Cryptocurrency firm The White Company has found a new way to mix luxury with financial technology on its ecosystem through White Standard stablecoins and White Wallet.
White Standard is a new cryptocurrency on the Stellar blockchain that’s backed by U.S. dollar deposits and audited monthly. The stablecoins can be purchased or redeemed at any time, with the creation and deletion activity displayed on thewhitecompanyus.com. Each dollar on deposit creates a corresponding token, and every dollar deducted from an account results in the deletion of a token.
White Wallet combines the advantages of a decentralized blockchain with integrated payment processing on The White Company ecosystem. The system enables C2C, C2B and B2B payments using the stablecoins. Next on the agenda will be the development of the White Pay merchant processing system, which will allow for direct payments to users and merchants on the White Wallet platform. The White Company said there are no fees to purchase White Standard coins, nor limitations on purchases or redemptions. There is a nominal fee of 0.1 percent to cash out an account to U.S. dollars.
White Wallet users also will have access to White Company Capital, a subsidiary asset management platform that allows clients to invest in alternative options — such as venture capital, options, futures and cryptocurrencies, among others — through a liquid and easily tradeable token. Because of the dollar parity, there’s no real difference between holding an investment in dollars or in White Standard stablecoins — it’s just an option for anyone who prefers to keep a portion of assets denominated in cryptocurrency.
Elizabeth White, founder and chief executive officer, has worked with luxury brands including LVMH Group, Formula One and McLaren Automotive. Her background includes buying, selling and promoting luxury automobiles and fine art.
According to White, she founded the company to provide a “real-world solution for cryptocurrency holders. The luxury market has a need for a place where crypto holders can actually spend their crypto wealth in hard assets. That means the ability to convert to real-world items.”
So far she’s had a client buy an engagement ring and book an entire travel itinerary for the honeymoon, as well as others buying luxury cars. Many of the items are either available through the company’s luxury store or can be sourced via contacts, including collectors, who buy and sell luxury goods. One recent sale was a White Lamborghini purchased for 19.81 bitcoins in March. Currently each BTC is worth $7,653.03.
“Merchants would like to accept cryptocurrencies, but they don’t yet because they don’t want to take on the risk. Many of the wealthy buyers are looking for custom leather goods pieces, one-of-a-kinds such as limited-editions, rate items, hard-to-source items, and specific watches and pieces of jewelry,” White said.
White said she started the service via buying automobiles due to her background, then moved on to furnishing an entire apartment and is now trying luxury and fashion. “A lot of the early adopters were male, and very young men who have no idea of what they should be looking into. This is their first true experience in the world of luxury and luxury companies,” the ceo said.
Another feature of The White Company is its connection with Apis Capital Management, the first hedge fund that allows investors to invest using a token-based asset. Apis’ trading platform provides a bit of liquidity to allow buyers to buy large-ticket items in cryptocurrencies, without moving the crypto markets. Someone who has a White Wallet account buying items using stablecoins wouldn’t need Apis, since those purchases are essentially ledge items on The White Company platform.
White said the company is working on the Stellar blockchain, a platform the ceo said can handle more than 1,000 transactions with settlement in just three seconds.
For now, White Company is focused on parity with the U.S. dollar. It has plans to expand the platform to be able to work with other fiat currencies.
White said her company has almost 20,000 private clients, and items available through the Luxury Store include a yellow Huracan Lamborghini, a Ulysse Nardin Royal Blue Mystery Tourbillon platinum watch, and a 10-oz. Swiss gold bar.
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