A Dubai-made stunt car used in Fast & Furious 7, which was partly filmed in Abu Dhabi, is set to go on sale in the world's first non-fungible tokens (NFT) car auction which will see the buyer own both the physical and digital asset.
The Lykan HyperSport stunt car, the only one of 10 to survive the filming of Furious 7, was built by Dubai-based W Motors and featured in scenes with stars Vin Diesel and the late Paul Walker, crashing through some of the most famous landmarks in the UAE.
The car, which was built purely as a stunt vehicle and is not street legal, is being marketed by RubiX, a premium NFT marketplace, which will oversee the first physically-backed on-chain automotive NFT.
While the auction on May 11 has a reserve price, Géraldine Monchau, chief business officer of RubiX Network, which has offices in the US and Geneva, said the price is expected to exceed $1 million.
"The bids can be started at $100,000 but the expectation is to reach at least $1 million, but you never know with this crypto market, people are completely crazy. Last week, we had an auction where we sold a picture for $10 million," Ms Monchau told The National.
NFT stands for non-fungible token, a type of digital asset verified using blockchain technology. NFTs are increasingly popular in the art world because they make a file unique by allowing it to be permanently authenticated, regardless of copies.
In a record-setting auction at Christie's, an NFT by American artist Mike Winkelmann, known as Beeple, sold for nearly $70m in March, raising the profile of NFTs which some artists and collectors see as key to the future of the art market.
The W Motors Lykan HyperSport NFT will offer the buyer not only ownership of the actual car - which is stored in a glass box complete with scars and imperfections from filming - but also the digital asset, with the cost of shipping the item to the buyer’s home also thrown in.
The auction’s highest bidder will also receive a NFT package, including a collage of exclusive images of the Lykan HyperSport stunt car, a unique video and lifelike 3D renderings of the stunt car built on-chain on the RubiX blockchain with DID security.
"There were 10 cars built for the movie but this is the only one that survived, so this one is really a collector. It has a small motor inside but it is only for use on a private road, you cannot go on a public road because it would not be covered by insurance."
The car, currently on display at the W Motors Gallery in Dubai, will also come engraved with an irreplicable QR code (visual crypto) on its chassis to prove ownership.
Ralph Debbas, chief executive of W Motors, said it is the first company to implement NFT technology in the automotive arena, something he said adds “another impressive notch to our belt and signals a new way to sell luxury, investment-grade vehicles in a manner that guarantees provenance, security and ownership of the asset”.
Set up in 2012, W Motors claims to be the first manufacturer of high-performance luxury sports cars in the Middle East.
The production of its first hypercar, the Lykan HyperSport, catapulted the company to international stardom when it took centre stage in Universal Studios' Furious 7, with about 30 minutes of the movie filmed in Abu Dhabi in 2013.
The action includes one of the most daring stunts ever seen in the series, when a car crashes out of an upper-floor window in one of the Etihad Towers buildings, flying through the air and smashing through to land in another of the towers – and then repeating the jump to a third tower.
W Motors has also created the world’s most advanced security vehicle, the Ghiath Beast Patrol for Dubai Police, which features cutting- edge technologies.
“By partnering with RubiX for the launch of our first asset-backed NFT, we are paving the way for the future of NFTs within the automotive space, and this is only the beginning for us, Mr Debbas said.
The Lykan HyperSport NFT will be backed by RubiX’s proprietary patented technology, which incorporates the users’ Passwordless Digital Identity (DID) and unique QR Codes that require authentication for NFT access, preventing the loss or theft of keys.
The digital assets used for a RubiX NFT are stored on the RubiX blockchain, not on a centralised server, meaning ownership of the digital asset cannot be accessed by other parties and provides true ownership of the asset.
While RubiX is now accepting pre-bids for the W Motors Lykan HyperSport NFT, the live auction will take place on May 11.
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