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NFT Adoption in Modern Companies: An Interview With Evinco Winery DAO Co-Founder, Joy Pathak by@danstein
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NFT Adoption in Modern Companies: An Interview With Evinco Winery DAO Co-Founder, Joy Pathak

by Dan SteinAugust 29th, 2022
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Joy Pathak is the co-founder of Evinco Winery DAO, the first Web3 winery with NFT membership. NFTs tokenize membership plans, thereby creating a smooth pathway for wine enthusiasts to join these clubs. Each NFT comes with utilities in physical and digital settings, including utilities in both digital and physical. In simple terms, NFT’s bridge the physical-digital divide to offer a unique experience for wine enthusiast. The Evinco DAO gives every member the unique feeling of having ownership in a winery which no winery has ever been able to do before.

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Today I spoke with the co-founder of Evinco Winery DAO Joy Pathak. In our conversation, we discussed NFTs, why the wine industry is ripe for innovation, and how NFTs will affect the food and beverages industry. 

Hi Joy, it’s wonderful to have you with us. Could you please introduce yourself and share your professional journey with our readers?

Hello, I am Joy Pathak, co-founder of Evinco Winery DAO, the first Web3 winery with NFT membership. My responsibilities include building the Evinco Winery brand and developing innovative Web3 technology for the Evinco community. Before Evinco, I worked on Wall Street for over a decade and also have advised and built other NFT projects. 

Apart from Evinco Winery, I have built an NFT pass-based community called Illiquid Capital. Crypto and NFT enthusiasts use the 2,500 ALFA membership passes to access chatboxes, research reports, lotteries, and partner projects. 

I am also an avid wine collector and have witnessed the challenges of the luxury beverages industry from close quarters. As a Web3 exponent, I firmly believe that NFTs have the potential to address these problems. It was one of the primary reasons for developing Evinco Winery DAO with Mario Roam Sculatti. 

Before getting into NFTs, can you explain the main pain points of the luxury beverage industry?

I think there are several aspects of the industry that we have to work on. First, wine club memberships have high entry barriers with a complex onboarding procedure. Wine enthusiasts often have to wait for a long time to join their favorite clubs. Moreover, if club members choose to leave, the time spent on value generation becomes null and void.

Second, existing membership plans do not provide ownership benefits to club members. Ultimately, they remain consumers with limited control over the future development of the wine industry. As a result, companies focus more on increasing revenue through membership fees rather than concentrating on community experiences.  

Luxury companies and especially food and wine companies, do not create communities. They just focus on having consumers and not helping build a proper intertwined community. 

How will NFTs tackle the challenges in the wine industry? Do they really have the transformative potential to disrupt the sector?

NFTs tokenize membership plans, thereby creating a smooth pathway for wine enthusiasts to join these clubs. Anyone can purchase the NFTs and instantly become a club member. If members want to exit, they can trade their NFTs in secondary marketplaces and get a fair valuation of their membership.

Membership tokenization also offers exclusive rights for holders. Thus, NFT holders can directly participate in decision-making procedures through decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). Apart from governance benefits, NFTs offer an enriching community experience where members can congregate and participate in events.

I think NFTs will also contribute to the ‘phygitalization’ phenomenon in the wine industry. In simple terms, NFTs bridge the physical-digital divide to offer a unique experience for wine enthusiasts. Therefore, NFTs are not just on-chain digital assets, they also unlock different real-life benefits and opportunities.

We’ve built NFT-based protocols like the Evinco Winery DAO to disrupt the wine industry as we know it.   

Please tell us about the Evinco Winery DAO. What does it do, and how does it work?

The Evinco Winery DAO is a collection of Ethereum-based utility NFTs available on the OpenSea marketplace, with physical properties in Napa Valley, California. Wine enthusiasts can purchase these NFTs to become exclusive members of the Evinco DAO and access special perks and benefits. The NFTs function as membership passes that democratize investing and governance of the winery. Additionally, each NFT comes with utilities in physical and digital settings.  

Evinco Winery DAO gives every member the unique feeling of having ownership in a winery which no winery has ever been able to do before. You can directly, as an NFT holder, guide the future of the Winery with your community by being a participant in the DAO.

Can you highlight some of the utilities of Evinco DAO NFTs? How will NFT holders benefit from them?

When someone mints an NFT or buys a pass from OpenSea exchange, they receive two wine bottles from our wine library for free to start (no wine club in the world does this). They can also purchase Evinco wines at discounted prices and avail of special discounts on select hotels and concierge services. NFT holders will have access to a private Discord channel where they can share their wine experiences and knowledge. Moreover, there will be opportunities to create wine labels featuring NFT artwork from the Evinco community. 

We also have gamified the entire membership and perks process. You have to stake (deposit) your NFTS into our special smart contracts built on the blockchain, where depending on how long you stake it, you get new perks that unlock. It is similar to your wine ages and evolves and becomes better in the same way your NFTs get you more perks the longer you leave it in the contract. 

We also have a web3 portal built that will be able to get your existing NFTS and digital art on your bottle allocation custom-made. Now you will be able to show off your digital art collection through some of the best wines in the world. A perfect juxtaposition of the digital world with the artistry of wine. 

Other utilities can be broadly divided into digital and physical offerings. Digital amenities include online wine education classes, virtual tastings, and access to podcasts with wine experts. Users can also keep their NFTs in digital cellars to earn additional benefits. On the other hand, physical experiences include members-only tasting events and vintage wine dinners at Napa Valley.  Members can also have international privileges and VIP access to properties in Argentina, Bordeaux, Burgundy, and France. 

Additionally, NFT holders will have access to the tasting room and members' lounge in the Napa Valley town of Castiloga. They can take a tour of our winemaking artifacts and visit the cellar at our private estate. 

We come to the final question now. What impact will NFTs have on the food and beverages industry in the long run? Given the overall slump in NFT trading volume, will they sustain?

You raised an important point, and let me take the opportunity to state some facts. While it is true that NFT trading volume has dropped, it is only indicative of the macroeconomic conditions guiding market sentiments. In absolute numbers, NFT sales are still holding up.

For example, in July, OpenSea sold 1.61 million Ethereum NFTs worth $495 million. However, there is no reason to be complacent. We have had huge sales recently, with a Pudgy Penguin selling for $600K and a Bored Ape selling for over a million dollars. The entire market, crypto, and stocks are down, and with uncertainty in the crypto market, NFT’s are definitely taking the brunt of the hit, being a bit illiquid at the moment. 

I think NFTs have to focus more on utilities if they want to make any lasting impact in the food and beverages sector. While collectibility is important, utilities that accrue real benefits to the community will generate long-term value. Thus, companies need to focus on NFTs that will offer something unique to token holders. NFTs must augment the consumer experience rather than being mere collectible items. I believe utility NFTs will bring about a new era in the industry with never-seen-before benefits for the community.  

The time of just pure digital art and PFP type animal art NFTs might be coming to a close, but the new evolution of NFTS where brands and companies utilize NFT technology to change the way their end users interact with them is just getting started.