a dramatic increase in the quality of counterfeit goods has made it difficult for consumers to be certain that products with famous labels are truly authentic, particularly during resale. The greatest damage happens when fakes are sold as branded originals to shoppers who want authentic items and who may have no idea they’re being conned.
This much is clear: Doing nothing will no longer be an option for brands aspiring to provide a luxury consumer experience.
The accelerating concentration of wealth in the hands of the ultra-rich, and the brutal competition between the auction houses that wage to win their business, have left Christie’s and Sotheby’s far less than flush. The business is so complex and rooted in tradition and although information flow has been accelerated by the internet, email and Instagram, in many ways the art world remains quite old-fashioned and undemocratic, not to mention unethical and not environmentally conscious. The auction houses, which are mostly offline, exclude many buyers (Namely, users of cryptocurrencies) and are not built to withstand digital disruption. The investor in the security of the items is still permitted to bid on the piece he or she has guaranteed, which raises sticky questions about fairness and transparency. He or she may also receive undisclosed information about the artwork and its potential market, which is common practice and entirely legal in the unregulated art world — but would get you sent directly to prison in the world of stocks and bonds. Furthermore, In the resale process, the artists are often left without ever seeing a single penny of the resale price. Christie’s and Sothbey’s themselves have lobbied many times to kill regulation in favor of the artists.
(More on sustainability: At Christie’s for example, premium clients from China were flown to New York and wined and dined for days.)
there’s a new generation of art buyers who are more comfortable purchasing art online.
“In future, the number one auction house will be the one that’s right now bringing in the next generation of collectors. Digital is where they are coming in,” says Matt Rubringer, Christies’ deputy chief marketing officer.
While these auction houses do make strides toward digitalization, they prefer to maintain their seat of power over the Art and Collectibles Industry through their reputation, and therefore move slowly into the digital world. In our opinion they are taking their last breaths while they lose significant market share and revenue decreases. Finite.Ltd will address all of the above issues, will include a multitude of different users and buyers, and will revolutionize the existing auction models by using smart contract technologies.
Finite.Ltd is a new blockchain powered marketplace for buying and selling authenticated, limited-edition physical goods complemented with NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).
Introduction to NFTs and Limited Edition Items
- A non-fungible token (NFT) is a special type of cryptographic token which represents something unique. They function as verifiable proofs of authenticity and ownership within a blockchain network. NFTs are not interchangeable with each other and introduce scarcity to the digital world. NFTs are fundamentally changing how we perceive digital ownership and it is clear that it’s more than a trend. NFTs recently caught headlines because of the various Crypto-Art platforms, The Crypto-Collectibles space (NBA Topshot for example) and many other use cases.
- 2. A limited edition Item is a small run of items that is intended to create a sense of rarity or exclusivity among potential collectors. Limited editions are also referred to as “special editions,” “collector’s editions,” or “deluxe editions.“ These limited edition items are typically affixed with a fraction, such as 25/50, which is called the edition number of the work. Other names are: Rare, Finite items. There are also goods that are perceived as luxurious by the public simply because they play a role of status symbols as such goods tend to signify the purchasing power of those who acquire them.
“Recently, the phenomenon of purchasing limited edition products has been spreading rapidly in the reselling open market. As various technologies are introduced in the era of the fourth industrial revolution, platform-centered digital distribution has become popular and consumers buy limited edition products as a reflection of their various access behaviors to satisfy their social needs for reselling and not out of mere curiosity or personal preference. ”
“The reselling open market of limited products, which used to reflect the culture of minority enthusiast groups, is growing rapidly, mainly among young consumers in their 20s to 30s”.
“As a background to the growth of such reselling markets of rare limited edition products, the limited edition marketing strategies of enterprises and technical environments of businesses have changed favorably towards such limited edition product markets”. (Kim, Consumption Motivation of Limited Edition Product in Reselling Open Market, October 2020)
When it comes to basic economics, everyone knows that scarcity can lead to an increase in demand and a greater sense of value for an item. That’s the foundational idea behind limited edition products — unique branded items that are created and sold for a certain set time period in a specific market. Limited edition products are found in every industry, from cosmetics to car companies to technology. The limited edition strategy isn’t just a technique used by big companies — it can be a great way for small and medium sized businesses to attract new customers and get them into the store.
Market trends and market size
1. General ecommerce market — In 2019, it’s estimated there are 1.92 billion digital buyers, and eCommerce sales account for 14.1% of retail purchases worldwide.
2. NFT market — According to nonfungible.com, all time sales of NFTs amount to 5,378,933. Volume in USD: $389,485,026.84, with CMGR of around 115%. Recently Headlines broke about Beeple’s NFT artwork that was sold for 69M USD.
3. Luxury Market — The luxury goods market has been on an upward climb for many years. Apart from the setback caused by the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis, the industry has performed well, particularly in 2000. In that year, the world luxury goods market — which includes drinks, fashion, cosmetics, fragrances, watches, jewelry, luggage,
4. Art Market — The Hiscox report found that 29% of millennial buyers surveyed said they preferred to buy art online, compared with 14% a year ago handbags — was worth close to $170 billion and grew 7.9 percent. The United States has been the largest regional market for luxury goods and is estimated to continue to be the leading personal luxury goods market. The largest sector in this category was luxury drinks, including premium whisky, champagne, and cognac. The watches and jewelry section showed the strongest performance, growing in value by 23.3 percent, while the clothing and accessories section grew 11.6 percent between 1996 and 2000, to $32.8 billion. North America is the largest regional market for luxury goods. The largest ten markets for luxury goods account for 83 percent of overall sales, and include Japan, China, United States, Russia, Germany, Italy, France, United Kingdom, Brazil, Spain, and Switzerland. In 2012, China surpassed Japan as the world’s largest luxury market. China’s luxury consumption accounts for over 25% of the global market. According to the Global Wealth and Lifestyle Report 2020, with Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo and Singapore four of the five most expensive cities for luxury goods were located in Asia.
Luxury items as store of value, and how are NFTs bring it onto a new level
“Not only do they serve as an alternative investment, but collectibles are tangible assets that offer satisfaction and pleasure to their owners, enabling them to pursue personal interests and passions. Nevertheless, they are not free from risk and, like every investment, require adequate research, expert advice and management.” Credit Suisse & Deloitte Report 2020
A store of value is a place to safely park your wealth where it won’t depreciate. For example, gold has maintained value for thousands of years, and it doesn’t rust or decay, making it a good store of value. In 2020–2021, the US government will borrow a record $21 trillion in new debt to pay due to COVID-19 Pandemic. That smashes the previous 2009 record of $1.6 trillion of debt, which included the bailouts in response to the Global Financial Crisis. The more dollars that are added to the supply of money, the less value each dollar has. Most of that debt is financed by borrowing from the Federal Reserve. And the Federal Reserve simply prints money. That means the US and other countries are conjuring a record amount of dollars out of thin air, at a time when the economy is shrinking due to the Covid 19 lockdowns shutting down business and tourism. This is likely to lead to extreme inflation. We all know the familiar story about precious metals– gold and silver have a long-standing tradition as stores of value dating back thousands of years. But did you know, for example, that in the early days of the United States, whiskey was both a store of value and a medium of exchange? There are a number of other alternative stores of value — from art to watches to other limited edition collectibles– worthy of your consideration as an investor. Luxury items will perform well as a store of value in this current climate — hedging against inflation. For an investor considering greater diversification when allocating assets, there is also the benefit of simply enjoying owning an item you truly love and cherish. Investing in real items has become imperative to search for a store of value for your wealth outside of the monetary system.
We urge you to learn more about how to convert fiat currency into something that will not lose value, or could even grow in value over time. While NFTs do indeed provide a digital CoA (Certificate of Authenticity), they also provide a true ownership aspect over digital and physical items. One obvious benefit of these digital tokens is their ability to be displayed online, in a decentralized and tamper-proof manner, and be exposed to a potentially large audience. What truly makes NFTs as the best solution for rare physical items is the ability to trade them instantly, without ever moving the item from its place. This opens a new avenue for trading speculative assets with ease and security. Moreover, there is an ability to have partial ownership over items, as well as basket items into fund-like structures. More possible use cases spring from the creation of these digital twins, namely protecting value, added value to shareholders in items, dividend payments and more. Lastly, we see a potential to collaborate with DeFi products that are already in place, in order to secure borrowing and lending against these digital certificates (NFTs).