A cryptocurrency is a decentralized form of money that has no single location or server. The original cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, remains the most recognizable and reliable digital coin, though ‘reliable’ is a relative term when discussing such this nascent form of currency. The core of any currency is its value, and value requires assets. Cryptocurrencies have begun to explore different types of valuable assets in recent years, resulting in a boom of new cryptocurrencies based on things like real estate, cannabis, and even fine wine crypto.
It makes sense- fine wines are like pieces of fine art, their value is defined by scarcity and increases as they age. Several wineries have begun tokenizing their bottles and apps & exchanges have appeared to allow the exchange of wine tokens.
Intrigued? So are we! We’ve compiled a list of the top influencers in the exciting new world of fine wine crypto.
Special shout-out to @Dollarjones on Twitter for giving us the idea for this list!
Jacob Ner-David is the CEO and co-founder of Vinsent, a platform and app which “creates a marketplace for wineries to offer their wines soon after harvest and to connect directly with wine lovers across the world.” According to his LinkedIn profile, Ner-David is a successful start-up founder who is currently focusing on “bringing wine lovers in closer relationship with wineries.”
Vinsent’s philosophy is similar to many of businesses which have disrupted traditional industries with the blockchain- by creating the virtual equivalent of buying a case of wine at a winery, they aim to eliminate distribution costs.
CWEX is a wine trading platform that allows users to trade with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Based out of Switzerland, CWEX claims that “this system of trading with ownership certificates significantly lowers the current processing fees, leaving the buyer almost 80% higher value of his investment at the start.”
Khara Grant is a powerhouse entrepreneur and motivational speaker. She hosts a radio program in her native Rochester called “Empower Hour with Khara Grant” where she describes herself as a “Mommyprenuer, corporate professional and author.”
Mike Barrow, Owner, Costaflores Winery
Costaflores, opened in Argentina by IT engineer Mike Barrow in 2003, issued ICO (Initial Coin Offerings) tokens for each of its produced bottles of “Mike Tango Bravo 2018” in May of that year. Each buyer of an MTB2018 token can exchange it for a bottle of the wine when it is ready for sale in 2021.
Barrow created a process called Openvino and says it is “designed to explore this experiment of how to create an open-source company and how to tokenize wine.” Barrow doesn’t have much of a social media presence, but people are talking about his experiment quite a bit. MTB and Costaflores are worth keeping an eye on.
Matthieu Michard, Founder & CEO, Delouvois.com
Matthieu Michard is a tech expert with an eye for fine art who launched the bitcoin-enabled marketplace De Louvois in 2017 to facilitate trading luxury items, art, and, yes, fine wines. Think of them like an online Sotheby’s that accepts Bitcoin and you have an idea of how exciting the platform is.
De Louvois has its own exchange, DLVEX, “a blockchain platform for creating and trading cryptocurrency tokens backed by art, exceptional items, projects and people.” Similar to other initiatives on this list, DLVEX aims to decentralize wine prices by taking the power away from the superrich who, according to DLVEX, “have been driving the price of wine beyond reason”
Jennifer Williams-Bulkeley, Founder & CEO, Vinolytics
Jennifer Williams-Bulkeley’s Vinolytics is “a data visualization tool that enables wine collectors and their advisors to easily engage with their wine.” While not directly connected to crypto, Vinolytics is another example of bringing wine collecting into the 21st century by removing barriers between wine producers and wine owners.
Williams-Bulkeley is a prolific speaker on the subject of modernizing wine with a long and successful history as a project manager and consultant in asset management.
Camille Broderick Rodier, CWE Strategic Partnerships and Business Development, Vinolytics
The other key member of the Vinolytics team, Camille Broderick Rodier comes from an extensive background in the hospitality industry she has leveraged into a career in connecting professionals in the hospitality industry. She also runs a video production company and floral arrangement company and hosts a radio show where she interviews chefs, restaurateurs, and influential food and wine visitors to the island of Nantucket.
We’ve written about roadtripping gonzo blogger Bailey Reutzel before in our Cannabis Crypto Influencers post due to her hilarious trip through the Crypto-Cannabis Conference in Denver in 2016. Reutzel is nothing if not adventurous- her blog, Money Tripping, chronicles her road trips through the world of fintech and finance. Recently, she implanted an RFID microchip into her hand that allows her to access her Bitcoin wallet by scanning it with a smartphone- making her the only cyborg on our list. We look forward to her upcoming podcast on crypto while drinking red wine.