Podcast No. 37 in English
Today is August 25th, 2021.
The previous podcast No. 36 was about DNA preservation.
DNA preservation is much securer than cryogenic technology.
BTW, in the USA, if you were to be cryogenically “stored”, there’s no death certificate.
It means “YOU ARE NOT DEAD BUT PRESERVED”, but in real life, no one has yet come back and the companies which service it don’t guarantee the “preserved” to come back to life again.
This week’s episode is about NFT in the funeral business.
What is NFT?
This is the definition from Wikipedia which is very well written and I wish to share.
A non-fungible token (NFT) is a unit of data stored on a digital ledger, called a blockchain, that certifies a digital asset to be unique and therefore not interchangeable.
NFT used in the funeral market in Japan, what is it and how?
Let me give you a very simple example of how to use a NFT managed microphone for a rock group lead singer, let’s say, one of Mick Jagger’s.
Let’s say that I’m using the same one.
Even though they are the same microphones, the one which is owned and offered to be sold on the used market by Mick Jagger is definitely higher in price than the one I’m selling.
They are the same microphone but who previously owned it?
Yes, the lead singer of the Rolling Stones, Mick Jagger and not me.
NFT is a way of using blockchains to manage the “value” of the item.
Then comes the business part under funerals.
If some of the items that you own have a higher value in the market, it can be monitored using a blockchain called NFT. At this point, please disregard the tax you might be getting for inheritance or sales after that.
NFT or even blockchains are looked at as a ponzi scheme by many critics.
What’s a ponzi scheme?
It’s a scheme that people support the pay of the first people in the market.
Yes, the Multi-Level Marketing, the MLM.
In order for not becoming a ponzi scheme, usually if controlled properly, NFT shouldn’t become a MLM, the market needs a proper appraiser. But the economics of supply and demand comes to a place and prices rise accordingly.
In order to use it for the funeral business, we need a proper appraiser and a relic collector such as I introduced the company called Keepers to determine the correct selling value.
But we would have to call the appraiser each time when someone is doing inheritance.
There are items used that depreciate in certain years under taxation laws.
One good example is used cars.
Under the Japanese taxation laws, people (especially companies) can write it off in 2 years.
The value becomes zero in the book keeping.
Let’s say you purchased a used luxurious car for 30,000 dollars (about 3M yen), a Lexus.
After two years, the value is zero and you need not to pay tax on the asset after that, although there is a special tax for just owning a car.
The company can sell the car at any price (even zero or a minimum of that car tax).
There is no more luxury tax or such that needs to be paid extra.
NFT can be used to track who the car is owned by and the current market value (supply and demand) outside of tax value.
Usually, cars owned by anyone won’t have any difference in the value but if it were Mick Jagger’s car, the value would surely rise after being sold to anyone and beyond.
Then why use such a scheme?
People want to retain value for items owned.
It’s a psychological effect that people don’t want to be cheated out of their pocket even with items not owned. If they don’t own, how could they be cheated out of their pocket?
This is the scheme that keeps NFT and it’s value in relics.
It is not theirs until properly inherited but they wish to have it sold at a proper market value or even higher.
When it comes to getting rid of the relics, it’s bad enough that the surviving family has to release it at a dirt cheap price or even pay money to have it thrown out to trash. They all want to be reimbursed for their effort of cleaning the house.
The next question is that would this idea of using NFT kick in the funeral market?
The answer, I do not know yet.
The reason is that NFT just picked up this year in Japan but still not really understood.
There are no real standards of which NFT should be used.
BTW, Facebook does NOT want to use Bitcoins for their transaction of NFT according to an article in Business Insider.
But once there is a standard, such as companies like Mercari or Yahoo/Zozo conglomerate decides and guarantees the items sold on the market as the real McCoy and not a fake item, it should pick on.
But, when will that be?
It’s up to them.
This wraps up the story today.
Thank you for listening.
We have to realize that funeral homes need to market using a different method.
People in the death industry have to use not just brochures and pamphlets and YouTube.
Actually, not too many funeral parlors use YouTube for marketing.
Podcasts have been around for almost 20 years since the first iPod appeared on October 23rd, 2001. Yes, that was 20 years ago.
Due to the boom of ClubHouse, talk shows have been given a second thought.
Twitter, Spotify, and even Facebook are in the show.
But the problems of ClubHouse and many radio shows are that you need to listen when it’s broadcasting and there’s no archive.
Podcasts are a simple method for people to catch up on what they have missed.
Funeral business is dying due to the shrinking market.
Undertakers need to realize many of these religious rituals are not welcome anymore but when they are needed, explanation is necessary for all sales.
And I know it’s easier said than done.
Undertakers need to use a special landing page for marketing on the internet.
It’s not only the cost that matters. It’s the cost performance which is the value of the funeral and not the least, great customer experience.
BTW, I’m doing a landing page creation session.
Keeping up with the clients is necessary but who wants to hear from a mortician?
Teach the clients some tricks of keeping funeral costs down and benefits of using different lawyers specializing for their purposes.
I just guided a person in the Facebook group so that a surviving family can have a little more ideas of what to do after the funeral of their loved ones.
These are the values that you can’t buy with money.
It’s called sincerity.
Thank you very much for listening to my podcast and please subscribe.
A Book about me, can be bought from Amazon Japan called “死神と呼ばれた男” meaning “The Man Who’s Called the Reaper”, which will be published in English by September as well.
I’ll be holding an event called the “Book Break” at FCCJ, the foreign press club in Tokyo on September 29th.
This was your host, Yuusuke Wada, probably the only funeral business podcaster in Japan and signing off.