MAKING PHYSICAL ASSETS ON THE BLOCKCHAIN A REALITY
Mattereum’s “Million Dollar Quartet”
As the dust of the latest ‘Crypto Winter’ settles and the panic subsides, the question being asked is ‘What next?’ and it seems the answer that is beginning to condense out of the fog is “connecting physical assets to the blockchain!”. This makes a lot of sense, cryptocurrencies and NFTs as they have been used up to now only have a tenuous connection to the physical world and while for a relatively small group of blockchain fundamentalists this is just fine, for the rest of the world it makes them a niche interest, albeit one that has generated an insane amount of headlines.
Most physical NFT transactions rely on the truthfulness of the information they are using being baked in already, but what happens when someone is slipping counterfeit items into your supply chain, or is selling things they don’t actually have?
For the blockchain to achieve the ubiquity it has the potential to, it needs to do something for the real world and make the leap to connecting to the physical. We can see it coming, once Mattereum was pretty much alone in this space, apart from a few companies like Boson, 4K, and Solidblock who may have been inspired by Mattereum’s initial White Paper, but now we can see other start-ups such as Aspen Labs, StockX, Americana, Origin Trail and RollApp catching on and doing things like using the blockchain to bring transparency to supply chain management or providing marketplaces for niche products like collectables. While these are all good ideas, they rely on the truthfulness of the information they are using being baked in already, but what happens when someone is slipping counterfeit items into your supply chain, or is selling things they don’t actually have? It all gets a bit messy and expensive as the lawyers get involved and courts have to work out the legal aspects of the blockchain on the fly. Mattereum, though, nailed down all the legals before ever starting to do anything on the blockchain, so with our Mattereum Asset Passport (MAP) that combines warranties and NFTs to create the Mattereum Trustable NFT, every transaction comes with a simple and effective legal framework for dealing with any disputes that arise, and it is applicable in over 160 jurisdictions, so there doesn’t need to be costly court cases in every single country to establish the case law for items on the blockchain, it’s just plug and play.
It has to be said that this kind of thing is something that companies now entering the real world NFT space are only promising for a remote future, so when we go out there and say ‘we’ve got this — we can do physical assets connected to the blockchain with all the legals in place and working now’ it’s not entirely surprising that some people think it’s a scam, it’s so far ahead of what anyone else can do. We feel a bit like the Wright brothers; when they first flew, no one believed them; for a year after their first flight the only place you could read about it was in a beekeeping journal because the editor went to Kittyhawk to see them fly with his own eyes, while other journalists dismissed it as impossible out of hand. We have not been featured in beekeeping journals, but we do have the equivalent — clients who have been willing to look at what Mattereum do for themselves and bring their physical objects to the blockchain through the Mattereum system
We started with things like Star Trek collectables, which are a lot of fun, but now Mattereum has stepped up to a new level, with its “Million Dollar Quartet” .
OK, we haven’t got Elvis and Johnny Cash back from the dead (Jim Morrison, though…well, watch this space), but what we do have is serious clients willing to bring physical assets worth a million dollars or more to the table and put them on the blockchain through the Mattereum system, allowing these high value items to to be bought and sold as Trustable NFTs at the click of a button. Our Million Dollar Quartet features:
- Real Estate — West London City Lets have a £1.6million plot of land for sale as a Mattereum Trustable NFT. You know what a pain it is to buy and sell houses and land using the current system, but with Mattereum all that paperwork can be rolled up and put into a MAP to make the deal a simple blockchain transaction. We are doing this now and expect to do many more real estate deals in the future.
- Gold Bars — We have gold bars available as Trustable NFTs with our partners Lohko. These remain vaulted at an internationally renowned gold vault while the ownership can be bought and sold to anyone anywhere in the world via an NFT, with title to the gold legally enforceable. If you really want, you can actually go to the vault and take out your gold bar using your NFT as proof of ownership.
- Fine Wines and Whisky — through our partnership with IG Wines we have investment grade wines and shares in barrels of whisky that are together worth over £1million available. The wines remain in their cellars and the whiskies in their vaults, while the investment in them can be bought and sold as Mattereum Trustable NFTs (unless you want to claim the bottles and drink them!). We hope to bring more wine and whisky companies to the blockchain very shortly.
- Historic instruments — Mattereum have an incredible Stradivarius family violin created by Giuseppe Guarneri, valued at $1.6million available as a Trustable NFT through our Matterfine partnership with renowned luthier Robert Brewer Young and have already sold a more modern treasured instrument, DJ Timmy Trumpet’s custom trumpet, valued at $1million. These instruments are vaulted too, although with Mattereum’s system it is possible to have warranties that could require them to be played a certain number of times a year by specific kinds of performer, setting out the exact terms and conditions under which they could be unvaulted for that purpose.
One of the prominent advantages of the Quartet is stability. These aren’t stable in the way that stablecoins were meant to be stable (until they weren’t), by being pegged to a currency or asset, they are stable in the way that actually owning the gold bar or a bottle of investment-grade wine is stable, because that is what you are doing. Owning a Mattereum Trustable NFT bound to a gold bar means you actually own that gold bar, the value of the NFT is the value of the gold bar, and that is the very definition of stable. Owning one of the Quartet NFTs insulates you from the fluctuations of the Crypto world, because their value is the value of the real world asset they connect you to, but they still give you the convenience of trading them as NFTs.
Owning a Mattereum Trustable NFT bound to a gold bar means you actually own that gold bar, the value of the NFT is the value of the gold bar, and that is the very definition of stable.
This Million Dollar Quartet is just the start; our system is not tied to any specific asset class and can be used to bring literally anything to the blockchain. Things like gold and whisky are scalable — millions and millions of dollars could be added without any real complexity, at the same time it’s also entirely possible to create MAPs for things that need individual attention, like the violin or real estate, we’ve done fine art and jewellery too; the Mattereum system is effective and flexible. It can even be used in concert with other organisation’s real world NFTs to support them with Mattereum’s legal guarantees, making it unnecessary for every company bringing physical assets to the blockchain to have to reinvent all the legals, they can just buy into ours.
Owning one of the Quartet NFTs insulates you from the fluctuations of the Crypto world, because their value is the value of the real world asset they connect you to, but they still give you the convenience of trading them as NFTs.
While our Million Dollar Quartet of high value items are a great proof of concept, demonstrating that the Mattereum system is trusted and works, it isn’t just about vaulted items. In the near future we’ll be adding functionality that makes it possible for any item to be permanently connected to the blockchain out in the physical world, opening the door to a mechanism that makes the circular economy a potential reality.
Picard, if that was the man’s name, was speaking with a broker in New York, arranging the purchase…it was almost certain that Picard would never see the works he was purchasing. If the artist enjoyed sufficient status, the originals were very likely crated away in some vault, where no one saw them at all. Days or years later, Picard might pick up that same phone and order the broker to sell. — William Gibson, Count Zero
The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed. — William Gibson