This week we announced an exciting partnership with OpenSea, adding wine from Chateau Lafite, Cheval Blanc and Margaux to a global online marketplace for crypto collectibles. OpenSea has over four million items on its system, grouped into more than 170 asset classes letting users buy, sell and trade film memorabilia, gaming items, digital art, and other digital assets.
At first glance, it might seem that fine wine doesn’t necessarily compliment the list of items currently available on OpenSea, but the move reflects our ambition to spread fine wine ownership beyond its traditional arena, to make participation in the wine trade accessible to a wider array of consumers.
Fine wine has always been an incredibly collectible asset class, but ownership has tended to be confined to a specific audience. This is fine so far as it goes, but the risk for viniculture is that collection becomes so focused, so specialised, that a proportion of wine producers may no longer be able to afford to stay in business. This would mean fewer opportunities for people to learn about the trade and ultimately grapes and terroirs being lost because they are not deemed to be economically viable.
Lesson of the Silk Road
You need only look at the benefits that the rise of the Asian market has brought to the wine trade to see why it is worth taking advantage of every opportunity to put fine wine in front of a wider audience. Over the last decade, the Asian market has become an increasingly important region for the wine industry, with China expected to overtake France as the world’s second largest wine consumer by 2023 .
Adding our services to OpenSea simply creates an additional opportunity for wine traders to bring their wares to new audiences.
Blockchain makes integration simple
From a technical point of view, integrating the WiV Technology platform with OpenSea is a relatively simple process. Both platforms are based on ERC721, a free, open standard that describes how to build unique, non-fungible tokens on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning that trades between non-identical products can be negotiated, completed and recorded with relative ease.
One of the primary reasons that we developed the WiV platform is to expand the way that wine is traded. The wine trade has relied on very a slow, bureaucratic process that has built up over centuries. This process is perceived as being relatively safe, but it’s prone to forgery and there have been examples of sharp practice.
We believe that moving wine trading to the blockchain will help reduce this risk. Creating a virtually immutable token that is directly associated with a specific bottle or case of wine means it can be traded with confidence, particularly when that wine is stored professionally at globally recognised warehouses. Because tokens of ownership are stored digitally, trading will be a great deal faster, with no need to wait for paperwork to make its way through a global postal system.
The importance extending fine wine’s audienceAccelerating the process of wine trading while maintaining, or even improving, its security should help increase liquidity for wine producers and merchants alike. Increasing the range of trading platforms where fine wine can be obtained will also help producers and merchants in both the short and long term, offering them places to trade today and audiences to trade with tomorrow.
WiV Technology is a blockchain-based unique asset technology designed for wine producers and merchants. With offices in London, Oslo and Singapore, the WiV blockchain technology issues non-fungible tokens to create a secure global asset register and decentralised financial marketplace for fine wine and spirits. WiV facilitates provenance record-keeping, trading liquidity, geolocation and market assurance. For further information, go to www.wiv.io