Even after reading the whitepaper and other information we have put out through online publications and our website, many still don’t get why we decided to digitize Larimar and run to the blockchain to fix our issues. This information presented on this page is a more intimate and detailed account for why we decided to do it and how we are correcting the problems that have held us back in the past.
To better understand the business of Larimar, it is helpful to mention factual numbers. In the year 2010, Larimar exports were only US$60 million. The international demand for the gem has since then more than doubled. In the year 2014, a study conducted by the government concluded that the Larimar trade in the tourism sector moves more than US$300 millions per year and in international exports there is an added value of US$177.3 million. These figures, together, can almost reach half a billion dollars.
Now that we understand that just in the year 2014, government numbers valued the Larimar trade at almost half a billion dollars, it is imperative that we state what amount of the US$477.3 million (now more in 2018) reached our mining community, which constitutes hundreds of workers and our families and are the ones with the hardest task of excavating the gems. The answer is not more than 2%.
This is quite an unfair number and we are not going to blame it all on external problems. A lot if it is due to the lack of organization, optimized processes and accountability practices in the mining community. The lack of education and awareness of the industry, coupled with the element of poverty, ensures that the status quo remains in place. For someone that is hungry, it makes no sense to wait until tomorrow for a better price or a better deal when they can at least can try putting food on their family’s table today. So, they rather take US$0.15 cents per gram of Larimar today than US$5.00 in the future.
Not all the problems come from within, most of them are external. The foreign exporters (not the ones that belong to our community) know the conditions of the mining community and the artisans and they abuse it, purposely. By keeping our community impoverished they secure those low prices, the continuation of shady deals and the expansion of a black market.
Though our community has our own exporters and distributors, for years the lack of infrastructure, especially the internet and lack of other language skills, means that there is a very big disadvantage when compared to the foreign exporters and distributers. We are about 20 years behind. We didn’t have the reach, the connections and quite frankly the ability to do what their foreign counterparts have accomplished.
We must say that these things are changing and thus the reason for addressing it in a past tense. The ICO has giving Larimar an exposure it never had before and retailers have started to contact us directly.
At the end of summer in 2017, our community was having one of its meetings and the main talking point was about how members were giving up on the mining of Larimar, there simply wasn’t any money on it. There were talks about giving up the mining rights granted to them by presidential decree and we were thinking about taking on of one the multiple offers by the foreign investors.
At this point, one of the miners’ son, who had been away for four years in Europe on a foreign scholarship, decided to speak. He addressed the group and said that bringing in foreign investors would mean much of the same, a lot of work for little pay. He explained to us that the main problem was that we had no control of the Larimar trade even though we had full control of the mines. If things were going to change, we would have to change the way of doing things, to include the changing of customers (foreign exporters).
This is when the idea of tokenizing Larimar, creating the receivership warehouse, the artisan camp, the Atlantis Blue Exchange and the Fair Trade Larimar campaign were presented. These things together, if implemented accordingly, would give our community control of the Larimar trade and ensure that the community receives a bigger portion of the pie than just two percent as well as cut out the black market and the fake larimar plague that has gone wild in Asia.
After our community agreed that running to the blockchain and tokenizing Larimar was the way forward, we still had the responsibility to ensure that future customers, the ones who will purchase the tokens, would be making a secured investment. It was explained how digital currencies were so volatile and this could be a problem, especially since our community was handing over pricing of the gems to the token buyers. We did not want the token market to affect the physical market if it was lower, because this would hurt our investors.
Economic and business reports were sanctioned in regards to the Larimar trade and this is when we truly woke up to the value that the luxury retail market of Larimar had already obtained. It was like a punch in the gut! It was unbelievable for us to read that a gram of AAA+ (highest grade) Larimar was going for over a hundred dollars in several places. After reading it several times we thought that the report was flawed, that it was too favorable to our cause and we decided to order another independent report from second independent party. The results were almost the same but we repeated this four times and the last report, the most conservative of all, was the one adopted.
It is important to note that all the reports’ numbers fell within a five percent margin of each other. Basically, they were all on point. Larimar prices were more than doubling every two years and in the luxury retail sector prices for a gram of AAA+ Larimar was selling for an average of $149.
With these numbers, our group devised a dynamic to further protect the investors in which token buyers would make the most secure investment and have a win-win-win situation for all participants, the miners and artisans group, the token investors and the retailers.
The AB Exchange (Atlantis Blue Exchange) number one job is to act as a safety net for investors should the token prices get too low during volatility periods. By now, everyone knows that people will be able to exchange their tokens for physical Larimar, but what they might not be informed about is that the AB Exchange will also give them the option to sell their physical Larimar for them, to a third party, once redeemed.
Everyone should remember that our mining community decided to switch our clientele. Therefore, once the AB Exchange is up and running, for example, and you have a jeweler that wants to make a purchase, his funds will not go into the Atlantis Blue coffins. Those funds will be digitized and traded for ABDT in the market, preferably the SDEX, and then the physical Larimar will be given to the jeweler and those tokens will be burnt, never to be seen again.
By adopting this practices the Atlantis Blue team makes sure to protect the its investors by giving its investors access to both worlds, the physical market and the digital one.
The AB Exchange will be the donkey of our operations. It will serve to store, distribute, auction and resell Larimar for our token holders.
It is impossible to make everyone happy. Even if you produce documents to show your legitimacy, many will still not believe. It doesn’t matter if the information can be accessed via public venues and if you point these naysayers in that direction so that they might find the truth for themselves. For the sake of never doing it again, we will post here the presidential decrees granting our community sole mining rights and other documents that might be relevant to our project.