Digital identity wasn’t a big part of the conversation when the internet was invented. But now, it has become a central concern for users because of how personal data ends up being used by enterprises for monetization and other purposes. Innovators in the Web 3.0 space are trying to put the power back in the people’s hands by changing the way we look at digital identity and shaping the way it’s going to look like in the internet of the future. Joining our hosts in today’s show are two power couples who are leading an amazing collaboration in this space. Alastair Johnson and Seema Khinda Johnson of Nuggets and James Young and Anjali Young of Abridged, the makers of CollabLand, are tackling a foundational issue that’s going to affect everything that’s forthcoming in the world of Web 3.0. Tune in and learn more about digital identity, digital rights, and how the way our data moves around the internet will change forever, and for the better.
Plus, for our hot topic of the episode, we are joined by Bill Spata and Eric Andersen of DevTeamSix, who are in the thick of something that is going to be a game-changer in the play-to-earn space. Stay tuned for more!
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Alastair & Seema Khinda Johnson Of Nuggets + James & Anjali Young of Collab.Land On Decentralized ID & Security, Plus: DevTeamSix Team, And More…
This episode features Alastair Johnson and Seema Kinda Johnson of Nuggets plus James Young and Anjali Young of Collab.Land. Alastair is the Founder and CEO of Nuggets. He envisions a world in which individuals regain absolute power over their own data and profit from its value e day, both financially and through day-to-day convenience. Seema is Cofounder and COO at Nuggets and is on the Technical Advisory Committee of ID 2020. Before founding Nuggets, Seema headed up go-to-market for Skype and Microsoft.
James Young is Cofounder and CEO of Abridged, makers of Collab.Land. He is a multi-time founder, developer, and crypto technologist. Anjali Young is Cofounder and CCO of Abridged. She is an attorney by education with a history as a member and leader in online communities. Nuggets is a self-sovereign decentralized identity super wallet that believes that personal information should be owned and controlled by the person. Collab.Land leverages the power of identity through cryptocurrency to create a social space unique to a specific network of humans. We have a packed episode. It’s exciting. Powerhouse teams, as well as quite a few guests. Welcome, everyone. It’s great to have you here.
We should take a moment to give Eathan a blue ribbon for that intro. Also, amazing job. Lots of words in there, lots of accolades for this amazing team.
There seems to be some trend going on, guys, with the show. This is not our first couple episode, but it is our first episode with two couples on the same show. We’ll have to do some study here of what result couples working in Web3 together creates in the world and get your thoughts on that, guys. Speaking of collaboration, we’re excited about the partnership between Nuggets and Collab.Land, and what you guys are building together. It would be helpful to give us some more depth on how this formed and developed and where you guys are now both independently with your respective project collaboration. Who wants to kick us off?
In terms of where Nuggets came from originally, it started from a problem where I had my card details taken and realized that our personal information is spread all over the internet without any privacy and security. It’s been breached constantly. We realized that digital identity, wherever user-owned and controlled their own data was key to a better way forward. That’s what set us on this journey. It was human problem-led from day one.
It’s interesting to reflect upon. I don’t know all the details and you perhaps know quite a bit more of how much what we think of as privacy from the vendors we work with, banks and credit cards and stuff like that is not privacy. It’s them paying for the breaches of our privacy and not letting us know that it happened.
I’ve gotten maybe a dozen emails in a year that my data is on the dark web. I’m like, “What can I even do about that at this point?” The cat’s out of the bag. It’s challenging stuff. I appreciate your inspiration there. James, what about you all?
I was going to add quickly onto that, James. It’s because these corporations that are holding your data are sharing your data. That’s it. When they’re sharing your data multiple ways across multiple platforms with multiple partners, then they’re not necessarily watching what every single other partner is doing. That’s why you end up with breaches.
I’d like to add something to that as well, because obviously, you probably know this already. When the internet was invented, no one thought through that identity layer. What’s ended up happening is we’ve got usernames and passwords, wallet IDs, email addresses and phone numbers. The big, massive problem with that is that you don’t know who’s behind all of this. It’s the backdrop of all of the data being held in these centralized silos. We’ve all heard the term honeypot of data. That’s not working. All our data is being compromised and being fished. It needs to be resolved on the privacy and security side.
No pressure, guys. It’s a big thing to enter this territory and have the responsibility of all this information and yet still inspiring collaboration. It’s good to see you. I’m not sure I would take on that task.
We’re trying to make our dent in the universe here. We founders are trying to make a difference and learn from previous mistakes so we don’t repeat them. When it comes to Collab.Land, when we first started, we started as DAO tooling. We can talk about Decentralized Autonomous Organizations maybe later. We want it to be able to vote. We had the sheer treasury on the blockchain. It was difficult to coordinate.
With Collab.Land, it was initially a hack to use these chat groups because that’s where people were already forming. We needed a way to know if these people that are in these chat rooms are part of the same DAO. The NFT craze took off. We’ve been embraced by NFT communities and we provide utility and community for them.
This is a wider problem that we want to be thoughtful about. We want to make sure that this time around, we can do it right. We know that we all live now blended lives. There’s no big difference between being online and offline and what the impact of that is moving forward. We have this second chance, this opportunity to get the internet out of beta, because now we have a better understanding of the impact that these breaches and what privacy needs.
James, to that point, it seems bonkers now that everyone else owned and controlled all of our data. All we want is for our personal information should be owned and controlled by the person. It’s great to have the technology, but also technologists and problem-solvers and phenomenal thinkers trying to solve for those problems, fundamental human rights around privacy. It’s good that we’re all mission and purpose-driven.
Whenever I think of all these topics, I think of some of the interviews we’ve done with Brittany Kaiser. I changed my thinking about what it means to own your data and even your identity and who you are. Whatever’s inside the skin, that’s usually what I think of. Also, all these data points that are floating out there. Some that can be mine that I own, and nobody else gets to mess with. Some of it I might want to share. It’s something that is going to become a larger part of the collective consciousness about how our identity extends. I want to move on a little bit into how you all came together to collaborate in the identity space, Collab.Land, Nuggets. Let’s go to James. You look like you’re ready to roll.
Thinking back now, we first got together through a mutual third party. We were thinking about ways to collaborate with this third party and we hit it off. When we were thinking about at Collab.Land, what it meant to have this community, we were thinking it more in terms of community identity. I’m newer in terms of being exposed to decentralized IDs and verifiable credentials. I learned a lot from the Nuggets team and try to understand how to be impactful here, because we need to approach this in a cautious way.
I gravitated to the Nuggets team and from a value alignment perspective, the emphasis on security on privacy, user sovereignty. It was the graciousness of Alastair and Seema opening up and teaching us at Collab.Land. On the Collab.Land side, we were more focused on the crypto Web3 space. There’s a whole universe and collection of knowledge when it comes to DIDs and V credits that I’m still falling through the rabbit hole. It’s this natural fit. It was good vibes all around since the beginning.
What’s the essence of the collaboration? How are you working together? How does that function?
Alastair, do you want to pick it up?
I can speak to that. As an individual in the physical realm, you have identity, but the best identity you can have when in the digital space on the internet is a digital identity. It was a point in time. We believe having a self-sovereign identity where you own and control is essential if you’re going to have any identity in that space. You don’t want any of the social brands with serious misdemeanors in the past, such as holding your data, selling it on, and passing it on. It needs to be self-sovereign. You need to be able to do it where you’re interacting with different services. You can’t be correlated from one point to the other. It’s important.
There are some points where you want to be the same identity from realm to realm, but there’s a lot of points where you might go into a gambling realm and don’t want to interact with the work realm, and you don’t want people tracking between itself. That might be one merchant. To purchase, it’s another merchant. Self-sovereign identity and DIDs and verifiable credentials, you can demonstrate reputation and prove from one area to another through cryptographic proof that can be done with zero knowledge principles. That is essential to move around and interact with these services and keep as much privacy and information. You don’t want to carry on dumping it around in little packages as we have done in the past.
That model we see is broken. We do believe that that self-sovereign principle is the best way, but you can take on board a reputation from one community and then move into another community. What we picked up was the problem that James and Anjali had with Collab.Land. They had all these people in the community doing great things. They may move over to a similar community, but not directly the same. They want to take our reputation, but real merit-based reputation. It was important to bring that along with them. That’s when we started talking about the opportunities and how we could work with self-sovereign identity principles and decentralized identities.
It feels like it’d be a better recipe for dating too if you know the background and history. “This didn’t work out, but at least they checked these boxes.” That’s been attempted. It hasn’t gone so well.
It’s funny that you say that because we have talked to some of the dating apps, because obviously, there’s a massive concern in the real world of some of the terrible things that can happen in that environment. It would be nice to have some safety and security. If you’re looking at different levels, it could be reputation and provenance in terms of NFT, but decentralizing the metaverse might be safe for brands and people going in there. If you’ve got your thirteen-year-old kid going into some environment, you want to know that he stood next to another thirteen-year-old kid and not someone saying that they are. At the same time, you don’t want to be spelling out privacy and names and real names if you don’t want to be issuing. These opportunities, zero-knowledge proofs, and search are excellent work in these environments. I don’t think there’s been an opportunity to have done this in the past with the technology that’s been available up until now.
We are coming where newer players in this space of V credits and decentralized identifiers. That’s because what sparked everyone’s imagination in these communities. People were able to join a Collab.Land community, be with other people that own the same token that they do. Now we’re sitting on this information pretty much the history of a crypto community from day one. We’re thinking, “How can we service these members? What can we do now to bring value to this new world that we’re living in altogether and for each individual person?” Collab.Land was like, “Maybe one way we can do this is to remove the gatekeepers of the past from reputation.”
Collab.Land itself can issue verifiable credentials, V creds, to each individual. Jeff was in this community from this time to this time. Eathan was in this community and he received this number of tips, or he had this role in this group for this time. We’re in a position to oversee what’s happening. We can give you the individual attestation from Collab.Land.
Now you have all these V creds where you can start building this crypto community, this crypto reputation, community reputation. Nuggets is there. That way, we can port that data to Nuggets and that can be taken anywhere they want. The way that actual interaction is going to happen is that Collab.Land will be the attestation for what you’ve done and how will you behave in these communities. They can be ported to Nuggets, which is going to be like a portable wallet that you can now move across wherever you want to go with this data.
There are many different layers to that. One of the things that comes to mind for me is that it’s like a big responsibility to try to think about and craft what inputs you’re leveraging to issue V creds and to determine digital value, digital credentials, digital identity. There’s a lot to that. How do you all think about that? It feels like a pretty immense responsibility.
Digital Identity: These corporations that are holding your data are sharing your data. When they’re sharing your data multiple ways across multiple platforms with multiple partners, they’re not necessarily watching what every single other partner is doing. That’s why you end up with breaches.
If you take a step back and think about the problem you’re solving rather than going, “How do we tackle that piece of it?” We’ve been quite single-minded in what is the problem that we’re solving. We’re solving the problem around privacy, trust, safety, and security. If you think about that, and then you think about digital identity sitting at the heart of that, it becomes a lot easier to unpack.
Otherwise it’s a massively overwhelming, huge gargantuan task that feels unsurmountable. It does feel overwhelming. The way that we’ve picked this up is that we have been every single day, and this speaks to all of us as a team. We haven’t looked at the technology and go, “What can we do with this technology? What can we do with verifiable credentials or kudos or cred?”
We’ve gone, “What is the problem that we’re solving?” We’re trying to solve this one of moving that data ownership from the hands of enterprises, into the hands of individuals, but doing it in a way that makes sense in their everyday lives. What do we do every day? We log in, pay for things, and communicate with each other, but we want to make these things super easy for our end users to use so that they don’t need to worry about their privacy or security. It should be inherent in the products and services that we build. Because we’ve tackled it from that perspective, it becomes a lot easier for us to one pack. That’s my bit on it.
It’s important because what Seema is saying about ourselves in Nuggets and what I also see very much so in Collab.Land is that we’re people businesses. We’re bound working for people to get a better way for people. We’re not tech first. Yes, we may be using the latest technology to do it, but we’re doing that for other people to make it a better environment, to make the communities better, to make the trust in those communities better, to make everyone be able to move around more freely and more confidently as people. That’s what’s key. When we first met Anjali and James, we could see at their core that they believed in what they were doing and why they were doing it. It was people-led. It was humans. It wasn’t just tech. That was something that was important to us as well.
That’s special. I want to expand on that a little bit. There are a lot of ways to make an impact in the world. Clearly, this is a shared passion among all of you. What’s been the community’s response? What’s been the types of feedback you’ve gotten and the stories you’ve heard from the community in terms of the impact that this project has made on their lives and for various projects in the space? We’d love to learn more about the impact that you guys are making.
I can speak to that from what the challenges are for the communities right now and what need we’re trying to service. The biggest need is with scammers and imposters. Not being able to know who it is that you’re talking to, and if they’re the real Jeff Kelly, or if they’re the real Joshua or Eathan or Alastair or Seema. I need to be able to know. It’s not enough if that’s your username or whatever. Being able to show like, “These are the V creds that I have. I’ve been in this community for this long. The admin gave me kudos for this. I’ve been tipped these many times in the bank list style.”
Being able to now see your reputation, that’s cryptographic. It cannot be edited or changed. That’s reputation right there. I can verify who you are. That’s the biggest issue we have. That’s the number one issue we see with Collab.Land. It’s not necessarily what their feedback has been to this concept, but it’s been, what is the challenge that they’re facing? How can we help them with those challenges? This is a huge unlock when we think about crypto as money, but crypto as identity, it’s going to be just as big, if not bigger.
It’s interesting because when you talk about it from the crypto perspective, it’s trustless. We’re humans. The way I think about it is trust is like water. It shifts. The trust is no longer with the technology or with the platform providers, but trust has to exist somewhere. It shifts to us as individuals. It may take some time, maybe even a generation. It took our generation to understand email where kids don’t even email anymore. They’re on instant messenger. Right now, we’re learning to take responsibility for our identities online. What does that mean? It’s super empowering. I don’t even know if we’ve scratched the surface on what this unlocks, but we’ve had these babysitters, these platform providers who have monetized and used our identity.
Now we get this transfer of trust back to us as individuals. What does that mean? What does that unlock? You need that. When we started with Collab.Land, it was because I was in a DAO, but I didn’t know who walletzeroX123 was. I didn’t know how to connect with them or I didn’t know how to identify with them. When it comes to crypto, what identity and reputation does is it shines a light because we’re in this dark forest where we’re all moving forward and we don’t know what’s going on.
We don’t get to see each other, but now we have this light that shined on us. We can build those relationships online. It will map to our IRL or In Real Life identities, but it may even go beyond that. Like back in the day, when Amazon in 1997, people were like, “I’m never going to buy anything online because I need to see and touch it,” where now people are one click shopping and getting everything delivered. I don’t know if we’ve yet grasped what it means to own our own identities.
I don’t think there’s been a Twitter space I’ve been in where someone hasn’t brought up this issue. It’s grounded. I was curious if there’s a specific customer, group, or community that’s like, “You, guys, rock. This is all the good stuff that’s happened and how we’ve been able to amplify our work and support our community.” I know you guys are doing many good things and there are many different clients that you have. I didn’t know if any one particular story jumped out to you.
DAOs are the early adopters to V creds. Maybe James can speak to that.
I helped start this DAO called MetaCartel back in 2019 before DAOs became a thing. It’s a grant-giving giving DAO. One of the issues is that once grants are given to these projects to help bolster the ecosystem. There isn’t a good way to get feedback. A few years in, we’re trying to figure out how do we evolve.
We’re having a conference here in Denver, Colorado, called MCON, the second week of September 2022, where all these DAO thought leaders are coming together and trying to figure out what is this evolution of feedback when it comes to grants. How are these grants that have been impactful? What have people done with them? We’re scratching the surface there with experimentation. I don’t know if we’ve even began to understand, going back to the previous point, what we’re unlocking here.
CollabLand is a people-first business. We may be using the very latest technology, but we're doing this for other people to make the communities better, to make everyone be able to move around more freely and more confidently as people. Click To Tweet
It’s one of those emergent design properties where there’s a lot of iteration happening right now. What will happen is that once we get into this crypto, the next cycle, there’s going to be a lot of great things that people will be seeing when it comes to the social graph. That’s what we’re starting to see. From my perspective, as we move forward to this conference called MCON, we have these different composable identity solutions.
What’s amazing to me that I’ve seen, and we’ll see this unlock further, is that within three weeks, we were able to get five different projects because we’re all standards-based, coming together. This is the evolution of composable money, where now we’re putting these Legos together, these pieces of identity, and we’re building these new contraptions. We’re seeing that come together. We’ll see and we’ll be able to understand the first unlockable of a lot of this. It’s emerging. We’re at the tip of the spear here.
That’s part of the reason that we’re all working together. Even Nuggets is a part of that plan. It’s composable the same way the blockchain is composable. Cryptography is compostable in a way that we can all work together.
I was going to walk to that. James, thanks for sharing the DAO side of it. We work with a lot of Web2 organizations that trust, safety, privacy, and security are their number one priority as they look to move beyond experiments in Web3. You’ve probably all seen this. All the brands are doing these small experiments quite but not understanding the implications of minting NFTs. They’re there forever, whether they’re embarrassing or not.
Some of the things that we have been tasked with is these brands are trying to grapple with how can I get this NFT or this experience to be? They’re expecting NFTs to do more things than they can. Identity plays a huge role in providence and ownership, whether it’s creator side or the purchaser side, and that privacy and trust piece. The thing that we’re seeing and even to be all old school about it, Gartner published a report. They’ve said decentralized identity is going to become a critical component of any organization’s digital transformation.
I believe when Gartner’s talking about it and Web2 organizations are saying that they need this to be sold as an on and off into Web3 experiences, it means it’s a critical part of the stack that hasn’t been solved for. That’s why probably every Twitter space I joined as well is like the elephant in the room. That’s the thing. This hasn’t been sold for before. It’s exciting to think that this collaboration is solving it and it’s been staring us all right in the face.
It’s such a fundamental shift from yesterday to today and then tomorrow. It’s exciting, especially when you’re dealing with communities, for all my experience of technology, what the people out there who bump into the technology and the new opportunities, what they do with it. Often you spew out these products and you’re expecting it or the initial businesses intended to do this and it becomes something else.
This, especially with identity and the community environment, is the perfect catalyst for those environments to blossom. There’d be nothing more exciting than to take what we’re working on now to take it, make it their own and make it more so and have greater potential than we could even imagine. That’s what’s exciting about being a part of 2022. We can’t even say what’s going to be amazing in five years’ time off the back of this work that we’re doing now. That’s probably going to be the most exciting bit when we see somebody use it for a benefit or something that helps the communities as a whole.
However, we’ve seen what happens when it goes wrong. We can learn from the mistakes of Web2. We know what happens when a platform owns your identity and how it’s monetized. We don’t get any piece of that. We know the mistakes that have happened. For us idealists dreamers to try at least be able to create this teacher that we want to see.
This partnership with Nuggets is great because we’re not just doing crypto and Web2. It’s this gray area, this transition in between, that is going to be the most exciting because we need to bring people along with us. This is that area that we need to focus on and play in is in-betweens. In a lot of ways, personally speaking, my parents came from Korea to the United States.
Me growing up as child of immigrants, I’ve played in between cultures. This is what’s well-suited here now, coming from Web2 to Web3, there is this interplay between cultures of what was old and what is new. What we’re going to do in the in-between is create something new, something that we own, something that we can forge together.
That’s what I’m excited about here because it’s not just slamming the old’s door and saying, “Let’s invent something all on our own all over again.” It’s not being satisfied with what exists now. It’s forging ahead, but in this hybrid situation, this hyphenated state. This is where a lot of the magic will happen. This is what I’m excited about and why this partnership with Nuggets is great.
As we talk through this episode and I’m thinking about identity and how much control we have over it, I’m also realizing that these platforms that have so much power these days can also alter our identities, however they like. If somebody is talking about something on a specific platform that that platform wants to highlight or suppress, all of a sudden, that identity shines brighter or is dimmer right or gets deleted.
It’s interesting to see again because the Web2 world is here and it’s powerful, taking it and transitioning this appropriately. We’re going to wrap up here soon with one more question after this and get into our Quick Hitters. A little bit more about how you guys at Collab.Land are creating an open platform. What’s your approach to giving that openness to it?
Digital Identity: We’ve been quite single minded in what is the problem that we’re solving. We’re solving the problem around privacy, trust, safety, and security. When you think about digital identity sitting at the heart of that, it becomes a lot easier to unpack because otherwise it’s a massively overwhelming, gargantuan task.
We are this connective tissue between Web2, these chat platforms like Telegram and Discord. With Web3, the blockchains we have integrated with. We don’t want to own the platform of it. We don’t want to be the gatekeepers. We’re going to have an exit to a community event and we’ll let the users of the platform own it. Value will accrue to those that use the platform. We are moving forward on the initiative with decentralized IDs and verifiable credentials so that we can lay the proper foundation so that the users can own their own identities here.
If you’re not comfortable with the policies of one Web2 platform, we hope to make the platform opiate enough so that your crypto community can easily move to another platform. The more Web2 platforms we integrate, we hope we will create this shelling point so that the Web2 platform will say, “There’s this inflection point where if these communities are not happy with our policies, they’ll move off to another platform.”
This creates this evolution where we can create this balance. We don’t need the full depends on one platform because these platforms providers know that because these communities have a shared financial asset, they’ll move off to another platform that will be more open to their concerns. That’s the long play here. This is why it’s critical to have an open platform.
The whole basis of this is these API integrations. This is how we can integrate with these different platforms. The hill we’re willing to die on is that platforms will always continue to have API integrations. If platforms will continue to have API integrations, then communities can have a voice and be able to hopefully be large enough one day to influence the platforms themselves. It’s a little heady. It’s game theoretical, but this is the future we want to try to manifest.
It’s such an important topic of conversation. In the conversation, it’s clear how foundational this is to everything that’s forthcoming in the world of Web3 and universally throughout the globe for every human in existence. How do digital rights relate to your inalienable rights that we’ve been used to talking about and living in real life? We’re not going to be able to separate these anymore soon. This is such an important topic for that. We could probably talk for many more hours about that and have an engaging conversation. We don’t have that much time to do that, but this is an important topic. We’d love to continue it at another time, maybe even live and in-person at NFTLA.
I’m sensing some family dinner at NFTLA. Get all these couples together.
We appreciate it because this is such an important topic. There are few topics as important as this and foundational to what’s happening right now beneath our feet every day. Let’s move on to segment number two, which is Edge Quick Hitters. It’s basically a fun and quick way for us to get to know you a little bit better. There are ten questions. We’re looking for short, single-word or few-word responses, but we might dive in a little bit deeper here or there. We’ll go one by one since we have four guests, which is awesome for us. We may go start with Alastair. Let’s do it. Alastair, what’s the first thing you remember ever purchasing in your life?
A hull for kayak. It was a memorable thing because it told me a lesson to this day, which I have used with my own kids since. I couldn’t afford the kayak that I wanted. Obviously, it was a bit cold to be swimming around the rivers in the Midlands at the time. My parents said, “If you can raise that much money of the kayak, we’ll give you the other half of the money so you can get the kayak today.” It took me months and months of paper rounds in cold weather with freezing fingers to save up, but I got it.
It gave me determination and value for money. It was something that I then did with my son when he wanted a PlayStation. I didn’t want him to have a gaming machine. I wanted him to leave it for a couple more years. We’re giving him the impossible task of raising half of the money for a PlayStation, which I thought would take years. He managed to do it in three months, which rim the whole concept for me.
Question number two, Seema, what is the first thing you remember ever selling in your life?
Trainers at a market stall in Bedford.
Any particular brand?
I don’t know if you’d have them in the US. They were called Hi-Tec. They were everything but high-tech, though.
Question number three, James, what is the most recent thing you purchased?
I purchased this heavy-duty monitor wall mount. I finally splurged and bought a 49-inch curved monitor that I’m going to hang on my wall. It requires this extra-duty wall mount that I didn’t know of until now because I’m going to mount it this weekend. I’m super excited about it.
I see you’re all set. That’s amazing. For gaming or for consuming shows and stuff?
For work. We moved. I have this whole standing sitting desk with the treadmill on the side, so I need this big monitor wall mount so I can work fourteen hours a day.
Question number four, Anjali, what is the most recent thing you sold?
The most recent thing I sold is my 0N1 Force NFT. It got scooped up. I don’t know if you know what’s happening with it, but when I listed it, it was like twice the floor price. I was like, “Okay, fine. I had it for a year. I’m finally willing to let it go.” I’m trying to prune my collection a little bit. I don’t know if you’re all like me, but we have a lot of NFTs. I’ve been like, “It’s time. I’m going to list some.” I’ve been listing everything for about double the floor price. My 0N1 Force got scooped up. Now I’m like, “That was a bummer.” I don’t know what’s happening with them, but something good is happening.
Question number five, Alastair, what is your most prized possession?
I feel a bit guilty to term it as a possession because it’s a living thing, but it’s my German Shepherd dog, Buddy, which I love to death. Now my children are getting older and ignoring me and getting embarrassed of me. My dog still seems to respect me.
Question number six, Seema, if you could buy anything in the world, digital, physical service, and experience that’s currently for sale, what would it be?
Can I have two? I’ve got a forest cabin, but I’ve also got my eyes on a pair of Saint Laurent crystal boots.
Question number seven, James, if you could pass on one of your personality traits to the next generation, what would it be?
It’s a double sword, but I would guess curiosity because it’s something that motivates and drives, but at the same time, it can get you into some trouble. It’s this double-edged sword thing here, but it keeps you young and alive. You have this one life. Try to find out as much about it as you can.
I detected a little bit of a lean startup language a little bit in some of the earlier conversations from you. I know that’s driven a lot by curiosity. It’s not too much of a surprise, but I appreciate that. It’s important. Question number eight, Anjali, if you could eliminate one of your personality traits from the next generation, what would that be?
When I started my crypto journey, the lesson I got from James was to be yourself 100%. Our only responsibility is to lean in to be you. That is the gift that only you can give. A lot of what I still struggle with is needing to conform. James talked a little bit about being the child of immigrants, having that responsibility of representing everybody. Not necessarily just yourself, but all Indian people, all immigrants.
If I could remove that part of it, maybe the rep sweats part of it and teach everyone or be able to show, move forward being the best version of yourself, whatever that means, because it does include all different parts of you, but being able to shine a light on all of that. I would like for them to have that part without the baggage that I have.
Digital Identity: If platforms will continue to have API integrations, then communities can have a voice and be able to hopefully be large enough one day to influence the platforms themselves.
Question number nine, Alastair. What did you do before joining us on the show?
I had to take the dog for a walk. Otherwise, he would have joined us on the show. He is still a bit young and a bit frisky. It could have well been sat on top of a laptop if I hadn’t worn him out before.
The last one, Seema, what are you doing next after the show?
Making a cup of tea.
That’s Edge Quick Hitters. We appreciate it. Thanks for sharing. We had a lot of fun. We do now want to move on to our next segment, which is Hot Topic. We have our friends, Bill and Eric, on the team. Guys, what’s up? It’s good to see you.
This Hot Topic includes Bill Spata and Eric Andersen, who joined us from DevTeamSix to talk Swap 2.0 and its effect on PDE and more. Welcome to the show, guys.
Thank you for having us.
Thanks for letting us set a record for the most folks on the show at any given moment in time.
I realize we have an issue here, though, because we have a couples episode. The cool thing is you do have two there, but I don’t believe you two are a couple.
Jeff and I have been business partners for over a decade. We’re glad to have Eathan. We have some coupling thing going on there. Guys, you’re doing a lot in this space. We’re excited to have you on. You’ve got this game and his fault and this program. We would love to get an overview of everything you guys are cooking up here and share this with our readers.
We’re DevTeamSix. We’re a blockchain development company out of Phoenix, Arizona. We’ve been developing in the token space for quite some time. A lot of different platforms we’ve already built that are already live and running and doing well. We’ve decided to tackle some of the known issues out there when it comes to various different offerings. One of those big offerings obviously is the NFT space.
It also is in the crypto space, but mainly we’re seeing a lot of it in the NFT world right now. That is play to earn games. We’re seeing good offerings that have been out there in previous projects that have done well. However, they all seem to have the same systemic issue. That is creating sustainability behind the project and finding a way to be able to make these things a forever thing versus a hype.
It gets exciting and awesome and then all of a sudden, it starts to lose some ground because the pricing of these earn-out tokens or reward tokens tends to go down. It tends to start to slide, and then people get angry or they get mad, like, “What’s going on? What’s happening here?” What we’ve done is we’ve taken a technology that we built in the token space. It’s behind what we call Swap 2.0.
What we’ve done is built a way for developers or organizers to be able to develop a reward token that has sustainability, but it requires Swap 2.0. What Swap 2.0 is, an overview version of it, it’s a routing system that is in the swapping mechanism. If you know Unitswap and PancakeSwap, they’re all forks of each other, SushiSwap.
It doesn’t matter what swap that’s out there. They’re literally clone of a clone of a clone. They’re great. They’ve done their job. They’ve done what they needed to do. However, in order to mimic one of the most historically proven, in this case, state to earn tokens or reward tokens out there, you need a different routing system because Uniswap doesn’t offer it, neither does PancakeSwap or any of these swaps out there.
To give you an idea of what that means, for example, the best token out there historically that is a reward token or, in this case, stake to earn token, is Cake. That is with PancakeSwap. When you stake in pools or you stake in farms, you’re going to earn out this token called Cake. Cake has been around for quite some time.
It has a lot of historical data behind it. What we did is we set out on how we could build a token contract or codebase behind a token, a smart contract essentially, that would be able to have the same algorithm, that contract logic that would be used and mimic what Cake does with PancakeSwap. In order to do that, we set out to try to figure out, “Could we do that with the current routing systems that are out there now?” It took us about maybe 4 or 5 months to discover that it was impossible, that it was not possible because the way the weights need to be built into the smart contract logic, it wouldn’t allow us to be doing what’s called buy pressure back into the actual market, the authenticity of the market.
What was out there now, you hear a lot of these tokens and projects out there about buyback tokens and all these different things, this tokenomics that they’ve creatively come up with. Kudos to them for doing that, but a lot of it is if you follow it from start to finish, the way the money moves within these contracts, it literally is a watch. The buyback tokens that are out there now, they’re literally washing the money, essentially. They’re not putting buy pressure into the market. They may temporarily for a second, but in order to be able to buy back into the market, they have to sell contract tokens back into the market to generate the Ethereum, regenerate the BNB in order to be able to buy back from the smart contract.
What Swap 2.0 does is it allows the contract to be able to take their tokenomic fees in the actual paired token, or in this case, it could be Ethereum, USDT, BNB. It depends on whatever they’ve paired with the automatic market-maker. This is something that allows the contract to mimic what Cake does. Those of you that may or may not know what Cake is doing is Cake is in their white paper and their tokenomics. The way that it works is essentially PancakeSwap gets administrative fees, what are essentially trading fees. What they do is they take those trade fees and they go back and they buy back Cake every single day. They buy back at about 3% of the total volume of Cake.
What we’ve done has been able to build a now smart contract that does the exact same thing. That’s what Swap 2.0 is. Swap 2.0 is a routing system. If anybody wants more information on it, they can go to PYE.net. All the information’s there. There are gift books. There are all sorts of documentation. It explains Swap 2.0, how it works today versus what Swap 2.0 brings to the table.
What we’ve done is we’ve built an NFT project behind showcasing and showing proof of concept that the play-to-earn games can use this technology to be able to build a sustainable project that allows the game to live on season after season with sustainability behind it. We’ve built LegacyFriends, which is our NFT project. A lot of different utilities.
I won’t get into all the utilities behind LegacyFriends, but one of the utilities is METATOPIA. It’s a blockchain staking game. We’re getting ready to launch it. We’re excited about it. It will be NFT’s first ever play-to-earn game that is utilizing this Swap 2.0 technology. I know a lot of people are like, “This is the first time. Maybe give it a minute.”
We’ve tested this on multiple chains. We’ve not just tested it, but it’s been live for several months now. We made history on the blockchain to be the first ever swap to act in this capacity back in January or February 2022. It’s been a long time. It’s been running and trading. It’s been a market that’s been live for a long time.
We’ve upgraded the routing system a couple of times between then and now. Various different things, tweaking it, making it better, consistently making sure that we were dialing it in essentially. We’ve waited long enough to get to this stage to make sure that we’ve got a winner. With METATOPIA, they’re going to earn TOPIA token, which is exciting. TOPIA token is a Swap 2.0 token on the Ethereum chain. It is an ERC-20 token. It is something that will be a lot of fun to see how that goes out there. We’ve got a group of holders and a whole community behind it. They’re excited to get started and show the world essentially what Swap 2.0 is all about.
That’s exciting, guys. We went a little bit down in the technical rabbit hole, but as someone that was around the meme coin days and saw all these projects go far up and then far down quickly. This has been a conversation topic. Even for the more established play-to-earn games, this progression towards play and earn.
It’s not an economy if coins go one way and they go out the other, and then there’s a leaky funnel. That’s not a sustainable economy. You undervalued the broader applicability of what you’re doing. Yes, it can apply to games, but I could also see people taking hold of this technology for community building and gamifying, the music side of the space, and the metaverse side of this space.
Gamification is going to be inherently part of Web 3.0 in what’s coming and what we talked about at NFTLA. It’s key to a sustainable economy and community. It’s the reason we were talking about owning Force again. It’s hard for them to climb up that hill after they went down the hill. It’s great to see that they’re climbing up that hill again, but technology like this, the code helps so much. Kudos to you, guys, for all that hard work. Any thoughts from our other guests here on what these guys are building?
Digital Identity: We’ve built an NFT project that’s showcasing and showing proof of concept that play-to-earn games can actually use this technology to be able to build a sustainable project that allows the game to live on season after season, with sustainability behind it.
I’m super interested. What we’re seeing is this evolution of the market. Prior to crypto, I was in gaming. Now we’re seeing NFTs get more into the gaming space. It’s interesting. If I understand this correctly, because there’s a lot of info here that I was trying to keep up, it’s this automated buyback. I wonder if there’s any governance you have regarding how things could evolve or change over time in terms of the weights.
With any project that wants to utilize the actual code base or the logic behind it, they can implement it as a governance. That could be a governance token built in or governance built into it so that the community can make those voting proposals or make a vote on whether or not it is a 3%. Is it a 5%? Is it 10%? Those things can all be built in. Those are all something that depending on the developer and what they’re doing with the project, they can do that. One thing we’ve done on our side is add. This goes back to crypto too. It’s applicable on both sides of the aisle, essentially for both spaces, but when it comes to the NFT side, I’ve been in that game for quite some time.
One of the biggest holders in a lot of these projects. We’ve seen a lot of project developers on the NFT side. They do a good job of coming up with what they call utility. For us, we come from the token space. We’re coming from a completely different mindset, where there has to be some value, a real exchange of value to these investors that are looking for, “What am I going to get a return on the investment that I’ve made?” What we’ve seen is a lot of these guys are going down these places of, “If you stake, you’re going to earn trucker hats and stickers and all these other things.” One thing we wanted to do was be able to have multiple utilities for these earn-out tokens, these play-to-earn tokens.
We’re bringing more pieces of what works well because the token space is far more seasoned than the NFT space. The NFT space is, based on being in both sides of it, they are two years behind the token space when it comes to development, building and bringing offerings of utility, and use cases and applications and things like that. With ours, the Swap 2.0 piece is a massive sustainability piece to the actual play to earn token, but we’re taking that token and we’re doing something special by bringing other pieces of what we’ve done before. For example, we talked about the vault earlier. It was mentioned, the Legacy Vault. They’re going to be able to take their TOPIA token. They’re going to be able to go into the Legacy Vault.
The Legacy Vault is going to have all sorts of stuff. It’ll have other NFTs, real-world products, real-world vacations, all sorts of stuff, a VIP experience, all sorts of things that they can go in there and exchange their TOPIA token for. Everything in that vault starts at one TOPIA token. It’s an auction-style type thing. It allows them to literally go in there and have another opportunity to utilize their TOPIA token outside of the game. A lot of these guys, they’re like, “We’re going to sell more characters. We’re going to do more stuff within the game so that they use the token.” Most people, they don’t want to just recycle the token. They want to be able to see real exchange of value from their token.
We’ve created that. We also have a peer-to-peer exchange. TOPIA token, we’ll have a peer-to-peer exchange. It also will have a liquidity pool that’ll trade inside Swap 2.0 on PIESWAP. There are going to be multiple avenues and channels for them to utilize their TOPIA token to be able to reap some value in real life versus it’s some virtual ledger. It’s something that they can see. They can find a way without selling the underlying asset and be able to see something of value come back into their wallet.
You guys have architected this thing intensively. It’s awesome. We’re excited to see where you take it from here. There are a number of directions that can go within the space you’re already operating in and trying to move the needle on. Also, as Josh mentioned before, there’s applicability in a number of different channels. We want to give our readers the opportunity to go a little bit deeper on their own as well. Where should they follow you? Where should they look to stay abreast of what’s happening with the project?
Check us out on PYE.net. It’s probably going to give you the most info on Swap 2.0. I know there are a lot of people who you set up applicable to multiple different spaces. Anybody that’s a developer or operator looking to get into the space or has a great idea and wants to do something special, go to PYE.net. When it comes to the NFT side, with what we’re doing there and what the new offering is to show that this is an amazing product, it’s LegacyFriends.xyz. That’s where that project lives. MetatopiaWorld.com is the game. Anybody that’s looking for the game, you go to MetatopiaWorld.com. All the information’s there, the game, all of its information is there. White paper, all the information that you would need to know how to play the game. A lot of information out there.
It’s interesting because I see that the previous cycle was this DeFi, NFTs, and DAOs, and they were all separate islands. Now that we have this maturation, this is an example of things all converging. It’s going to be super exciting. You take a little bit of a DAO, take a little bit of DeFi, take a little bit of NFTs and you stir them up in a pot. This is where things get creative and interesting.
We also want to mention, that we got a little giveaway here from you guys as well. We got V Friends’ shoes and two Genesis LegacyFriends NFTs. That’s amazing. We appreciate it, guys. For our readers on that front, keep an eye out on our socials. We’ll give you all the details for that giveaway. Eric and Bill, thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate it. We look forward to catching up real soon.
We’re about to wrap overall on the episode as well. To the Collab.Land and Nuggets team, thank you for the amazing conversation. We could spend a lot more time talking about this important subject. We have a lot of different avenues through which we can do that. We can accomplish that goal. Before we break, though, we need to direct our readers to where to follow you all and everything you’re working on. Please, if we can go around the horn and share where we should send them.
Let’s start with Seema. You look like you’re ready to go.
From the Collab.Land crew?
Any other individual socials you want to get out there?
You can follow me on Twitter @JamesYoung. If you look at my Twitter ID, I’m 1,100 on Twitter. I started Twitter way early, but forgot about it.
I knew there was something there because that’s awesome.
Mine’s @AlastairIJ on Twitter.
One more thing, guys, if you are interested in going deeper with this amazing crew, go to MCON.fun That’s for their event in Denver, especially if you’re in that part of the world, it can’t be that hard to pop by there and say, “What’s up?” I’ll be on my way to Singapore or else, but I’ll be there with you guys in spirit.
You can follow me @KhindaSeema on Twitter.
We’re minting some membership NFTs for Collab.Land, a big group of them. Keep your eye out on our socials for all the details on how to enter the contest and the opportunity to win those. Super valuable. Super cool. That’s generous of you. We do appreciate that.
We’ve reached the outer limit of the show. Thanks for exploring with us. We’ve got space for more adventures on this starship. Invite your friends and recruit some cool strangers that will make this journey all so much better. How? Go to Spotify or iTunes right now, rate us and say something awesome. Go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole. Also, look us up on all major social platforms by typing @EdgeOfNFT and start a fun conversation with us online. Lastly, be sure to tune in next time for more great NFT content. Thanks again, everyone, for sharing this time with us.
- Brittany Kaiser – Past Episode
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- @DamaDeRoca – Anjali Young Twitter
- @JamesYoung – James Young Twitter
- @AlastairIJ – Alastair Johnson Twitter
- @KhindaSeema – Seema Khinda Johnson Twitter
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