.

195. The Chiliz team also tells investors that it plans to engage in “burning” (or destroying) CHZ tokens as a mechanism to support the price of CHZ by reducing their total supply. For instance, in 2020, the Chiliz team announced through its Fan Token exchange that it would burn 20% received in net trading fees, 10% of proceeds from “Fan Token” offering sales, and 20% of net proceeds of NFT & Collectibles. As with other crypto asset securities set forth herein, this marketed burning of CHZ has led investors reasonably to view their purchase of CHZ as having the potential for profit.

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This court case retrieved on June 28, 2024, is part of the public domain. The court-created documents are works of the federal government, and under copyright law, are automatically placed in the public domain and may be shared without legal restriction.