Wine Investment: NFTs and Tokenization

Karolina

31 Aug 2023
Wine Investment: NFTs and Tokenization

For ages, wine has represented not just refinement and cultured taste, but also a profitable investment opportunity. Enthusiasts relish the flavor, fragrance, and texture of a classic bottle, while investors delight in its increasing value over time. Similar to other assets, wine investment is ever-evolving. Technological advancements like NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens) and tokenization are transforming this investment landscape, as the digital age meets the time-honored custom of wine investment. This article examines this merger, investigating the intertwining of modern innovations with wine investment traditions.

Fine Wine Investment Environment

Wine Investment Fundamentals

Essentially, investing in wine entails acquiring wines to resell them at an escalated value later on. Some wines, particularly those from esteemed makers or extraordinary vintages, appreciate over the years. Factors influencing a wine's worth comprise its scarcity, age, producer's reputation, and critical evaluations. In contrast with stocks or property investments, the realm of wine investments relies on subjective distinctions: vineyard narratives, winemaking artistry, and fluctuating consumer preferences.

Read this: How does wine investment work?

Hurdles in Conventional Wine Investment

In spite of its appeal, investing in wine comes with obstacles. Provenance - the detailed record of ownership and storage conditions - is crucial. Without perfect history documentation, a bottle's value may drastically reduce since storage conditions significantly influence quality. Authenticating provenance can frequently be an exhausting and uncertain task.

Additionally, tangible costs tied to wine investment like climate-controlled facility storage, breakage or spoilage insurance, and transport can diminish profit margins. Furthermore, wine as an asset type isn't as liquid as stocks or bonds. Investors may have to patiently wait for years or even decades to obtain substantial returns if they depend on a bottle becoming a highly coveted vintage.

The Impact of NFTs on Wine Investment

Utilizing blockchain technology, Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) serve as unique digital assets. Although frequently linked to digital art or collectibles, their use in the wine industry exemplifies their adaptability.

Verification and Tracking of Digital Authentication and Provenance: A significant hurdle in wine investment is verifying the legitimacy and origin of a wine bottle. As a digital certificate of authenticity, NFTs provide a solution to this problem. The blockchain records each digital transaction when a bottle is transferred, constructing a secure chain of ownership and storage conditions.

Global and Immediate Transferability: In contrast to conventional wine investments that require physical bottles to be handled, insured, and stored, NFTs enable the swift transfer of ownership rights. This feature allows for international transactions without the need for shipping or the possibility of damage risks, simplifying the buying and selling process for investors.

Broadening Access to Exclusive Wine Investments: Before NFTs, only wealthy elites had access to investing in rare and vintage wines. By digitally representing wines through NFTs, fractional ownership becomes possible. This development permits numerous investors to own a portion of a bottle's value, expanding investment opportunities for more individuals in the market.

Wine Tokenization

Tokenization is the process of dividing an asset into smaller, exchangeable units or tokens. In the context of the wine industry, this entails transforming either physical bottles or entire vineyards' worth into digital tokens, which can then be purchased, sold, or traded like company stocks.

Understanding Tokenization

Asset Division: Similar to breaking down a company into shares, wine bottles, collections, or vineyards can be separated into numerous tokens that each signify a portion of the asset's value.

Comparing and Contrasting NFTs with Tokenization: While both NFTs and tokenization entail digitally representing assets on a blockchain, a crucial distinction exists. NFTs signify unique, individual assets, rendering each one distinct. However, tokenization creates multiple identical tokens that denote partial ownership of a single asset.

Advantages of Wine Tokenization

  • Increased Liquidity in the Wine Market: Conventional wine investment often faces challenges due to the time it takes to yield returns. To counter this problem, tokenization allows investors to sell their tokens as desired, injecting liquidity into the market.
  • Opportunities for Partial Ownership and Crowd-Investment: Tokenization goes further than NFTs in making wine investment accessible. By acquiring tokens, individuals can invest in high-value wines or vineyards without purchasing the entire asset, enabling crowd-investment. 
  • Efficient and Clear Valuation Processes: When each token represents a specific asset value and with all transactions transparently recorded on the blockchain, valuations become more streamlined and unambiguous. This clarity helps eliminate the uncertainty typically associated with traditional wine valuations.

Exploring Possible Risks and Criticisms

Although merging the wine industry and NFTs with tokenization seems promising, it is also accompanied by critics and obstacles.

Digital Asset Volatility and Speculation

Market Fluctuations: Similar to the well-known volatility of cryptocurrencies, NFTs and tokenized assets may undergo rapid shifts in value.

Excessive Speculation: The possibility of high returns can encourage speculative bubbles. Like any investment, the risk of a bubble bursting is present, potentially resulting in losses for late investors.

Environmental Impact

Power Usage: Blockchain technology, which supports NFTs and tokenization, often faces critique for its considerable energy consumption, particularly in networks like Ethereum.

Weighing Advantages against Issues: While digital assets provide unparalleled benefits, discussions on how to render the technology more eco-friendly continue.

Future Prospects - Merging Traditional Practices and Innovative Technologies

The union of classic wine investment with advanced technology symbolizes an intriguing convergence between the past and present.

Expanding Beyond Wine: The achievements in wine's tokenization and NFT representation indicate a possible trend for other high-end items like rare artwork or vintage cars.

Democratized Market Accessibility: As NFTs and tokenization contribute to democratization, it is probable that a broader global audience will engage in wine investment.

Incorporating Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): Emerging technologies might facilitate virtual tours of vineyards or wine cellars for investors, enriching their online wine investment experience.

Conclusion

An intriguing intersection between tradition and modernity now exists in the realm of wine investment. As digital innovations intertwine with the storied customs surrounding wine appreciation, investors face both unprecedented opportunities as well as new challenges. While NFTs and tokenization transform our perception of asset ownership, they also reaffirm the fundamental nature of wine investment: the stories, artistry, and shared experiences encapsulated by each bottle. As we raise a glass to the future of wine investment, one constant endures - the pursuit is as exhilarating as the destination itself.

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Token Engineering Process

Kajetan Olas

13 Apr 2024
Token Engineering Process

Token Engineering is an emerging field that addresses the systematic design and engineering of blockchain-based tokens. It applies rigorous mathematical methods from the Complex Systems Engineering discipline to tokenomics design.

In this article, we will walk through the Token Engineering Process and break it down into three key stages. Discovery Phase, Design Phase, and Deployment Phase.

Discovery Phase of Token Engineering Process

The first stage of the token engineering process is the Discovery Phase. It focuses on constructing high-level business plans, defining objectives, and identifying problems to be solved. That phase is also the time when token engineers first define key stakeholders in the project.

Defining the Problem

This may seem counterintuitive. Why would we start with the problem when designing tokenomics? Shouldn’t we start with more down-to-earth matters like token supply? The answer is No. Tokens are a medium for creating and exchanging value within a project’s ecosystem. Since crypto projects draw their value from solving problems that can’t be solved through TradFi mechanisms, their tokenomics should reflect that. 

The industry standard, developed by McKinsey & Co. and adapted to token engineering purposes by Outlier Ventures, is structuring the problem through a logic tree, following MECE.
MECE stands for Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive. Mutually Exclusive means that problems in the tree should not overlap. Collectively Exhaustive means that the tree should cover all issues.

In practice, the “Problem” should be replaced by a whole problem statement worksheet. The same will hold for some of the boxes.
A commonly used tool for designing these kinds of diagrams is the Miro whiteboard.

Identifying Stakeholders and Value Flows in Token Engineering

This part is about identifying all relevant actors in the ecosystem and how value flows between them. To illustrate what we mean let’s consider an example of NFT marketplace. In its case, relevant actors might be sellers, buyers, NFT creators, and a marketplace owner. Possible value flow when conducting a transaction might be: buyer gets rid of his tokens, seller gets some of them, marketplace owner gets some of them as fees, and NFT creators get some of them as royalties.

Incentive Mechanisms Canvas

The last part of what we consider to be in the Discovery Phase is filling the Incentive Mechanisms Canvas. After successfully identifying value flows in the previous stage, token engineers search for frictions to desired behaviors and point out the undesired behaviors. For example, friction to activity on an NFT marketplace might be respecting royalty fees by marketplace owners since it reduces value flowing to the seller.

source: https://www.canva.com/design/DAFDTNKsIJs/8Ky9EoJJI7p98qKLIu2XNw/view#7

Design Phase of Token Engineering Process

The second stage of the Token Engineering Process is the Design Phase in which you make use of high-level descriptions from the previous step to come up with a specific design of the project. This will include everything that can be usually found in crypto whitepapers (e.g. governance mechanisms, incentive mechanisms, token supply, etc). After finishing the design, token engineers should represent the whole value flow and transactional logic on detailed visual diagrams. These diagrams will be a basis for creating mathematical models in the Deployment Phase. 

Token Engineering Artonomous Design Diagram
Artonomous design diagram, source: Artonomous GitHub

Objective Function

Every crypto project has some objective. The objective can consist of many goals, such as decentralization or token price. The objective function is a mathematical function assigning weights to different factors that influence the main objective in the order of their importance. This function will be a reference for machine learning algorithms in the next steps. They will try to find quantitative parameters (e.g. network fees) that maximize the output of this function.
Modified Metcalfe’s Law can serve as an inspiration during that step. It’s a framework for valuing crypto projects, but we believe that after adjustments it can also be used in this context.

Deployment Phase of Token Engineering Process

The Deployment Phase is final, but also the most demanding step in the process. It involves the implementation of machine learning algorithms that test our assumptions and optimize quantitative parameters. Token Engineering draws from Nassim Taleb’s concept of Antifragility and extensively uses feedback loops to make a system that gains from arising shocks.

Agent-based Modelling 

In agent-based modeling, we describe a set of behaviors and goals displayed by each agent participating in the system (this is why previous steps focused so much on describing stakeholders). Each agent is controlled by an autonomous AI and continuously optimizes his strategy. He learns from his experience and can mimic the behavior of other agents if he finds it effective (Reinforced Learning). This approach allows for mimicking real users, who adapt their strategies with time. An example adaptive agent would be a cryptocurrency trader, who changes his trading strategy in response to experiencing a loss of money.

Monte Carlo Simulations

Token Engineers use the Monte Carlo method to simulate the consequences of various possible interactions while taking into account the probability of their occurrence. By running a large number of simulations it’s possible to stress-test the project in multiple scenarios and identify emergent risks.

Testnet Deployment

If possible, it's highly beneficial for projects to extend the testing phase even further by letting real users use the network. Idea is the same as in agent-based testing - continuous optimization based on provided metrics. Furthermore, in case the project considers airdropping its tokens, giving them to early users is a great strategy. Even though part of the activity will be disingenuine and airdrop-oriented, such strategy still works better than most.

Time Duration

Token engineering process may take from as little as 2 weeks to as much as 5 months. It depends on the project category (Layer 1 protocol will require more time, than a simple DApp), and security requirements. For example, a bank issuing its digital token will have a very low risk tolerance.

Required Skills for Token Engineering

Token engineering is a multidisciplinary field and requires a great amount of specialized knowledge. Key knowledge areas are:

  • Systems Engineering
  • Machine Learning
  • Market Research
  • Capital Markets
  • Current trends in Web3
  • Blockchain Engineering
  • Statistics

Summary

The token engineering process consists of 3 steps: Discovery Phase, Design Phase, and Deployment Phase. It’s utilized mostly by established blockchain projects, and financial institutions like the International Monetary Fund. Even though it’s a very resource-consuming process, we believe it’s worth it. Projects that went through scrupulous design and testing before launch are much more likely to receive VC funding and be in the 10% of crypto projects that survive the bear market. Going through that process also has a symbolic meaning - it shows that the project is long-term oriented.

If you're looking to create a robust tokenomics model and go through institutional-grade testing please reach out to contact@nextrope.com. Our team is ready to help you with the token engineering process and ensure your project’s resilience in the long term.

FAQ

What does token engineering process look like?

  • Token engineering process is conducted in a 3-step methodical fashion. This includes Discovery Phase, Design Phase, and Deployment Phase. Each of these stages should be tailored to the specific needs of a project.

Is token engineering meant only for big projects?

  • We recommend that even small projects go through a simplified design and optimization process. This increases community's trust and makes sure that the tokenomics doesn't have any obvious flaws.

How long does the token engineering process take?

  • It depends on the project and may range from 2 weeks to 5 months.

What is Berachain? 🐻 ⛓️ + Proof-of-Liquidity Explained

Karolina

18 Mar 2024
What is Berachain? 🐻 ⛓️ + Proof-of-Liquidity Explained

Enter Berachain: a high-performance, EVM-compatible blockchain that is set to redefine the landscape of decentralized applications (dApps) and blockchain services. Built on the innovative Proof-of-Liquidity consensus and leveraging the robust Polaris framework alongside the CometBFT consensus engine, Berachain is poised to offer an unprecedented blend of efficiency, security, and user-centric benefits. Let's dive into what makes it a groundbreaking development in the blockchain ecosystem.

What is Berachain?

Overview

Berachain is an EVM-compatible Layer 1 (L1) blockchain that stands out through its adoption of the Proof-of-Liquidity (PoL) consensus mechanism. Designed to address the critical challenges faced by decentralized networks. It introduces a cutting-edge approach to blockchain governance and operations.

Key Features

  • High-performance Capabilities. Berachain is engineered for speed and scalability, catering to the growing demand for efficient blockchain solutions.
  • EVM Compatibility. It supports all Ethereum tooling, operations, and smart contract languages, making it a seamless transition for developers and projects from the Ethereum ecosystem.
  • Proof-of-Liquidity.This novel consensus mechanism focuses on building liquidity, decentralizing stake, and aligning the interests of validators and protocol developers.

MUST READ: Docs

EVM-Compatible vs EVM-Equivalent

EVM-Compatible

EVM compatibility means a blockchain can interact with Ethereum's ecosystem to some extent. It can interact supporting its smart contracts and tools but not replicating the entire EVM environment.

EVM-Equivalent

An EVM-equivalent blockchain, on the other hand, aims to fully replicate Ethereum's environment. It ensures complete compatibility and a smooth transition for developers and users alike.

Berachain's Position

Berachain can be considered an "EVM-equivalent-plus" blockchain. It supports all Ethereum operations, tooling, and additional functionalities that optimize for its unique Proof-of-Liquidity and abstracted use cases.

Berachain Modular First Approach

At the heart of Berachain's development philosophy is the Polaris EVM framework. It's a testament to the blockchain's commitment to modularity and flexibility. This approach allows for the easy separation of the EVM runtime layer, ensuring that Berachain can adapt and evolve without compromising on performance or security.

Proof Of Liquidity Overview

High-Level Model Objectives

  • Systemically Build Liquidity. By enhancing trading efficiency, price stability, and network growth, Berachain aims to foster a thriving ecosystem of decentralized applications.
  • Solve Stake Centralization. The PoL consensus works to distribute stake more evenly across the network, preventing monopolization and ensuring a decentralized, secure blockchain.
  • Align Protocols and Validators. Berachain encourages a symbiotic relationship between validators and the broader protocol ecosystem.

Proof-of-Liquidity vs Proof-of-Stake

Unlike traditional Proof of Stake (PoS), which often leads to stake centralization and reduced liquidity, Proof of Liquidity (PoL) introduces mechanisms to incentivize liquidity provision and ensure a fairer, more decentralized network. Berachain separates the governance token (BGT) from the chain's gas token (BERA) and incentives liquidity through BEX pools. Berachain's PoL aims to overcome the limitations of PoS, fostering a more secure and user-centric blockchain.

Berachain EVM and Modular Approach

Polaris EVM

Polaris EVM is the cornerstone of Berachain's EVM compatibility, offering developers an enhanced environment for smart contract execution that includes stateful precompiles and custom modules. This framework ensures that Berachain not only meets but exceeds the capabilities of the traditional Ethereum Virtual Machine.

CometBFT

The CometBFT consensus engine underpins Berachain's network, providing a secure and efficient mechanism for transaction verification and block production. By leveraging the principles of Byzantine fault tolerance (BFT), CometBFT ensures the integrity and resilience of the Berachain blockchain.

Conclusion

Berachain represents a significant leap forward in blockchain technology, combining the best of Ethereum's ecosystem with innovative consensus mechanisms and a modular development approach. As the blockchain landscape continues to evolve, Berachain stands out as a promising platform for developers, users, and validators alike, offering a scalable, efficient, and inclusive environment for decentralized applications and services.

Resources

For those interested in exploring further, a wealth of resources is available, including the Berachain documentation, GitHub repository, and community forums. It offers a compelling vision for the future of blockchain technology, marked by efficiency, security, and community-driven innovation.

FAQ

How is Berachain different?

  • It integrates Proof-of-Liquidity to address stake centralization and enhance liquidity, setting it apart from other blockchains.

Is Berachain EVM-compatible?

  • Yes, it supports Ethereum's tooling and smart contract languages, facilitating easy migration of dApps.

Can it handle high transaction volumes?

  • Yes, thanks to the Polaris framework and CometBFT consensus engine, it's built for scalability and high throughput.