Where the worlds of the rich, luxury goods and cryptocurrency meet, you’ll find The White Company.
Over the past 16 months, The White Company has helped clients buy the usual trappings of the rich and famous: Ferraris, Lamborghinis and other high-end cars; rare art; jewelry; homes and coveted tickets for sporting and entertainment events. Thanks to a late-2017 partnership with asset management firm Apis Capital Management, its customers can also trade cryptocurrencies over different exchanges.
“I’m converting people’s crypto and enabling people who are 16 to buy cars. These people are not known to credit cards, banks or dealerships. We have a lot of demographics between 18 and 35,” says Elizabeth White.
Its stablecoin, the white standard (WSD), is backed by the U.S. dollar on a 1-to-1 ratio and can be used for consumer and business transactions.
Last week, The White Company announced it would be working with Fintech Ltd, a Cameroon-based company whose Interstellar Decentralized Exchange platform (based on the Stellar network) will provide an exchange and wallet. The company also said it was introducing pound- and euro-backed white standard stablecoins, which will be available for purchase and retrieval on the Interstellar protocol.
White, who races in car rallies worldwide when she’s not running her company or co-hosting the Car Lifestyle podcast, spoke with ThirtyK, along with Edgar Radjabli, a managing partner at Apis Capital Management who is also The White Company’s finance and operations manager.
ThirtyK: How did you become interested in cryptocurrency?
White: About four years ago, my group of friends and I were were buying bitcoin (BTC) at under $1,000. Bitcoin kept rising. That’s when it became apparent to create The White Company, which is a pairing of my real-world network to the cryptocurrency world. A lot of my clients have more wealth in cryptocurrency than they do in [the] real world, and creating a facilitation point to spend their wealth was attractive … I was able to buy Lamborghinis, art, houses [for people].
ThirtyK: Who are your clients?
White: We’ve sold Lamborghinis in places like Brazil, Poland, the Middle East, the U.S. A lot [of clients] are on the younger side — un-databased consumers. I’m converting people’s crypto and enabling people who are 16 to buy cars. These people are not known to credit cards, banks or dealerships. We have a lot of demographics between 18 and 35. Once bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were more established around November, December, we saw money managers, family management portfolios coming to us [to cash in and cash] because they were looking to diversify their holdings.
Securing a Competitive Rate
ThirtyK: Why is this service beneficial to high-net-worth individuals?
Radjabli: The biggest challenge in crypto was most people were not able to buy and sell large amounts of cryptocurrency. Their limit was $25,000 a week on Coinbase (Coinbase recently raised its limit for verified users to $25,000 a day). If they invested early in bitcoin, there’s no way they could use [the full amount they had] for weeks.
ThirtyK: If I wanted to buy an island with cryptocurrency, could you execute the transaction?
Radjabli: We don’t have any limitation. You have a purchase you want to do, and we’re always looking to get a competitive rate for bitcoin to fiat. The main ones are bitcoin, ether (ETH), bitcoin cash (BCH) and stellar (XLM). We have the ability to work with pretty much every cryptocurrency.
ThirtyK: Are you brokering these transactions?
White: I am able to negotiate on behalf of my clients. We have real-time pricing, also on the stablecoin if people want to convert [it] into cash. There’s never any question that today it’s going to be 12 bitcoins, tomorrow, 18. You can lock in a price.
ThirtyK: Why did you opt for a stablecoin and Stellar over Ethereum?
White: There’s a lot of scalability building on the Stellar protocol. There are minimal fees. It’s flexible because any token, once you’ve built on Stellar, you’re added to the Stellar decentralized exchange, which allows your token to be traded by anyone who is registered with Stellar.
ThirtyK: It ensures transparency, as well.
White: With Stellar’s mission being in financial payments, that’s another synergy. We are all about safety, security [and] transparency, which for a dollar-backed coin is important. We have third-party monthly audits by a CPA, and our daily balance from our bank account showing live, as well as links to the public ledger showing how many coins we have in circulation. … We allow anyone … to cash out from their white standard dollar to cash for free. Because we’ve had so much success with this and have a lot of international clients, we’re doing a white standard euro and pound.
A Dollar-Backed Coin
ThirtyK: Would you describe the white standard and its status?
White: The white standard is a dollar-backed, one-to-one coin that is created when a dollar is put on deposit. We’ve been live for two months. We’re doing solutions and payments for consumer to consumer, consumer to business, and business to business. Our wallet system is called the White Wallet.
ThirtyK: You have a new merchant processor.
White: Our merchant processor enables merchants to accept bitcoin, bitcoin cash, [ether] and XLM or our white standard dollar for purchases. Once we get the crypto that is not white standard, we put that on deposit as a white standard coin. Some merchants want 24-hour settlements, some want batch payments once a week. We’re doing that currently for dealerships, art auction houses, people testing the space.