San Francisco, USA
BlockBar, founded by Sam and Dov Falic, is the world's first DTC NFT marketplace for wines and spirits. The concept is built upon connecting consumers and collectors with the owners of luxury wine and spirits brands by providing the opportunity to exchange NFTs for unique products. The proprietary platform allows consumers to purchase asset-backed NFTs directly from the brand owners. The physical bottles are stored in a secure facility in Singapore with 24/7 security, motion sensors, and temperature control. Buyers can pay for products via credit card or Ethereum and have the option to either burn the NFT to redeem the physical product or resell the product through the BlockBar.com marketplace, keep it in their virtual bar or gift it through BlockBars gifting offering. We spoke to the founders who shed light on the new platform, the world of NFTs and how the physical and digital world of wine collecting is being bridged.
In straightforward terms, an NFT is a unique asset where ownership and authenticity are proven through a public digital ledger called the blockchain. Real estate is a non-fungible asset; the way you prove ownership and authenticity for real estate is through deeds and titles. NFTs are one-of-a-kind digital assets that can represent anything from photos, GIFs, music, data, tweets, and in our case, wines and spirits bottles. They exist on a public blockchain to ensure digital authenticity and ownership. Physical assets can back NFTs. If you own the NFT, you own the underlying physical asset—often held in custody by a trust company. Each token is proven to be scarce, non-interchangeable, and authentic. The token is burned once the physical asset is redeemed from the vault. In other words, you have the digital version and can exchange it for the physical version. The digital version acts as a receipt and proof of authenticity.
BlockBar.com bridges the digital and physical world of wine collecting by connecting a physical wine bottle to a non-fungible token (NFT). The NFT serves as proof of authenticity, verification of ownership, and the right to have the corresponding asset redeemed at any time.
Our goal at BlockBar.com is to attract many consumers, from wine enthusiasts to newfound collectors, while also tapping into an audience of crypto experts and those buying their first NFT. The part we're most excited about in terms of buyers is that we're able to open up previously unavailable collections and offerings to a broader audience, including a younger demographic.
I think Covid impacted all businesses and consumer behavior. For example, there was a massive uptick in e-commerce sales in the wine and spirits industry during the pandemic. During that same period, crypto and NFTs exploded. Technology is advancing, and regardless of the impact, we think that everyone wants to own cool things, but there is no need to store those things yourself anymore. People are on the move now, and having the ability to own assets and investments without the physical item tying you down is a huge benefit.
Our family has been in the wine and spirits industry for over 20 years, so we have strong relationships with certain wine brands; expect to see several brand drops from our ever-evolving wine collection. Penfolds has been producing wine since 1844 and is one of the largest wine companies in the world. They are one of the most collectible and giftable wine brands globally. We partnered with Penfolds for our first wine drop back in November 2021 when a barrel of 2021 Magill Cellar 3 sold in under 12 seconds to a group of friends who got together to buy a cask of a wine brand they love. We also just released another sell-out drop from Penfold's first-ever NFT gifting collection with 300 bottles of Penfolds Magill Cellar 3 2018.
Buyers can burn the NFT to redeem the physical product anytime, anywhere in the world, from BlockBar's secure storage facility in Singapore. Visit the "My Collection" page at BlockBar.com, choose the bottle in the collection you wish to retrieve, and tap the "Redeem" button. BlockBar.com "burns" the digital version when you redeem your bottle, so one is exchanged for the other.
Our main goal is to continue on our current path. We want to continue to have exclusive drops and solve problems for consumers and brands. We have a few incredible partnerships, collaborations, and features we are excited to be adding this year, but I don't want to spoil the surprises. But I will say to be on the lookout for hints we drop on Twitter (@BlockBarNFT). A game-changing collaboration is in the works.
Interview by: Colleen Thompson, Writer, Photographer, and Content Developer