NFTs Have Officially Spread to the Cigar Market

When asked about NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), most people have one of two responses: “I haven’t heard of them—what are they?” or “I’ve heard of them—what are they?”

Now, I’m not going to try to fully explain the NFT phenomenon in this blog when it usually takes a long-form article. Suffice it to say that NFTs are like art for the digital sphere, complete with auctions. People bid on digital images to claim ownership of them. Even though the artist who created the image often retains the copyright, NFTs allow people to purchase the “original” of a digital image.

That may sound strange, but a shocking number of celebrities and brands have already jumped on board, from the NBA to William Shatner. Earlier this week, United Cigar announced that they’re getting in on the action too.

Oliver Nivaud, the director of operations at United Cigar, is at the helm of a new group within the company called Concept Cigars. As the name suggests, Concept Cigars is focused on producing cigar concepts that could possibly be used or improved upon to manufacture actual cigars. Think of them as prototypes for a car.

These concepts are now being used by United Cigar as NFTs. Working with the designer Nelson Alfonso, Nivaud landed on a concept for a cigar with an Atabey Ritos blend cloaked in an Ecuadorian maduro wrapper. Ten boxes and 25 single-cigar concepts were produced and are available (for now) via the online auction house Open Sea.

It’s also worth noting that the money from these NFT sales is not simply going into a few pockets that are already sufficiently lined. Instead, 2021 profits from these NFTs will go to Cigar Rights of the World, a smokers’ rights organization that we’ve previously highlighted. As Nivaud stated, “You cannot smoke an Atabey Black Cigar or any future NFT Concept Cigars, but I hope they can help the cigar industry.”

No matter how tech-savvy or analog you are, that’s easy to get behind.


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