In recent years, smart wine and spirits investments have far outpaced the traditional market.
That's good news for anyone who can procure a good bottle of wine or whiskey and hold onto it instead of immediately popping the top.
But there's a lot of nuance when dealing with rare bottles, from determining provenance to assessing value, which is enough to make the average investor's head spin—and to reach for said bottle.
Baxus is a new wine and spirits marketplace that lets enthusiasts and collectors buy and trade rare bottles. And while the blockchain has rarely made anything less confusing, it might be the answer to this particular quandary. Because Baxus uses blockchain technology to give users proof of ownership and authentication — so you can fend off frauds and imposters — as well as a safe way to store bottles.
The founder and CEO is Todd Wiesel, a seasoned whiskey investor and trader who launched his own whiskey fund while studying computer science and database building at Columbia University. He partnered with Carrie Kellar, the former machine learning head at The New York Times. Their mission is to give wine and spirit collectors and investors an easier way to participate in the market without the usual barriers, like opaque pricing conditions, infrequent auctions, high fees and complicated legal framework around booze.
Once you sign up, you can browse the marketplace to see what's available. You'll find plenty of rare and pricey bottles, including a 72-year-old Glen Grant scotch, 23-year-old Pappy Van Winkle, dozens of Pre-Prohibition bourbons, and some of the most coveted Japanese whiskies. Occasionally you will even see full casks listed on the marketplace. If you see something you want, buy it.
Once a bottle is purchased, it can be shipped directly into your hands, or elect to keep it in the Baxus warehouse for safekeeping. If it goes up in value, you can always flip it to another buyer.
You can also use the platform's dashboard to build and access your own collection. Start by contacting the Baxus team to submit your collection for review. If it's approved, they'll work with you to get your bottles shipped to their climate-controlled vault, where everything is scanned, tagged, authenticated and given a unique NFT, so the provenance is traceable and secure. When you're ready to sell, release the bottle into the marketplace.
It's all a lot more elegant than the way things used to work: back alley deals and shady Craiglist purchases.