NFTs are the ticket to New York’s newest social clubs


Going beyond treating NFTs as a collectible or investment, social clubs in New York are now requiring members to buy into their NFTs to join. — Bloomberg

When Maxwell Tribeca opens its doors in July, it will have all the elements that define a certain kind of social club: a prestigious address, swanky decor, exclusive perks for members, and a well-heeled and well-connected founding team.

But that’s not enough for David Litwak, founder and former chief executive officer of the tech travel platform Mozio. To become a member, you’ll also need to get involved in one of the buzziest corners of the crypto market.

The 8,000 square-foot space, which will be located at 135 Watts Street, is modelled after the eating clubs known as txokos of San Sebastian, Spain.

Entry will require owning a so-called nonfungible token, or NFT-a kind of crypto asset being touted by everyone from Tom Brady to Melania Trump.

NFTs are digital tokens that act like certificates of authenticity for, and in some cases represent ownership of, assets that range from expensive illustrations of apes to collectibles like celebrity autographs and physical goods like a case of rare whisky.

Increasingly, as is the case with Maxwell Tribeca, they operate as a kind of passport to rarefied spaces and experiences-access that in this case includes your own liquor lockers.

The place will operate "like a house party. Instead of ordering a negroni at the bar, you go get your own gin from your locker and pour yourself a gin and tonic,” Litwak tells Bloomberg.

"We’re trying to create thousands of second homes, not third spaces, where people belong, and NFTs are a means to an end, he says.

"Web3 often treats them like an end unto themselves,” he adds, referring to the the term popularised by venture capitalists to refer to online services that are built on the decentralised technology known as the blockchain.

Maxwell Tribeca memberships start at US$1,000 (RM4,179.50) for shared liquor lockers; small liquor lockers will go for US$5,000 (RM20,897.50), and large liquor lockers $8,000 (RM33,436); the monthly membership fee will be US$250 (RM1,044.88).

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