Texas businessman pays $12m for one of the world’s most expensive NFTs – and it comes with a yacht

‘It will be a real adventure’

Graig Graziosi
Thursday 14 April 2022 18:02 BST
What are NFTs?

A Texas businessman paid $12m on crypto marketplace Opensea for an NFT, making it one of the most expensive non-fungible tokens ever sold.

However, unlike other NFTs, this one has tangible value attached – it comes with a yacht.

According to RobbReport, the actual NFT the unnamed man purchased depicts a yacht, but the sale also includes a real-life yacht that will be built in Canada by Tactical Custom Boats and CloudYachts.io.

"We like the idea of pioneering a new process. The NFT could prove useful in ways I had never imagined – like having all the data from my vessel at my fingertips. It will be a real adventure," the man said.

The sale was not without some hiccups; according to the architect building the vessel, the initial crypto payment went to the wrong person initially, meaning some unsuspecting crypto enthusiast may have had a $12m infusion sitting in their wallet for a short time.

A second NFT will also be minted and provided to the businessman. That one will reportedly contain metadata about the ship's characteristics and sailing information. However, most yachts are crewed by an experienced staff and not by individual owners.

Because NFTs are almost frequently speculative assets, the individual who purchased the yacht could choose to resell his token if there is a demand. However, the real-world yacht will stay in his possession even if he sells the NFT.

Without the inclusion of a yacht, it seems unlikely that a buyer would pay a substantial sum for the man’s token. However, Zach Mandelstein of CloudYachts told The Independent that the company was not focused of boosting the speculative value of the tokens. He said that CloudYachts is more interested in using NFTs and their associated technology as a new way to initiate ship builds.

The $12m NFT is not the company’s most expensive offering; that designation is saved for the $95m, 206-foot superyacht Project Metaverse, which is still searching for a buyer.

The inclusion of the real-life yacht is unusual for NFTs. Some NFT minters have included digital "assets' like metaverse ships or land, or access to real world events alongside the token, but this is the first time an object of substantial financial value has been included in a purchase.

The most expensive digital asset ever sold was also a yacht – albeit a virtual one – which was purchased for The Sandbox metaverse project. That yacht, called the Metaflower Super Mega Yacht, was sold for 149ETH, worth approximately $650,000 at the time of its sale in November 2001.

While some might ask the question – why spent $12m on an NFT yacht and not just buy a real-life yacht – it seems that the NFT buyer actually saved a great deal of money on a ship. On average, yachts 100 feet long or longer tend to start around $20m and go up from there. The NFT buyer's ship will be approximately 110-feet long.

Even used superyachts frequently cost $7m or more.

However, a ship of that size requires considerable maintenance and often are required under law to be crewed by licensed professional sailors.

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