Danielle Barich Of H3NSY — Hennessy’s Web3 Platform Where Creators And Communities Can Blend

June 21, 2023
NFT Danielle Barich of H3NSY | H3NSY

Is it even possible to build a solid Web3 presence without launching a single NFT? That is exactly what H3NSY did. This is one of the first brands to launch a sub-brand of Web3 from its main brand without a big drop attached to it. The brand’s Web3 development director, Danielle Barich joins the show to tell us more. H3NSY is a Web3 platform where creators and communities can blend and connect over a shared pursuit of innovation, collaboration, and culture. It is an intriguing digital ecosystem spun off from the iconic brand Hennessy. With their latest project revolving around their exclusive membership community, Café 11, H3NSY is set to broaden its horizons previously reserved for celebrity partners. Hennessy now aims to leverage this community to further spur the creative process. Join in and dive into this fascinating digital world with Danielle!


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Danielle Barich Of H3NSY — Hennessy’s Web3 Platform Where Creators And Communities Can Blend

This is Danielle Barich of H3NSY, the Web3 platform where creators and communities can blend and connect over a shared pursuit of innovation, collaboration, and culture. I am here on the Edge of NFT, so cheers and enjoy another fine episode aged to perfection. Please drink responsibly and keep tuning in.


Stay tuned for this episode to learn why H3NSY has done an incredible job of developing their Web3 presence without even launching an NFT, how our guest finds a way to keep her grandmother always close to her heart, and how Louis Vuitton is entering Web3 in a major way as its most authentic self packaged into a highly sought after and not an inexpensive NFT treasure trunk. All this and more on this episode.

Before we move on, don't forget that our Outer Edge LA event returned to Los Angeles from March 20 through 23, 2023. You can now catch up on all the discussions, presentations and more by heading over to Watch.OuterEdge.live and registering with your email address. You'll have access to over 60 captivating conversations and performances. Binge-watchers are welcome. Netflix, watch out. We'll see you inside.


This episode features Danielle Barich from H3NSY, an intriguing digital ecosystem spun off from the iconic brand Hennessy. She is Hennessy's Web3 development director and has spent more than a decade in the luxury event industry owning her strategist skills to craft unique sensory experiences that resonate with each brand story. In 2021, she began experimenting with Web3 and took a contract role with Ledger. She was working in communications at Ledger and notably on their launch of The Sandbox Ledgerverse. Danielle saw an opportunity to connect her experience in brand strategy with luxury brands and this new Web3 technology, ultimately leading her to her current role with Hennessy.

H3NSY is Hennessy’s vibrant Web3 platform designed as a melting pot for creators and communities to come together in a shared pursuit of innovation, collaboration, and culture. With their latest project revolving around their exclusive membership community, Café 11, H3NSY is set to broaden its horizons previously reserved for celebrity partners. Hennessy now aims to leverage this community to further spur the creative process. Join us as we're going to dive into this fascinating digital world with Danielle. Welcome to the Edge of NFT.

Thanks for having me. I'm happy to be here.

We're thrilled to have you. I guess you just got back to Paris from NFT Lisbon.

I flew in on Saturday and before that, a few weeks ago, it was NFT NYC. I feel like I'm making all the rounds across the world to these different conferences and it's been great.

We'll have you over to LA sooner than later. We got a lot of fun events cooking, but it's been for good reasons that you've been doing the tour. H3 for short, Hennessy's Web3 hangout spot is where you've blended together creators and communities from all over the world to mix and mingle over shared interests like innovation culture. Certainly, Hennessy has been a very culturally significant brand. I'm curious about the backstory of this project, how it got started, and what else it's all about.

Our Web3 journey began with our CEO, Laurent Boillot. He has always been a leader in innovation for the brand and progressing through many cultures of the world. Web3 has become a new subculture, culture, or however you want to define it. Before I was with the company in 2021, he reached out to Ian Rogers, CXO of Ledger and formerly Chief Digital Officer of LVMH at one point. He asked who was a great partner for Hennessy to enter this space. One of the names was Trevor McFedries of Friends with Benefits, and that might be a great fit.

Long story, lots of conversations there, and this idea of Café 11 came to fruition. It’s this idea of mixing 1920s cafe culture across New York and Paris, and then with the 11 being 11:00 AM when our master blender and the tasting committee tasted their eaux-de-vie every day. It’s a very significant time of the day in Cognac. That was born. We launched the project in November 2022. How this relates to H3 is it didn't do as well as we thought. The biggest feedback we got in Discord was that the market had changed. We were surprised, as the 250-year-old Cognac brand, everyone trusts us in Web2. They know they are going to experience quality. They know that our Cognac is the best in the world.

In Web3, shockingly, we didn't have that same trust and clout. With many brands with a lot of empty promises, there were a lot of those feelings in the community. There were a lot of questions about our comms plan. They didn't see enough communication around it and asked about our commitment to the space. That was a great learning for us and we took that feedback back to our teams here in Paris and suggested if we are serious about entering Web3, we need to start a community first. Like we've done in many other aspects of our business in Web2, we need to create a space where we can have ongoing conversations with thought leaders and different communities in the space.

If we are serious about entering Web3, we need to start a community first. We need to create a space where we can have ongoing conversations with thought leaders and different communities in the space. Click To Tweet

We need to have an area we can launch and talk about the projects we're doing like BlockBar, which we launched in 2022 as well, and then have socials where we can meet and discuss with our community, grow new ideas, and co-create before we're launching more projects. In February, we launched the first phase of H3 with our Twitter and Discord as a way to start meeting and communicating with our Café 11 holders and also new community members. We're looking at what phase two is going to look like.

I love that you all went down the rabbit hole, did this customer discovery, and were humble enough to listen, learn, and recognize the importance of community first. I guess it would've surprised me too if I was in your shoes because you deliver on your promises. In a space like ours, the importance of that is even more now than ever before, given the mixed history and space where we've had some incredibly high-value and high-utility projects and some projects that have taken the air out of the room.

We have a way that our comms work. We're a huge brand. We have many sub-brands within that. We have different types of cognac we call brands. As all these different projects are launching, we have one with Alicia Keys in Web2. We have had many projects over the years with different celebrities and artists. We often are moving through much of that quickly that our comms get 2 to 3 weeks to talk about that campaign, and then we move on.

When we approached Web3, because it was mixed in with all of this master brand and all of our other projects, it got that short window. What we realized was that was too quick. We needed to build more conversations, get in there, and understand the community more. We're one of the first brands who've launched a sub-brand of Web3 from our main brand without a big drop attached to it.

NFT Danielle Barich of H3NSY | H3NSY
H3NSY: Hennessey is one of the first brands to launch a sub-brand of Web3 from its main brand without a big drop attached to it.

When we announced H3NSY, many people flocked toward Discord asking when is the drop. We kept copying and pasting the same answer, “We're not doing that right now. We're here to learn and do fun things. Everything we're doing in 2023 is a community first. Do not expect some big extensive drop from us right now. We just want to learn and have fun.” So far, that's what we've been doing. It's working well. It has been a lot of fun and has a lot less pressure. We've learned much to lead us to new and exciting projects that hopefully will come in 2024.

It's one of those secrets lying in plain sight that's been around for several years. You just need to talk to the clientele and have some conversations. Given all of your contexts here and what you're seeing right now, we're looking at luxury digital assets coming in the future of Web3. We've seen some already hit the stage. It's going to evolve in its own way. There are going to be some borrowings from the past. There are going to be some innovations in the future.

How do you see the evolution of luxury branding into Web3? What kind of challenges and opportunities do you see in the metaverse for example? I don't know how much significance there is, but for those that are tuning in, we've got a fun background over there. It looks almost metaverse-y. I also see a present on the floor, which is very tempting to be like, “Do we know what's inside that box?” Let's talk about the metaverse, Web3, and this luxury digital realm.

We're not going to call it Web3 for that much longer. At the end of the day, everyone in this space is looking for more mass adoption. It helps us all when more and more people start adopting wallets, investing in cryptocurrency or NFTs, and other digital assets. That responsibility falls to big brands. You have the trust of millions of people across global markets. They can influence and use that trust to show the mass market new innovations and new technologies. That's going to be the responsibility of a lot of the brands at LVMH, including Hennessy.

With that, there's this fear in the word NFT because it's linked to cryptocurrency. There's a lot of negativity surrounding it in the media and the mass market. As soon as people see those three letters, if you're not in the space, you're a little nervous, “Is that for me?” I think more luxury brands will start adopting the technology but not using the three letters NFT or the word Web3. They'll use the technology and hide it under more Web2 terminologies so that people get the benefits of it without knowing what they're interacting with. It’s similar to maybe how you use your credit card and no one knows what goes on when you tap that.

For luxury brands, it's giving a new meeting to authenticity and ownership. Luxury brands have always been about owning something that says a lot about you that adds to your identity, having something of value, and also proving authenticity. Right now, you buy a luxury handbag and you receive a little plastic card that has a serial number on it. That's the proof that this is real and that you own it. You can lose or destroy it. It's not permanent.

Using blockchain and tokens as proof of ownership or proof of authenticity is going to be a huge part of the luxury market going forward. When you buy a handbag, that's what you're going to get from now on. It’s like a digital passport or receipt in some ways that is going to be linked to the blockchain and prove that you own it, and then link it to the secondary markets, which I think is a whole new evolving industry for luxury right now.

I also think it's a new way of decentralizing purchasing. To give you an example, in Hennessy, we launched our H8 bottles in January 2022. There were two bottles out of 250 to celebrate our 250th anniversary. The two bottles were released on BlockBar for about $250,000 each. This was the first time that a bottle of that caliber was released to the public. Typically, the bottles in our rare edition collection are only released in our private apartment to a very select VIP clientele. This was the first time that it was open to everyone, and in a way that a DAO could purchase it who purchased both bottles. That's also going to be an interesting way of opening up luxury markets to more consumers.

I love all of that. I was in a discussion last week during LA Tech Week about what is going to move the needle in terms of mass adoption. My point was similar to yours. I think it has to be brands and a language that relates to the everyday consumer. To your point, verifiable digital ownership and the connection between the digital side and the physical side of your product is a fantastic use case and something that other brands can emulate as well. You talked about the community being the secret sauce for an approach to H3 and building that community online. What's brewing in the Café 11 community? What are those conversations like and what are the plans for those conversations moving forward?

It's been an exciting community. It's smaller than we projected, but that ends up being the silver lining. We have our Hennessy OGs or our Hennessy Lab, as sometimes I call them unofficially because they've been this community that we can test and learn with, share new ideas, and offer new access to the brand that we've never done before. We threw our inaugural event in Art Basel in December 2022, where all holders were welcome for an amazing twelve-hour event with panels, food, discussions, and a great after-party as well. That was successful.

We launched a second one in Lisbon. Holders were welcome to attend. We also surprised all of our holders with a gifted NFT from a street artist who also does digital collectibles. That's something we love to do. The big piece was we thought, “How do we give co-creation to our community?” For years, we've done collaborations with artists and celebrities. We did one with Kim Jones, and how we can give our community the power to design a bottle that they're going to consume to be able to interact with the brand in a way that has never been done before by any luxury spirits brand.

We're working on a Café 11 bottle. Our community was given a brief on what this project would be. The first step was voting on the artist that they wanted to choose. We pre-selected some artists. One is the original artist who did the NFT, should they want to continue that aesthetic and throughline. We also proposed to other artists more in the generative art and NFT space. The community voted to continue with the aesthetic of John who did the NFT design.

They'll be working with him in Discord to share ideas and what they like to see. He's going to figure out his creative process of what information he wants to take from each person, and how he can create that into a piece of art that'll then go on the bottle and on the box. Once this art is validated by the community and also our legal teams to be sure that it's within regulation, those bottles will be available on BlockBar to exclusive Café 11 holders. It is a gift with their membership from purchasing that in November, and something that they get to design. They'll be the only people that have it. It's an exciting project.

It's a great example of bringing that digital community to the physical world. How many Café 11 holders are there?

It’s 484.

That's going to be special for them.

We love that we get to partner with BlockBar. How that will work is it'll be token dated. You have to connect your wallet and show a case that you have the NFT. If you have multiple, you can claim multiple bottles. Essentially you mint a free NFT that's the 3D form of the bottle. You hold onto that while the bottle is being produced.

What's also exciting about this project is typically a partnership. It's about a two-year lead time on a bottle being redesigned. In this case, we're able to push it to one year or even less by the time the design is done. What Web3 technology allows us to do is also we can pre-gift the bottle while the slower process of the bottle design is happening. Once the bottle is ready, you can redeem and burn the NFT we gave you to redeem and ship your bottle to your home. It is a cool process that before Web3, we did not have the option to do.

Nothing like a nice bottle of Hennessy to get in the mail. I'm sure it's wrapped very nicely. There's something about that packaging that makes you feel special. When you're looking through Web3, back to this luxury lens, are you looking around at other projects in the market that you think are worth to double-take on that you should check out where you're inspired by?

A project that I was inspired by is on hold, from what I know. I'm disappointed because I want to see what happens. It is the Byredo-RTFKT collaboration. That was something announced in June or July 2022. Byredo, the perfume brand teamed up with RTFKT. They were doing these auras where fragrance is connected with a personality. Your CloneX could choose a mixture of their personality. It created this aura around them, but then that signified a mixture of fragrances, and then you would get the actual perfume that was mixed with all the auras you chose. I thought that was interesting.

I come from a background of a lot more sensorial marketing and brands. That's what also attracted me to Hennessy. It is a real-life product that you have. You taste it and it has notes. The fragrance has a lot of that too. That’s what interests me. How do you take a product that you essentially need to enjoy in real life? How do you add a digital storytelling element to it? How do you bring it into Web3 without ruining the essence of the product and the brand?

I thought that was an interesting approach. From what I know, it's still on hold. I don't have a CloneX, but I ask friends of mine who do. I think there are a lot of similar questions in the Discord and community asking when. That's one I'm very curious about. We've all been watching what Starbucks, Nike, and Adidas are up to as a large brands as well. What they're doing in more of a membership space is interesting.

In Starbucks, they didn't use a lot of Web3 terminology. Being one of the first to not go down the hard NFT road to sell out their project was something that intrigued me. It’s something I paid close attention to. It's no secret that Web3 loyalty is a huge topic right now along with AI. Cracking that in the luxury space is a tricky thing to do without it cheapening your brand. We're not Air Miles here. No one buys an Hermès bag with Air Miles. Finding ways to connect those two worlds in luxury space will be interesting. I haven't seen anyone doing it quite yet.

It's no secret that Web3 loyalty is a huge topic right now. Cracking that in the luxury space is a tricky thing to do without it cheapening your brand. Click To Tweet

The perfume one reminded me of the hot sauce pepper party. This was a while ago. Our friend put it out there. He did something similar to what you're talking about perfumes where you could have these different hot sauces with all these different combinations of things. You could buy the NFT and then get the hot sauce. Josh got one of the hot sauces to enjoy on a lobster roll.

We had another episode with a company that was selling lobster as an NFT membership. I had to create a new type of lobster roll. I used the hot sauce. I induced the accidental collaboration there. To your point, Danielle, I was having another recent conversation with someone about the entertainment space. We realized that there are a lot of analogies for what you're dealing with in the senses and the core space with all types of band engagement.

He was joking with me that it's good to have broccoli in terms of independent content, but people don't want broccoli all the time. They want french fries. To your point, you have this special luxury item that people gravitate back to. They may try other Cognacs, but they always go back to the one that they have the fondest connection with like Hennessy. It comes with a special amount of responsibility and opportunity. It's cool what you're doing there.

The music industry is also big on our radar with NFTs and Web3 at Hennessy. We're connected to hip-hop culture as a brand. It goes back very far in our history. We're the most-named brand in hip-hop. I think we're named in over 5,000 songs and we've never paid for that. There's a clear connection there. We chatted with a few different companies doing some interesting things in this space. Everyone is still figuring out the best way to connect fans and music to use Web3 to give artists more control and responsibility over their own licensing or launching of their music. That's something that I'm keeping a pulse on as that develops. We're still pretty early, but something exciting is going to happen in the music industry using blockchain and Web3 technology.

NFT Danielle Barich of H3NSY | H3NSY
H3NSY: We're still pretty early, but something exciting is going to happen in the music industry using blockchain and Web3 technology.

I used the analogy earlier in terms of marinating but fermentation. Cognac is a fermentation process, is that correct?


As you're distilling your roadmap moving forward, the focus is to double down on the community. Are there any additional partnerships or artist collaborations or features that we should be on the lookout for that you haven't mentioned yet?

There are some exciting things happening this summer, not necessarily in Web3, but some fun points with Hennessy as a brand. There are lots to look forward to in 2024. I would say for people to jump in our Discord, hang tight, and play with us for a little while as we release pieces and tease them out over the next 6 to 8 months. For us, we approach Web3 like we approach Cognac. It's about maturation. It's a slow process. It's about excellence. In the next phase of our Web3 journey, we're taking that time as well to do it right. We're very excited to share more in 2024.

How long does it take to make a typical Cognac?

The youngest eaux-de-vie we use is two-year maturation. We go up to some that are 50 years to hundreds of years that are used in some of our rare editions. We have some eaux-de-vie that's in our cellars that is from 1810. It's the oldest I've seen that’s still in the cellar. That gets put into our very select high-end cognacs. Our VS is a minimum of two years.

Folks just need to sit back, chill, hang out for a little while, and enjoy the journey.


It's time to move on to a very fun segment that we will enjoy called Edge Quick Hitters. This is a fun and quick way to get to know you a little bit better, Danielle. There are ten questions. We're looking for a short single or few-word response, but feel free to expand if you get the urge. Are you ready?


First question, what is the first thing you remember ever purchasing in your life?

Probably an Aaron Carter CD or something like that when I was six years old.

Is that still in your collection?

No. I apologize. My six-year-old self did not have better taste in music

What is the first thing you remember ever selling in your life?

My timer ideas. From a very young age, I was very entrepreneurial. I would offer to babysit. I try and sell people that I could redecorate their living rooms. I was always trying to sell my time essentially and create a little service business.

I love the upsell on babysitting. I've never thought about that. There's an incredible upsell opportunity there.

It's true. I'd go around to the neighbors, “I could watch your kids.”

The best is if you get the kid involved. I've got your kid moving the furniture around. They're being productive while I'm babysitting.

Design some new meals the kid loves and then, “I can make those for you.”

That's how my brain thinks. Even at a young age, I always thought everything is a business opportunity that I could do.

What is the most recent thing you purchased?

More ETH because my ledger was dead. I needed to mint NFTs on my MetaMask, which didn't have any more ETH on it.

Can you say what you minted? Is that allowed?

At our event, I minted an open edition NFT we offered from OBEY and Bill. One of the pieces they did together. Shepard Fairey called us and said he wanted to be involved. That was a gift to anyone who came to the event at the conference. I minted one and that was what I needed ETH for.

What is the most recent thing you sold?

I honestly have no answer for that one. I don't sell things very often.

Technically, you sold some ETH to do your mint, but more of a swap.

I don't know if I'd call it selling. All the NFTs, I keep the ones I've bought so far. Maybe I guess again next time. I feel like I sell H3NSY to the world every day and share what that is. Hennessy, I'd say.

Selling your passion. That's great.

Nobody called Danielle for babysitting. She stopped with that I think. Question number 5. What is your most prized possession?

That's an easy one. The necklace I'm wearing. It's my grandmother's. It says, “I'll love you more than yesterday but less than tomorrow” in French. She was a pretty cool woman. She’s no longer with us, but I wear it every day.

That’s a great one. If you could buy anything in the world, digital or physical service or experience that is currently for sale, what would it be?

That's an easy one in a different roundabout way, but there's an apartment in Paris I love to buy mostly because I want to play around with AI and interior design as a little sub-passion project. It'd be fun to buy an old wrecked apartment that hasn't been touched in 80 years and use AI to redesign it and see how far you can take the new tech. That's something I'd love to do.

Are there specific AI design tools that you know of that you can share with the audience that might be interesting?

There's a site Interior.ai and there are a few other ones, but I can't remember the name. They are not quite there. People develop it, but mid-journey, I've played around with it a lot, throwing some images in. It warps rooms. It is not quite there. Interior AI seems to be pretty close, but there's probably more that I haven't discovered yet. By the end of this episode, there will be a new one out that someone has used the AI to create. I'm excited to see what happens.

If you could pass on one of your personality traits to the next generation, what would it be?

That no job is too big or too small. We need to do whatever it takes. Click To Tweet

If you could eliminate one of your personality traits from the next generation, what would it be?

Imposter syndrome. More people need to get rid of that, including myself.

What did you do before joining us on the show?

It’s not very glamorous, but working on the contract for the artists that were chosen for Café 11 community bottle. I have to finish drafting that up so that they can get co-creating with the community.

Drop the contract and get business done. No job is too big or too small. Final Question. What are you going to do after the show?

It is 11:15 here in Paris at night. I’ll probably check in on a few Slack messages and go to bed, and wake up tomorrow to keep working on Hennessy.

Sounds about right. Keeping busy and getting things done. It seems to be a little bit of a theme here. That concludes our Edge Quick Hitters. Thank you for participating.


It's time to check in on Swoops. This is our fun new recurring segment where we own and manage our own Web3 digital basketball team brought to us by Swoops. Swoops is a blockchain-powered basketball simulation game that allows users to own and operate a 100% unique team, enter real money contests with their squads, and win daily cash prizes. It's great to be involved with the project. They're doing fun and new things now with the next season. The previous season was called the SSN0 season. We're now in the SSN1 season.

Personally, our team got a few new players. Things are getting a little bit better in terms of our pickens. We got some 4-star players on our team, we had a few 1-stars, and maybe one 5-star. We've got some better players on the system. We still got our eye on this idea of trading and trying to explore exactly how we want to do that. It seems like trading can be as simple as going to OpenSea, finding some cool players, and taking your pick.

I thought it would be fun to go through some of the Twitter posts out there on the Swoops channel, and see what people are trading. Interestingly enough, we've got this former Boston Blockchain. It is one of the greatest winners and most dominant defensive presences that we've ever seen. This is Bill Russell High, he went for 1.3 ETH. People are getting generous here, trying to snatch up the best player. We missed out on Bill Russell High.

We also missed out on Coven Bridges. If we wanted to maybe pay a higher price point, we could offer it. Coven went for slightly less. Elite Distributor Coven Bridges is on the move to the hive for 0.58 ETH, which is around $1,000 at the time of trading. They're saying everything you'd want from a floor general passing IQ leadership will completely chain the complexion of the new squad establishing a selfless culture on the court.

A lot of interesting stuff is going on, and also MVPs are climbing the ladder here in week three. Swoops announced Degen King, Darius Garland, and Larry Password are doing some pretty good numbers here on the court. Degen Kings of the Knights of Degen, Darius Garland is from the Metacourt miners, and Larry Password is from the Switch Beats Team. I like that Larry Password. Very plain but powerful. A lot of cool stuff going on. We got to get our hands dirty and do some trading ourselves.

I also want to alert people of the Swooper points system that's going on. For your info, team points are earned for both activities, playing games, and performances. For example, winning games and tournaments. Why they matter is you enter into a seating at the end of the season Swooper Bowl that is determined by the Swooper points. You can earn them by playing five games a day, winning a tournament, completing weekly team challenges, and winning 25 games a week, for example. Get in there if you are involved and get your points earned. That's how you do it.

Make sure that information is out there. We also want to remind people about Swoops GM. It's for those interested in this whole thing but hasn't taken the plunge yet. It's a free-to-play version that you use real NBA players. Use them to practice your team-building skill before jumping in. It's a daily NBA strategy game.

You think of it like Wordle for digital strategy basketball. There's a new team each morning. You can play against them and see if you can build the best team against who's on the block there. It's a lot of practice for how you build your own team. Having said that, Josh is going to show us a little bit about playing that GM, and also here's what it's going to look like once you're playing the game and you're in. Let's check out what you got to share there.

This is pretty exciting. We're in season 2, as you mentioned, Eathan. We're playing along and our team is doing solid this year. It's pretty simple to join a team or to play a game. I'm going to click join. I chose five Swoopsters because we have a full stack here. Now I get to choose what players to go with. Our top dog is Tron Stockton. He always plays guard, then I have a choice of another guard. We have a couple of strong guards and some guard forwards. I'm going to go with 2792 this time. For the forward position, it makes sense for us to go up with 2794. Let's see. To round it out, I'll go with Chris Politron, our 2-star forward. We have one center right now.

I'll talk a little bit about strategy in a moment there. For now, I'm going to put our center forward and submit the lineup. We are competing against SWF, the Super Friends. Look out, guys, I'm feeling pretty confident about this game. If you look at our leadership board and sort by wins, I'd like to point out that we are hanging out there. We are about in the 80s range right now. I'll find the stat momentarily but basically, we're in the middle of the pack. We're getting better this season. It’s definitely above that 500 mark.

I think I know why you couldn't find this. We're at 190.

We are above that 500 mark. With a little bit more games this year, we'll get there. I'm pretty confident in our skills this year. There are 228 teams so far. We're at 189. We've lost some games since I last checked. Maybe we do need to do some trading, Ethan. If I was going to guess, I'd say that we probably want to look at some of our 1-star players.

It's hard to let them go. We've grown so accustomed to them. We like hanging around. They've got a good sense of humor.

It's time for them to hit OpenSea. That's what it comes down to. I expect some more victories ahead. Don't count us out yet guys.

Thanks a lot for checking out this segment. We hope you guys get in the mix. We hope you're not among those that beat us. If you do, that's okay. Make sure if you're not involved yet, go and check out the GM challenges. That's fun. GM.PlaySwoops.com. Put in a promo code Edge of NFT to make sure that we're on board with everything you're doing there.

I encourage you to go over to the socials for Swoops and post your activities or stuff like your lineups, and tag us when you go over there to Twitter. The Swoops Twitter is @PlaySwoops. Have fun out there, and you can always go to PlaySwoops.com to get started and get your plan together. You can go over to OpenSea to get your players and pick them up as well. A couple of our players might be out there. You can see if you can do something better with them. We probably have a little bit of time for hot topics. What do you think, Josh?

Let's see what we got going on there.

Louis Vuitton is to sell $39,000 in NFTs. It has been a quiet year on the Web3 front. Louis Vuitton is getting further into the NFT game. They are announcing a new collection of Digital Treasure Trunks, which will grant owners access to future products and experiences as well as a community of fellow holders. Each piece costs 39,000 euros. Only several hundred trunks will be made available. Danielle, what's your take on this?

It's exciting as part of the LVMH family to see another brand entering the space. We have been waiting to hear what Louis Vuitton was going to do. It was fun to see the announcement the other day. I think it's the right strategy for them. They're a super luxury brand. It’s very different than maybe Hennessy's consumers. That's what's also interesting about luxury brands. There are all different types. We have a product that goes from $48 up to $1 million, whereas Louis Vuitton’s price points are quite high.

NFT Danielle Barich of H3NSY | H3NSY
H3NSY: It's to see another LVMH brand entering the Web3 space. We have been waiting to hear what Louis Vuitton was going to do.

For them, doing anything in the NFT space at a lower price point would've devalued the brand. They needed to go to this exclusive. Tying it to the trunk is amazing. Can you get the physical one too? It's just not a 3D case, and typically the smallest ones start at 14,000 euros. You're pretty much getting the value of the physical product right from the get-go. They've announced the first key to the next experience and the next product comes with Pharrell's first collection, which will be amazing. There will be some exclusive products there. It's a great project. Maybe a little biased.

There's that fantasy idea of having an awesome trunk full of cool stuff to sport. It says the NFT launched part of a new project called VIA the Latin word for road, which nods to its aim to act as an elite pathway toward products and experiences that are inaccessible to others to become a key trend in branded NFT. Projects with hard-to-acquire and expensive NFTs are often positioned as the keys to other products and experiences, both physical and digital. Brands see VIA as a new chapter, which extends to traceability as seen in the LV Diamonds Collection, which uses the Aura blockchain and event-focused NFTs that cultivate and reward communities of NFT holders.

I love it when anybody, no matter what brand, is taking full advantage of the breadth of things that you can do through NFT technology, be it membership, ticketing, access, traceability, and all of these kinds of things that are going on behind the scenes. It speaks to exactly what you said, Danielle, earlier about Web3 or whatever you want to call it. It's here to stay and people are going to be utilizing it because you can. You might as well use it when you want to use it.

There are a lot of special parts of this project that you can tell there's been a lot of thought put in. For example, the Soulbound collectible element of it. It is permanent on the blockchain that you are the original owner. That's cool. I also think it's cool that you are getting these additional gifts over time. It's an opportunity to maybe share those gifts with others or de-risk from the original cost that you purchased. It’s similar to what Gary Vee did with the Gift Goat. No one knew what they were going to get and those Gift Goats went up in value a lot.

I think the challenge with something like this goes with the element of exclusivity with those in the Web3 community that are trying to democratize finance. They look at every project in Web3 as a mechanism for that. That's not going to be every company. Louis Vuitton doesn't fit that. That's not what their brand is all about. It doesn't mean that they don't believe in that mission, but it's not a fit for them. There are other brands that can do something like that. I appreciate Louis Vuitton sticking to its heritage. It's what's authentic to that brand, which may not be a fit for everyone, but not everyone buys Louis Vuitton. That's okay.

Would you want it if it was available to everyone? What makes Louis Vuitton work is there's that level of scarcity, which is also common with the Web3 culture and NFTs. That's not something new. I think our goal with blockchain, crypto, and NFTs was this idea of decentralization and inclusivity. We can all get real that didn't quite come to fruition. There have been a lot of very high-priced assets out there.

For this, it's very exclusive. It's by invitation or a small white list. There is the opportunity to get on the white list and have the opportunity to purchase this. This isn't different from their Web2 strategy already. You have to be a fairly high-spending clientele to be invited to try on exclusive collections or see products first. This is a new way of proving that, instead of your name being on a list on a computer.

Let's do one more hot topic. Let's hit the Kraken NFT marketplace launching with support for Ethereum, Solana, and Polygon Collections. Cryptocurrency Exchange Kraken officially launched that marketplace out of beta testing supporting over 250 NFTs across the Ethereum, Solana, and Polygon Blockchains. They launched a public beta version in November. Initially, it offered support for a curated selection of 70 NFT collections on Ethereum and Solana.

As part of its public launch, the platform has pledged to include not only blue chip projects like CryptoPunks and Bored Ape Yacht Club but also more affordable collections that can be bought for under $100 value. Some of these exchanges have launched their NFT marketplaces in the past several months or years maybe. I'm surprised to read it. I've not been keeping track of Kraken and what they've been doing with their NFT marketplace that tightly. It is maybe a little surprised they haven't had one yet. What do you think, Josh?

Certain other changes make the news more frequently such as Coinbase and Binance, but Kraken has been there doing their thing and providing services to a good and growing segment of the market for quite some time. When it comes to an NFT marketplace and exchange, I don't personally fully understand the use case, but I do appreciate that they probably have some crypto users that want to dabble in NFTs and are very comfortable with their platform. Giving them the opportunity to stay there and do those types of things makes sense.

I also think it shows forward-looking as a company bridging the different elements of crypto and Web3 together. It's happened quite a while after the Coinbase NFT marketplace. I'm hopeful that they have taken stock in terms of what worked and what didn't work there. This can be a nice added value for those folks that do use Kraken. I am one of those people. I do find it to be a useful marketplace. It checks all the boxes for me. It's one for folks to check out and maybe this will attract some new users.

I feel like the octopus is my spirit animal. I have a certain love in my heart for the name Kraken. I didn't know what it meant until I looked it up, but it’s a gigantic tentacle sea monster of Scandinavian myth. I'd like to know how they picked that. They're clearly doing something special. They stayed afloat. They've kept abreast of everything else that's going on, and they're continuing to drive forward. It adds a little bit of support to the whole community here by saying, "Even though NFT is something that's not popular right now, it's important enough for us to do something like this.” Should we move on from that? Let's hit the next one. We want to do a shout-out segment here with Danielle. We understand you might have someone you'd like to shout out. Who would that be?

We worked with Ephemeral Ethernal who works with Bill in his studio and represents a lot of NFT artists focusing on this bridge between physical and digital. We have worked with Bill and their team in a different capacity as a brand before doing a few different collaborations on our bottles with some of the various artists in a physical format. This was our first time being able to continue that partnership, bridging into this more digital world with these NFTs that we gifted people who came to our event, but also our Café 11 members.

They were an amazing team to work with. We loved collaborating in this way and continuing our brand’s DNA of supporting artists being part of that new and upcoming culture. Not that street art is new, but moving it into the NFT space is something we've only seen in the last few years. I'd say shout out to them because what they're doing with their artists is amazing, and the event was proof of that.

It's always good to bring something onto people's radar through a shout-out. Thanks for that. That officially leads us to the closing here. Before we wrap up, where can our audience go to learn more about you and the projects you're working on?

The best place to go is our Twitter. It's @H3nsy. On there, you'll find a link to our Discord. Jump on in. There are many exciting things happening, and more will come over in 2024. If you want to join Café 11, you can do it through the secondary market on OpenSea. Go to our Discord for the official links. Make sure to click on the right link there. You can also find us on Instagram @Hennessy, which is more of our Web2 socials, but we do post about exciting things we're doing in Web3 there as well. Those are the best places to stay tuned for what's coming next for us.

We've reached the outer limit of the Edge of NFT for today. Thanks to everyone for exploring with us. We've got space for more adventures on this Starship. Invite your friends. Recruit some cool strangers that will make this journey all so much better. How? Go to Spotify or iTunes. Rate us and say something awesome, then go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole. 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 Web3 content. Thanks again for sharing this time with us.

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