Sushi restaurants and agave plants: The Aussie businesses trading in NFTs

Sushi-sushi-crypto-nft

A digital image from Sushi Sushi's crypto sale campaign. Source: Supplied.

Japanese fast food chain Sushi Sushi is selling a Surfer’s Paradise store for $1 million in cryptocurrency. That’s about 162 Ethereum, or just over 15 Bitcoin.

The buyer of the Cavill Avenue store will enter the ‘sushi-verse’ in what is supposedly the first crypto sale of any retail or food premises in the world.

They will also receive an exclusive non-fungible token (NFT) image of the Cavill Avenue store. The NFT itself is currently in development, and will be shown to the buyer before being released for public viewing.

The existing Sushi Sushi team will operate the store on behalf of the buyer, and will be responsible for daily management. The buyer, however, will receive all net profit on a half-yearly basis, deposited in the cryptocurrency they choose to pay in.

No experience in food retail, or anything for that matter, is required. Buyers will also not be responsible for any losses.

The sale will use Ether, Bitcoin, Cardano or Solana, however the team is also open to alternative currencies.

Expressions of interest in the sale of Sushi Sushi on Cavill Avenue are open now.

Tequila on the blockchain?

This may be a significant crypto investment, but it’s not the first time a business has sold something unusual via digital currencies.

Top Shelf International (TSI) — a business producing Australian tequila from agave plants — has launched a super-premium Australian Agave NFT.

The NFTs cost $10,000 plus GST, and give holders the rights to 10 agave plants, in one of four fields of their choosing.

Only 100 NFTs were available in the first batch. Within a week, they had all sold out.

Owners will receive updates on the progress of their plants, until they are ready to be distilled. Then they will have the rights to the liquor they produce — expected to be about 35 litres.

According to TSI, each set of plants will be processed in a micro-batch, resulting in bespoke bottles that will differ slightly.

That, the business says, will make it one of the rarest artisanal spirits in the world.

“This NFT is unlike anything that is currently available anywhere in the world,” chief executive Drew Fairchild said in a statement.

“To have individual plants nurtured on your behalf and then receive ultra-premium, 100% Australian agave spirit from these plants positions this program at the forefront of technological innovation and spirit creation.”

The plants will be harvested and distilled from August 2023, and the NFT sales mark the first sales of the agave tequila so far.

That “provides evidence of the opportunity that exists in the creation of this category”, Fairchild said.

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One of Top Shelf International’s fields of agave plants. Source: supplied.

What is an NFT anyway?

A non-fungible token is essentially a unit of data stored on the blockchain.

While a fungible token could be a unit of cryptocurrency that can be exchanged for something of the same value, a non-fungible token is more akin to a piece of art or collectors item. They are one-of-a-kind assets with fluctuating value that can change — usually increasing — fast.

An NFT could be a rare digital item in a video game, or a piece of music or animated artwork, for example.

More recently, NFTs are being used to transfer the rights to physical assets too. This can allow the holder to prove ownership, or rights, even when they don’t have physical access to the product — think pricey diamonds or indeed agave plants.

Recently, 16 limited edition World Chess Championship sets were sold, with buyers paying in cryptocurrency. While buyers will receive the physical assets, they also received NFTs as certificates of authenticity.

For collector’s items such as rare bottles of wine, NFTs and blockchain technology can also provide a clear lineage of ownership.

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