By Walter Loeb for Forbes
It has happened. Tiffany & Co. is leaping into the crypto age by offering owners of Cryptopunk NFT’s called NFTiB. The initiative was started by Cryptopunk and Tiffany’s EVP for product and communication Alexandre Arnault. (He is the son of Bernard Arnault CEO of LVMH.)
In April Alexandre Arnault was surprised when he posted a photo of a Tiffany pendant made to look like Cryptopunk #3167. Now, surprise, surprise, up to 250 owners of Cryptopunk will be able to have a similar pendant made of the avatar likeness.
This is an effort to appeal to the younger generation who regard NFT’s as a medium of art. The good news is that starting this month Cryptopunk owners can access the NFTiB website to purchase an NFTiB pass that will be stored in blockchain technology. The passes can only be available for purchase with Ethereum cryptocurrency and are priced at 30 Ethereum, which I am told is trading at $50.000 dollars. In other words, each pass costs $1,500,000. As indicated above 250 NFTiB passes can be made, and they will only sell three passes per person. In other words, one person can only spend $4,500,000.00 at Tiffany for three passes.
Of course, each pendant will be made of 18 carats rose or yellow gold and features a minimum of 30 gemstones and diamonds. It will have a specially designed chain with links to resemble pixels.
You have to admire how Tiffany & Co. has gone after customers who buy NFT’s (non-fungible tokens) with the hope that this Cryptopunk creation will maintain and even appreciate in value. Alexandre Arnault is just 30 years old, well educated at the Lycée Louis-le-Grande, École Polytechnique, and Telecom Paris. His effort to deal in cryptocurrency will elevate Tiffany & Co to new level of interest. Arnault promises more offerings in the future.
Staid old Tiffany has a new look. I am reminded of staid old Wellfleet, Mass. on Cape Cod that now three cannabis stores – something I never expected either. But times have changed, supermarkets have been converted to sell legal pot, and it has attracted more young people to the area. The change is what locals want.
POSTSCRIPT: Tiffany has shown us new ways of doing business. NFT’s will be manufactured as they are sold. It reduces any risk for Tiffany and could be profitable. It is a brave new world. It may catapult Arnault into a leadership position at LVMH.