Rare Violin Tokenized to Secure Multi-Million Dollar Loan

A rare violin once owned by Catherine the Great is being used as collateral for a multi-million-dollar loan. On June 4th, Galaxy Digital issued the loan to the co-founder of Animoca Brands, Yat Siu, using a Stradivarius violin from 1708 and its NFT counterpart as collateral.

While the exact loan amount was not disclosed, it is said to be in “in the millions.” The violin was purchased by Siu in 2023 for over $9 million, and is currently valued around that price.

The main reason for the high price tag is the rich history of the violin. It was first owned by Empress Elisabeth Petrovna, who reigned over the Russian Empire between 1741 to 1762. Upon her death, the violin was gifted to Catherine the II, also known as Catherine the Great.

Galaxy Digital is a digital assets firm founded by Michael Novogratz in 2018. Headquartered in New York, the company seeks to connect clients to the growing digital economy by providing services in crypto trading, lending, investing, and much more.

In a process known as tokenization, Galaxy Digital minted the violin as an NFT and is holding both the physical and digital version until the loan is settled by Siu. According to the news, the rare collectible is being safely secured in Hong-Kong.

Animoca Brands is a software and VC firm founded in 2014 by David Kim and Yat Siu. In 2018, the company pivoted to blockchain-based gaming and non-fungible tokens, and has been very active in the Web3 space ever since.

Tokenization Continues to Evolve

The exchange between Yat Siu and Digital Galaxy is another example of rare art and collectibles entering the Web3 space via non-fungible tokens, and it speaks to the ever-evolving nature of asset tokenization — a sector of Web3 that’s becoming increasingly popular and more sophisticated.

At Rarity Sniper, we’ve covered dozens of articles about tokenization in recent months and years. Here are some of the top headlines:

There are several benefits to tokenization, not least of which are the opportunities it enables in the crypto lending space. As time goes on, we expect the fusion of rare art and collectibles with blockchain technology will keep evolving, and crypto lending will become more advanced and secure as it matures.

At Rarity Sniper, we’ll be on the lookout for any updates to this story. To stay on top of the latest Web3 and NFT news, subscribe to our free weekly newsletter The Sniper’s Nest.