Icecap, the world’s first tokenizer of investment-grade diamonds, displays some of the physical diamonds being tokenized using the Ethereum ERC721 standard, then listed on non-fungible token (NFT) marketplace, OpenSea.io. The initial selection of 30 GIA-certified, GCAL authenticated and insured stones includes a 10.71 carat stunner, visible at the center of this collection.
DENVER, CO, July 15, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — (via Blockchain Wire) – Icecap, the pioneering platform for tokenizing diamonds on the Ethereum blockchain, today announced the launch of its bid/ask trading marketplace targeting diamond investors. Icecap uses the Ethereum ERC721 Non-Fungible Token (NFT) standard to give GIA-graded and GCAL-verified diamonds their own digital tokens, which represent the rights to a single specific diamond stored in a vault. These tokens then function as globally-tradeable assets on crypto marketplaces such as OpenSea.io.
“We believe there is currently a $10 billion potential market opportunity for investors to diversify into diamond assets, a market that until now has largely been untapped,” said Jacques Voorhees, Icecap’s founder and CEO. “Until now, the diamond industry has been structured as a one-way flow of diamonds from mine to consumer. But a diamond investor needs to sell as well as buy, and today that means buying at retail and selling at below wholesale, to a dealer, retailer, auction house, or perhaps even to a pawnshop. In that scenario an investor might lose fifty percent or more of the purchase price of the stone. That dynamic is what has made diamonds to date untenable for asset diversification.”
Blockchain technology, and in particular tokenization using the ERC721 standard, solves the problem. “Icecap can now mint a unique digital token and assign it to a specific diamond. The token is then traded easily, back and forth, on marketplaces like OpenSea where it incurs only a 1% exchange fee. The token can be redeemed for the diamond at any time by the owner of the token.
The calculation for size of the potential investment market is based on the current percentage of demand for gold that is represented by investors (30%), then applying that same percentage to the size of the global wholesale diamond market. Such a level of investment demand would increase that global market from $25 billion today, to over $35 billion.
Icecap brings together some of the best-known names from the diamond and crypto industries. Jacques Voorhees was the founder of Polygon, the disruptive platform which introduced online trading to the conservative diamond market in the 1980’s. His son Erik, an investor in Icecap, is the well-known founder and CEO of ShapeShift, one of the most popular digital asset platforms. …