The astonishing success of Strauss & Co’s recent NFT wine auction was made possible through Fanfire’s innovative and unique expertise.
The first of its kind on the continent, the groundbreaking event saw Strauss & Co Fine Wine Auctions link arms with South Africa’s top fine wine producers and Fanfire, SA’s leading blockchain and Web3 solutions provider.
“We’re thrilled that Fanfire was onboarded to take care of the security, payment and technical parameters of the NFT and blockchain transaction,”
said CEO Gert-Jan van Rooyen.
In turn, Director of WineCellar.co.za and Strauss & Co Fine Wine Specialist Roland Peens noted that their team was just as excited to launch Africa’s first NFT auction online. They believe this initiative can contribute to generating awareness for South African fine wine internationally.
The result? An extraordinary week that saw fine wine collectors seamlessly and safely bidding on and buying some of the country’s rarest, most expensive wines through non-fungible tokens (NFTs).
The benefits of using NFTs
Fine wine NFTs are a new and exciting technology in which digital tokens act as a certificate of ownership for the wines. There are several advantages:
Thanks to blockchain technology, NFTs are impossible to forge.
Once the asset linked to the NFT (e.g. a bottle of wine) is consumed or released from storage, the NFT is completely removed.
The NFT authenticates and stamps one specific bottle or case along every stage of its processing, from vine to bottle. The NFT contains all the information about the wine, including the name, vintage, and location in the cellar.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency wallets are public, so any previous ownership of a bottle or case bought through an NFT is entirely transparent.
“This is what makes NFTs the perfect fit for collectors of fine wine,” says Van Rooyen. “It offers transparent, unforgeable, traceable certificates of ownership. As a result, it provides collectors with a safe, convenient way to buy fine wines from anywhere in the country without the wine having to leave the cellar until it’s ready to be enjoyed”.
The tokens for this event were curated and transacted by Fanfire, who specialises in Web3 applications. Web3 uses blockchains, cryptocurrencies, and NFTs to give power back to the users in the form of ownership. Decentralisation, equal access and native payments lie at its core.
Why Strauss & Co Wine Auction chose Fanfire
Experts in developing bespoke solutions for clients, Fanfire’s knowledge of cryptographic tokens, web wallets, fractionalised ownership, and loyalty economies made them the ideal partner for the Strauss & Co Wine Auction.
“The brief was clear,” says Van Rooyen. “Each NFT needed to hold between 20 and 50 vintages with collections from 66 to 288 bottles. To allow for the trade and transfer of ownership of these fine wines, we needed to develop unique NFTs and a blockchain platform.”
Fanfire custom-developed the unique blockchain platform and NFTs needed for the auction to be a success. The team worked closely with Strauss & Co to create a bespoke Web3 strategy and solution that would make the transactions safe and transparent.
“Each bottle within the NFT was also minted as an NFT,” Van Rooyen adds. “This enabled single bottles to be traded or consumed at any time. Additionally, the NFTs include cellaring of the wines until maturity. While this happens, the contracts are safely kept in a wallet, be it custodial, or a cold wallet, like the Venox Vault.”
Capturing past, present and future vintages, these unique tokens included vertical collections of Klein Constantia Vin de Constance, Kanonkop Paul Sauer, Meerlust Rubicon, Mullineux Olerasay and Vilafonté Series C.
From barrels and bottles to blockchain and bitcoin
Fanfire prefers using the Polygon network. “It’s faster, and we find it more suited to quick-fire trade,” says Van Rooyen. “This was ideal for the auction.”
While NFT auctions aren’t likely to replace wine auctions as we know them quite yet, they offer an exciting and innovative way to purchase and collect wine or other assets such as art. This is because once auctioned, the owner can continue to trade the NFTs on any platform, which significantly increases the asset’s liquidity and global target market.