TEND, an ethereum-powered marketplace for sharing "tokenized" luxury goods, has partnered with a Porsche dealer based in Switzerland's "Crypto Valley" to put a sports car on a blockchain.
The startup's founder, Marco Abele, who previously served as chief digital officer for Credit Suisse, told CoinDesk that TEND is collaborating with Porsche Zentrum Zug in order to offer a 1956 Porsche Speedster 356A as the app's first tokenized car.
The luxury car will be split up into token-based shares to be registered and traded on TEND's automated marketplace. The platform hosts share-owners and a variety of service partners, while its use of a blockchain also provides a transparent account of assets' histories.
Abele said that through fragmenting ownership, the TEND app fulfills the "modern generation's" desire for luxury assets, while simultaneously expanding access to them.
"It's tokenizing luxuries and very precious assets to bring them into co-ownership and onto the blockchain, and then our unique proposition is to give a full life experience on top of this investment and to enable that experience via service partners," he said, adding:
"So what we want to enable people to do is not only to own a beautiful object, but to then really touch and feel it."
Porsche Zentrum Zug will facilitate the crossover from asset to experience with the tokenized Speedster.
The dealership will handle everything from handing over the keys to share-owners to the maintenance of the car, the management of which is executed using smart contracts.
"We try to be a physical platform for an app, or a community around an app that's otherwise going to be rather anonymous," Yves Becker-Fahr, Porsche Zentrum Zug's general manager, told CoinDesk.
Becker-Fahr explained that TEND's emphasis on experience is also one reason that it initiated a relationship with an individual dealership and not the whole Porsche corporation.
"What the people at TEND wanted was a very personalized and individualized link to us here at the Porsche center," he said. "It's really important that we start with a particular car, a particular Porsche center that stands behind it and takes care of it and knows the history and specifics of the car."
More assets to come?
TEND and Porsche Zentrum Zug both said they are eyeing plans to bring more cars onto the platform, and TEND is in talks with a number of other brands with the hope of tokenizing a wide variety of assets, ranging from jewelry to art and photography.
Likewise, though this is Porsche Zentrum Zug's first engagement with the technology, its proximity to industry hotspot Zug means that it has many customers linked to the technology.
According to Becker-Fahr, the dealership is also open to the other potential applications of blockchain.
"We have started thinking about it, yes, whether one day we might have to offer to our clients to pay with cryptocurrency. But it would be too soon to say that we're on the cryptocurrency train," Becker-Fahr told CoinDesk, adding:
"This is the start for us, working together with TEND. At this point in time, we don't know where it will lead."
Image courtesy of TEND