In this interview, Monty Metzger, CEO of LCX and Tiamonds, elaborates on his thoughts on asset backed NFTs and why he thinks they will have a central role in the future of finance. Metzger also gives an interesting insight into the project Tiamonds that are minting NFTs backed one to one with diamonds.
The Tokenize (TT): To begin with, what is Tiamonds?
Monty Metzger (MM): Tiamonds stands for Tokenized Diamonds and it’s a new project by LCX. The goal of Tiamonds is to educate the mass market about tokenization of assets.
At the same time, we are issuing two kinds of assets. There’s a Tiamond NFT, which is a 1-1 asset-backed NFT. So one NFT actually represents one diamond. And then on top of that, we are launching TIA tokens, a deflationary cryptocurrency with a more gamified approach – and an Own to Earn model. So everybody who owns the diamond NFT, the Tiamond, will get one million TIA tokens over one million minutes. So that’s roughly two years since you get one TIA token per minute.
TT: Why tokenize diamonds on NFTs? What does NFT bring to this process that is unique and relevant?
MM: Well, diamonds as an investment class are interesting. Each diamond is non-fungible already because there’s only one piece of it. And each diamond comes with a specific certificate, a GIA certificate of the Gemstone Institute, which clarifies things like the clarity and size and everything like that. So there’s only one piece in the world, and that’s kind of matching the same aspect of NFTs as well.
So with the smart contract, everything is there in one piece. And that’s why we thought that might be a good match for starting tokenization of assets.
To begin with, we chose 100 diamonds, which are smaller in size so we can easily secure them, and we can put them in a vault. Actually, in Liechtenstein, in the high-security area.
When you acquire one of these NFTs, you own the particular diamond that the NFT represents. You can also exchange the NFT into the physical diamond, but we made it attractive to keep it in the digital format. You will get these rewards of TIA tokens that you can trade. You can even withdraw the NFTs from LCX and trade them on OpenSea or any other NFT platform.
TT: NFTs representing diamonds is an interesting use case, but how far do you think it’s possible to go with NFTs? Could I have my house represented by an NFT? Or something intangible like time? How far do you think this will reach into our daily lives?
MM: I think it will reach quite far, especially with the next generation who are growing up with social media in a more digital environment’s all technically possible, and some even tried it, and we’ve seen a lot of security token projects coming up. But at the same time, we see that most of the users are not ready yet for this. So we are still in the early days of crypto.
We have not reached the mass market in terms of wallet creation yet. But it will come.
When I learned about the blockchain laws in Liechtenstein, I thought, well, that’s exciting because it’s not only regulating one piece of the puzzle with the license of exchange, but rather the whole industry. We incorporated Lichtenstein and went all-in with the vision in mind to tokenize the world and that the future will be tokenized. All the financial assets will be put on a digital format. But if you look at the current markets, I mean, within the top 10, all of them are utility tokens or non-security tokens, which are traded.
There are a lot of these meme tokens, which are just fun, speculating around. That’s why we said, okay, how can we combine that in a project? And we came up with this Tiamonds project. We do the token generating, we do the smart contract, we do the whole identity verification of all users on our crypto compliance suite. Then also, we are issuing the token for the first time, we’re making it accessible. It’s connected to a real-life asset where there’s a one-on-one backing. And at the same time, we have this kind of fun token as a governance token called TIA, which is interesting on top of that.
TT: What can we expect from Tiamonds in the near future? Do you have any plans for other projects?
MM: This is our first NFT project, but it won’t be the last one. We’ve lined up a variety of different assets. We are talking to a lot of other projects right now, so for us, this is the starting point. But what to expect for Tiamonds, I think it will be an exciting project. There will be 100 owners of these diamonds, NFTs, and then there will be over 100 million TIA tokens.
Ultimately, if we get the word out about TIA tokens, people will also wonder how to get these NFTs, what the functions of the tokens are, and so on. So they will learn about tokenization and be educated, which in itself is a highly important mission.