Tuesday, August 16

French startup brings harvest vines to the NFT market

Many exciting developments are coming to the non-expendable token, or NFT space, ranging from Metaverse NFTs to fantasy football digital trading cards to monster battle NFT games. In fact, Cointelegraph Research predicts that NFT sales will hit a record $ 17.7 billion this year.

But a French startup is taking a more ambitious approach with wine NFTs. In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Samuel Balthazard and Yacin Kharroubi, CEO and Chief Product Officer of World Wide Wines, respectively, discussed the logistics of making French wine available on the blockchain. Samuel is descended from the family that operates the Château du Rouët vineyard in Provence, which has existed since 1840. The project itself is based on the Elrond network.

Cointelegraph: A bottle of wine will cost differently, for example, in France than in China due to the difference in taxes and customs duties. So what is the setting here regarding such payments?

Samuel Balthazard: So for the system, for taxes, we have created a token called GRAPES. And when you buy an NFT, you bet a token in exchange for permission to have the bottle. So when you want to get the bottle back [delivered], we use a system to know if there is [are] enough GRAPES according to your country. For example, if you are in China [where the import taxes are high], you need to have more GRAPES tokens to pay the taxes. If you are in France, you are supposed to need less tokens.

CONNECTICUT: So where are you guys in terms of product development? Are you already selling these NFTs or are you just building like the prototypes?

Yacin Kharroubi: So yes, in fact, we have been building this project for several months. But we made the official announcement 10 days ago. So now, we have created the whole design. We are launching the first drop of 300 NFT, and we have already managed some partnerships with NFT collections and wineries for now.

CONNECTICUT: How will you guarantee the safety and protection of the bottles, since there is a risk outside the chain?

SB and YK: Yes. So behind every NFT, there are three actual wine bottles for safety and security. For these three bottles, we put them in three different vineyards, as if we wanted to work in a cloud system, but with bottles.

Securing each NFT in a three bottle configuration is the first step in the process because we want to make sure that if a bottle is lost or two bottles are missing, we still have the third one, but the customer will only have one bottle. We bought three bottles. But when you wait for a bottle, if nothing happens between them, they go to the market. So, and with NFT, you have discounts in this market. So you can go […] at the market and buy a discounted bottle. And the first part [is] we want to create a ‘wine list’. And it will be like an invitation to wine events or a discount at a wine bar or things like that.

The second step in terms of security is insurance. When you bet an NFT, you have some GRAPES. 30% is for fees; 30% is for the owner of the wine, stock, storage; 30% is for the vineyard. Meanwhile, the remaining 10% goes to us. So if the vineyard loses a bottle, it does not receive its GRAPES, so it has a [economic] interest in caring for the bottle. And you can claim your bottle when you have enough GRAPES to pay the fees and shipping fee.

CONNECTICUT: It says that each NFT will represent a different type of wine on your site. So how will you determine the quality of the wine?

SB and YK: Yes, in this part, it is about data and data science. So in the beginning, we wanted to show the vintage of the wine as an attribute, but the vintage is too subjective and difficult for customers to choose. So we decided to create an attribute based on quality. And for this attribute, we will use historical data, but we will create a prediction model. Thus analyzing all the data that allow us to determine the quality, for example, the climate, rain and sun of the vineyards where the grapes are grown.

Related: Despite Bad Reputation, NFTs Can Be A Force For Good

CONNECTICUT: Would you like to include other statements or visions about what you are doing?

SB and YK: That is why we want to have three main objectives; first, digitize the wine ecosystem, then educate people on how to detect a good wine and, finally, gamification of wine ecosystems [via the Metaverse]. We have many ideas, for example one NFT wine collection and then another. The last step is to get to the real wine market with real wineries.

The last part, I think is important, why would the vineyards be interested? The first part is about the second market. Thus, for example, when the Domaine Château du Rouët sells a wine, it controls the first market. But, if the bottle appreciates over time, the winery does not control it. And with NFTs, you can place royalties on the second market, so Domaine Château du Rouët gets a commission on resales.