The idea that a luxury concierge could solely exist to serve the cryptocurrency market would have seemed like folly even a few short years ago, but it is becoming more and more commonplace as digital currency grows into the mainstream – and nowadays you’ll find a number of exclusive vendors catering to the needs of crypto’s rich and powerful.
However, one female entrepreneur had the foresight to see this coming – and has been reaping the rewards since 2017. Elizabeth White traded in the relative security of a role in ‘traditional’ finance to dip her toe into the crypto experiment – carving out an exclusive and powerful niche catering to the types of people who had won big on smart trading platforms like the Bitcoin Billionaire app website.
Elizabeth, an alumna of New York University’s business school, dabbled in crypto back in 2011, out of personal curiosity, but quickly mobilised to deliver a concierge service, named The White Company, in 2017, capitalising on the famous Bitcoin boom of that same year to offer high-end and luxury items exclusively in cryptocurrency.
“After becoming fascinated with crypto I was looking for ways to merge my two passions, resulting in the launch of The White Company in 2017,” she told Medium. “My first sale was a laptop in early 2017, but quickly moved to larger, more expensive items such as Lamborghinis and other rare items/experiences.”
“From purchasing laptops to Lamborghinis in only three months’ time, I rapidly grew my active high-net worth client base, facilitating purchases of artwork, homes, electronics, exclusive travel experiences, and over a dozen Lambos.”
It was not just simply a case of right place, right time, for White, though – and her understanding of wealth management, and the traits behind the investors, proved crucial in getting her luxury platform off the ground.
In an interview with Forbes, White explained: “In 2017, cryptocurrency experienced a huge bull market, making many small investors, bitcoin miners and entrepreneurs in the space very wealthy.
“The majority of those new ‘crypto wealthy’ were younger, and all had a sense that this could go away just as quickly as they got it. They wanted to spend and enjoy their wealth, rather save and invest like is common for old wealth.
“Most of them were not able to easily exchange the cryptocurrency into cash, due to restrictions and limitations on exchanges, etc. I worked with Apis Capital Management to provide liquidity to the White Company and enable us to easily accept cryptocurrency as payments while paying vendors in fiat [traditional] currency.”
Of course, another trait of cryptocurrency investors is that they tend to like to remain anonymous – and the anonymity is a central tenet of the broader digital currency experiment. As such, The White Company was, reportedly, the first broker to offer delivery of luxury items on an anonymous basis – and the company mediated deals for unnamed clients on anything from Lamborghini automobiles to boxes for the Super Bowl, all within months of launching.
For many entrepreneurs, it would be tempting to continue to focus on the luxury concierge industry, but White had much bigger plans for her crypto empire. While other brokers followed suit into the luxury goods industry, The White Company has diversified in the crypto market more broadly, offering up its own cryptocurrency exchange, The White Wallet, a cryptocurrency debit card, The White Card, its own crypto merchant processing platform, White Pay, and even a stablecoin (a type of cryptocurrency which attempts to offer a stable price by being backed by a reserve asset, in this case, $USD) – The White Standard.
She said: “The cryptocurrency boom has created a new asset class, bringing forward newly wealthy individuals who were experimenting with mining bitcoin or buying various coins in the early days.”
“Usability is one thing really holding crypto back from mainstream adoption and is exactly what we’re addressing at The White Company. Because of this, we’ve been able to help so many people buy things with crypto that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford with fiat.”
“This includes helping a 16-year-old purchase his first car, a Nissan GT-R with bitcoin he owned from mining it and even an engagement ring and then their honeymoon for another client. Real world purchases that enhance their lives and are only possible through using their crypto.”
As far as White, and her now dozen-strong senior team at The White Company, is concerned, cryptocurrency is the future. And as for White, well, she’s more than happy to continue to make her mark in a painfully male-dominated industry.
She said: “Most of my life has been spent in male-dominated industries. It was tough to break through in the auto and racing world, but through pure perseverance I was able to make my mark.”
“The crypto world is no different. Women need to take credit for their work, not be afraid to get involved and engage in the important dialogues occurring both online and in-person at conferences, events and meetups.”