Responsible Operation & Responsible Trading
Socios.com and Fan Tokens were inspired by and created for sports fans. Our mission is to allow fans to connect with their favourite teams in a new way, one in which they are not only spectators but active players with official recognition and the right to influence decision-making processes regardless of where they are in the world.
Socios.com is a consumer-facing product, and we take our responsibilities towards consumer protection very seriously. Although Socios.com is built on blockchain technology and customers do need to use the CHZ digital currency to purchase Fan Tokens, we are not a crypto exchange. CHZ is the only cryptocurrency that can be purchased through our app, only in limited amounts and never through leveraging or other complicated and/or high risk mechanisms you commonly see on crypto exchanges. CHZ are used solely to purchase Fan Tokens, and we do not expose our customers to any other cryptocurrencies.
Until now, regulation of the blockchain & crypto industries has been woefully slow. Regulators have been trying to catch up to an industry that is racing ahead at unprecedented speed. Since cryptocurrency markets are decentralized and largely unregulated, Socios.com is not governed by any harmonised European regulatory framework. However, from launch, we have operated as if we were a regulated company whilst ensuring compliance with any country-specific regulations, if applicable. That means that we have always operated within strict, self-imposed parameters to ensure we offer the highest levels of consumer protection. As regulation is rolled out in a piecemeal fashion across Europe and the rest of the world, we will continue to work with policymakers and regulators to help deliver effective regulation of the sector and ensure our compliance with all applicable rules.
Consumer Protection - KYC/AML
Since launch, Socios.com has operated 4 different levels of Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) protocols, modelled on EU anti-money laundering requirements, and are designed to reduce risk, protect users and increase security. These procedures exist to protect the user and the assets they hold. Any company or organisation that handles assets, regardless of their size, on behalf of a customer, has to verify the identity of their customers to ensure that both the assets and the platform itself are protected from criminal activity.
Consumer Protection - Under 18s
Upon registration, we require all new users to declare their date of birth and we remind customers that the selling of Fan Tokens is strictly reserved for those over the age of 18. Before customers can start selling, they will need to prove they are over the age of 18 by supplying the necessary age verification documentation. identity of their customers to ensure that both the assets and the platform itself are protected from criminal activity.
Consumer Protection - Deposit Thresholds
We have deposit thresholds in place to protect customers. This means that a user will have to provide an email address and mobile number to verify who they are and will be requested to present an identity verification document. The thresholds and process are in the process of being refined in accordance with local AML requirements as dictated by individual jurisdictions.. As a user’s spend increases, we ask for more information and further verification, and we create personalised limits for customers based on an individual affordability analysis. We also require users to prove the source of their funds to ensure that they can both afford what they want to spend, and that the funds are not coming from illicit activities.
Consumer Protection - Purchase Caps
When launching a Fan Token, we encourage new club partners to impose a cap on the amount of Fan Tokens any one customer can buy. This is to ensure that fans, some of whom may be new to digital assets, do not over-expose themselves, and also to ensure that those fans who want to buy, can. With most Fan Token Offerings – the timed period when the Fan Tokens for a team are first sold at a set price – we impose an initial limit of 75 tokens per fan, which translates to a maximum spend of €150. In practice, a clear majority of customers hold only a few tokens.
Fan Tokens are utility tokens, the purchase of which is akin to buying a service or joining a loyalty scheme – a service through which fans can enjoy exclusive discounts and promotions, can vote in polls and earn unique prizes and rewards – all with only one Fan Token. With this in mind, the value that each token represents to the holder is dependent on the value they place in the service, i.e. the polls and the rewards on offer.
While trading is not the primary use case of Fan Tokens, we acknowledge that a secondary market does exist. We remind customers that trading of digital assets carries considerable risk, and urge any customer wanting to trade to exercise caution, trade responsibly, and seek professional advice if ever in doubt. Cryptocurrency and digital asset markets are determined by supply & demand, and the trading of either carries a high degree of risk, some of which will relate to individual circumstances.