Insight

Blockchain Bites:NYC restaurant plans exclusive NFT membership;Australian Senate Crypto Report – Recommendation 7: The tax cut for miners which didn’t make it; Google to Gather Blockchain Gurus

24/01/2022

Authors: Michael Bacina, Jordan Markezic, Luke Misthos

Service: Blockchain | FinTech
Sector: Financial Services | IT & Telecommunications

Michael Bacina, Luke Misthos and Jordan Markezic of the Piper Alderman Blockchain Group bring you the latest legal, regulatory and project updates in Blockchain and Digital Law.

Non Fungible Tuna? NYC restaurant plans exclusive NFT membership

Flyfish Club (FFC), a New York based restaurant has announced it aims to become the first NFT-backed members-only private dining club. The seafood restaurant requires prospective diners to purchase a membership, represented by an NFT, to dine.

Those wanting to mix bass and blockchain can choose from two tokens. The Flyfish token, offered at 2.5 Eth, gives holders access to events and pop-ups (both in person and virtual), an outdoor lounge, the cocktail lounge as well as the main dining room.

The Flyfish Omakase token, sold at 4.25 Eth, entitles holders to the same benefits as well as access to dine in an exclusive 14-person Omakase room. 2,650 Flyfish tokens and 385 Flyfish Omakase tokens were made available in three separate releases and sold for a total of USD$14M.

The first release was a private invite-only pre-sale, while the second and third releases were for the general public. Flyfish explain their experiment as follows:

As an NFT, the membership becomes an asset to the token holder, which can later be sold, transferred or leased to others on the secondary market. By utilizing NFT’s, FFC is able to create a loyal, member-community that we can provide special experiences for. NFT’s create new modernistic financial models, which will allow FFC to deliver an exceptional and sustainable product for years to come.

Those with one of the tokens will have to verify ownership before being able to make a reservation at FFC.  While a token is needed to make a reservation, patrons can pay with USD once in the restaurant, which is set to open Q1/Q2 2023.

Although the tokens are sold out on the FFC website, tokens can be leased or sold on the secondary market. Token holding entitles patrons unlimited use of the FFC facilities and allows for one non-token holder to participate so long as they are accompanied by a token-holder.

The membership opportunities for NFT holders to interact as part of an exclusive club are only just starting and more experiments of this kind are sure to be on the menu.

Australian Senate Crypto Report – Recommendation 7: The tax cut for miners which didn’t make it…

The recent Senate Select Committee Report into Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre’s Final Report considered the tax arrangements for businesses that undertake ‘mining’ of digital assets and related activities within Australia.

The recommendation arose from submissions regarding the energy consumption associated with some digital asset protocols – in particular, as the report highlighted, the energy intensity of Bitcoin mining.

Commentators and submitters raised concerns that the energy intensiveness required for mining and related activities could potentially undermine and compromise Australia’s net zero commitments. Accordingly, the Committee made the following recommendation:

The committee recommends that the Australian Government amend relevant legislation so that businesses undertaking digital asset ‘mining’ and related activities in Australia receive a company tax discount of 10 per cent if they source their own renewable energy for these activities.

Despite the recommendation not specifying how a business may qualify for this tax cut, digital asset mining businesses have already shown that they can become energy efficient. SolarCoin offers a novel approach to cryptocurrency, creating 1 SolarCoin for every Megawatt hour that is generated from solar technology.

Businesses such as Powerledger have also proven themselves to lead the campaign to make mining and related activities more eco-friendly, offering a peer-to-peer energy trading platform. Powerledger offers a decentralised and distributed network that helps energy producers track and trade energy in real-time, increasing the resilience and reliability of energy grids.

Sadly, this recommendation was not taken up by the Treasurer and so is unlikely to ever made it to law, so miners will need to keep making their own way in Australia and finding ways to use renewable energy without a little help from Uncle Skippy.

Google to Gather Blockchain Gurus

Google veteran engineering Vice President Shivakumar Venkataraman has been appointed to head up a Google specialist team which will be exploring blockchain opportunities for Google.  Bloomberg claims to have seen an email in which the new team will be charged with investigating:

blockchain and other next-gen distributed computing and data storage technologies

Google recently hired a new head of payments, Arnold Goldberg, a move which was announced as part of Google shifting to become more involved in financial services and cryptocurrency, after Google Pay has lagged behind Apple Pay.  Google has made clear it has no intentions to become a bank, but rather wants to be providing the connectivity between businesses involved in payments and banking.

With their incredible cloud computing reach, Google is well placed to bring private chain smart-contracts-as-a-service and blockchain-as-a-service and potentially node operations for public blockchains, as well as a mainstreaming of crypto and blockchain simply by virtue of being involved in the space.

2022 definitely seems to be the year for crypto and blockchain to go mainstream, if Google’s moves are anything to go by.