Eran Elhanani and Constantin Kogan are the co-founders of BullPerks and GamesPad—the world’s first holistic gaming, NFT, and metaverse ecosystem. In this episode, they share with us their big vision of creating a vertically-integrated gaming ecosystem. With different studio partnerships and decentralized deal flow, Eran and Constantin have an ambitious and creative project in their hands. They also share how they go the extra mile to care for their employees worldwide. BullPerks and GamesPad are surely to watch for! What is more, VESA joins the conversation and shares his latest work in Dubai with NFT Cars as well as Egyptian Pyramids and more!
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Eran Elhanani & Constantin Kogan Of BullPerks & GamesPad, Plus: VESA With Utility Stacked NFT Art Cars, And More…
This is Eran Elhanani and Constantin Kogan, the Cofounders of BullPerks and GamesPad, the world's first holistic gaming, NFT, and metaverse ecosystem that incubates the most impactful crypto gaming projects. We are on Edge of NFT, the show that brings the most impactful NFT projects to you. Stay tuned.
Stay tuned for this episode and find out about GamesPad's silent partner and K9 friend, Caesar, plus how the GamesPad team goes the extra mile to care for employees in fifteen different countries like their family, and how VESA's incredible artwork is shining light throughout the world, plus hamsters, Egyptian pyramids, and stellar giveaways. All this and more on this episode. Don't forget, we put together a gathering at NFT LA just a few months back that brought out thousands of the world's most innovative doers in the NFT space. Head to NFTLA.live to get tickets to our bigger, better, bolder, but also just as an intimate and impactful event happening in Los Angeles from March 20th to 23rd, 2023. See you there.
This episode features Eran Elhanani and Constantin Kogan, the Cofounders of BullPerks and GamesPad, the ultimate gaming, NFT and metaverse ecosystem. Eran is one of the Cofounders of BullPerks and GamesPad. He is also the Founder of Part One Capital, a crypto investment firm, and an advisor on multiple crypto projects. He's a serial entrepreneur, seasoned Angel investor, speaker, and previous venture partner in a boutique VC. He holds a BSc in Medicine, Computer Science, and Math.
Constantin is the second Cofounder of BullPerks and GamesPad. He's also a partner at BitBull Capital, Founder of Adwivo, as well as a former Managing Director at Wave Financial. He is an entrepreneur, meta-connector, influencer, blockchain technology enthusiast, and digital asset investor. A top thought leader in hedge funds, IT startups, and venture capital, Cogan holds a PhD in Sociology and an MEd.
GamesPad is a holistic gaming NFT and metaverse ecosystem. It is a one-stop shop for everything GameFi, metaverse, and NFT that brings together a gaming incubator, game-specific multi-chain launchpad, decentralized venture capital, NFT aggregator and marketplace, plus has in-house gaming, production studios, and much more. GamesPad is the culmination of years of expertise, research, and passion of the professional team committed to propelling blockchain gaming to the mainstream. Constantin and Eran, welcome to the show. It's great to have you here.
Thank you for having us.
Thank you. We're glad to be here.
We had the pleasure to participate in some of your media programs affiliated with your projects too. We appreciated the invite and we had a lot of fun. You're running a professional operation in that respect. It was a pleasure to participate.
Likewise. You also participated in the research paper that we released regarding the metaverse.
It's a very cool project.
Let's dive into it. Since you mentioned it, what's going on with that research paper? How did people respond?
It caught up a lot of publications and press. People respond differently. Some of them are exciting because it's targeting people who are looking at the metaverse and NFTs for the first time. Others are pretty negative because of what's happening with the secondary market. They're saying, "It's not even worth talking about." There's not enough interest, but it's good. They have an opinion. We respect all types of opinions about something.
Creating an ecosystem as you have done here is being inclusive of all types of feedback. You have a big vision with this vertically-integrated gaming ecosystem with all these different studio partnerships and decentralized deal flow. It's ambitious and creative. Can you tell us how this project came to be?
The first project was BullPerks. Constantin and I met through a mutual friend. We noticed that we had similar visions. We invested in some similar projects and hit it from the beginning. We wanted to help both retail people. Until then, there weren't any options to invest through a platform that is trustworthy and public. You had pools that were anonymous people, and people that didn't come from investment backgrounds. They were just taking fees from people. That was their own interest.
We decided, based on our investment background, that we know how to do due diligence projects. We will do it for the community, and then provide a platform that is trustworthy and public where they know who is behind it, as well as help young founders or founders that are coming from different backgrounds that don't know anyone or anything in the crypto world.
We wanted to help them also with marketing, connections to exchanges, influencers, and how to build communities because it's a different world. That's how BullPerks started. In April 2021, we launched it. We worked on it a few months before, and then we launched a few projects in the gaming, metaverse, and NFT space. We noticed the trend for most, to be honest, which is why we started working on GamesPad, which is the gaming metaverse and NFT ecosystem. It has been great.
That date sounds very familiar, Eathan. We started this show at the very end of March 2021 around the same time.
The first episode went out at that point. It was a couple of months of generating ideas and putting things together, but everything wrapped together pretty quickly. We do have a guest dog on the show. What's your dog's name?
Is it Julius Caesar or some other Caesar?
He came with the name from the shelter but he behaves like Julius Caesar.
He's got a lot to say. I resonate with what you're talking about. You briefly mentioned the doxed versus undoxed thing that goes on here. That has always been something that has been uncomfortable for me. There's something appealing about being anonymous but I've never felt comfortable with that. I always want to be like, "It's me." I want people to know who I am and what I'm doing and rest on my reputation as it were.
It makes me think of carnivals in various countries in Latin America, Europe, and so forth where you put in a costume. You get to be someone else and be anonymous. That's great but those things are good for a day of the year but not necessarily a lifestyle. Let's talk about BullPerks' team. A crypto launchpad from our records here has reached 7,355% all-time average high returns on all the deals. It is pretty incredible what you have been able to put together. Tell us more about your team and how you've achieved what you have been able to.
I'll first make a disclaimer. It was during the peak of the market, to be fair. We want to be very open and transparent. This is not a stable or constant thing like investment advice, but if you're talking about an all-time high, we reached even more. I don't want to brag, but it was about 9,000% or something like that, but it's a subjective metric by itself. The average one was more important, which was around 4,400% during the peak of the market. Now, it fluctuates. Sometimes it's positive.
I'll be frank with you. In aggregates, the average return from all the projects is about 40% or 50%-plus, depending on how you calculate. It can be different because of market fluctuation. To make sure we're on the same page, the way it's calculated is from the ideal price, and then it calculates the difference between the current price of the token in aggregate from all the projects. You can imagine that it's a dynamic figure by itself.
What is the aggregate now?
The average would be -34%. If you think about it from all the hundreds of launchpads, we are number 5 or 6 in the world out of the hundred, depending on the day. When people hear minus or even a small minus of 34%, they're like, "This is a negative investment." In reality, if you think about it, that makes you consider that there are projects that did extremely well that are still positive from the time you invest. There are projects that are probably nuts that did well. Maybe some of them are already bankrupt.
That's also the reality of venture capital. I'm sure all the people who ever invested in early-stage startups understand that 70% to 80% of them are not going to succeed. That's the nature of the game. If you're not ready for this, you probably should not be investing in early-stage projects. Our job is to make sure we try to filter and pick the winners to the best knowledge and the best intention that we can.
Regardless of whatever numbers that we're walking through, you’re talking to them. You're someone that in any market is participating in the conversation and trying to lead the way. It reminds me of someone that we collaborated with. They're someone from Sandbox. I checked their LinkedIn profile. It said, "Survivor of two crypto bear markets." It's a useful thing to point out because those folks that stick around in these times that we're in now are the ones that are laying the foundation for the future, building probably the real outsized returns over the long run, and doing things that are creating meaningful value.
To put that into additional perspective, the overall market is down substantially more than that 30%-something. That's an additional context that's important to understand. You have outperformed the market as a whole. If you were attentive to your choices, you probably have had some nice wins along the way. Participating in the gaming economy for a financial return is not for the faint of heart.
It's something that you should do with a percentage of your portfolio though this is not investment advice. It's just our thoughts on that side of things. The bottom line is you created a holistic ecosystem. That's interesting to us. We're all about co-creation and communities. What's so special about Web3 is how you integrate gaming, NFTs, and the metaverse altogether. You've taken a fairly unique approach. We would love for you to elaborate on that a little bit for our audience.
We have a lot of pieces, whether it's the decentralized VC and the launchpad or whether it's the gaming studios, NFT marketplace, and metaverse. It sounds like there are a lot of things but at the end of the day, they all fit together like a puzzle. For example, based on the deal flow that we get as a VC and as the launchpad, we know better than most what are exactly the trends in the market, what's missing, and what project strengths or weaknesses.
We see opportunities for the acquisition of projects or studios, which is what we did. We acquired three studios to build it, and then we absorbed them and building them in-house. That also brings us to strengths with metaverse or the NFT marketplace because we have all those other portfolio companies that we invested in or launched. We can link them together and bring their collections, for example, to the marketplace and their assets to the metaverse. We can collaborate with them. At the end of the day, it might sound like a lot of different things but they all seem to work together.
To add to this as you asked before, Eathan, to talk a little bit about our team, we now have more than 110 people in 15 countries. Most of them are decentralized. We have only the studios that we acquired. They have offices because that was there before, but the core team, which has 60-plus people, is completely decentralized, which we're also proud of. It was not easy. You're talking about different time zones, cultures, and mentalities, but that's the fun part. That's the nature of crypto. People come together and have the same vision and the same mission.
It's fun and beautiful. They try to interact. We build several communities with different languages. Another strength of ours besides English is we have very strong communities in Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese, Turkish, Russian, and many other languages. We're trying to help others to invite members and to even educate. Not all of the members of the communities are token holders. Maybe they invest. We produce a lot of educational content just like you guys. We probably manufactured 100-plus different basic videos on how to set up a wallet or how to put this chain.
We may get into doing this at some point. We're such deep nerds that we only want to talk about the more advanced stuff, but it's worth pointing out that that's hard work. Even though it's simple stuff, a lot of people need to learn and sit down, especially when you're working on more advanced things, and put together a system to put that type of content together. There are rewards to doing it. It's not easy to do. Kudos on doing that stuff. I want to shift the direction a little bit over to the launch of your NFT lottery on your NFT marketplace. What are the specifics of that lottery? How can people participate? Can our audience participate in that? How does that work?
The idea of the lottery is that any person can buy some tokens and make a bid between $5 to $10. That's your bid. For the rewards, we offer NFTs that are worth hundreds or thousands of dollars. You make a bid of $5 to $10. The person who puts the bid that is the closest and first wins that NFT. We finished a lottery with Goblintown. The winner put in a bid of $5 to $10. You can win a Goblin that is worth probably $1,500 or more at this point.
Let me clarify what you mean. Is this like The Price is Right where there's a number between $5 and $10?
Yes. You don't know what the price is. It's set in a smart contract. It's not random.
It's like, "Guess how many jellybeans are in the jar." I like it. That's fun. Those are always fun.
We do believe those are innovative ways how to attract attention because if you think about it, the marketplace right now is the regular auction model. It's a little bit saturated where you have so many marketplaces. The differentiator is the actual product or the NFT. We thought about, "How can we bifurcate? How can we change something so that it will be more attractive to participate and so that it will be more fun?" That's another differentiator.
We try to think about things like models that are innovative, and even the fact that people can participate. We can talk about our NFT locker system and even the marketplace. That was one of the first that we did in the world probably where people in the GamesPad launchpad should hold tokens and NFTs. That's probably one of the first experiments in the world that has that. After that, we realize that we also need our marketplace as proof of concept for a secondary market.
That's innovative. I was in Vegas. They had this cool NFT quarter machine. For 0.08 ETH, you spin the machine and get a Deadfella worth quite a lot of money or an NFT that's not worth so much. I did not fare well on my first go but it was exciting. You mentioned your NFT marketplace. Let's dive into the details there on what you're doing on the new frontier in that area.
It was created in the beginning by demand. We have a very vibrant community. We sold successfully a lot of our NFTs. We realized that the first utility was to participate in the deals. We promised and committed to our community that there will be more utilities. You need to provide people with an opportunity to trade it. We quickly realized that even though people talk about interoperability, composability, and other beautiful features, we couldn't have listed our NFTs on OpenSea, Rarible, or other marketplaces.
We had to create our own. There's not even a choice because this is on the BSC chain. To transfer it is a separate technical nightmare. We realized that first of all, we have to provide that. That's our commitment to the community. Secondly, we realized that we have so many partnership opportunities. We invested and launched 70-plus projects. A lot of them are listing NFTs, and they need not only listing on OpenSea, and there will be debt in the waters with millions of others.
They need some activation campaigns. They need people who would trust this concept and its utility. They needed our advice to even build this utility. That's how we try to build different partnerships with small collections. We're thinking about those and also big brands. We realize that it's better to launch less but with better utility. That's how we're building those different mechanics and models. I'll let Eran comment more.
You're asking about the innovation in our marketplace. One of the things that we're doing is bringing real-world collections. It's coming up. We also did INOs, which are initial NFT sales on our platform which led to the marketplace. We are planning to do land sales as well on our platform. We keep on innovating and adding. We're already supporting all the EVM chains. We are about to add Solana, Flow, and some more. We keep on upgrading and improving. We're starting to bring more collections. It's good for the collections and those communities as well as for our community. It's a win-win in that sense.
I remember early on in the show of production. It's funny to say this at this point, but we were learning about the ecosystem as we started the show to have all these amazing guests on and hear their perspectives. We became fast experts. It was surprising to us. One of the things that were said that was interesting is the room for NFT marketplaces in the world and the technology space.
People have said, "There could be as many NFT marketplaces as there are websites someday." Whether that's the case or not, it's about the niche and the audience that you support and recognize. You have a very specific client avatar. You're focused on serving them. I see you're doing that. You have a specific direction you're going in.
You are doing such fun stuff. I appreciate that. There was a show here in Chicago where I live. I was in high school. I did one called Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind. It was a midnight improv show. I don't know if anybody has done some crypto yet, but you would roll the dice to see how much you would pay to get in. It would be two dice. It was somewhere between $2 and $12. I love those ideas. What ideas are you integrating into the metaverse that you feel are original and interesting? Can you dive into that a little bit?
There are multiple ideas besides the land sales themselves. We are trying to create different experiences. We do realize that it's still very early. If you look at the numbers of people who are participating generally in VR experiences, the numbers are still small. It requires a lot of education. We realize that the combination of factors does not only have to be amazing 3D graphics. It has to be the mechanics, the token economy, and the token design. The mechanics that will attract people is number one.
Number two, there have to be some interesting activities there like scavenger hunts but inside the metaverse or activation campaigns and partnerships with big brands. That works because people are still following traditional brands that are offering unique and immersive experiences inside the space. That's how we saw NIKELAND, Roblox, and then a few other big brands. Sandbox partnered with different brands as well.
That's the only way for now how to attract people. In the future, we believe that it's the creator economy. The creators are the young people who are living there. They're digital natives who are creating amazing avatars to provide them with the open metaverse experience where they will be able to create their own assets, create their own worlds, travel, exchange assets, and create their own rules of the game inside the metaverse. Those will be the future. It's pretty early right now. We're very realistic about the business side of things. That's why we're trying to focus on the questions of how we will fight churn rates or retention and how we will attract users.
Maybe I can add to this. What we did, which so far no one else has done, is we're paying attention to multiple things. First of all, we partnered with top 3D artists. We won't reveal the name yet because we didn't release an announcement, but one of the two world-leading 3D artists is designing our asset. We will have the take-off of the advanced engine. In addition, we will have inside graphics that are better than most if not any.
We will have very interesting stories. We hired experts from other big studios. We have interesting stories inside the metaverse. There are multiple stories combined into our world and multiple worlds that we're going to have. We will have different activities that will attract people. We can't disclose them yet but it's going to be big. We have a lot of things that we're planning and building.
Stories are something that I haven't heard much going on. That's an interesting direction. It's a deep human connection we have to stories. I like the angle of the scavenger hunts. A friend of mine who's not as deep into these things as we are asked me, "What's going on with the metaverses? Is this happening? Is this a fad going on?" From my perspective what I told him is, "What needs to happen is people need to find the unique thing that you can only do there that matters, and stop trying to recreate what you can already do."
That happens over and over again when we come across a new technology. It's like in Zoom here. If we want to, we can make it look like we're in an amphitheater talking to each other but why? I want my screen to be big. I want to see your face. This is the advantage of Zoom. I can feel like I'm in front of every person that I'm talking to. Why would I make them farther away so they can be more real? I like these unique ways that you're exploring. What can you only do in the metaverse? How can we leverage that potential? It's very cool.
I love the full breadth and depth of what you are doing and how you're experimenting, learning, and supporting others that are taking chances in the space and whatnot. I appreciate that you guys are like us. You have this authentic approach to saying what's going on, not sugarcoating the stuff that's not so good, and not hyping the stuff that's good. That moderate approach to being an explorer on a journey is logical in such a fast-moving and dynamic space in the global macro economy that is unpredictable on top of the world that we live in day-to-day.
We did talk about your roadmap a bit. I'm curious how you keep all these pieces glued together. Is there a giant team meeting that you have every week or month in the metaverse? There are a lot of moving parts here. They're synergistic, but synergy doesn't happen without some project management skills. I am curious about how you keep this all duct-taped together.
Thanks to the team, we have heads of departments for everything and project managers. We're not working with each.
Caesar is the one behind it all.
He's a silent partner, although not so silent sometimes. We built a company that relies on its employees. If the employees are not good, the company will never make it. We built a very strong, balanced, and hard-working team that feels like it's a family. It's more than just a job for them. We work usually 12 to 14-hour days. They work the same sometimes. When you feel like you're part of something that's growing and developing or you feel challenged, then you want to give more.
Luckily, we built a great team of great people. We manage them. The head of the departments manages the people under them. It's like pyramids. At the end of the day, once a month or two, we have company meetings. You have 50 to 60 people on a Zoom call. Everyone talks and asks questions. One of the things that we found that is very important is communication, whether it's with our team members.
We have an open-door policy so they can always talk with us in addition to those updates that we always give them. We also have that policy in our community. Sometimes they send us private messages, but we also try to do an AMA every few weeks to give them updates on progress and stuff, answer their questions if they have any concerns, and stuff like that.
To add to this, some of the cool things which we do pretty successfully is we send physical presents to our employees. With the fact that we are decentralized, we haven't met probably 90% or even more.
I met quite a few.
We haven't met physically most of the employees. That means you still have a certain level of emotional attachment and a different abstract understanding of who you're working with. It's based on pure execution on one hand, but on the other hand, we try to create an atmosphere of the family by sending videos, talking to each other, not doing redundant meetings when we don't need to, and then sending physical presents, which is fun, like cakes, pizzas, or any fun present that others are sharing in our common group.
That creates a fun community spirit because all of us cannot meet physically. It's logistically hard. We're doing hoodies for our one-year anniversary. It took us one and a half months to ship the items because they are in different countries. Some of the countries are not easy to even send to because they're in different situations like war. Some of the team members relocated.
That's another important topic that we try to stay away from, but it's also a sad reality because of the Russia-Ukraine war. When Russia attacked Ukraine, a lot of our employees were affected. We had to do a lot of logistical help to relocate them and their families. It took us some time and effort, but the team united to support them and create an atmosphere of love and care. That helped a lot.
It's a great story that outlines the things that I've been passionate about for 25 years when I start to think about what's important to me in my life. It's the creators and moving that economy forward, but also this ability for us to globally collaborate and move past these. Eran, you're either living in Israel or you're from Israel as we established before we started. I remember visiting Israel for the first time and getting a chance to meet the people on the ground and be like, "This is different than what I see on the news." This was many years ago.
There are different new stories but unfortunately, some of them are similar. It's those things. We're all the same. We all have similar interests, just slightly different cultures that are interesting. I love what you are doing and how it's reminding me of those values. Before we wrap up this segment, we're going to get to know you a little bit more personally next, give us maybe each of you a couple of projects that you've been following in the Web3 space that you think people might like to know about, or you want to give some props to, or that you admire.
There are a lot of projects that we follow. It depends. It's hard to be objective here because we invested in a lot of companies. A lot of the companies we invested in and supported are our babies. We do have incredible companies that are emerging the two worlds, the physical and the virtual worlds, with eCommerce, etc. They're successful.
We have in our portfolio by design a lot of games, which are early-stage games, and onboarding a lot of users. Some of them are more successful when they do so. Some of them are less. It's a constant fight. I wouldn't be able to pick. It's almost a question of like, "Who do you love more from your kids? Pick one. This is Sophie's choice." That's why it's a little bit challenging. That's why Eran is also not sure what to answer.
I appreciate that. Without further ado, we could probably move on to the next segment. You guys have dropped a lot of beautiful knowledge and deep respect for what you're doing. Let's hear a bit about you. We're going to transition to Edge Quick Hitters. This is a fun and quick way to get to know you personally a little bit better. There are ten questions. We look for short, single-word, or few-word responses. You can feel free to expand a little bit if you get the urge. We're going to hit you both so we will try to be quick. First question, Constantin, prepare yourself. You're going to be the first to answer it as well. What is the first thing you remember ever purchasing in your life?
Realistically, the first thing that came to my mind is I purchased a hamster. I was hiding it from my parents for a long time.
They smell so you probably couldn't hide them for that long.
I was busted very quickly.
Eran, what about you?
I started working at the young age of 13 or 14. I already went out and worked after school. Although I come from a good family and we always had what we needed, my parents taught me that if you want something, you need to go out and work for it so you will appreciate it. The first thing I bought with the money that I worked for was a stereo system.
Listening to some great tunes. I love it. Constantin, I'm going to hit you back. What is the first thing you ever remember selling in your life?
Coming back to hamsters, that was my brother’s and my whole business. We bred them. We were selling them on the zoo market before our operation was busted by the parents because of the smell.
This is amazing. I love this. I don't think we have ever had a breeding operation. People stick to Pokémon cards or something like that.
I sold Pokémon cards and Magic: The Gathering cards as well.
I love that you had a small farm. You had reproducing animals. What about you, Eran?
I started working at 13 or 14. For my first job, I was working for a toy and hobby store. That's what I was selling.
That sounds fun. It sounds like you got started with integrating fun into your work life.
It was not fun. I was working like a dog at 13 or 14. It's like slavery.
That happens all over the world. It's child labor. It's like, "They don't know the difference. We will pay them pennies. It's great."
I think about how much I was paid back then. I'm like, "Oh my God."
This time, it goes first to Eran. What is the most recent thing you purchased?
Dog food for Caesar.
Only the best for Caesar. What about you, Constantin?
I bought my mom a pretty expensive and good bag for her birthday.
Was it digital? Did it come with an NFT?
Not yet. I'm working on it.
Slowly but surely. My mom doesn't have an NFT yet either but we will get her there. What is the most recent thing you sold, Constantin?
A few years ago, I sold a domain which was BitcoinTreasuries.com. I didn't plan to sell it but all of a sudden, I got a lot of traffic. I optimized it in SEO very quickly. It hit up with the news, MicroStrategy, and others. It was popular and got thousands of organic traffic. Somebody offered me a good price. I'm like, "I don't want to maintain it, so I'm going to sell it."
Too bad Jeff isn't here. That's his thing. It's domain name flipping. He would be salivating. He would love that one.
There is a lot of ENS name-flipping going on Twitter that I've been seeing. It seems to be a fun hobby for some folks. What about you, Eran?
Honestly, I can't remember what I sold. I'm a long-term holder. I'm not a flipper. I give whatever I collect to charity. When I moved into an apartment, I gave all my furniture, clothes, and everything to charity. I'm not a seller.
You look good with whatever clothes you decided to hold onto.
For this one, we will go back to Constantin. What is your most prized possession?
I wouldn't call it the prized possession but at Renaissance Faire, which is happening in New York, I bought the leather armor of a Hungarian warrior. I don't know what I'm going to do with it honestly but it's such a fun thing. It sounds like a random thing.
You're doing something sexual with it. I'm sorry.
Trust me, it's not convenient to do anything sexual with that.
What about you, Eran? What is your most prized position?
It sounds like a question on a dating site like if she asked you what car you drive or something like that. Caesar is my most prized possession.
That's what I figured. I thought Constantin would say something about a hamster but we missed that opportunity. We will go back to you, Eran. If you could buy anything in the world, digital, physical, service, or experience that is currently for sale, what would it be?
I like money but I'm more of an experience guy, less materialistic. I'll probably go with experiences although I do love yachts and boats.
Is there any specific experience?
A yacht is nice.
I could travel the world with it. That would be nice.
That sounds great. Constantin, what about you? If you could buy anything in the world, digital, physical, service, or experience currently for sale, what would that be?
They're spiritual experiences but the first thing that came to mind from experience is I would probably buy commercial space travel from SpaceX or whatever company in 2023 or 2025 that will offer it. I will do that.
I wonder if we should ask each of you this question for the other person but we won't change the rules. Starting with you, Constantin, if you could pass on one of your personality traits to the next generation, what would it be?
I have a very analytical brain. I'll pass that, but also my sense of humor. You can pick only one.
Those two go together.
Those are a good combination. I can see how you became partners. While we're at it, Eran, if you could eliminate one of your personality traits from the next generation, what would it be besides cheating?
Impatience. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of patience. I would love to have that or develop more of it but I wouldn't give it to my kids.
I'm sure Constantin is empathetic to your lack of patience. What about you? What would you eliminate if you had to eliminate one of your personality traits for the next generation?
It's probably being impulsive.
Our imagination will run wild with the things you've been impulsive with. We won't ask for details.
I told him to buy a Bored Ape a few minutes ago, and he already bought it.
We have already witnessed it as there are hamster sales without your parent's permission, leather suits at the Renaissance Faire, and all kinds of things. The next question is an easy one. We will go back to Eran for this one. What did you do before joining us on the show?
Work. I work 12 to 14 hours a day. That's what we did before. That's probably what we will do after. It's not that interesting.
I prefer to call it getting shit done because it could be working fun at the same time. Constantin, what were you doing right before joining us on the show?
You can imagine a very similar thing. It's not like Eran is doing work and I'm having fun. I'm in the ether. I'm already in the good vibes. My work is I pray for our company. That's part of my work.
He visualizes and I do the work. That's how we work.
That makes sense. Think and Grow Rich. Here's the last question for both of you. We will go back to Constantin. What are you going to do next after the show?
I might go to the cemetery. I won't disclose for what reason but that's the plan.
That's interesting. We have never had that one. It's good to hear it. Eran, what about you? What are you going to do after the show?
I'm going to walk my dog for his evening walk and then probably work some more.
That dog is getting a lot of attention, food and love. We're very happy about Caesar's life. That's our Quick Hitters but we do have a bonus question here. I understand there are some things that you're doing outside of the profit motive. I would love to give you a chance to mention some fulfilling things that you've done in 2021. What's the most fulfilling thing that you have been up to? Constantin, I'll kick it over to you.
Even the concept of fulfilling requires more clarification. If you're talking about emotional, that's one level. For me, the most fulfilling are spiritual experiences because they're the most meaningful to me. On this level of this atmosphere, we did a very important thing about a charity. We organized a charity campaign for Ukraine. We did several and worked on a much bigger one.
We did our first experiment in our marketplace. We auctioned a physical painting of a famous Ukrainian artist. It was sold out. The person who bought it has the right to the painting. All the proceeds will go to humanitarian needs. We are going to do more of these activities because we believe that it's not only about making money but you also have to give more. I'm proud of this activity. That was pretty fulfilling.
That's awesome. Eran, is that the same for you? Is there anything else you want to add?
The benefit of success and making money is not just owning possessions but it's rather being able to support and help others. I supported a few friends that suffered because of the war or needed to relocate or all kinds of other stuff.
That's a great one to end on. We might have to throw that in there for others too. It's very inspiring. We're going to move on to Hot Topics, the next segment. We're going to bring a special guest on. You may have friends in common. Our Hot Topic features VESA, a repeat guest on the show and an award-winning digital art pioneer for years. He innovated his mixed media process in 2008 and has been full-time in the crypto art and NFT space since 2017.
He's considered to be a leading early artist building the metaverse and NFT expansion, being among the first to enter the earliest stages. In 2013, his digital art project with actress Veena Malik reached around 300 million people with critical acclaim. VESA, welcome back to the show. It's great to see you here while you have a beautiful art piece in your background as well. The audience should check out the video. How is it going?
Thank you so much, Eathan. It's a pleasure to be with you, Josh, and get to know a little bit about your project, Constantin and Eran. I'm having a very interesting day. It was the Future Innovation Summit here in Dubai. We spent the day over there and then went back to the gala dinner where I was on stage a while ago. I got to present a new project that we're doing here. It's 1:20 in the morning for me. It has been quite the experience. It has been great and now it's going to be even better. I'm joining you for a bit to talk about some inspiring stuff. It's a pleasure to be with you all.
You're always joining us in the middle of the night.
VESA was one of our first guests on the show back in April of 2021. We had to wake him up in the middle of the night then. It was 2:00 or 3:00 in the morning in London at that time. He has become a friend of ours from afar. We have not had the pleasure to meet in person. I hope that changes for NFT LA. For those that haven't tuned in to the show since the very beginning, this was one of the very first episodes. I remember distinctly the crash course and the history of digital art that VESA gave us and our audience, which I found fascinating.
What a year it has been. When we talk about pioneers, certainly what Constantin and Eran have been doing has been pioneering ecosystem development in gaming. What you've been doing is pioneering ecosystem development around fine art in collaboration with all sorts of interesting people. What are your reflections from 2022 or some of the highlights at least that you would like to share with all these different audiences that you encounter globally?
We had, a while ago, this Twitter space conversation about the utility of NFTs altogether. That has been a slight obsession of mine. I'm originally a filmmaker. I was educated as a director. In 2008, I started body painting people, helping them go through these cathartic processes, recording that on photography, and then playing with paint, doing macro photography, and putting it all together with Photoshop.
Those resulted in these high-resolution files that the artworks were sold back in 2008. They were a little bit difficult to monetize in the traditional art world before NFTs. This is why I was so ready for them back halfway through 2017 when I first entered crypto art. That led to NFTs very quickly. I had to make different kinds of things in the physical world out of digital art to try and monetize them, and paint them on top of the canvases. That led me to do this experiment with a print company in Helsinki where we made this whole room made out of art in everything, all the benches and couches.
Some of those artworks ended up being wrapped Ferrari here in Dubai. That led to building with seven different metaverse companies and everything in between like this 360 incredible room that we are collaborating on here called Art in Space. The highlight for me has been this art car project because this guy here in Dubai called Dr. Marwan Alzarouni. He's the CEO of the Dubai Blockchain Center. Cointelegraph named him the 86th most influential person in blockchain or something like that. He's an incredible guy and a super geek.
When I first started coming here a couple of years ago, as a side mention out of many things that we discussed, I showed him this picture of a Tesla that I made into a mockup art car. I didn't think anything of it. I went back home to Helsinki for a bit. Dr. Marwan gave me a call a little bit later, which was maybe two months after. He said, "I've bought nineteen cars. We will be making them into NFTs."
You're running with the right crowd here.
Part of the reason why I love Dubai is that some of the things that are possible here are pretty incredible. That led to me thinking about this utility thing in a different way because first, when you see these cars, we have the sole process of how to make them street-legal. People can't make full-blown street-legal art cars unless they come through us. It's a completely new thing. It was quite a thing for Dr. Marwan to go through the bureaucracy for us to be able to get through all the paperwork and licensing to do that.
What it led to is that first, people look at the car and say, "That's fancy. Is it a wrap?" They think the car itself is the thing that is of value, but when you start to understand that it's the licensing, and we can paint on top of the wraps to make them unique, that's a whole other thing. Is the artwork more valuable than the car? It's depending on the car, but then maybe not so much in the future. We wanted to implement an augmented reality feature so you can point your mobile on the car, and the artwork comes alive.
That's the one that we haven't solved yet because the geolocation thing is a little bit tricky still when you're mapping a three-dimensional object like that. We started building with this company called ZOAN, which is a finished virtual reality company. They have this super cool metaverse world called Cornerstone.land, which is a departure at that time already from the Legoland-looking places. It was photorealistic and beautiful. I met the CEO, Miika. We started building together.
They said, "We could do the three-dimensional parts of those cars. We could have the NFTs made beautifully so they have a digital counterpart." That led to the idea, "What if it was a game? What if it was an art car race where people could race these cars who get those assets and then win potentially prize money?" This is why it's so important to me that it was Dr. Marwan's Tesla that became the first street-legal art car. I was so inspired by Elon Musk to begin with. It's when I realized that the Tesla is not a car. It's education towards how we're going to transform the transportation system and electricity grid of the world to function in a different way.
What these cars became is an educational vehicle that takes you to the metaverse. We're taking liabilities and turning them into multi-level assets that can earn you potentially residual income through the races. We started stacking values on top of one another in this way. It became such a fun process but we don't know where it's yet going to go because we haven't even sold a single one. We haven't put them on the market yet. It's a very new thing.
Constantin and Eran would like to each buy one. Are you ready?
Pull out your wallet. It should be good.
I'm thinking about moving to Dubai.
Welcome, as they say over here.
This is groundbreaking stuff. I forget the words you said but it's something like, "It's a little bit difficult to do." I feel like that's a lot of the things that you're working on. It's the nature of what we're up to. That's cool to hear. Did we get a chance to get into the Senses project that you're working on as well? We would love to hear a bit about that and give a little snippet so the audience knows what's going on as well. There's a lot.
When I get on a roll, there's a lot to say. Back in the day in 2008 when I started these body painting processes, I often took some photographs of these black and white photos. Over the fourteen years that I've been making them, I selected them over the summer because I was a little bored, to be honest. The best 60 of those photos, I started infusing them with paint to have a little bit more of a light expression than what I usually do with the full-blown body art pieces because they're heavy-going and take quite a lot of resources and everything. I wanted to do something light.
Sometimes the models went through quite heavy cathartic processes. Some of their energy can be a little dense. When you take something super happy and great with paint or something that makes them vibrant, the juxtaposition of that was something that I loved because you look at something like Clockwork Orange or some of these masterpiece films where you have this ultraviolence happening while there's beautiful classical music happening. That starts to feel like something close to an artistic thing. Not all of those pictures are by any chance negative or processing-heavy. There are also some super beautiful and joyous images.
That was the cathartic thing. I started feeling this juxtaposition was fun and then doing something light. It became a project and something that I can do with influencers. For example, we're doing this project together with Brittany Kaiser, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower. I took one of the images from that thing to showcase that. With the Senses thing, we can also collaborate with people who have large audiences and turn some of what they're inspired by, do photography, and then see where that leads to. It's another avenue to explore and have some fun.
I wanted to hear what's cooking with SuperWorld. You've been collaborating with them for a while. How are things going in SuperWorld with VESA?
That was great. We released a virtual reality gallery. Something that I was super inspired by as a structure is the Luxor Temple in Egypt. I came across the work of John Anthony West, a very famous Egyptologist who passed away a while back. We became friends. I body-painted his daughter. I got to learn a lot in the process of this. I'm a bit of a pyramid-head Egypt freak. It was something that was a lot of fun. He illustrated how the structure was built into the shape of a person.
The structure itself is how the Pharaoh goes from birth to transcendence throughout the structure. It tells the story of how to keep society together in a coherent way through the Enlightened King. It was such a mind-blowing concept that you would write the whole of the human journey into the structure and how that would infuse into how to keep the society around you coherent.
It's all through art at the same time. I thought that was wonderful. I never in a million worlds could have imagined ever to make an exhibit there physically, even though maybe that's possible. In this particular way, we 3D modeled the Luxor Temple and then made it my personal gallery. It's infused with my art altogether. I had that as a scene and setting. It's quite vast as a space.
With the click of a button, I can send it all over the world. People can buy the NFTs directly from that location. It was beautiful. I'm deeply humbled and grateful because we took two years to make it. It was important that we get it right. It honors the culture and the substance of that building. It's not just haphazardly taken out of context, "That looks pretty," and then put art there. It's not like that. We took care. I'm super happy that the SuperWorld team got that and took the time.
It's so great to catch up with you and learn how you continue to be a pioneer. It has been a fun show to have three incredible pioneers on at the same time. If you ever have a chance to collaborate with VESA or visit him in Dubai, I would encourage you to do so.
It sounds interesting. It's the life of an artist. If I came to someone and told him that I want to body paint his daughter, he would probably be chasing me with a shotgun.
John was a special guy. He's the one who painted his daughter for me. I didn't even ask.
That's awesome. We're going to wrap up with this. Unfortunately, we would all hang out with that. We should go to Dubai. He's always with us in the nighttime when all the dreams are right on the edge of philosophy. We have to wrap up the segment. We do have a giveaway from you, VESA. Do you have any details you want to share on that? Should we say, "You can check out the details on the socials?"
This artwork behind me is from the Senses series. I picked three of them, one to donate to the great Edge of NFT show as a token of gratitude for being with you again. Two of them are going to mint on SuperRare. There were a couple of tasks that we set together for your audience. They could help retweet some stuff. We're going to give away two of these Senses series works out of the 60 that have been accumulating. We're evaluating them at 2 ETH at the moment because I also wanted something that would be very accessible to the market and something that can start in the bear market if you like something interesting to do a run-up toward the next bull.
This is such a generous gift to us and our audience. We're truly honored by what you're offering here. For those of you that don't know who VESA is, with a quick Google search, you realize that this is a true pioneer in the physical and digital art space who is doing incredible work throughout the world. A lot of the conversations around the NFT space are focused on artists that live in the US. What we need to understand is that some of the most incredible artists in the space are global citizens.
I got back from Singapore and Seoul. There are tons of amazing art happening there. There's amazing art happening in Europe, the Middle East, and other parts of the world like the physical art scene. I hope we can bring more of those artists to NFT LA to shine the light on what they're doing at our conference but it's our hope to highlight these artists on the show as well. Thank you for all you're doing in this space. Thank you for joining us again. I hope to see you IRL very soon, my friend.
Make sure you share with people where they can go to find out more about you and what you're up to.
Thank you. We will see you soon. We will talk soon.
We hope to see you again very soon. We will start wrapping up the show. This has been an inspiring one with lots of cool folks. Before we do the closing outro, we would love to give Constantin and Eran a chance to give a shout-out to someone that might be meaningful to them. Did you have anybody in mind that you want to give a shout-out to?
We should thank those who did the introduction for us and brought us to the show. I would like to thank Anastasia from Cointelegraph for doing the introduction and getting us acquainted with you. You came to us. We came to you. Thank you very much, Anastasia. We appreciate the dish here.
I've only met her in person a couple of times. She's a ball of energy. She's a super positive person and so fun to be around. I'm glad we've got a shout-out for her. Constantin, is there anybody special for you that you want to mention?
Since Eran stole the Anastasia shout-out, he mentioned all the people who united us. I want to do a shout-out for Alexandra Karpova. She connected me and Eran. She's the Head of Marketing at Titan Mining. She has been in the crypto space for years. We knew her for years. It all starts with someone who connects people. It's important to acknowledge those. As Eran mentioned, Anastasia connected us, and now we're doing this amazing show. We're grateful. We hope that we will connect with other people, and they will do business together. That's the beauty of sharing and caring.
That's what it's all about.
Who knows? Maybe you will collaborate with VESA at some point in the future. That would bring the whole circle together.
We should talk.
I'm planning to be in Dubai in November 2022. I'll be happy to meet you in person and see you.
That's perfect. I would love to.
Those are very appropriate shout-outs and a very appropriate crew we brought together. Generously, GamesPad and BullPerks are also doing a giveaway for the show. I have down here $500 plus ten whitelist spots in any IDO on GamesPad. We will put our details out on our socials about how to get involved with that. Is there anything else you need to clarify with that one?
It's straightforward. The instructions will be posted. We ask people to follow our Twitter and subscribe to the Telegram channel and chat. Is that because we need followers or just because we want people to start understanding and sharing ideas? We have a very good community. People share a lot of thoughts about the projects. You can learn about the project from our chats.
Lastly, to get in the community and follow you, are there social or links you want to share before we wrap up?
That sounds good. Thank you so much. GamesPad and BullPerks are easily googleable things. People can find those very easily. Thanks a lot. We're going to wrap it up. We appreciate your time and hanging out. We're a little bit over on what we promised on the schedule too. We have reached the outer limit at the Edge of NFT. Thanks for exploring with us. We've got space for more adventures on this starship.
You can invite your friends and 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. Go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole. That's a newly refreshed and branded website. It should be fun to check out. Look us up on all major social platforms by typing EdgeOfNFT with no spaces. Start a fun conversation with us online, and be sure to tune in next time for more great NFT content. Thank you, everyone, for joining us and sharing this time.
Thank you for having us.
Thank you, Eathan and Josh.
- Think and Grow Rich
- VESA - Previous episode
- Dubai Blockchain Center
- Brittany Kaiser - Previous episode
- Instagram - VESA
- @ArtByVESA - Twitter
- Anastasia Drinevskaya - Twitter
- Titan Mining
- @ConstKogan - Twitter
- @EE_Profile - Twitter
- Spotify - Edge of NFT
- iTunes - Edge of NFT