Digitization Expert Queenie Mo explores tokenization of physical assets and building an NFT multi-metaverse

September 13, 2022

Queenie Mo is Board Director at Lux Creative Hong Kong Limited, a bespoke fine art and fine luxury lifestyle service revolutionising fine art and luxury goods into “phygital assets” (physical asset + tokenisation), also traditional private sales in fine art and blue chip. She spoke to nftmetta.com co-founders Allen Cheng and Tsering Namgyal on the future of digital assets, tokenization and NFTs, especially in the art and luxury sectors.

Q: Queenie, you’re a well-known expert in helping clients tokenize both physical and non-physical assets. Can you tell us what types of assets, both physical or non-physical, are most suitable to tokenization?

A: Thank you for the overrated compliment. Non-physical assets, also known as intangible assets, such which are most suitable for tokenisation may include processing power(s), data space storage, patents, copyrights & IP rights, branding etc.

Physical assets, which are tangible assets, are assets which we can link to real life tangible: we can hold it, we can touch it, and if we “phygitize” these assets, a new word came to play that’s trending is, “phygital assets”. It also acts a bridge between the old, traditional world linking to the new world on blockchain, making it more transparent and, in fact, higher provenance (when the relevant documents are provided and the smart or smarter contracts are coded in most appropriate manner could be according to certain jurisdictions as well). Some physical assets most suitable and popular in minting/tokenisation now are:

  • Real estate property
  • Fine art, blue chip artworks, art in general with a physical painting, or a sculpture
  • Fashion – clothes, shoes, e.g. Nike shoes,
  • Jewellery – e.g. Tiffany’s CryptoPunks pendants
  • Cars – Ferrari is building their own digital Ferrari NFT Universe with NFT’s inside; Lambourghini joined the NFT world too, McLaren, Porsche, Audi, Aston Martin, etc
  • Physical collectibles – i.e. antiques, classic cars, blue chip art, etc

Q: Why should people with assets consider tokenization?

A: Tokenisation, depending on which platform the seller/owner is minting on and what is coded in the smart or smarter contract, it can have favorable returns, increasing extra investments and higher ROI, not only for the sellers, but also for the buyers. Other than monetizing on the blockchain, it can also show and prove greater transparency, for historical life, so once it’s minted on the blockchain, it’s there perpetually, provenance, governance, tracking and so forth. From gaining higher returns on investments, to providing provenance and governance as more transparent than in our real-world life. It’s also a creator’s economy, where it’s also an opportunity for anyone to NFT their ideations to life -whether it’s IRL or in Web3, the metaverse. Lastly, not everyone can afford to buy luxury products, or simply, a real estate home owner (which is becoming quite a necessity in the last few decades). Fractionalizing allows more people to achieve their dream investments. However, we do need to be cautious of the fractionalised assets, depending on which jurisdiction it may be in, how the structure is setup, and so on.

Q: Are there any assets that cannot be tokenized and what might they be?

A: In theory, any physical, unique objects, can be tokenized; a digital representation of it may be possible. However in doing so, certain types of assets can trigger regulation, e.g. property and tokenise that into parts, that may be considered to be a CIS, which will fall under the appropriate legislation in most countries that may require you to have a broker license to do so.

Q: For people considering tokenization, what is your advice on what kind of token they should choose that best suit their asset? For example, when an artist launches a new record release should that artist consider issuing a tailor made NFT or tie a select limited number of special editions of that release to a well-known token?

A: This can be quite broad, considering it can tie heavily with the production houses. If the artists are well known singers or celebrities, copyrights and IP rights need to be clearly defined prior to NFT’ing it. Generally speaking, NFT’s are one of a kind, unique, rare and let’s not forget, scarce. If it is at least a red chip emerging artist, they already have a fan pool or a community of millions, with special limited editions of NFT minted. Most likely, it’ll be sold out fast (within minutes or under 2 hours), bearing in mind, there are strong social community managers or team(s) to manage all the social media channels behind.

If the artist is a singer and launches just a one-off tailor made NFT, expecting this to be quite an expensive NFT, also depending on how popular, meaningful, impactful the NFT can be, it can sell. Another thought to consider is – what does it offer to the buyer? Is the artist a trending artist now and can be sold right after? Is the buyer interested in the utility behind the token? Or, just simply, is the buyer just a fanatic about the artist or the singer in question?

Q: Lastly, we noticed you grew up in Hong Kong, majored in Chinese literature at University in Beijing and began your career in management consulting at Accenture. Please describe your journey from Accenture to today — how did you come to specialize in tokenization consulting?

A: Accenture, I really enjoyed my time at Accenture, started as an analyst, grew into managing teams, then turned consultant for a leading luxury German car manufacturer; colleagues were very helpful, the company culture was absolutely respectful and mindful of each other’s roles, abilities, skillset, which helped each other grow daily. At Accenture, I was specialised in Global Procurement, Strategic Procurement, Corporate Finance Ops. Unfortunately, I had to leave Accenture due to family arrangements, so I decided to utilize my time and balance out the work-life schedule by also educating my daughter the impact and the good we can do for the world.  This came an opportunity to be part of the Director Committee of a non-profit, Hong Kong Power Youth Association. We believe education may not be the best fit for everyone, can be due to financials or simply just the mindset. Hence, HKPYA supports the youth (usually between the ages 18-26) to pitch their business ideas, if it passes the judging panel, they will receive a grant to kick off with their business concept to support their dreams to come true, in hope that we will see another Steve Jobs!

At 2019, I decided to go back to the corporate world for more stability. I worked at one of the biggest unicorns in FinTech, Payoneer, managing 9 countries and 12 entities for APAC, and some were global projects in Strategic Procurement. Exciting times for Payoneer!  Meanwhile, my business partner in Spain, seeing my passion is for art and the experience I had carried from the past, was approaching me and persuading me for 8+ months to join him in fine art and blue-chip art traditional sales. In addition, believing I can have more control in terms of work-life balance, I decided to join and build up Lux Creative in Hong Kong. So unfortunate the art sales suffered a massive decline globally, down by around 35%, so it came to a decision whether to save the business or go back to corporate life. Luckily – talk about the timing of the universe, NFT’s was in the media, where Beeples were blasting out, gave me an “aha” moment. Since then, it’s been exciting, it’s been refreshing, it’s been amazing, it’s been impactful and, as people say, crypto never sleeps. It’s been an absolute inspirational time to meet and learn from others in this space, to grow together, to cross collaborate and cross promote, ensuring the success of not only your own, but others too.

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