Americana Unleashes ‘Phygital’ Vault Service: Safeguarding Physical and Digital Assets with Blockchain Technology

New York City-based vaulting platform, Americana, is stepping into the limelight with its unique “phygital” vault service, combining the security of a physical vault with the convenience of an online marketplace. Founded last year as a community-centric initiative, Americana has since transformed into a comprehensive solution, now allowing users to securely store, showcase, and trade both physical and digital assets.

Backed by OpenSea, a leading digital marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and 776, the venture capital firm co-founded by Reddit’s Alexis Ohanian, Americana has rapidly gained momentum. Under the leadership of CEO Jake Frey, known for his work with Apple, Snapchat, Shopify, and Twitter through his Frey Labs digital design studio, the platform offers an unprecedented fusion of blockchain-powered owner authentication and traditional asset storage.

Traditionally, banks and art storage facilities have provided vaulting services for precious items, but accessibility for exhibition or acquisition has been limited. Americana seeks to revolutionize the landscape by enabling secure storage of physical assets alongside their digital representation, all protected by on-chain digital certificates, allowing seamless tokenized transactions without removing the items from the physical vault.

The platform boasts the ability to accommodate a diverse range of collectibles, from vintage cars and limited edition sneakers to fine art masterpieces. According to Frey, “items can be as large and heavy as a vehicle but also as small and light as a stamp,” providing unprecedented flexibility to users.

The process begins with a meticulous consultation to tailor a custom intake plan in collaboration with transportation experts. Once received, assets undergo authentication, digitization, and meticulous documentation before being safely stored in the vault.

The authentication process varies depending on the item, with some authenticated by third parties or the creators themselves. For artworks, Americana employs a cutting-edge micron indenter—a form of digital fingerprinting technology that reads molecular levels in specific areas of the artwork, akin to a unique signature. Multiple readings are cross-referenced for verification.

To achieve stunning digital representation, the platform leverages a giant 3D photogrammetry machine equipped with eight high-resolution cameras capturing 360-degree imagery. On the platform’s interface, users can experience an unparalleled view, offering an immersive experience akin to viewing the asset in person.

As a crucial aspect of the process, the item’s digital title is transformed into a non-fungible token (NFT) secured on the Ethereum blockchain. Beyond being a certificate of authenticity and provenance, this NFT title also encompasses an insurance policy.

Artists can directly vault their works, and secondary market creator royalties are automatically incorporated into the smart contracts.

Americana collaborates with established storage experts like Crozier Fine Arts, ensuring strict climate and temperature controls for optimal asset preservation.

The concept of non-custodial ownership has gained popularity in recent times, and Americana joins the ranks of platforms such as StockX and eBay, offering token-backed storage for physical collectibles like sneakers and trading cards.

Presently, Americana’s vault houses artworks from distinguished creators like Dustin Yellin and Tom Sachs, alongside Rolex watches, jewelry, rare unopened Pokemon cards, and even a Moto Guzzi motorcycle. Among its prestigious holdings is a pair of Gucci and Yuga Labs cufflinks worn by lead investor Alexis Ohanian at this year’s MET Gala.

With its “phygital” approach, Americana aims to make blockchain technology accessible and practical for everyday users, heralding a new era in the intersection of physical and digital asset storage.

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Maria Irene
Maria Irenehttp://ledgerlife.io/
Maria Irene is a multi-faceted journalist with a focus on various domains including Cryptocurrency, NFTs, Real Estate, Energy, and Macroeconomics. With over a year of experience, she has produced an array of video content, news stories, and in-depth analyses. Her journalistic endeavours also involve a detailed exploration of the Australia-India partnership, pinpointing avenues for mutual collaboration. In addition to her work in journalism, Maria crafts easily digestible financial content for a specialised platform, demystifying complex economic theories for the layperson. She holds a strong belief that journalism should go beyond mere reporting; it should instigate meaningful discussions and effect change by spotlighting vital global issues. Committed to enriching public discourse, Maria aims to keep her audience not just well-informed, but also actively engaged across various platforms, encouraging them to partake in crucial global conversations.

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