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A Killer 14+ Person Expert Panel on Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Mar 9, 2021 ·

By Tom Shaughnessy


Delphi Podcast Host Tom Shaughnessy hosts a clubhouse of 13+ experts to discuss non-fungible tokens. The experts discuss their favorite NFTs, the difference between following NFT projects and individual creators, the benefits of NFTs over the traditional world of collectibles and much more.

This podcast aired first on Clubhouse on March 1, 2021 and all speakers gave their consent to e recorded. Follow us on Clubhouse here.

The full interview transcript is available below!

Every Delphi Podcast is dropped first as an audio interview for Delphi Digital Subscribers. Our members also have access to full interview transcripts. Join today to get our interviews, first.


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Interview Transcript


Hi everyone, Welcome to Delphi’s Clubhouse room. We’re going to be talking about investing in NFTs, and we’re also going to be talking about why Cooper is so tall. So hope everyone’s excited. Hey, Alex, saw you joined in. Just FYI, this room is being recorded. I got everyone’s consent beforehand and it will go on our podcast channel, on the Delphi Podcast. So excited for everyone to be here. It’s a busy room. We’re going to keep it to an hour, so everyone’s got 10 to 15 seconds to do their intros. We’ll go just top of the line down. So Giamanti, Billy, Cooper and we’ll go from there. Giamanti, kick us off.


Hey, how are you? I’m Giamanti. I’m an investor/collector in NFTs, originally from a [inaudible 00:00:42] background and going head-first into in the NFT rabbit hole.


What’s up, everyone? I’m Billy. Been in the space since around 2012. Been involved in Ethereum since 2014, helped start the blockchain consulting practice at Ernest & Young, and then was at Consensus four years, and then recently started a company called Layer Zero, and thanks for having me on stage.


What’s up, guys? I’m Cooper. Currently building a trader economy [inaudible 00:01:10], doing a lot of work around social tokens and collecting a lot of NTFs, so excited to be here.


Thanks for having me, Tom. Jake Brukhman, CEO and founder of CoinFund, which is a crypto fund and also an early investor in the NFT space. I’m also a curator and FirstEdition.XYZ, and digital NFT curator.


Thanks for having me, Tom, also. I’m Sam. Bis Dev at Async Art, and also a creator of music NFTs with a professional choir ensemble called [inaudible 00:01:42] Ensemble.




Hello, I’m Douglas. I’m a [inaudible 00:01:51] dealer. Been in this space for five years. My background is [inaudible 00:01:56], digital [inaudible 00:01:59] software consulting and developing company, and I guess I like NFTs.


Brian. Used to work at [inaudible 00:02:06] doing a bunch of stuff. Now working on Rabbit Hole to help people learn about crypto and earn tokens.


Hi, guys. James [inaudible 00:02:20]. Managing partner for a crypto investment fund. Been in this space for a while. Delphi caught my attention back in 2017-2018, and then lately these past couple months NFTs, particularly at the intersection of Delphi and NFTs. Thanks for having me.


[inaudible 00:02:44]. We’re the social token incubator and contributor to The Mint Fund where we help artists mint their first NFTs. Glad to be here.


Hey, everyone. I’m Alex. I’m the co-founder at Show Time, which is an NFT network that [inaudible 00:03:01], and super stoked to be here. And I think I’m taller than Cooper.


Oh, wow. All right, good. That part of the conversation is over. Guys, we’ll keep this conversation, so don’t worry about me. Feel free to ask each other questions, dive in. But somebody please give us a 30 second overview on what an NFT is, because I’m sure there’s people new to this that haven’t been sloshing around Clubhouse. Jake, I feel like you’ve got a good overview, but go deeper.


Okay. I was like, “Don’t jump all at once, guys.” So an NFT is a blockchain record that represents some digital content. Perhaps some physical object in the future. NFTs to me, I always say it’s not what an NFT is, it’s how we design NFTs. I think we should design NFTs as, and I’ve put this forward in an article in our blog, as a liquid intellectual property right, or just property rights towards initially digital content and then eventually more broad asset classes of physical goods.


It’s pretty cool, guys. So why are NFTs so popular right now? I feel like it’s a lot of just massive speculation on Twitter. Every time I open it I feel like I see a new $10 million sale or $30 million sale. What kicked off just this NFT craze and why is it so popular this week, last week?


I feel like it’s a cultural movement. I think that for a long time in crypto, it’s been very tribal and trading based, and I think with NFTs we’re seeing the formation of these microeconomies, crypto [inaudible 00:04:41] being a good example where people can really rally behind creators and different communities and what now, and form their own niches and have high status goods that represent them. So I think especially in the last couple weeks, just the proliferation of very intricate NFT communities has led to people trying to figure out how to become a part of those and have a narrative around it.


And to add to what Cooper said, I think the introduction of collectibles like [inaudible 00:05:10] has really helped a lot, because I think collectibles is something everyone innately understands, right? We all collected something, whatever it was when we were kids. So to finally see that in a digital form with digital scarcity, I think has really helped people understand the value of a digital good.


[inaudible 00:05:31] and now they’re able to generate revenue, so this has driven up a bunch of this attention. People very popular are making money and talking about it.


Yeah, I was going to say, in another room someone asked, “Why is this time different than 2017?” Because a lot of the same artists and what have you were interested back then, and it was [inaudible 00:05:51] who said this, which is, “COVID has really hurt creatives and artists,” and that has really been a catalyst for why this time there’s much, much more interest from tier one artists to really do this. And I think last weekend, I guess it was this weekend, Justin [inaudible 00:06:09] I think it will be a shattering moment in the industry where a lot of artists just realize, “Holy shit, this is real.” A Patreon model of sorts that can be done on chain.


I’ll take the opposite side here, actually, to everyone else here. I think it’s because so much money was made during the bull run that people have money to spend on digital goods. Just [inaudible 00:06:33] consumer spending, so you can just splurge on these crypto pods, and [inaudible 00:06:39], and things of that nature.


But how do you explain top shots, though? How do you explain top shots? Because I think most of the new users from Flow are not Ethereum native. I mean maybe some, but I think there’s a whole new … I want to say, if you look at the Venn diagram of new crypto wealth and non-crypto wealth, or just users, I would almost reckon that there’s some overlap, but I think a lot of the capital that is coming in for top shots is not particularly your traditional [inaudible 00:07:10] buyer.


The number I’m interested in is the number of collectors. If the number of unique collectors is increasing over time, then we know this is a trend that stays the same. If it’s just volume going up, it means it’s just … It’s more of the same capital kind of being recycled here. You make a really good point, but it’s kind of hard to tell to see if these are actually new collectors verses just [inaudible 00:07:33], because that’s kind of the main metrics that we’re seeing right now.


I think you guys are all right. I would add, just thinking from the artist’s perspective, I’ve always thought for the last couple of years that creatives, and especially artists were some of the best candidates for non-technical and non-financial early adopters of block chain. I kind of said this in other clubs houses, but it’s a group of people who are really interested in technology, there’s a new media art movement, started at the turn of the century and continues today, marrying art and tech. They’re willing to do weird things with apps, with electronics, with vine ether. They’re willing to experiment. And as such, they become a great user group. And what we’re seeing also is a kind of a critical mass of NFT technology.


For long time, NFTs were accessible only to folks who could replace [inaudible 00:08:34], but now you can go on Rareable and mint one for, hopefully a few bucks. And so, I think that also has played a role. We’ve been on a 20 year timeline of artists and technology sort of mixing together, and now finally it’s found am monetization model. And certainly there’s an element of speculation here, which we could talk about, that that’s part of it too.


Guys, why is there a dichotomy in the space between NFTs that are artwork, or fun, or collectables, and those that are generating yield? Doesn’t every NFT have the ability to generate a yield? I mean even something as simple as a painting or an image could be seamlessly brought to a museum in virtual reality or something like that. And this might be a laudable question, I guess what do NFTs unlock from a yield generating perspective that isn’t available in the real world, or is new in crypto?


I think what we’re kind of seeing is this paradime shift in investing where you’re no long really investing in an asset. Because previously what happened to me is I didn’t invest in a bunch of these governance tokens, because they didn’t really have a use case. But what happened was now you’re investing in people, and you’re investing in communities. Because you can retroactively add kind of yield or any other use case to any token. And so what I thing we’re seeing is people just investing in people and communities that they believe in, maybe in hopes that later down the line there will be some other use cases generated for the absence that they hold.


Yeah, I mean Tom, that’s a really good point. I’ve been thinking a lot about what … I mean a lot of the focus in NFTs right now is art, but I think art’s just a vehicle, a proof on concept to bring this idea … I think I’m excited about the usability of NFTs via NFTX, or N20, or some of these other platforms that are allowing you to get liquidity on non-fundable assets. And I think you start with art, you expand it to real estate, and a number of other things. Which I think for me was a-ha moment, because in 2017 the Crypto Kitty, I sort of brushed it off and then I think to your point, we’re seeing some charged particles, which is, no pun intended, energizing these NFTs by [inaudible 00:11:00] construct, depositing in there a token.


But yeah, this idea, [inaudible 00:11:07], just tokenizing insurance contracts were liquid and nexus, and just create a secondary market off of that. And so I’m excited about that, because I think with he usability … I mean surely there’s always going to be, a think a subset of NFT investors that are the same people that show up in [inaudible 00:11:23] and buy a $6.6 million peephole. That’s fine, they just want to collect it. But I think there’s a whole subset, I hear. What I’m excited about is really and this intersection of Delphi and NFTs, where you bring usability to NFTs, we bring … And the that component, I think is some thing that we just haven’t see the [inaudible 00:11:42] world. And I’m super excited, because I think that really unlocks so many different primates and use cases that my imagination doesn’t stretch that far, but it’d be awesome to have a self destruct NFT, if you see a token. To weaken, right, if the market tanks and you sell your whatever token, it has an NFT attached to it and it self destructs. I creates a really [inaudible 00:12:03], and it brings emotional value to otherwise things that don’t necessarily have an emotional value. But NFTs really do, right? Art does, or music does, right?So I’m excited about that so I’m constantly kind of looking for those kind of use cases.


And to build on what Santiago just said, is the way I fell into NFTs, I was involved in Ashard, and then I was planning on selling it at once I uncharted it. And what I ended up doing was I ended up depositing it on [inaudible 00:12:37] to see if I could use it as loans to get a collateral, right? And within two or three days, I was able to get a loan. And when it happened, that was an a-ha moment that I think the first time I experienced that in Delphi was with [Avi 00:12:51], and I was sitting … I’m like, Oh my God, what is this going to do for capital efficiency, right?”


Because right now I could have a $10 million piece of art hanging on my wall at home. And, yeah, it’s probably pretty easy to get a loan for that because there’ll be people that will insure it and all that, and the cost of doing that is high, so you need to have a high value product in order to do it. But I think as things get digitalized, you’re kind of going down the curve, and you’re making this …You’re increasing capital efficiency all the way down. And to me that’s kind of … That changes everything.


Are you guys concerned that a lot of the volume that we’re seeing is stuff that might be a little bubble-ish? Cooper, you just put out a post where basically I think you said that there’s over 100 million [inaudible 00:13:45] being sold on MBA Top Shots, there’s over 100 billion in crypto art sold on Crypto Ark [inaudible 00:13:50]. When do you guys feel that we’re not in a bubble, out of a bubble? And frankly, I love bubbles because it just spreads adoption in a viral way where it would never have without it, so I’m not one to shoot down at all.


Yes, I think that we’re definitely in a bubble, without a doubt. I was listening to Josh Richards and Dave [inaudible 00:14:11] podcast last night, and they were on a five minute riff about Top Shots, whether or not they’re buying them. That in and of itself is proven enough that we’re going through some sort of bubble here. But I think the good thing about it is that beyond this short term run up that’s happening with everyone looking to get their hands on NFTs, creators are exploring how to use this in a very serious way. And so in the same way that we saw a lot of really amazing governance tokens come out of the 2017 ICO boom, I think we’re going to see the same thing with NFTs where we’ll look back in five years and there will be some pretty incredible projects bought on these [inaudible 00:14:40].


Yeah, I agree. I definitely think that we are in a bubble, probably maybe early-middle stage. But what’s really interesting to me is whenever something comes back in a second cycle, bigger than it was before, that really kind of convinces me that there’s real merit there, as we saw with Bitcoin from in 2013 into 2017, and then Delphi, we saw that big explosion in 2017 and then it kind of collapsed but then came back bigger than ever before. And we’re kind of seeing a similar thing with NFTs, where back in 2017, I dismissed crypto kitties as well, “I don’t know I don’t know what the real value is.”


But then as I started to see this bubble come back, it makes you think there’s real value here. And I agree with I think a lot of the people here that it’s kind of captures maybe the general public’s interest initially with collectibles digital art, but like Santiago was saying, I think that there’s going to be a lot of intersection between Delphi and NFTs that they become these two powerful kind of market structures that are forming right now and it’ll be very interesting to see how those are integrated over the next few years.


Yeah, feels a little bubble-ish. Someone said that, I mean I think there is certainly … It coincides with the bull market in general with crypto, But yeah, I think we haven’t … I mean look at Top Shots, for instance, it’s just the NBA, right? And their partnership’s with a number of other sports leagues, I think all the sports leagues in the US. You have now other similar companies I think trying to tokenize and somehow create NFTs for sports leagues, I think there’s Premier League.


And a lot of this is kind of reminiscent of 2017, because people try to do it. But yeah, I don’t know if it’s this intersection. People are really bored at home with COVID, and this has become … Traditional, let’s talk a little bit about collectables like baseball cards, Pokemon cards, just going … We’re just a sort of seeing a renaissance, right? And [inaudible 00:16:31] too, I mean some of these markets have just taken off because I think people … It’s this kind of weird state of the world we’re living in where people are a bit more bored sitting at home.


Do you guys feel that … What are people actually getting when they buy NFTs today? What do you get from purchasing a Top Shop moment? What do you get from purchasing a Crypto Punk? And I guess my second question for the group is, is there an expectation that you’ll be able to use these things in the future, within potentially games, or sharing, or to generate yield, or is it basically just all TBD? Yeah, happy to … This would be a good question to ask around.


Well, [inaudible 00:17:13], but I’ll just be quick. I think for me, it’s sort of intuitively as we spend more time in the digital world, you want to dress up your identity in an interesting way, right? I mean, we have this idea of got one goods, which is sort of numbers correlation between utility and value, right? You have things like [inaudible 00:17:31] bags and just … I mean a bag is a bag, right? But these things cost tens of thousands of dollars and they’re really scarce. Now you have people … This intersection of humans always want to find a way to differentiate. You can always bet on that. Throughout history, you always want ways, and scarcity is very coveted and now you have a provable way of demonstrating that a punk is a punk, and you also have … What’s interesting here is you have a full chain of the life of said NFT, meaning the genesis, and how it traded hands, and you have hash mask, now you can infer the names of that.


I mean it’s pretty interesting like when you start seeing art, and you start saying, “Okay well, this hash mask has gone through and it was initially named X, and it had all these different owners, and the name has changed so much, and it actually … The data in and of itself is quite interesting and valuable, I think. And the second component I think … Around the usability, I’m not sure. I think some gamers apparently come … A lot of people in crypto come from World of Warcraft, and like disillusioned, dissatisfaction, bad experiences from not being able to use their skins or just being … I don’t know, had a bad experience. But I think for now it’s really just people want to have a way to differentiate, and we’re spending more time in the digital world and so naturally Crypto Punks, or what have you, become coveted kind of possessions, if you will.


And to build on that, I was actually out in Miami last weekend and I was shopping. And I’m around all these high end stores. And I was … I wanted to do some retail therapy, I wanted to do something. And as I was walking around, I was like, “This is kind of stupid, I have nowhere to buy my cool t-shirt, or wear my cool sneakers.” So I think you’ve seen a lot of have a movement towards that, probably on a massive scale. The way I feel maybe a lot of other people feel. And when I take a look at why I purchased my punk, is because I noticed pretty quickly once I was in the NFT world that some of the most OG guys, the guys that knew the most, the guys that were the most knowledgeable, and most helpful, and all these things. They had punks, right?


Because when I first got into NFTs, I was like, “No, I missed punks, I want to find the next punks.” And it wasn’t until I realized that that, I was like, “Oh my God, kids today view … They spend money on Fortnite skins, they spend money on stuff in Roblox. And those things don’t give you necessarily any extra utility, they’re literally just a visually appealing thing. And I think that the supercycle in the long term, which probably explains why we’re in a bubblicious state right now, is because the narrative is so good, right? The supercycle is for the next 50 years you’re going to have more of a digitalization of our lives. So you want to get in front of that cycle as early as you can.


Are you guys … I guess one thing I have a question on is a lot of the collectibles in the real world are based on brands that have been built up over the last 50-100 or more years. Baseball cards, Pokemon cards, take your pick. It seems like for these things to exist in crypto is tough because you run into IP issues. How do you guys envision the brands of crypto becoming tokenized? Do we have to create … We have to create our own brands from the get go and then tokenize their likeness.


Axe Infinity is creating an awesome community, these axes are worthwhile so people kind of want to buy them, they could also game with them but it’s kind of hard to port old brands to crypto, because of the IP issues, but it also takes a long time to build brands around the content and media that people would want to buy collectibles based on. I guess, are we going to have … Is it going to take some time to build these brands up in crypto, or do you think basically we’re just going to have NFTs that resemble, or are just linked to traditional old age brands?


I actually want to disagree with you slightly Tom, I think there’s a huge opportunity right now for traditional IP owners to do a conversion of their IP into this digital realm. And it’s sort of … Maybe not the kind of terminal way that people will be interacting with NFTs, but it’s definitely this prospect of tokenisation that unlocks tremendous a value. So if you’re someone who owns IP, imagine you’re a Disney, right? And you have lines of Disney movies, and Disney merchandise, and you’re realizing that taking some of this IP and making them into digital objects is actually a better way of interacting with audiences and creates more engagement, especially in this time of COVID.


The fact is that it costs you very little to tokenize them and put them on a blockchain, or into the digital domain. And the upside of that is huge, right? And so there’s actually, in my estimation, a number of big companies that are looking at folks like Top Shot, and then sort of looking at their stock of IP and being, “This is a really interesting opportunity in the context of consumer goods.”


And being a big [inaudible 00:22:58] investor I’m also privy to kind of the fact that there is a bunch of different companies that own IP that is trying to follow in the footsteps of of Top Shop. So I would say that. But your point is also about how do we build crypto native brands, which is also an interesting question.


No, that’s a great point, Jake. And just to follow up on that, do you think that these companies will actually be able … Be okay and understand all these benefits? Because from us standing here, it makes so much sense for Disney to tokenize characters, it means they can easily track them, they make money off them, they can expand their reach. But I guess I’m just wondering how up to speed these companies are, and if they’re actually open to doing this. I know you alluded to that they kind of already are.


Yeah, I have some data points around kind of who’s looking, what they’re thinking. I could say that it’s still very early, it’s … You have the heads of these, let’s call them consumer products divisions sort of having been plugged into into the NFT space. I was on the phone kind of giving a presentation on NFTs to one company. And I could tell you the questions in the audience ranged from, on one side, “What is a blockchain?” But then on the other side, “Wow, I can’t believe I didn’t know about NFTs before, this is mind blowing,” and this is so compatible with what they’re doing. So I think it’s very early but it also doesn’t take that much to have a movement into this world. And I think we’ll see that pretty soon.


I get the sense that big brands have less to gain, because they’re already so well known, and smaller brands that cut in their fans have more to gain from people being cut in on the rise of the brand.


Well I was kind of … Just to build off of that. So I think it was Breitling, that watch manufacturer that started issuing NFTs as a proof of ownership, and provenance, and authenticity. I don’t know if they’ve shelved that project or not, but certainly Breitling is not a small brand per se. But there’s this also element of, I guess the cool component of do you want to be that company that issues digital authenticity in a way that you can prove it, showcase it?


I don’t know if that’s something that you guys have been seeing, but I’m curious how much of it is, well consumers asked for it and therefore you adapt, or is it just smaller brands wanted to to just get ahead of it before and differentiate?


Yeah, I think a lot of this is a lot of these brands just want to digitalize the collectibles just to say they’re doing and just for the press and the headlines. There’s so Louis Vuitton things that are sort of in that realm as well. The fact is that Gen Z don’t really care about these IP brands at the end of the day. They’re mostly hanging out in internet culture with TikTokers and YouTubers. And those are those are kind of the new IP brands too, a lot of these Gen Z. And so I don’t think … I think a lot of IP brands will tend to do this, but I don’t think they’ll be successful in the long term just because they’ll be so much competition kind of among this younger crowd that kind of purchase NTFs.


So, what I’m really interested in is sort of this internet culture of YouTubers and TikTokers starting niche NFTs. But then even further, how crypto culture starts to compete with sort of the traditional internet culture. And I think the crypto culture is more centered around the concept of dows like Wall Street Bets. If Wall Street Bets is sort of like a brand in itself, that kind of competes with internet culture brands. I think those will be much more interesting brands that are selling NFTs versus these traditional IP brands and internet cultures. So to kind of sum up I think everyone’s going to be issuing NFTs, but the ones that are going to be successful are the ones that the users can feel like they actually can participate, and own, and be part of and shape the future of, and not just these IP brands that they were just a fan of maybe five or ten years ago.


Yeah, it makes a lot of sense, Brian. I’d like to go around the room and just kind of ask everyone what their favorite NFT project is, or what project they think is just a complete … Either a complete bubble, complete scam, won’t workout. And instead of just crushing a project, maybe just give a reason why you dislike it. So Giamanti, let’s start with you, we’ll go to Billy, and we’ll go down. And also welcome, Maya.


All right. So I mean, right now I love Punks. For the simple reason that they’re the first NFT project, they actually predate the [inaudible 00:27:47] 721 standard. And the way I view it long term is, if there’s going to be crypto art/digital art wing in a museum at some point in the future, I just don’t see a world where you can not have a Punk in there. And that’s kind of my number one bull case on Punk.


Kind of a roundabout answer to this question, because I think what we’re seeing is we’re kind of boxing ourselves into this corner of thinking about NFTs only in the context of creative assets, or art, or … I don’t know. We’re just kind of pigeon holing ourselves. And what I’m personally most interested in are projects that are using NFTs to represent real world assets. We’re not we’re not seeing too much of it yet take off. But I think that once we have NFTs that represent houses, and cars, and just physical real world items, what you’re gonna see is … This is maybe a little bit too futuristic, but this will allow us to build kind of standardized interfaces for each of those objects, and then each of those objects are going to be able to more easily interact with each other.


And so that’s what I’m excited about with respect to NFTs. I mean, I love what’s going on right now, but I think there’s … When we talk about NFTs, I think that we’re currently … We kind of think about a piece of art, or a piece of creative content, I think we need to kind of expand the scope a little bit before we get kind of trapped in this mindset. So, yeah.


[inaudible 00:29:27] What’s my favorite type of NFT, it’s my favorite creator right now, it’s [inaudible 00:29:33]. Obviously anything that he drops on any platform, I will go and collect. The other product I’m really excited about is [inaudible 00:29:38], which is a music specific vertical for NFTs. And I think that product, I get a little more focused on what type of NFTs they’re issuing, and giving different disciplines a place to that is really exciting.


Awesome. In my capacity is a curator [inaudible 00:29:55] I just helped to curate a new artist called Optimistic, and that drop is happening today. The work is called Priority Slaps which is a really interesting digitization of postal service stickers that he kind of drew over with markers. But he has something really lively characters and stuff like that.


I totally agree though, I think fonts as NFTs is almost in a way a more interesting use case than art. Art is a $2-3 trillion market today, but I could see the long tail of digital marketplaces for things like fonts, stock photography, 3D models, plugins for Photoshop, plugins for … I don’t know, audio software, things like that to actually be a bigger market, and a more sort of fundamentally driven market than art. But today art is a great use case to showcase to mainstream folks.


I don’t know if you guys saw the announcements today on Async Art, but it is releasing a programmable music function. And as a musician myself having gone through the entire process of sort of creating music, producing it, recording it, et cetera, I truly believe is going to be completely revolutionary to be able to find and to make music customizable for the first time. I’m so excited about it.


I would have said [inaudible 00:31:35], but sadly that cannot go on. I think [inaudible 00:31:38] explained pretty well [inaudible 00:31:41]. More will come out of that in the NFT universe. So I’m just excited because I’m a World of Warcraft myself, and I like this [inaudible 00:31:53] universes with characters. But generally speaking I think Super. It’s a project that I like a lot. First of all, because it’s been for a while in this space. And I’m also a fan of digital art. [inaudible 00:32:07] the physical world are going to be very, very interesting in the future. Making easy physical to digital [inaudible 00:32:21].


I’m going to spend my turn saying, I don’t believe that NFTs in the real world are going to be that popular. I think there’s a huge oracle problem there that has to be solved, and just really hard to get right in terms of in terms for the people trying to use physical items and redemptions as NFTs, [inaudible 00:32:42] or foundation the past, and just try and deal with fulfillment [inaudible 00:32:46] was just a huge pain. So yeah, I’m not going to [inaudible 00:32:49], just gonna say I don’t think the real world NFTs is going to work pretty well.


Hey, I want to [inaudible 00:32:59] … No, I’m just kidding. One of the projects I think is pretty interesting, is an FTX. Because it’s one of the few projects that’s at the intersection of [inaudible 00:33:09] NFTs. And for those who might not be familiar with it, it’s basically a platform that allows you to create kind of index fund for different collections of NFTs. So it could be Punks, could be Hashmass, and essentially can bring more liquidity to these projects. And also if you are kind of looking at it more as an investment, as opposed to maybe having a fine eye or having a particular art piece that you’re interested in, it could be a way to get exposure to this space.


That said, the project certainly has flaws with the collections of these NFTs, because there’s always probably a couple of the NFTs in there that are less valuable, or less rare characteristics as the others. And the the founders haven’t really worked that out yet. But I think it’s really at the beginning of something there, and it’ll be interesting to see if the project can integrate and solves the most problems.


God damn it, James. You stole my answer. But yeah I was gonna say NFTX, purely because I think here’s how you solve that issue. I think you’d pause in the pool and then you can charge a premium if you want to take out a particular NFT, and then the owner can have a row for … Can not I’ve up his NFT, and you sort of have a time log to make sure that you don’t lose your item. And I think it really opens up the aperture for not just kind of lower quality, bottom tier Punks or Hashmass, but really all kinds of items. Because the real high end items, really I mean you wouldn’t want to risk losing that, right? There’s just much, much more emotional attachment to a particular NFP . But yeah, I think NFTX is really, really fascinating because it serves as an interesting proof point to bring liquidity and price discovery.


It sort of reminds me of Uniswap in the very early days where … And look, Uniswap has come such a long way, and really what you learn from Uniswap is that you can bring really interesting price discovery to[inaudible 00:35:01] on the assets, in that case it was just obviously fundable tokens. But I think in a similar manner, it’s not hard to surmise that NFTX could pull it off if they tweak a couple of parameters that continue to it on the roadmap, where you can have really interesting price discovery on liquid assets, and that opens up … I mean the universe of things that you can then start applying, it not just Punks, not just Hash masks. But really, other things as well.


[inaudible 00:35:29] I like the projects that are very basely or like [inaudible 00:35:40]. Immutable acts, I think is an interesting one. It’s not necessarily just for the chief, it’s just a scaling solution. As far as I see its [inaudible 00:35:50]. Because I think this is one of the fundamental issues. I’ve been in a few rooms here, as I think a lot of us who are just not crypto native people, but artists discussed the NFT. And most of the time the issue arises in the [inaudible 00:36:10] and all the gas costs. because, like if you’re selling a crypto box, or a Hash [inaudible 00:36:16], hundred and thousands of dOllar. It’s not a problem to be $,100 [inaudible 00:36:23]


Most of the artists which I plan to sell a lot of digital RP pieces, we try not to high value. [inaudible 00:36:33] so I can order the tooling, the basic tooling, that makes sense. More easy for the artist to mention it. It’s easier and cheaper, basically. So I think, yeah, Immutable evidence is one of those.


Any creators [inaudible 00:36:47] access to their communities. It’s a really direct yet roundabout way of investing in creators early, being able to see some upside participating in community. Their core supporters, I think you’re going to see that use case grow quite a bit in the long term. And just to make sure that Brian doesn’t feel like he’s being a total contrarian, I 100% agree, NFTs as digital goods are interesting, entities in the real world, problematic, challenging and not worth the effort in the short term.


I gotta disagree about that, I think NFPs will have a big role to play with projects. As far as they go right now, I love Punks, specifically Pirate Punks. I think they’re rare [inaudible 00:37:31], which are actually from March, 2015, are going to have a comeback. And they’re the ones sold for 300,000 recently. And I got to say that rare pieces is the most exciting thing I’ve ever been part of in my life. So you should check it out.


Guys, Just to go back to the real world assets and NFTs, I mean I’m not an expert like you guys, but it seems extremely hard to track something in the real world and tokenizers NFT link. What’s your thought on that?


But Mask is using blockchain technology for their shipments. I mean I have to assure that if it’s useful for them then and it might be useful for a lot of their stuff.


Yeah that’s fair. I feel like a lot of those PRs are just bullshit the end of the day, but properly just overlooked again. But Billy, what’s your take?


I mean, definitely in the enterprise context, because I think one’s kind of like a cryptographic signature becomes a legally binding contract. if you sign over ownership of an NFP to someone else and then you’re legally down to transfer them a real world object, then I think like things get extremely interesting. And yeah, I think that this is far in the future, and like this isn’t going to happen anytime soon, but I mean there’s work being done around this. And it’s going happen at some point, and that’s like really … It really excites me. Because I’m … yeah. [crosstalk 00:39:02]


Yeah, so I just like to try and bring in the real world NFT problem, that’s a very difficult problem, it goes beyond the legal aspects of digital signatures. But connecting a digital identity with the real world, [inaudible 00:39:16] is a very difficult problem that hasn’t been resolved. And beyond the whole like enterprise blockchain fluff, it still isn’t anything scalable in terms of competing real markets, from NFTs that a to commodity in real estate, and just making that logical leap of something in the real world connects in a one to one manner to a specific NFT.


It’s just a non trivial problem. And there’s some startups are working on it that are fascinating by the way just to try …just to jump back into my favorite NFT projects. I like [inaudible 00:39:54] a lot, mostly because it is … I think it’s the first project I saw that really deals with programmable art. And despite all the hype, and I think most of the NFT … It really does remind me on ICOs in 2017 in a lot of cases, in a lot of cases. But some of the really cool things are about economic and business models. So, there’s a project that I like in Nifty which is creating yield farms from NFTs, and by doing that kind of rethinking how do people pay to have access to NFTs? And another one that I like is Mirror, which is once again looking at NFTs as actual media, and what needs to be the stakes for funding both the ownership and the access to every item?


Do you guys buy that a Picasso or something will be tokenized as an NFT? I mean, one, I feel like that community is just so old money, they’ll never touch a computer, let alone blockchain, but you know what’s everyone say here?


I think that’s the case, especially because just linking that physical to digital … Having [inaudible 00:41:10] physical and digital. The physical object and a digital representation of an NFT. There’s definitely some companies out there they’re doing some great investments by just taking a unique characteristic of the material structure and manufacturing characteristics of that object which could be a painting, and then transform that into a code that [inaudible 00:41:30] can be put into NFT, and then it can easily verify that with any phone to see the authenticity of that piece of art. I do see a pathway to that.


Yeah, I think that NFC-izing an object unlocks a tremendous amount of use cases for that object, and so I don’t think we’ve discovered what all those use cases are, but as they get uncovered I think that it’s going to be kind of prudent to turn your physical … Create a digital representation of your physical object, so that you can like fractionize ownership of it, or bundle it, or do whatever with it. I think there’s a ton of things that you can do with these things.


I think that at the end of the day, anything is literally possible, so the physical digital argument, I think I can fractionize my house if I wanted to, if I really went though the hoops to do it. But [inaudible 00:42:20] scale is really hard and to structure in place. You could get, as mentioned before you kind of need the way to decentralized identity, [inaudible 00:42:27] kind of map up with all of this from the real world to digital world. So NFTs, honestly just start as building blocks for the metaverse and for digital world. I don’t think it’s important to kind of [inaudible 00:42:41]. Just trying to figure out how to get physical assets on to other-


Brian, I’m kind of with you here. I mean everything about linking the physical world, to NFTs makes me think of enterprise blockchains and linking traditional Wall Street to crypto. It sounds amazing, ton of liquidity, but at the end of the day it’s just way too are too hard to link, the oracle problems are … And it’s just not the new world we’re building for. But maybe I’m just too naive about it.


Hey everyone this, is Metra, I just wanted to chime in. I wasn’t sure if we were going in a particular order. So quick point I wanted to rebound off of the the Picasso question, and then I wanted to go back to the whole URL versus IRL. I didn’t make that up by the way, I got it from someone and I liked it so much. So first about the Picasso, I think that what’s really cool is that we move towards a more secure representation, online representation, or digital representation of ownership, right? so yes, the connection to representation of the ownership of that Picasso painting is going to be the first step. But then like the others have said, I think what what becomes cooler is what you build on top of that, right?


So maybe it’s a membership club of Picasso owners, or maybe it ends up being a ticket to some personalized tour of where Picasso painted and things like that. And I think that’s where the other exciting use cases are going to be breaking into all the adjacent products and services around the actual art. So going beyond an NFT as a crypto asset or as an investment case. But actually, as as an ID or as a key that will unlock physical experiences in the real in the real world. Yeah, so that was just my point on that comment.


And then, regarding the whole URL versus IRL thing. I have to say that this conversation really reminds me of these arguments I used to have with my dissertation advisor where I would say, “I want my research to have an impact in the real world.” And he’d say, “This is the real world.” And so I think obviously it’s really important to have this debate about going beyond the virtual world.


But if we’re talking about things like information, recently I learned a really cool project called called that basically is an online encrypted Deadman switch. So, investigative journalists, for example, could wrap. They have this really cool metaphor, and symbolism around their protocol. So they wrap, basically they encrypt the information and they set a deadline for that information basically to be revealed if anything were to happen to them.


And so I think that’s … Information is where we play a little bit in the art space, meaning that we’re both in the virtual world and in the physical world. But that being said, Yeah, I think that the coolest cases are going to be how to represent physical assets online, and also create a space for those now digital assets to be be showcased and played with.


[inaudible 00:46:21] A lot of good content there. Lots of think through there. What’s everybody’s thoughts in response? Anybody agree, disagree?


I wanted to agree about the showcasing, I think we discussed that the other day with Alex in a different room chat. One of the issues that I heard from the artists and that they see that the crypto space is, the NFT space is very focused on collecting, and collecting and appreciating art that are kind of two different things. And they’re saying all the projects are like super rare, Rareable, they’re focused on the rarity. And how hard it is to get hold of a certain NFT. But for the artists and other work of art is that art is also appreciated. And I don’t think there are a lot of venues for this. Well, Alex is building one of those.


But also, I think it’s going to be super interesting to see the virtual galleries, the event spaces. One of the events I’ve been to a 3D Ethereal meetup, was pretty cool because there were all 3D spaces on the walls, and there were actual NFTs on the wall that you can come close and look at. So I think this is a very interesting area that’s going to see … It has to get developed if you want to see the NFT, the art side of NFT thrive, I think


Really good points. And I just want to circle back to point Cooper brought up earlier about following individuals, kind of what Cooper’s focused on a lot of his time obviously, Jess at C Club and everyone else here. Who wants everyone’s take on either following individual artists, or following brands like Crypto Punks, like Axes, versus following individuals like [inaudible 00:48:09] people. It seems obviously it’s just much easier to follow a person, but a brand has more staying power, there’s a lot of give and take here. What’s everyone’s thoughts on this?


Yeah, I think they’re not mutually exclusive. I think the world we see is individuals become brands and the most successful individuals have communities that raise more brands. And so the cool part about this, just democratized access to an individual that’s become a high net worth, or high value in essence. And so having an opportunity to reflect on artists that’s really successful or to buy their social token, the way that all these remain sustainable over the long term is when the community contributors is upholding that project.


If you’re waiting for one specific creator to move a market or to do things that are make a meaningful impact on their project, that’s kind of placing a lot of effort into one person. So I think Jess can speak to this well too, all the social tokens that I’ve seen that have been successful, and I think the same goes for NFTs, it starts with the creator, but then over time as that community forms around them they can sort of decentralized outwards and give those people responsibilities in that community, and that’s what actually makes it have long term value and sustainability that you wouldn’t be able to get by just relying on solely that creator.


As well we’ll see collectors or individuals pool their social capital together to begin curating and creating together. And we’ll sort of have this new wave of curator dows, or collectives. I know Brian’s been doing a bunch of work on [inaudible 00:49:35] and trying to explore that topic. So it’s easiest for a creator to put something out there and have a community from around them and then for that community to sort of evolve and and begin growing and creating along side that creator, but I also think we’ll see these dows, things like Flamingo Dows as a curator. And I have a feeling in six months we’re going to be talking about [inaudible 00:49:57] Dows one of the hottest topics on Clubhouse.


Yeah, just to expand on that. I think one of the biggest questions creators will have in the future is if they want to sell their or work through issuing a portion of their future revenues and royalties, getting the full amount themselves. And so if you could either go through a dow and have more distribution, or give up sort of some of your proceeds in the future. It’s sort of the new record label in some cases, or the new publisher. You’re kind of gaining the distribution, and less risk for yourself essentially if you [inaudible 00:50:38] for distribution. So, I think theses curator dows, a Jess describes, is going to be definitely a hot topic and things like Flamingo Dow are going to leave the right here.


Guys, when do we … Guys and girls, when do we get to a point where a creator in college is on their iPad, they create some masterpiece and they just hit submit, and for the next 100 years they get a percent of all secondary sales or something like that, or if it’s used they earn part of the yield in a museum. When we get to the point when the real world sees the benefits of NFTs without really knowing what’s going on?


I think we’re kind of seeing this today. I mean honestly there’s this creator called Just MJSTN on Twitter, he’s 16 years old and he’s making stuff like hundreds of thousands of dollars off of his NFTs in a span of two or three months. I think [inaudible 00:51:27] is another example this where these creators started from a digital lens first, and because they found a way to ingrain themselves in the NFT community I’d argue that they have their careers basically panned out for them.


To the question about whether or not that gets recognized by the [inaudible 00:51:41] industry, I think that that’s another variable that I can’t speak confidently to, but I feel very strongly that there will be a fine art community within NFTs, and that sector in and of itself will be enough to sustain a lot of these young artists able to do monumental projects before they even go to college.


I agree with Cooper there. I’ve experienced it firsthand already with some creators, doing some sort of collaboration with them, and then bam, they get a group of collectors, they’re already making some money, and that they can come a viable business, right? And it’s almost like a Patreon, right? Because you’re pretty much helping this person create more content that you actually enjoy as a collector. So I think we’re there, and to Cooper’s point is it’s only a matter of time until it goes mainstream and you see it on a mass scale.


Yeah, I wanted to come in on there too because one of the conversations we were having in another clubhouse room was about how these digital assets are just so second nature for crypto natives, and one interesting development that I saw was that some K-Pop artists are actively investing in into NFTs as a vehicle for their whole fan base ecosystem. So again, talking about membership perks, talking about ticketing sales and other collectibles. And I think what’s interesting to notice is while we talk about things hitting the mainstream, of course, it’s also interesting to think about the communities that it has already fully penetrated, right? And these are the Gen Z and online pop fans that are already actively using all sorts of digital tools, including for example using TikTok earlier with the US presidential election to organize politically. So I think it’s cool to look at these early adopters, and particularly the younger demographics.


Metra, do you think that when you say younger demographics, do you think that NFT’s will make its way to … When I was younger I played Pokemon but it was obviously very siloed, it was only on my own device, I don’t actually own anything. Do you think NFTs are going to permeate the much younger communities as well as our own and older, or do you think that it will basically be for those financially oriented people say, 18 and up?


Oh, definitely. I mean I’m on the discord of that young investor, the 13 year old YouTube channel creator who who just talks about trading Bitcoin. But I think we should ask, I mean is it … Alex, are you the person in the room? For me, I’m just trying to keep up with my students and I didn’t even play Pokemon Go so … I played Pokemon cards. But yeah, I think reading about how people in the playground call each other default as an insult because they don’t have the right skins on Fortnite. These are all trends I’m trying to keep up with and trying to be in with.


Or potato, that’s another one that means the same thing.


I mean, I have to totally agree there I think whenever I’ve been talking to teenagers and tweens for the last couple months, and when you just explain the concept of an NFT, they get it. It’s literally people the age 30 and above that you really have a hard time explaining it to. But if you explain this it to a 12 year old and the concept of owning it digitally and being able to trade it freely, they get it and they’re, “I want to do this. How should we can we do this?


Yeah, I think I’d be retired, I wouldn’t be doing this if I owned one of the few Charizards that was an NFT way back when. But guys, this has been incredible. I want to respect everyone’s time so we’ll cut this off at the hour, we’re recording this, so we’ll syndicate it to our podcast channel, Delphi Podcast, we’ll tag everybody. And I want to thank everyone for coming on obviously, a lot of people here, a lot of opinions. So, really appreciate everyone’s time. [crosstalk 00:56:06]


Thank you, Tom.




We got three minutes, let’s get some hot take.


Let’s do a hot take, we have three minutes. Some body go wild.


I’m excited to meet [inaudible 00:56:18] owners that have the same ones that I do, I’m excited about it.


What about NFT’s on Cardano?


Oh man. [inaudible 00:56:28]


A lot of those mass adoption guys, you didn’t know? Oh my god.


Can’t wait [crosstalk 00:56:35] So late on my refund.


I’m dying.


Guys, this has been awesome. We’ll definitely do another room soon, and thanks everyone for coming.


Right, yeah.


Thanks, Tom.


Of course, nice seeing you guys and girls.




Thanks, Tom.

Show Notes:

(3:40) – (First Question) What is an NFT and Why are they so popular right now?

(13:20) – Are NFTs in a bubble?

(16:24) – Pros/Cons of buying NFTs.

(20:06) – Thoughts on Crypto Brands becoming Tokenized.

(26:29) – Favorite NFT projects.

(36:29) – Tracking real world assets and NFTs.

(44:41) – How to represent physical assets online / create a space for digital assets to be showcased.

(46:09) – Following Individual Artists vs. Following Brands with NFTs.

(48:52) – When will the real world see the benefits of NFTs.

(51:49) – NFTs target communities.

(54:00) – NFT Hot Takes.