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Non-fungible token gems now in UAE

sandhya@khaleejtimes.com Filed on May 6, 2021
The tokenised Icecap Collectibles will include very high-end, natural diamonds in red, yellow, green and other colours, plus unique finished jewellery pieces.

NFTs are blockchain-based token, which document ownership of real or virtual world assets


Icecap, the first company to offer investment-grade diamonds via non-fungible token (NFT) technology, has moved its headquarters to Dubai within the Dubai Multi Commodities Center (DMCC) and has launched a line of high-end diamond and jewellery collectibles.

The tokenised Icecap Collectibles will include very high-end, natural diamonds in red, yellow, green and other colours, plus unique finished jewellery pieces. A $3 million intense red carat diamond is included in the first offering, it was announced during the company’s launch event held in Dubai on Thursday.

NFT technology gained worldwide attention in February when an NFT representing ownership of a piece of digital art was sold by Christie’s for $69 million. NFTs are blockchain-based token, which document ownership of real or virtual world assets.

As blockchain tokens, once sold they can move efficiently between buyers/sellers for trading purposes, on NFT exchanges.

“NFT technology has opened up diamonds as an asset class for diversification,” Icecap CEO Jacques Voorhees said. “Diamonds typically outperform inflation, but now — with NFT technology — diamonds can be bought, sold, and traded almost as efficiently as gold and silver. Thanks to NFTs, we might say the world’s hardest asset is now liquid.”

Icecap is the brainchild of the father-son team of Jacques Voorhees, who revolutionised the diamond industry in the 1980s by introducing online trading technology via Polygon, and Erik Voorhees, a Bitcoin advocate and founder of ShapeShift.

“Interest in diamonds as an investment goes back over a thousand years,” said Voorhees. “But diamonds are not fungible; each one is unique. The technology of non-fungible tokens now makes it easy to trade this asset class without the friction of having to track the physical product itself — which is kept secure, vaulted and insured.”

Icecap’s diamond tokens are traded on the world’s largest NFT exchange, OpenSea.io. A buyer can hold the token as an investment, sell the token to liquidate, or redeem the token and take delivery of the physical diamond itself — which can later be re-tokenised if desired.

“In the last 12 months, Dubai has become the primary trading center for diamonds, globally. And the UAE is a global leader in having a stable and well-evolved regulatory framework for the trading of blockchain assets. Dubai in general and the DMCC free-zone in particular, is a natural home for a company that combines diamonds with NFT trading,” Voorhees said.

“Dubai will become the base of our sales, marketing, sourcing, and vaulting activities. The founders of the company include some of the most well-known and reputable names in the diamond industry, and our access to product is global and efficient,” added Voorhees.

“We will now be actively seeking marketing partners in Dubai and the GCC, primarily in the financial sector, which has experience helping clients diversify portfolios into hard assets. Icecap’s diamonds, tied with NFT blockchain security, now provide a new type of asset class which is appropriate for such portfolios. By creating a platform in which pricing is transparent and liquidity far easier, diamonds can now take their place rightfully alongside gold, silver and other precious assets.”

— sandhya@khaleejtimes.com

author

Sandhya D'Mello

Journalist. Period. My interests are Economics, Finance and Information Technology. Prior to joining Khaleej Times, I have worked with some leading publications in India, including the Economic Times.





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