Investment

Holdun family office sees allure in gemstone NFT platform

Holdun family office has invested in a platform that creates nonfungible tokens for precious gems, in a bid to hedge itself against volatility in the cryptocurrencies and other markets.  

Genesis Gems recently minted a limited series of real asset non-fungible tokens worth 15,000 ETH, or $50 million, which Holdun Wealth Management has accessed through Cypher by Holt, an offshore digital bank platform owned by the Holt family which also runs the Holt Xchange, an accelerator programme designed to back the best fintech entrepreneurs using a network of investors and advisors. Its ecosystem has grown to include over 200 advisors from more than thirty 30 VC funds.   

Real asset NFTs could be a more appealing proposition for tech-savvy family offices who are interested in the NFT craze yet want assurances that they don’t fall victim to fraudulent activity

According to Brendan Holt Dunn, chief executive of Holdun and managing partner of Holt Accelerator, Genesis Gems’ NFTs will protect funds against volatility as well as upside through a structure that makes it possible for investors to move the investment across the world, as well as take possession of the underlying asset. Holt Dunn is a fifth-generation family member based in the Bahamas, which also offers multi-family office services to its peers. 

In much the same way that stable coins are pegged to an underlying fiat currency like the US dollar, this new breed of real asset or ‘physical’ NFTs have the asset’s provenance indisputably recorded on a blockchain ledger – and its value secured on something tangible – could further revolutionize asset ownership is sectors such as classic cars, yachts, rare paintings and designer watches. 

It is a very different proposition to the broader NFT craze where millions of dollars have been exchanged for digital artworks that have no physical form whatsoever. Bored Ape Yacht Club NFTs have seen huge price inflation, with one recently exchanging hands for $2.8 million. An NFT of the first tweet by Jack Dorsey of Twitter fetched $2.9 million a year ago but has been struggling to sell at auction. Total trading volume for NFTs has topped $24 billion over the past 12 months. 

Real asset NFTs could be a more appealing proposition for tech-savvy family offices who are interested in the NFT craze yet want assurances that they don’t fall victim to fraudulent activity.  

This first mint of gemstone NFTs by Genesis Gems represents ownership of gemstones dating back to the Chandel Dynasty of India in 950 AD. Other companies involved in the tokenization of gemstones include Diamond Standard, D1 Coin, Altcoinomy, and GemBit.

Dubai-based Icecap Diamonds is changing the way people think about diamond ownership, using NFTs to bring greater liquidity into one of the most illiquid asset classes. Investors can simply buy an Icecap Diamond token, which is unique to a specific diamond held in a secure vault and either holds on to it, redeems it to take physical ownership of the jewel, or sells the token back on the open market. 

 Holt Dunn is the great-great-grandson of Irish-born Sir Herbert Holt, who emigrated to Canada in 1873 and built his fortune constructing the Canadian Pacific Railway before moving on to establish Montreal Light, Heat & Power Company. Holt is regarded as one of the key architects in shaping Canada’s modern economy. He went on to serve as president and chairman of Royal Bank of Canada for more than 30 years.

Herbert Holt’s vision for innovation and building successful companies has remained a focal point for the family, which has become a keen investor in tech innovation. 

The companies it has backed alongside its family office clients include Uber, Addepar, Sway Ventures and Falcon 5. Holt Dunn’s Holt Xchange has built a portfolio of 35 start-ups spanning regulation, real estate and cybersecurity. As well as family office services, Holdun runs funds investing in a range of opportunities including US medical property, crypto arbitrage, income, discretionary and legacy opportunities. 

 

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