The Edge of NFT podcast is coming to you from ETH Denver, one of the biggest blockchain events. In today’s episode Jeff Kelley, Eathan Janney, and Josh Kriger are joined by several talented people in the NFT space. First off, join Tiffany Huang, the Head of Content & Marketing at Magic Eden. Listen in as Tiffany shares more on Magic Eden’s impact on Solana. She also talks more about their new DAO that will be launching soon.
Also, join Alan Chiu, the founder and CEO of Boba Network. Alan believes that crypto has the potential to be the most inclusive financial system ever created. Learn why Boba gives you the best of both worlds when it comes to minting and trading NFTs in Ethereum. Also, learn more about the Turing platform and what it does.
After that, listen to Chad Hugghins, who is the Head of Marketing at Polygon Studios. Hear what Polygon has in store for you this year, especially when it comes to gaming. Chad believes that gaming will be the first step into NFTs for a lot of people. Find out how Polygon is bringing NFTs into the public.
And lastly, join Gianina Skarlett (Gigi), who is the founder of Crypto Tech Women. Gigi’s mission is to bring more women into this space. As a software engineer herself, she wants to teach women and celebrate the women in the crypto scene. Also, find out more about the NFTs that she’s giving away.
Listen to the podcast here:
ETHDenver Collection: Alan Chiu, Founder/CEO @ Boba Network; Tiffany Huang, Head Of Content & Marketing @ Magic Eden. Chad Hugghins, Head Of Marketing @ Polygon Studios, Gianina Skarlett (Gigi), Founder @ Crypto Tech Women
We’re about to be joined by Alan Chiu, the Founder and CEO of Boba. What I’d love to start here, Alan, is for you to give me a little taste of what’s going on at ETHDenver. What am I missing out on? Don’t make it sound too exciting.
That’s going to be hard, unfortunately. I’m going to FOMO you so bad. It has been wonderful for us to be here. We have our whole marketing and business development team here. Our CTO arrived as well. There are so many amazing developers here. I lot of our partners are here as well. It has been super productive and building on existing partnerships as well as building new ones. It’s amazing.
Let’s take a step back for a second. What’s Boba all about? What are you doing? Why are you here?
ETH Denver: Magic Eden is the leading NFT marketplace in the Solana blockchain. They have around 90% of the market share on any given day.
I can give you a technical description. We’re an Ethereum layer 2 optimistic rollup with something super exciting called hybrid compute, but let me take a step back. We’ll go into technology, but the why behind what we do is we believe that crypto has the potential to be the most inclusive financial system ever created. It’s not there yet, obviously. There are a lot of problems to be solved. Technology is part of it. We need to create a more scalable blockchain infrastructure in general, but communications and how we talk about ourselves as an industry are also communications. We need to communicate in a way that’s understandable by mainstream consumers who are not into crypto yet.
Is that where the name Boba comes in handy?
I look at Boba and I’m a fan. It’s crossed from the East to the West and people are like, “What is that?” They try it and before you know it, they’re a boba addict. They’ve tried all the different flavors and concoctions. Is that it?
You nailed it. That’s the essence behind the brand. We wanted to create something that is approachable, friendly and brings a smile to people’s faces. You never see someone upset drinking bubble tea. Drinking boba always brings a smile to your face.
We’d love to get a little bit of that background and what you guys are up to. Give me a sense of if I’m going to start a working relationship with you, what is that going to look like?
What that’s going to look like depends on what stage you’re at. If you’re starting out, you have an idea or you have written up your smart contract and you want to get ready to deploy it on Testnet, we give you a lot of support. You can approach us on Discord, our Telegram group or our website Boba.network and you get to work directly with our technical integration team. We’re also setting up support accelerator programs and developer grants programs that will give a boost to the earliest stage of project builders to get going. We also invest in our own marketing resources to help promote projects that are built on Boba as well.
ETH Denver: Beyond Launchpad, Magic Eden is making a huge investment into the community by creating its own DAO. It will launch soon and it will be gated by an NFT that they’re dropping.
Our show is called The Edge of NFT, so it begs the question of like, “What are you guys doing and what are the projects that are in your ecosystem that you feel are at the edge of NFTs?”
Speaking of NFTs, one of the most often heard complaints that I’ve heard and I’m sure you’ve heard as well, is how expensive it is to mint NFTs.
It’s no fun wasting all that gas money.
It sucks, but at the same time, if only they understood the largest marketplace like OpenSea. People will still want to mint on Ethereum so that they can trade in the marketplace that has most of the liquidity. With Boba, you can have the best of both worlds because Boba has super low minting fees. You can mint NFTs on Boba and then use our NFT bridge to bridge your NFTs to Ethereum at the time of your choosing, so you’re not stuck in this.
There’s not a big fee for that bridging process?
As long as you pay ETH and anytime you touch Ethereum, it’s going to be more expensive than doing the same thing on Boba, but you can pick a time where gas price is lower. You don’t have to fight.
For that, it avoids the gas war for a really popular project where you could pay $1,000 or $2,000 in ETH and then you can set your alarm or if you’re a night owl, at 2:00 AM Pacific, I know the gas prices are low for me, so I can move it over at that time.
It also sounds like it gives you the opportunity to get into a project and own the NFT, get into the IP side of it, enjoy it and then wait and see, “Does it get big or does it get to the size where it is something that you want to move it to Ethereum and get this stuff trading on OpenSea and build it to a larger audience?” That’s cool too. I find that interesting about the POAPs. They are fun because they’re free to mint and free to work with. I saw some of Adidas’. Adidas had some POAPs that they had distributed and they were for sale at OpenSea for some pretty significant prices.
ETH Denver: It’s hard to mint and trade NFTs but with Boba, you can have the best of both worlds. Boba has super low minting fees and you can use their NFT bridge to bridge to Ethereum at the time of your choosing.
The people probably had to go and move those from the xDAI Chain onto OpenSea. It probably cost a little bit, but for whatever reason, that particular POAP NFT had that value and people wanted to do it. We talked a little bit about what you guys do and the projects that you’re working with that are that are inspiring. What about your general inspiration for 2022? What are you looking forward to and what do you think is your unique position with the industry giving you some insight into where things are headed?
What is unique about Boba is Turing, which is the name that we have given a hybrid compute platform. We announced the Testnet availability of Turing during ETHDenver. I gave a TED Talk about it. What Turing gives is smart contracts on Boba, the ability to connect it with programs that run on any other computer or any other virtual machine. It means if you want to use real-world data to change the look and feel of your NFTs, for example, or your entity attributes, you can’t because these smart contracts can be connected to the outside world through our hybrid compute platform.
What’s an example of that? What would be a use case?
If you want to pipe in weather data, for example, that would change the look and feel of your NFTs. Your NFTs become dynamic. I could change the background based on the current weather or you can use some other random attributes or even real-world sensors that pick up changes in the real world that influence the look and feel of your NFTs.
In a DeFi world, you can run an off-chain trading model, for example, or a risk assessment model that is super sophisticated. It would be too expensive to implement in a smart contract, but now, you can run it on Amazon, for example, and then have a smart contract call that process. Results come back into your smart contract, and that still keeps a DeFi protocol compostable with the auto protocols.
In my former life, I worked with many different government agencies around geospatial data. One of the cool things about that is the visual power of data in terms of imagery. With NFTs, you can bring that to a whole other level and folks will have a lot of fun with that. You can tell a more powerful story, which is what we do with these amazing JPEGs. From what I hear, some of your team is coming to our event in NFTA LA. Hopefully, we’ll get to connect with them and they’ll be able to share more about what you guys are doing next after this.
We’re looking forward to it. We’re super excited to be there.
ETH Denver: What is really unique about Boba is Turing. This is a hybrid compute platform. It gives smart contracts on Boba, the ability to connect with programs that run on any other computer.
You mentioned a couple of things, but to recap, where can folks go to learn more about Boba and maybe follow you as well?
Thanks so much for joining us. We appreciate your time.
Thanks for having me.
I am here at ETHDenver. I’m here with Tiffany. We’re so excited to have you on the show live in real life in chilly Colorado. It was great to meet you in line. I’m glad we’re both negative for COVID. It’s a very responsible process going on here. It took some folks three hours to get into the mix, but well worth it for such an exciting and big occasion. Why don’t you introduce yourself? Tell everyone a little bit about you and what you’re up to.
My name is Tiffany and I don’t have COVID. I’m at ETHDenver. I lead marketing for Magic Eden. Magic Eden is the leading marketplace for NFT on Solana. We have 90% of the market share on any given day and I’ve been in the role since early October 2021.
We’re here. There is a lot of exciting stuff happening. We’re both doing a million things at once before the show. What do you think of the vibe here and how is it relative to what your expectations were?
It’s great. I feel like this is Mecca in terms of blockchain events. What’s cool is I feel like everybody I’m meeting is building. They’re not like, “I’m trying to network and figure it out.” They’re like, “I’ve built this thing. I think we’ll solve Magic Eden. Let me pitch it to you.” It’s cool. I feel like a lot of devs have been eager to share their ideas.
ETH Denver: You have to think of what brings people aboard the idea of NFTs. Usually, it’s some sort of affinity that they have. And, gaming is going to be that for a lot of people.
People aren’t pulling out their portfolios and talking about the next alpha. It’s all about building.
I’ve heard a lot about Magic Eden. It’s interesting. We’re releasing another NFT project. It’s coming out soon. It’s called Living Tree NFTs. Getting to know the landscape of where you can release NFT is very interesting and having a platform to trade them on is super important. Solana has a very interesting groundswell and movement behind them. I’ve met people who are Solana nuts. It’s almost like a family spirit. Tell us a little bit about what’s on the roadmap in terms of where you’re involved.
Magic Eden has been around since September 2021. For the first few months, we were focused on developing an amazing product that made shopping, browsing and purchasing NFTs joyful and fun. We will continue to work on our core marketplace to evolve new features. We made it easier for creators to list a collection, so all they do is log into a portal, fill out a couple of steps and then wait for final approval from us, which will expedite a lot of the listings.
Also, we have Launchpad, which is a minting product. We’re going to re-launch Launchpad and come back with much more stringent vetting criteria and some protocols to ensure some safety for our users. Beyond Launchpad and our marketplace, we’re making a huge investment into the community by creating our own DAO, which we’ll launch soon. It will be gated by an NFT that we’re dropping.
A little bit of a sneak preview for NFT LA. Maybe you’ll have some more news to share with folks and we’re excited to have you in that mix. Taking a step back, what do you see happening in 2022 across the overall Web 3.0 and NFT landscape that gets you pumped?
The first entities on Solana started popping up around August 2021. We went from approving 20 collections a day to now over 100. There’s way more stuff. Solana is big on gaming, so there are a lot of games that are popping up. We hope that those games will evolve and become more engaging, fun and great over time. We’re also seeing a lot of big IP that are starting to become interested in Solana because of the low transaction fees and low gas fees. Generally, if you’re trying to capture an audience that’s not necessarily Web 3.0 natives, Solana is a great on-ramp because it’s so accessible. We have everyone from Michael Jordan to Shaq to Mike Tyson. We’re seeing a lot of celebrities that are also interested.
Those are icons.
ETH Denver: The goal of Crypto Tech Women is to empower the women that are part of the Web 3.0 space. They host podcasts to highlight the women that are crushing it in the space and also new ones as well.
That’s super important. We’re at a funny position here in the timeline, history and sequencing of Web 3.0 because there’s a certain pride in insider ship in knowing how to navigate all the technical pieces, and that’s part of what makes it exciting and interesting for a certain group of people. There’s a celebration of the culture of that stuff anyway. It’s that FOMO of trying to figure out some tech you don’t even know how to do. You just get into this drop. The more we talk about things, it’s so important to onboard the next billion people into Web 3.0, NFTs and cryptocurrencies. I love that you have those features integrated and we can celebrate what’s going on with the general public. It’s awesome.
The Web 3.0 crowd has become discerning and supportive of icons entering the space if they’re doing it for the right reasons. We’ve had a lot of these types of interviews and conversations and a lot of these folks are coming to NFT LA. They’ve drunk the Kool-Aid. This is not about a quick buck. Many times, they don’t even need the money. They just think this is super cool stuff.
I like it when celebrities are not page chillers. I feel like we’ve seen that in others. There’s a lot of distrust when people are seeing that. A lot of celebrities, though, have their own Sherpas to get into this space, whether they’re partnering with another existing team that’s launched an NFT before or they’re assembling their own team of Web 3.0 people. It’s good to see that.
We’re going to have to continue this conversation and do a full show at some point in the near future. I’m sure there’ll be massive additional updates for you to share, given how fast things are going and how fast you guys are on creating magic in this space.
We wish we could talk with you a lot longer. Solana is clearly another incredible rabbit hole that I’d love to dive way deeper into, but we’re going to have to cut and want to make sure we let people know who are reading how to find out more about you and what you’re up to.
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ETH Denver: There is a need for software engineers and the cool thing about the Web 3.0 space is that it has a lower barrier of entry than the Web 2.0 space.
I don’t know what that means, but that sounds pretty exciting. Thanks a lot for joining us, Tiffany.
Thanks for coming by.
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