Drunk On the Blockchain

Jeff Opdyke (Jeffo)
8 min readFeb 22, 2024

There was a moment in my life when I owned a 600-bottle collection of wine — some of the greatest names and finest vintages from California’s “cult” Cabernets and French Bourdeaux. Bryant Family, Hundred Acre, Scarecrow, and Colgin Cellars from California — vintages from 2007 through 2013, some fabulous years for Cali cult wines.

And there was the pride of my collection: Four half-bottles of the 2001 Chateau d’Yquem, the most famous white Bordeaux and arguably one of the greatest wines in a century, if not ever.

Alas, I auctioned off all of them as part of a divorce. Rented a van and drove the 600-bottle lot north from Louisiana, where I was living at the time, to a New York wine auction house. Was far cheaper — and far less nerve-wracking! — than shipping all those pricey bottles as freight.

I share that story as a way of saying: What I would have given to have had a company like BAXUS at that time.

Casks of Glen Moray Whisky from my last tour of Scotland’s Speyside region.

Chances are you’ve probably not heard of BAXUS unless you attended the Solana Breakpoint conference in Amsterdam last fall. That’s where I met up and sat down with Tzvi Wiesel, founder of BAXUS. And while it might seem odd to be at a crypto-conference talking to a guy running a business focused on IRL assets like wine and whiskey, the two are actually quite the perfect fit.

BAXUS is tokenizing real-world collectibles on-chain … on Solana, to be exact. And as we will get to in a moment, there’s a compelling investment story here for those of us in the crypto space…

“One of the biggest things that has historically been a part of the whiskey industry is the myths and legends,” Tzvi told me. “But so little information has been actually recorded. It’s all just passed down via stories. But by working with producers, manufacturers, collectors, traders, and distillers, we can preserve those stories in the metadata so that 150 years from now, someone can open a bottle and know who made it, what went into it, the logic behind it, and they can see how it has aged or matured.”

To be clear, though, BAXUS isn’t about becoming storytellers to the Jack Daniels of the world.

Whiskey Riches

BAXUS recently launched a website where buyers and sellers — as well as borrowers and lenders — meet up…

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Jeff Opdyke (Jeffo)

Former Wall Street Journal writer living in Prague. Crypto and investing. Editor Global Intelligence Letter. Also on Substack: jeffoalpha.substack.com/