Asia Global Yachting to accept cryptocurrency
AGY has partnered with Bitkub to allow crypto payments for all of its services…
It wasn’t so long ago that various industry stakeholders were dismissing cryptocurrency payments as a fad. However, particular in recent months, cryptocurrency has become an increasingly prominent topic of conversation as it had moved out of the realms of theory and speculation and into the realm of tangible transactions beyond the occasional novel crypto purchase. The partnership between Asia Global Yachting (AGY) and Bitkub represents further proof that high-value asset crypto-transactions, including superyacht sales, charters and services, are here to stay.
“Our business is built around our customers and as such, we strive to evolve and pioneer products and services that are tailored to our clients' needs, both existing and future,” comments Nicolas Monges, co-founder of AGY. “We recognise the future demand to pay in cryptocurrencies and, after due diligence, we have chosen Bitkub for their reputation and user-friendly platform. We believe AGY is the first yacht company to offer this payment option to direct guests without undergoing third party processing.”
Monges touches on a vital but all too frequently ignored pillar of today’s superyachting zeitgeist in that AGY has developed its crypto offering in order to evolve its model to meet the needs of clients and potential clients, rather than expecting the client to evolve their requirements to meet the traditional systems imposed by the market.
The superyacht market at large is constantly on the lookout for new pools of clients, but all too often it has attempted to fit these individuals into traditional practices. It is extremely unlikely that crypto will ever become the dominant transactional force in the superyacht world, but it is nevertheless a legitimate option for those who may choose to transact across a variety of cryptocurrencies.
As is often the case, a lack of understanding has led some to question why individuals would choose to transact in cryptocurrencies rather than traditional fiat currencies.
Speaking with SuperyachtNews earlier in the year Daniel Wade, speaking on behalf of the owner of MY U Boat Navigator, which is being offered for charter with Bitcoin explained: “The motivations are pretty simple really. A cryptocurrency is still a currency at the end of the day. It is plain to see that many countries haven’t taken it on or acknowledged it properly, but there are still plenty of things you can purchase with Bitcoin. It is not as though it lacks value, it has a lot of value. People will often talk about volatility being a risk, but if that is your major concern, you can just use another currency or convert the crypto after the purchase.
“From the buyer’s perspective, there are a lot of wealthy people with expansive portfolios, of which Bitcoin is a part. There are also a lot of people who have become incredibly wealthy primarily through Bitcoin. Because of how high-value Bitcoin has become and, in light of the volatility and uncertainty, it may simply be that buyers want to add another high-value asset to their portfolio that they perceive to be less volatile, such as a superyacht. Volatility has always been a concern, but the concern has grown because of how extreme the fluctuations are, and the willingness to complete high-value transactions (on the part of the buyer) with Bitcoin may increase as its volatility grows and its future has doubt cast upon it.”
From the perspective of the seller, the motivations may be somewhat more clear-cut. With the major cryptocurrencies increasing in value rapidly, why not sell a product or service in a currency that is likely to appreciate once the sale has been completed? Alternatively, they may simply be looking to grow another asset class within their portfolio through what is sometimes referred to as a ‘barter trade method’. Indeed, during Monaco Yacht Show 2021, it was announced that 72m Azteca was only being offered for sale in Bitcoin. Additionally, Bob Denison, president of Denison Yachting, explained that the business had completed its 18th cryptocurrency transaction, two of which had values over $10 million - it seems likely that Denison will have pushed past its 18th crypto transaction in the intervening months.
“The partnership with AGY is a great opportunity for our client to experience the best service and product with cryptocurrencies,” explains Atthakrit Chimplapibul, CEO of Bitkub Online. ‘Nowadays, digital assets are increasingly expanding to many industries including real estate, clothing, and vehicles. Being in partnership with AGY helps us raise more awareness and also provide another barter trade method for clients. Bitkub is now the market leader in Thailand, according to the exponential increase in trading volume and account openings over the previous year.”
So much rhetoric in recent years has been focussed on the need for the superyacht market to engage with and attract the next generation of superyacht buyers across all the market’s major sectors and cryptocurrency is just a single avenue through which the market may be able to engage with a small subsector of as yet untapped potential. Nevertheless, this is clearly an avenue worth exploring.
For a more detailed exploration of the motivations behind crypto transactions, click here.
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