In the ever-changing world of blockchain technology, new opportunities are emerging for traditional sectors such as the wine and spirits industry. It is in this context that we had the opportunity to interview Louis de Bonnecaze, visionary and passionate entrepreneur, co-founder and CEO of InterCellar. This revolutionary project, based on Web3 technology, promises to be a game-changer for wine and spirits lovers by offering them a unique and seamless experience.
Q. For readers who don’t know you, can you tell us about the history of InterCellar? What is your vision for this unusual project?
AT. InterCellar it is the conclusion of several years of work straddling Web3 and the Wines and Spirits industry. I started my career as a wine merchant in 2016 and, fairly quickly, I realized that I would have to develop a new clientele. In 2017 I discovered Bitcoin, and it didn’t take me long to make the possible link between these two universes.
Thus, in 2018, I was at the initiative of the first online wine sales site accepting cryptocurrency. This allowed crypto holders to be able to cash out and diversify their portfolio with red gold.
I then wanted to go further, and as blockchain technology advanced, I found concrete applications for it. This is how in 2022, I created Wine Bottle Club with my associates, a collection of 2000 “membership” NFTs, sold out at 0.3 ETH each. A first in the world of Wines and Spirits.
InterCellar.io is also the starting point for a new vision of Wine and Spirits distribution. The principle is simple, when I buy a bottle, I also buy its “digital twin” which I can then:
- Keep in my wallet and display in my virtual cellar (the physical bottle remains with the producer or in our accredited warehouse);
- Resell on the secondary market (the physical bottle still does not move, only the NFT is traded);
- Destroy in exchange for the physical delivery of the bottle.
Q. Combining the wine industry and Web3 is an idea that few people would have thought of and a gamble that may seem risky. What added value does blockchain technology bring to this universe? What are the benefits for your community?
AT. At first glance the idea may seem absurd. But when we take a closer look, we realize that the wine industry is a perfect “use case” for the blockchain. Wine, spirits, it’s a matter of transmission.
- First from the producer to the consumer. The wine industry is certainly the last luxury industry in which the brand does not have a direct link with the consumer, due to the multiplicity of intermediaries. NFTs make it possible to give brands visibility over their distribution, and to guarantee the consumer the origin of the product.
- Then between the consumers themselves. A grand cru is exchanged 6 to 7 times on average before being consumed, which poses transport problems (wine is fragile!) and carbon footprint, and fuels speculation on which the brand does not touch. Nothing. With NFTs, only digital twins are traded on the secondary market, the physical asset does not move from the producer or from our warehouse.
- Finally, wine is sometimes transmitted without financial compensation, from father to son or in professional circles. What could be simpler than slipping a nice bottle of wine into the digital wallet of your best employees?
The blockchain therefore solves problems related to brands and producers, but also to consumers, who constitute the heart of our community.
Q. Speaking of community, it is one of the founding pillars of Web3 and yours is already important. What is his role at InterCellar? How did you choose to integrate this essential component into your project?
AT. Indeed, it is an essential component of Web3. Through social networks of course, but also thanks to the many partnerships established. Maxime Garraud, my partner and COO of InterCellar knows well the importance of these cross-collaborations.
It is also one of the founding pillars of the Wine and Spirits sector, which are at the heart of all social relations, whether friendly, romantic or professional.
Moreover, each alcohol, appellation or brand has its own community: Afro-Americans for Cognac, Chinese for Château Lafite Rothschild, WASPs for Irish Whisky, automobile lovers for Champagne Carbon, the community natural wines… it’s a very communal environment where the sense of identity is strong.
InterCellar brings together our original community, but may also offer benefits to other communities, depending on the offers offered. This is the advantage of NFTs, they offer unlimited possibilities in terms of membership and loyalty. For example, regular buyers of a brand may be offered the opportunity to access an exclusive sale.
Ultimately, we aim to bring all communities together on the InterCellar Marketplace.
Q. Web3 is a rapidly changing industry. How do you intend to sustain your project? What can we expect from InterCellar in the future? Do you have any upcoming projects?
AT. There are many application cases, but we would first like to develop what already works.
The first collection we launched for the Chateau Malartic Lagraviere was a resounding success. The 150 limited edition magnums were sold out in less than an hour.
The next collection, which will take place on May 24, takes the same path. This is an exclusive collection of Champagne Carbon, the famous brand, official supplier of Formula 1.
The following drops are already planned, with Spirits and other major wine houses, and we wish to be able to integrate many other domains into our marketplace. We also invite them to contact us to carry out their projects and make a successful transition to Web3.
We are obviously preparing for future developments. For example, all NFTs on InterCellar are web embeddable 3D assets that the user can play with and that foreshadow use in a metaverse.
Finally, we are also preparing the launch of a spirits brand 100% native to Web3 and the growth of the marketplace internationally.
During this exclusive interview, we explored the motivations and ambitions of Louis de Bonnecaze behind the creation of InterCellar, as well as the many ways in which this project pushes the boundaries of the traditional industry. The vision is clear: to allow enthusiasts and collectors around the world to participate in a transparent, secure and fair global market. Thanks to blockchain technology, users can trace the origin, authenticity and history of bottles, while creating a community engaged around this common passion thanks to Web3. To prepare the developments of the project, fundraising is currently underway at InterCellar.
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