The tulip mania created by non-fungible tokens a few months ago continues to expand, and there is no telling when it will stop. The latest NFT project to make headlines is known as Chiliz, but it does not involve a restaurant chain. The Chiliz NFT platform was developed by the same team that crated tokens for the AC Milan soccer franchise of the Italian Serie A, and it has already reached one billion dollars in terms of market capitalization.

Even though Chiliz started off as an AC Milan project, it has expanded to accommodate other professional soccer teams such as Barcelona, Atletico de Madrid, and even their Serie A rivals Roma and Juventus. Chiliz can issue club tokens that can appreciate in value according to demand. Club executives can give away tokens as part of fan loyalty schemes, and the tokens can be exchanged for tickets, apparel, souvenirs, snacks at the games, and many other items. These tokens can also be traded among fans, and it stands to reason that their value will be commensurate to the club's popularity; after all, professional sports teams are subject to supply and demand that is dictated by how popular they are, and not necessarily how many championships they achieve.

Fan engagement is something that blockchain developers have been paying close attention to. The market for sports trading cards, memorabilia, licensed apparel, broadcasting, and game tickets is estimated to generate billions of dollars each year. Sports executives started off accepting major digital currencies such as Bitcoin in order to pay for tickets and official apparel, so they are already familiar with the blockchain world. Platforms such as Chiliz make perfect sense because they provide advanced management of assets related to fan engagement, and they also make it easier for investors to tap into this market.

NFTs are blockchain projects that do not function as currencies; instead, they represent an underlying value that can be physical, digital, or even intangible. One NFT that represents a piece of digital art drew a $6.5 million investment in February, and another NFT representing a Twitter update is being auctioned for more than $2 million.