BAXUS is taking fine wine and liquor sales, collecting, and trading to the next level. Revolutionizing the whole process by adapting it to the cryptospace with the ease and security of NFTs. Collectors can still brag and show off their collections even if they don’t have the bottles in hand.
Traditionally the whiskey and spirits trade has been inefficient, but the internet and companies like BAXUS have brought greater efficiency and transparency to market. When there is greater transparency, there is more trust in pricing and authenticity which ultimately encourages more trade. Notable the aforementioned also increases the ability for traders to confidently trade 24 hours a day. The NFT owners can always redeem their NFTs in exchange for the physical goods if they want. Nevertheless, they have the opportunity to leave them stored and secured for safe keeping and easy sales. It also allows people to be able to share photos and videos of their collections that people can verify that they own.
All bottles and assets submitted to BAXUS undergo extensive authentication using a cutting edge AI/machine learning technology, which is trained from wine and spirits experts who inspect each bottle prior to authentication.
BAXUS’ number one priority is the safety and security of the valuable assets with which it is being entrusted. All assets submitted to BAXUS are insured and stored in temperature controlled vaults around the world. Each BAXUS facility is monitored 24/7 to ensure the safety and security of the valuable assets inside.
BAXUS assets are minted on the Solana blockchain as a unique indisputable proof of ownership of the underlying asset that is displayed and described in the NFT metadata.
Trade your proof of ownership across the Solana blockchain using trustless contracts. Get intraday pricing information for your assets and discover a new market of buyers and sellers.
BAXUS provides peace of mind that your valuables are safe and secure, every owner who lists an item on BAXUS earns royalties on each future transaction of the item. BAXUS provides each asset with historical trade pricing, giving sellers and buyers a better understanding of an item’s real market value.
Check out our interview with Todd Wiesel and Carrie Kellar of BAXUS below:
Earle Dutton (ED): How did you come up with the concept for BAXUS? Or, how did you come up with the connection between fine wine/liquor and NFTs?
Todd Wiesel (TW): I was working as a whiskey traders and was looking for ways to create a more efficient and trustworthy market. Carrie was my TA for a databases course I was taking when I was trying to build out the product. I told her how grossly inefficient the market is for wine and spirits because of limited supply and poor global distribution, and how the whiskey auction houses had grown rapidly in the past few years. I was interested in implementing on-chain transactions to create transparency in pricing, and Carrie suggested that using NFTs would make it even easier for users to be able to identify what the underlying items they were trading were. Fine wine and spirits is often stored in third party warehouses where owners don’t really get a chance to look their collection, and are prime targets for counterfeit sales. We wanted to build a solution that was built for collectors, traders, and enthusiasts, as well as brands and institutional investors. Our goal is to create the underlying infrastructure to provide the whole market with authentication, storage, and tokenization solutions for valuable collectible items. The NFTs are the perfect way to represent unique and rare items and provide a permanent link for their provenance and authenticity.
ED: What made you choose Solana instead of Ethereum?
TW: Ethereum still operates on a Proof of Work consensus algorithm. This means that every transaction is using way more energy, and the costs associated are entirely dependent on the network traffic (think about Ethereum transactions like uber rides, you get surge pricing if too many people want to transact). Last Saturday night gas fees hit $5,000 per transaction on Ethereum. When Carrie and I were looking into what blockchain would be the most appropriate for BAXUS we knew that having a low-cost of trading would be essential. Solana’s consensus algorithm is far more efficient and therefore it can handle tens of thousands of transactions per second at a much lower cost.
ED: Would you update the NFT every time it is traded since it contains the provenance of the item?
TW: That’s one of the best parts of using a blockchain to track the transactions! We don’t need to update the NFT every time its traded because the trade information, including the accounts of the seller, buyer, and price are all recorded to the blockchain.
ED: Would the collector (owner) send you the bottle when they decide to sell?
Carrie Kellar (CK): The owner sends us the bottle to authenticate, store, and tokenize the bottle so that they can sell it when they’re anywhere in the world, at any time without having to deal with shipping and logistics and compliance.
ED: How many bottles can BAXUS storage facility hold?
CK: We currently have around 2,000 bottles in our first vault and are growing!
ED: How would you verify the provenance (history) of the bottles?
CK: We have in-house authentication experts who are able to determine the history and authenticity of the bottles. We’re using these experts to train a CV algorithm to detect fakes and build a database of historical bottles to verify provenance.
ED: How long does verification normally take?
CK: The whole process can be done in under 12 minutes. We’re working on ways to speed that process up as well to keep up with the demand.
ED: Is there a way for collector owners to show (brag) to their friends about what they own without removing them from Baxus storage?
CK: Yes, each collector will have their own private vault link that they will be able to share with friends and family to display the high-resolution images and videos of each of the bottles. There are currently several AR companies and digital frame companies as well that have developed very cool ways of displaying NFTs with visible on-chain proof. One of our users has his collection set to rotate on a digital frame he keeps in his office.
ED: I find that a lot of the fine wine/liquor industry is a bit old school. How are they warming up or receiving your ideas of a partnership?
CK & TW: Brands and distilleries have been really receptive to incorporating blockchain technology! They understand have keeping track of provenance on the blockchain is the future of alternative assets. We’re looking to build a product that helps protect the integrity of their products and helps to eliminate the rampant fraud. They also really like that we are able to help them engage more directly with their consumers and collectors.
ED: Has there been much resistance to entering the crypto space to use your services?
CK: I think we’re a bit special in that we’re not a purely crypto protocol and we’re also not a brick-and-mortar business. We’re trying the bridge the divide between blockchain and outdated business practices. The crypto community is incredibly supportive because their dream and goal is to onboard the next billion users and at our heart that’s what BAXUS is doing as well. People who don’t really understand the value of JPEG NFTs also really like the opportunity to use crypto for a real-world application.
ED: Do you see BAXUS branching out with other services in the near future?
CK: Oh yes, we have a lot in the pipeline. We really want to focus on creating a product for the community, so when we have discussions with collectors and traders, we’re constantly getting ideas about what comes next!
ED: How do you think this idea/service could benefit other collectable such as fine art?
CK & TW: What we’re building at BAXUS is an on-chain tangible asset tokenization protocol. It can be applied to any alternative asset and collectible good. Once the provenance has been verified attaching a tamper-proof tag system and hi-resolution 3D imaging, the ability to have both the item and its certificate of authenticity exist in both the physical and digital realms has endless applications. The decentralized but publicly visible database of goods will also be a tremendous help to individuals and companies that are looking to curb the global counterfeiting market.ED: Why do you think that the market allows open and partial bottles for sale and at auctions?
TW: Many of the auction houses have policies against such bottles, but there are others who are looking to try and capture as much of the rare and collectible spirits market and are willing to take a more lax approach to authentication. Buying at most of these auctions is pretty much caveat emptor. There have been a couple of prominent cases of fraudulent wine bottles being sold at prominent auctions that had never been released by their respective Chateaus. Some people however are willing to transact for open bottles if they believe that the seller on the other side is trustworthy as it usually enables people to try a hard-to-find spirit for a lower price. However, it is also an opportunity for counterfeiters to buy a rare bottle, only to refill it and re-list it on the market.
ED: How does the price of Solana affect the value/price of a bottle of fine wine/liquor? Solana has a high of $258.93 and low of $44.89 in the last 12 months.
CK & TW: We built the BAXUS platform on the Solana network, but the users are able to price all of their bottles in USD, so the price of the bottles only changes relative to the overall market. We’re about to announce a launch partner that will allow transactions to take place using credit cards, wire transfers or in other cryptocurrencies, while still paying out in USD. This gives collectors all of the benefits of the Solana network without exposing them to the risk of price fluctuation in Solana.
ED: Can you please describe your partnership with O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co. and their Cask program?
CK: Yes, we’re really excited to be partnering with O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co. O’Shaughnessy is a really forward-looking distillery and they have a lot of great ideas about how to further incorporate technology in their operations, and their master distiller, Brian Nation, is one of the most legendary Irish whiskey makers. They’re about to distill the first ever run of American Irish-style whiskey at their Minneapolis distillery. The Cask Society Membership is a program the distillery is launching for whiskey enthusiasts who want to be a part of whiskey history. Each of the 100 memberships will give owners access to limited release whiskies including the first 100 casks filled by the distillery. They will also receive numerous other perks and private access to Keeper’s Heart products, and events. BAXUS will be partnering with the Distillery to keep all of the data related to the whiskey and its development process on-chain and linked to the membership NFTs. The memberships will be tradable on several Solana NFT marketplaces. There is going to be a lot more announced about the program in the next few days.
Todd Wiesel and Carrie Kellar