“Four Wheels” and the World Of Fractional Asset Ownership”
Rare and exotic cars are a treasured commodity worldwide. The thought of possessing one of these vehicles has become a tantalizing dream for many.
Then reality sets in:
Ownership has historically been restricted to those with the financial means to invest in them.
Today, with the acceleration of blockchain technology, an innovative company is now providing the opportunity for fractional ownership in one of the fast growing and best-performing asset classes of the past decade.
Established in 2015, BitCar is a blockchain-based auto trading platform with a mission of providing access to these cars for the masses. Now in a groundbreaking global first, BitCar recently announced that it was opening up direct ownership of this asset class to the public for the first time.
Bitcoinist had the chance to interview by email Dr. Gov Van Ek, co-founder of BitCar about this announcement and what it means for the future of crypto driven, fractional asset ownership. Here’s what he had to share
Share with us the details of BitCar your newest project launch. In other words, what is BitCar and why are you so excited about it?
Our mission is to empower everyday people with the ability to fractionally own a piece of a high-end exotic car, which has been the highest-performing asset class over a ten-year period, followed by coins, wine, and jewelry. We successfully launched our platform onto the mainnet this month.
Briefly take us on a test-drive of how it works.
In short, users can buy a fraction of a $500,000 value collector’s edition Ferrari 599 GTO via our dual-token platform. We intend to expand our options to include a larger collection of exotic cars so that people can purchase fractional ownership of vehicles that align with their individual interests.
How is cryptocurrency integrated into this?
Our ecosystem includes an asset token (CAR), which is a digital receipt for ownership in the car, and a utility token (BITCAR), used to pay for in-ecosystem actions, including voting on decisions pertaining to the cars (such as whether to sell or hold the asset).
So what excites you most about this project?
The fact that our platform is the fact that for the first time in history one of the historically highest-performing asset classes of exotic cars, previously only affordable to the wealthy, is now affordable for people to participate. We are fully committed to the spirit of decentralization, and so, not only does our platform reside on the Ethereum blockchain, but the front end interface is also hosted on a decentralized network comprised of multiple peers akin to blockchain nodes.
BitCar is tied to a concept called “Fractional Assets.” What exactly is this and how can it benefit today’s consumers?
Fractional asset ownership means that an asset that only retains value in its “whole” form can be owned by multiple parties. To put that into context, if a Monet painting was physically shredded into thousands of tiny pieces, it would lose all value. But if portions of the Monet painting could be digitally divided into fractions that could be bought and sold without physically impacting the work of art itself, that’s a game-changer for people who cannot afford multi-million dollar assets, like fine art, commercial real estate, or luxury collectibles like classic and exotic cars.
You have said that blockchain can help break the vicious cycle of income equality by enabling fractional ownership of high performing asset classes. Can you elaborate a bit more about this?
In today’s times when the gap between the super-rich and everyone else continues to widen, it is paramount to economic and societal stability to find ways of bridging that divide. One way the vicious cycle of income inequality is perpetuated is that those in the 1% possess the means by which to leverage their financial resources to generate yet more wealth. At the same time, opportunities for wealth generation are shrinking for everyone else.
Yes, this issue seems to be generating a great de global attention?
No doubt. Take for example the gig economy. We’re hearing that things aren’t panning out to be as great for the Uber and Lyft drivers and Airbnb hosts as it is for the companies they’re working for. As a result, there’s been a growing movement around putting real financial power into the hands of everyday people, which blockchain enabled fractional ownership allows.
So in your view, how can blockchain bring about the next sharing economy (2.0), one that’s based on ownership rather than gig labor based on giant intermediaries?
The tech giants that came out of the app revolution like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb base their business model on being the intermediary that facilitates the transaction between customer and service provider (driver or host). Blockchain technology helped us to realize that we don’t really need these intermediaries. People are realizing these large platforms mostly take money out of the pockets of workers without providing the key benefits in the legacy transportation and hospitality industries.
So you appear to be saying that blockchain technology can offer a game-changing solution here?
No doubt. Blockchain technology allows people to engage in a peer-to-peer manner, allowing workers to retain more value from the transaction and make their own decisions. Some crypto enthusiasts have hailed the possibilities of users gaining value from data sharing and the tokenization of online actions as a new avenue for wealth generation, but the reality is that the biggest opportunities for wealth generation reside in the ownership of assets — like real estate or classic cars — that have been proven to gain value over time.