Gitta Kuenker, a Swiss executive whose family is one of the leading auction houses in numismatics worldwide, has entered the industry determined to digitize it. Supported by Token City in the role of technology provider, Gitta has created Numisstaxx, a bridge into the digital era whose main offering is its digital certificates of authenticity.
Numismatics involves the research and cataloging of coins, from the oldest to the most recent. It is a $10 billion industry in which Excel spreadsheets are commonly used for cataloging collections, certificates of authenticity are regularly issued on paper, and coin characteristics are analyzed and recorded using high-resolution photographs. Information on any given coin is scattered among a sea of different catalogs.
To tackle these issues, Numisstaxx officially launches worldwide today, January 10.
While Token City is responsible for the technological work on the platform, beyond development, its role in defining the product logic has been key to realizing Gitta Kuenker's vision:
The Numisstaxx platform offers collectors an online interface designed for collection management, whose predefined functionalities have been developed in line with feedback from industry experts. As there is currently no specialized tool for collectors on the market, this asset alone brings great added value to the industry.
Certificates of authenticity are still regularly done on a paper basis, but they are becoming more and more important due to cultural asset protection laws making coin provenance more and more important, so collectors as well as dealers need to prove by chronological provenance that the coin is internationally tradable.
The Numisstaxx platform establishes a process to ensure that all data collected and verified by experts is true and connected to the coin. Across the numismatic world coin data is still stored in dispersed catalogs and, while the effort has been made to create digital archives, information is spread out through countless different catalogs. The collector can copy paste all available related to a coin, but it remains a costly and time consuming process.
This is why the platform works with coin dealers to create certificates of authenticity that go with the coin whenever it's sold. This preserves in digital form the provenance information and all other data relevant to the coin. The use of blockchain technology ensures that certificates are forgery-proof, that they are stored in secured wallets and that they can be easily transferred from one wallet to another.
This application of digital, forgery-proof certificates of authenticity marks a sea change for culturally protected coins. To understand why, let's take the example of Italy, a country of high interest for numismatic experts due to its archaeological wealth. Any coin that might be considered of cultural value by Italian authorities requires an export license before it can be sold outside of Italy. It’s a quite complex and restrictive process designed to protect cultural heritage, which it accomplishes by curtailing trade, oftentimes to an unnecessary degree.
In the near future, the Numisstaxx platform will solve this by creating a digital clone of the coin, which can be freely traded worldwide and represents ownership of the coin, while at the same time respecting the Italian laws (to continue with that example) that may require that the coin physically remains in Italy. Thanks to blockchain technology, Numisstaxx allows collectors to abstract the ownership and tradability of the coin from the location of the coin.
Improved coin validity guarantee
What happens if a coin is counterfeited after the certificate is issued? Currently, the industry as a whole verifies coins using high-resolution photos that can be enlarged to a very high degree of detail. Numisstaxx is going one step further by incorporating high-resolution scans, a service which is yet to be launched. The degree of fidelity of these scans is such that they work as a unique coin identifier, allowing for a true 1 to 1 connection between coin, scan file and certificate of authenticity.
Collectors can choose to sign up to Numisstaxx anonymously, keeping their identity hidden from all platform stakeholders except the KYC provider, while at the same time being able to provide access rights to other members of the plattform to their liking.
Both coin collectors and coin dealers can join Numisstaxx, and the platform offers a reputation system that allows collectors to identify which dealers they would like to engage to validate or update information related to a coin or collection.
Numisstaxx is currently at version 1.0. Besides high-resolution scans, interface and user experience improvements are planned. Numisstaxx is also perfectly positioned to bring its platform to many other types of art collectibles, so stay tuned!
Token City is the ultimate bridge to the tokenized economy (tEconomy), in which tokenized companies (tEnterprises) create their cryptoasset markets (tMarkets), open to global investors (tCitizens).