Karl Jacob Of homecoin.finance - The Stablecoin Backed By U.S. Homes, Plus: Pınar Öncü Of AtlasSpace - The Enterprise Metaverse, And More…

November 8, 2022
NFT Karl Jacob | Blockchain Technology Uses

A mortgage is hardly accessible to everybody but banks and the government. But through savvy blockchain technology uses, this can finally be opened up to people of all levels of wealth. Eathan Janney, together with guest hosts Zach Sekar and Ben Noble, talks with Karl Jacob of homecoin.finance. Karl shares how their platform helps Defi investors acquire a consistent yield through Stablecoin backed by home mortgages. He explains how they use the power of NFTs to make properties exist both in the blockchain and the real world. For this episode's Sponsored Hot Topic, Pınar Öncü of AtlasSpace talks about their efforts to onboard traditional enterprises into the metaverse to revamp the future of work in this digital age.


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Karl Jacob Of homecoin.finance - The Stablecoin Backed By U.S. Homes, Plus: Pınar Öncü Of AtlasSpace - The Enterprise Metaverse, And More…

Stay tuned for this episode with special guest hosts, Zach Sekar, Head of Events in NFT LA for our company, as well as Ben Noble from our partner Web3 agency, Howl Labs, and find out why there's no place like home.

How Atlas Space is onboarding enterprise into the metaverse with stealth ninja tactics.

How buying a mustang horse turned into selling a Mustang car in our guest life.

Finally, how you can enjoy more from our co-hosts every Thursday at 4:30 PM Pacific on the NFT LA Live Twitter account.

Don't forget, we put together a gathering called NFT LA a few months ago. It brought out thousands of the world's most innovative doers in Web3. Head to NFTLA.live to get tickets to our bigger, bolder, better, but just as an intimate and impactful event happening in Los Angeles, March 20th to 23rd, 2023. Help us co-create the future of Web3. We'll see you there.


This episode features Karl Jacob, CEO and Cofounder of HomeCoin.finance, the platform that offers DeFi investors the opportunity for consistent yield through a stablecoin backed by home mortgages. He is also the Cofounder and CEO of LoanSnap Incorporated. Karl is a serial entrepreneur who has been building, advising and investing in companies for the last several years. Karl's career has been focused on founding companies that solve big problems. Those companies have helped tens of millions of consumers.

He has raised 23 rounds of financing from investors, including True Ventures, Baseline Ventures, Richard Branson's Virgin Group, Microsoft, eBay, and others. While CEO, Karl has generated hundreds of millions in returns to investors and over $150 million in revenue per year. In 2005, he joined Facebook as one of its first advisors. He advises several companies. HomeCoin is a new cryptocurrency backed by the same orgs used by governments, insurance companies, and high-net-worth individuals to preserve and grow their wealth. HomeCoin is available to anyone in the world with a DeFi wallet. Payments from the loans backed by homes flow back to the holders of HomeCoin so you get a Stablecoin backed by homes in the US and a part of the payments from homeowners. Karl, I'm blown away just reading all that, and I'm sure you are.

It's a lot.

Welcome to the show.

Thank you.

It's great to have you here. Before I dive into the questioning, I will prepare the audience for some interesting voices that will be coming in. We have Zach Sekar, who's Head of Events for Edge of Company. He has been collaborating with us since 2021 on the NFT LA event. We thought we'd bring him in to pinch hit. Jeff Kelley and Josh Kriger couldn't make it.

We're also bringing in Ben from Howl, a PR company that's doing wonderful stuff in the Web3 space, formally known as Multiplied, but we'll pump the rebrand, Howl. They work on Twitter spaces with us on NFT LA's channel, as well as Howl’s channel. You can catch Zach and Ben on Twitter. It'd be fun to hear their voices here. Karl, I'll jump right into the questions here. HomeCoin is helping people preserve and grow their wealth backing with mortgages as we said. Walk us through how this project came to be and how it works a little bit.

One thing most people don't realize is that mortgages of their underpinning the financial system. As an example of that, if you look at the US dollar, it's backed by the US government. A third of the backing of that dollar is mortgages. That's a very stable backing and cashflow. The two key things are what's safe and what generates a cashflow, particularly now that people are thinking about cashflows in this environment, and also preserving the wealth that they've made. In some ways, you can look at this as probably the only NFT out there that pays you to own it on an ongoing basis.

That's pretty impressive and fascinating. I'm not a real estate mogul myself, but I've always been fascinated with a couple of rental properties and so forth. I was coming of age and getting out of college right there when the mortgage peaked and all of that. I was lucky enough to buy a home as this crazy young kid at 22 or something, and sell it before the crash, which is great. That whole system has been fascinating. What I found interesting is that sometimes young people, and maybe we're seeing this with Web3 and the growth of Web3, are even a little bit savvier about what's going on. They can smell a rat or they can see that there's something not quite right going on here. That's part of why this world's been fascinating to me.

That's a great point. It has always been inaccessible to anybody but banks, governments, financial institutions, and wealthy people. The reason for that is buying a home loan is expensive. Let's call the average home loan in the United States is $300,000. It doesn't take many of those to run through most people's reserves. What we decided was, "Couldn't we open this up not only to people in the United States of all levels of wealth but also anybody around the world?" The big unlock here is to take this product that has been preserving and growing wealth for large governments, financial institutions, and wealthy individuals, and put it in the hands of everyone, which is what DeFi and blockchain are all about. How do we get access to these products that were normally only reserved for a tiny few group groups of people in the world?

Home loans are expensive. That’s what blockchain is all about. How do we access these products that were normally only reserved for a few groups of people worldwide? Click To Tweet

It's interesting to see a DeFi project where the returns are backed by a company.

It was crazy, nobody wanted to talk to us in 2021. Now, all of a sudden, everybody is interested.

I can imagine. You mentioned how this has been accessible to banks and financial institutions. What are the mortgages that are generating these returns?

There are $13 trillion in mortgages in the United States, so there's a lot to choose from. We chose to focus on high-quality ones. The high-quality ones are defined by the US Federal government. They have a set of specifications that narrows which are the ones that they would buy, and they would put on the balance sheet to back the dollar. We use that same standard in HomeCoin.

As a Millennial, if you own one piece of real estate, aren't you a real estate mogul at this point?

If you can grab any real estate that Bill Gates has not already acquired at this point, especially farmland, then yes, you are.

I grew up on a farm or a ranch.

Access is a huge part of it. We can talk about the issues with the mortgage market. How has that become more or less difficult for people to get involved? A lot of these foreboding and preventative world events have happened. They made people feel even more desperate these days. How is this solution angling to help get better transparency and decentralization, and use those things to make things more accessible?

Honestly, the housing market has frozen out a whole generation as you pointed out. That's sad, but also potentially a great opening because if you think about several years ago, everybody wanted to own a house. That was putting pretty much their entire net worth into one single house. If anything happened on that block or that street or to that particular house, things didn't go so well. HomeCoin is backed by a pool of mortgages spread around the country. The great thing there is you can buy into the housing industry or real estate, and become a real estate mogul without owning a piece of property, which is a powerful thing for people who are not interested in owning a home or may own a home down the road but are trying to get their feet wet.

NFT Karl Jacob | Blockchain Technology Uses
Blockchain Technology Uses: Homecoin is backed by a pool of mortgages spread around the country. The great thing there is you can buy into the housing industry or real estate and become a real estate mogul without owning a piece of property.

On the industry itself, 2008 has the worst housing crisis ever. It was a horrible event for consumers. For the industry itself, it was not as bad as people talk about it. If you were holding mortgages and you weren't doing crazy things like credit default swaps and other things, you're just holding a pool of mortgages. The default rate was about 10% across all mortgages in the United States. If you look at the pool that we have and you took a “hit” like that, effectively, you'd still have the liens on the home. You'd still have a right to the house itself. You would get your collateral back. You'd get your original money back, which you know stablecoins is unique these days. In many cases, you would start getting the payments again after the house was either sold or payments were resumed.

There was a momentary point in time when there was some pain. Overall, the housing industry has moved through those kinds of things. In 2008, that inspired a whole bunch of new regulations that prevented a lot of the loans that were done back then from ever being done again. If you look at the regulatory environment now, it's quite a bit more stringent than it was in the past. There are no more loans where you can just submit a guess on your income or stated income.

Now, the great thing is twofold. 1) The rules say that you have to verify stuff, and 2) We have better ways to do that. We have technologies and APIs we can talk to that can verify this information in real-time. What a great way to verify that deposits exist for purchasing a home without having to go through bank statements. Technology and regulation have moved. Honestly, the industry has matured quite a bit both in the people buying mortgages and putting them on their balance sheets.

Wells Fargo has about $275 billion of mortgages on its balance sheet. They've had to make changes, as well as the types of loans that we are allowed to make, and we're allowed to call a certain type of loan like the Fannie Mae loans, which are the Federal. That bar has risen quite significantly over the past few years. Even the people who have a relationship with Fannie that are able to sell loans to the Federal government have greatly reduced over time.

It's great because data efficiency and regulatory certainty create an environment where you can at least transact more clearly. It's good to see that we're moving in a positive direction, at least. That's what I'm waiting for from that.

I think as well, the things that you could have never done before. Transparency and decentralization are great examples. For transparency, we put an NFT around every lien that we do and publish it to the blockchain. That's representing a real-world lien that exists at the county on the blockchain for anybody to look at. Go back in time to that movie, The Big Short. What was the big thing that he unlocked? He dug until he found what loans were inside these pools. To do that, what did he have to do? He had to get on a plane and go visit the houses. We published that for everyone to look at and run that statement analysis in real-time all the time.

Maybe you want to run an analysis and say, “How distributed are these houses across the United States? What's the lien value that we're placing on the house?” A lien is a promise to repay a loan at a certain price. Let's say it's $50,000. That we think is going to open up a whole new era in stablecoins that are truly transparent. The other is the decentralization piece. Mortgages are decentralized now. There are 1,300 mortgage originators in this country. There are tens of thousands of counties across the United States. Each one of those has a registry for liens on the home. Let's say you don't believe the blockchain. Let's say you don't believe that the lien exists. You can go down to the county recorder and pull the records and look at the lien right there and verify it.

Verify, don't trust.

The thing is that level of decentralization is unheard of. I'll give you a good example. We have two people. Most people who use HomeCoin on the lending side, meaning they get a home loan through a HomeCoin, don't even know there's cryptocurrency behind it. It's all done in fiat. We had two people who said, “I want to pay my mortgage through my wallet.” Those two people make their mortgage payments without ever touching the banking system. Even if the banking system crumbled, they would still be making their mortgage payments and HomeCoin holders would still be getting the return.

There's a lot we can talk about with your fungible stablecoin. It's cool that you can get a mortgage and interact with it entirely outside of the banking system. You also hinted that you've got several ways that you guys are using non-fungible tokens. In addition to the one you already spoke about as far as that transparent information about the lien, you've also got another NFT opportunity for people to boost the returns so they get through your ecosystem. Can you tell us about that one?

It's been interesting. We are one of the few people who use NFTs for something other than art. Oddly enough, they are really powerful. The first is every time we make a mortgage and we buy a mortgage effectively, we wrap an NFT around the lien. It's a way of representing a real-world object on the blockchain. The second is it became clear to us that we needed to understand how long somebody wanted our coin to use their money. For most stablecoins, the problem is if you put a dollar in today, some people want to take that dollar out two seconds later. Other people would love to leave it in there for 90 days, and some other people, for a year or even longer. There's no way to tell the difference between those groups of people.

NFT Karl Jacob | Blockchain Technology Uses
Blockchain Technology Uses: We are one of the few people who use NFTs for something other than art.

Our decision was, “Let's use NFTs again.” The new set of NFTs we have are called boost. Boosts are pretty simple. They represent a block of HomeCoin, a dollar value, let’s say $50,000, and a time period that you were committing to hold that coin inside of the protocol so we can use it. We have 90-day boosts and year-long boosts. We’re giving some of those away here. The cool thing about that is it doesn't just have a representation in your wallet. There's an NFT that you can get which represents that position, which shows up on OpenSea and is tradable. You can imagine a world where I have a $50,000 position locked up for a year inside of HomeCoin, and there's a certain return right now that's over 7% return, which is pretty great in this environment.

Maybe I want to sell it. Maybe I'd sell that for $55,000 or less in a particular situation. The idea there is not only to use NFTs in order to wrap that and represent that but also to provide a way for you to trade that if you want to narrow down the road. You're not just trading the NFT itself, you're also trading the cashflows that come from that NFT, which is the real power. You could let’s say gift it to your children, “Here's an NFT that won't just sit on your profile picture. It'll pay you every month,” which is pretty cool.

That sounds cool. In order to get one of these NFTs, I would lock up my HomeCoin and that would mint that boosted NFT.

We have different ones for different levels. There are different colors and different materials. It goes all the way from the iconic green home that you saw probably in Monopoly, that's where the idea came from, all the way to the diamond-encrusted one. There are a couple more after that. We've got a few of those.

When that term of 90 days or a year expires, does that NFT then revert back to the original HomeCoin?

You get the HomeCoin back and you can reboost it if you like, or the HomeCoin stays and the NFT has zero value after that. That's what NFTs are designed for. It has value for a certain period of time and then it goes poof. You get the value back but the NFT goes away.

That sounds like a lot of fun. I'm going to check it out.

We tried to do this for the incentive structures for nodes and things like that when we were trying to scale Ethereum. StrongBlock was doing something like that where they had an NFT and they did a boosting factor. Creating those incentive models, especially in the early stage when you're trying to get more people on board is valuable to them. It shows where your head's at if you want to reward them for participating more in the long-term vision of what you're doing. Speaking in that long-term vision, unless, Eathan, you wanted to jump ahead of me, I wanted to talk a little bit more about their roadmap and what they've got going for the future.

I had a question and I know Zach cut me off. I didn't even know what the question was, but more importantly where’s the monkey picture attached to these NFTs?

No ape, no coin.

Now I had an image in my head where the actual NFT is a home logo as you can probably imagine in a different material. Maybe we need a Bored Ape hanging from the chimney or something like that, which is interesting because the NFTs that are wrapping the liens have representations of the houses. If you go to the website or you look at the blockchain, there are some interesting things that may come of that.

There are privacy things that we're concerned about so we don't put actual pictures of the houses up. They're renderings of the house that are not traceable back to the actual house. However, you could imagine somebody getting fancy and saying, "I want this particular image to represent my house. Maybe that's one with a Bored Ape hanging out of the chimney or the front porch or something like that. That would be a fun idea.

That’s completely not necessary, to be honest.

The nice thing is if you're generating a 7% return, you get to have a little bit of fun.

It’s a boring space, which is great because that's the whole idea. It's boring and delivers cashflow every month.

Now I'm going on long tangents. I remember my friend who grew up in India telling me how actual monkeys would come into her house and steal fruit from their kitchen and stuff.

That would be a cool NFT to show, the monkeys hanging out on the front porch with the stolen candy and fruit.

Does that add or detract from the value of the real estate? That's my question.

As long as you're protected from the monkeys.

Beware of monkey thieves.

Before we get onto the roadmap, Ben, I did want to check in on this concept of exchanging any coin supported by the curve for the HomeCoin LP rewards. Can you tell us what that means about the utility of the LP rewards? How do the boosted Home NFTs tie in?

That's the exciting stuff that's going on. We had a vote of the DAO. It's so far doing quite well. They are very supportive of it. The idea here is freedom from USDC and effectively the US dollar, which is a crazy concept but important because a lot of the stablecoins that are out there are backed by fiat coins. What we said is if that's the case, what you want to do is be based on what fiat currencies are based on. In the United States, a third of that is mortgages. Let's go direct to the source, which allows us to give our coin holders the return that others can't. They're basing it on an actual dollar and we're basing it on an actual mortgage and the dollar value of the lien against that mortgage.

It's easier to inflate dollars than houses.

It's pretty hard to inflate houses as we've all found. Plus, the liens are fixed. You can't change the size of the lien no matter what. That's governed by the regulatory groups that are out there. You start doing that and get in trouble. The advantage now is rather than taking USDC and then minting Home, which effectively is how it worked now, which is how we got off the ground, now we'll move into a world where you'll take whatever coin and put it into one of these liquidity pools on the curve or elsewhere, and you will get back HomeCoin. You could imagine putting ETH, Dogecoin, whatever it might be, and getting Home back, which allows you to translate between those two types of currencies, and then bring it back to Home and boost it and get a higher return.

You get 1% for just holding Home, which is unlike any other stablecoin on the planet, 2% for boosting for 90 days, and max returns for a year, which effectively right now is 7%. This allows you to move seamlessly between a liquid coin and moving in and out of things to a higher level of commitment and more returns and an even higher level. Whereas before you had to, as everybody knows, take your coin, go to some things, stake it, lock it up, lend it to somebody else, and all these complex steps. This simplifies that greatly.

How often can I get another magical boost by closing my eyes, clicking my heels together, and saying, “There's no place like Home?” That's what I want to know.

We've got a great interface for it. It's always being improved. It will track the boost that you have. We have people who have got 90-day boosts and year boosts in multiple different timeframes. It will alert you when that boost is running out. The second it runs out, it unlocks the ability to effectively reboost or you don't even have to click your heels, you can set it to do it automatically. Some people set their boosts to go reboost every 90 days.

That's interesting. On the topic of the stablecoin but free from fiat and how we consider it a stablecoin, does that mean over the long-term it may not track with the US dollar?

It depends on how you look at the US dollar and what it is. The liens themselves on the homes are denominated in dollars. The system is backed by liens on those homes in the United States in dollars. Now and for the foreseeable future, there are $13 trillion in mortgages out there. It's lockstep with the dollar even though it's not pegged to the dollar. The reason for that is it's pegged to the liens and the liens are denominated in dollars. As we scale, you can imagine a world where globally, maybe it's pegged to multiple currencies that are the underlying denomination for the liens on a particular home in a particular country.

Our focus is on the States for right now. There are lots of potential opportunities. That's what the LP pools let us do. It originates loans around the world denominated by currencies locally and/or cryptocurrencies. You can imagine a world where somebody could pay for their home in ETH. The first country to accept that would be an interesting thing, or better, if they take their ETH, put it in a liquidity pool Home out, and use Home to do it, and then Home is backed by mortgages that are backed by liens all around the world.

I see that potential as well, especially at scale. For some people, Home may make a lot more sense to build off like technology and financial tools that they're building compared to USDC if they don't want the treasury to screw up their whole system by printing a bunch of money.

It was an interesting diversion from other stablecoins. If you look at stablecoins, they were invented at a time when the blockchain and crypto were nascent. It sounded like a great idea to back a coin with dollars in a bank account. If you look at the centralization of that and the lack of transparency that you're saying, "We promise that our auditors are good auditors. Trust what they say,” those are pretty antithetical to the concepts of crypto and blockchain.

Now we have a chance to re-examine those. We think starting with transparency and decentralization are important tenets. The other is don't base yourself on an existing fiat currency. Base yourself on the pieces that are the underpinnings of an existing fiat system. You're effectively independent of the fiat system. We're not there yet. It'll take us a while to get there, but it's all about building the tools and the potential and listening to the community, which encouraged us to move in this direction.

Don't base yourself on an existing fiat currency. Base yourself on the pieces that are the underpinnings of an existing fiat system, so you're effectively independent of the fiat system. Click To Tweet

I feel like I spent a lot of time early on trying to figure out with partners like Synthetics and Ampleforth and stuff this whole concept of stablecoin. You’re right. It felt antithetical initially to the space. There was a lot of backlash on that because the original concept is moving away from the traditional value system. People felt like this was a hitch route when actuality, the way I see things now is we can't rip and replace everything overnight.

Putting the mechanics for a soft switch in by giving people exposure to those assets and then being able to diversify what those assets look like over time makes a lot of sense. I want to hit that point on where you could go in the future, on what your roadmap looks like, and figure out what kind of partners and stuff you're trying to court.

Our heads are spinning after this because we've made so many changes. The switch to minting Home only based on mortgages is probably the most fundamental change we've made since we started and a pretty radical shift from other stablecoins who are minting based on dollars or whatever currency they're operating in.

The future is pretty interesting. The future I believe is these liquidity pools for any kind of coin. We hope to see everything. There are lots of interesting things there. New boosts. We do 90 days today and a year today. You can imagine five years. We're talking about generational wealth, how you preserve your wealth for the next generation and the next generation versus how you make a lot of money in a month or lose a lot of money in a month.

You could also imagine a world where you have infinite boosts, where you say, “I'm going to lock the money up here forever. I'm going to rely on the system in order to originate mortgages or purchase mortgages to fill that return potentially forever,” which aligns well with this idea behind DAOs, multi-generational impact, public goods, and everything like that. How do you have a balance sheet that you could point to and say, “We believe this balance sheet will be around in 300 years?” A lot can change in 300 years. I'm pretty sure houses are still going to be around. I'm pretty sure we're still going to need them.

We might have boroughs. You don't know.

That's true, but you never know, they could lend against boroughs.

It could become like those pods in The Matrix where you're sitting in a slush and you've got your spinal cord attached and some brain implant. You still have to pay for that pod.

You still have to pay for it and it still comes out of your crypto wallet directly from your brain.

Limited real estate. I loved this conversation. We're going to move to the next segment here in a minute. Last question though, before we get there. What other projects have you been inspired by in the NFT space? It's always fun for our audience to get a taste of what you're looking at or intrigued by.

I've been trying to focus on the practical applications of the blockchain and crypto, and what I've been doing. I'm a student of everything about crypto. I love learning new things. I love the social networking era and was lucky to be involved early on in that. Web3 is much more like the internet was back in the day. We're seeing the same things. In that scenario, you have to learn as fast as you can. I'm excited about anything new and different. I've looked at all kinds of crazy stuff. I've looked at Magic Internet Money and Thor. What we're starting to see is a new type of lending across the board. That gets me excited.

Web3 is much more like the internet back in the day, and we're seeing the same kind of things. In that scenario, you just have to learn as fast as you can. Click To Tweet

This idea that you can build a system where you can lend to anybody in the world with money from anybody in the world is a utopian experience that we've been thinking about for a long time and hoping for. I don't think you’ll get a healthy economic system without lending. As we all know, lending is broken. It takes 60 days to get a mortgage. It takes forever for a whole bunch of things to happen in the real world. That's not going to play well down the road, particularly outside the United States, where you physically can't go to a bank, or there are no banks. That is the kind of projects I get excited about, the things that people are doing at Compound, AVE, Maple, and even Maker.

The seeds of the new financial infrastructure are being planted now. I get excited about that. I also get excited about the art side of it. It doesn't seem like it, but I used to gulp and do the artwork. I'm a neophyte and all that stuff, but I love seeing it and what's happening. I'm excited about what I see as the new generation of NFTs. Anytime there's a new technology, usually, we take the old technology and ram it into the new stuff and say, "This reminds me of the original TV broadcast or videos of people doing radio broadcast." That was like television except it wasn't.

NFTs are at that point where you're starting to see generative art. You're starting to see unique uses of NFTs to buy a piece of art. It gives you access to something. Look at what Kevin is doing at Moon Bird. It's not just the bird, it's the access and the community and everything around it. All that stuff excites me. I know I have one that I get excited about.

NFT Karl Jacob | Blockchain Technology Uses
Blockchain Technology Uses: NFTs are at that point where you're starting to see generative art and see really unique uses of NFTs.

That's great stuff. I love it all. I'm going to do a little prequel to our Quick Hitters. It's a fun quick question that I'm inspired to ask you if you're willing to share. What is the highest interest rate that you've personally invested in something to try to get? How much did you maybe gain or lose on that particular interest rate?

I did avoid Terra Luna, I have to say. It was one of those like, “That's too crazy.” Some of the stuff going on in Thor back in the day, and even a little Magic Internet Money and Spell Token and all that stuff. That was probably the highest interest rate stuff that I looked at.

What was the number? Do you remember? Were you in the tens of thousands of percent?

No. Over 30 scares the crap out of me. I don't know how we got disconnected from the idea that return equals risk, but somehow those two things got disconnected in every other normal market. Look at ‘99 and 2000, they also got disconnected there. It’s this idea that you were taking zero. I remember somebody telling me, “There's zero risk in Terra Luna, don't worry.” I'm like, “That's impossible.” They said, “Here's the math.” I'm like, “No, I don't need to know the math. It's too risky.” I'd say 30% something is probably the highest that I saw.

It's good to know from a seasoned business professional the limit of your skepticism.

I had a moment on my crypto journey. I remember exactly the moment. The moment was when somebody was pitching me Magic Internet Money. I’m like, “That's it. I'm out.” It sounded cool, but that's one of those top indicators.

That would get some looks.

It’s like selling dog food over the internet in ‘99 and 2000.

Thanks for answering that one.


Let's get to the next segment, Edge Quick Hitters, a fun, quick way to get to know you a little bit better. We have ten quick questions for the short, single or few words response, but if we feel like expanding a little bit, we can if we get the urge. We're going to alternate asking these. What is the first thing you ever remember purchasing in your life, Karl?

A horse.

Do you remember how much the horse was?

It was a couple of hundred dollars, to be honest.

Was it alive?

It was a branch that was near us that wanted to get rid of their horse. It took a little bit of pity on me because I wanted the horse.

That's nice. Sweet story. Second question, what is the first thing you ever remember selling in your life?

It was so painful. My first car, which was a Mustang.

It was the sale that was painful.

I was going to college. The sale is painful. The car was amazing.

What is the most recent thing you purchased?

iPhone 14.

What's the most recent thing that you've sold?

That's the funny thing, iPhone 13. I sold it before I got the 14.

What's your most prized possession?

I am not a real-possession kind of person. I'm a kiteboarder. I would say my carbon fiber board is one of my prized possessions.

If you could buy anything in the world, physical, digital or otherwise, what would that be?

I'd probably say one of the many NFTs that I missed. I can't think of one off the top of my head.

Nobody's getting any shoutouts.

I do feel like there are some that I was like, "I should have done that."

Would you rather have a Board Ape or a CryptoPunk?

I have to say CryptoPunk. Board Apes don't do it for me. They're not my thing.

Anything else to add there on what you would've picked up?

Probably something that 3LAU owns right now. I'll give a shout out to him because he's my guru when it comes to that kind of stuff.

What about one of his early pieces? 3LAU has a lot of great work out there. I love Justin.

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

I would say curiosity and a desire to learn.

On the flip side of that, if you could eliminate one of your personality traits from the next generation, what would that be?

Getting too excited too early.

That's a tough one. I'm totally on board with you. When you see something and you’re sharp enough to see that there's something exciting there, but you're not sharp enough or experienced enough to see that everybody else is not going to see it for twenty years. You got to play it right.

Timing is everything. It also served me well because you can't be curious and open to learning and not have that wide-eyed like, “This is going to be the best thing ever.”

Timing is everything, and you can't be curious and be open to learning and not be wide-eyed like, “Oh my gosh, this is going to be the best thing ever.” Click To Tweet

It was Bill Gates who said that we tend to overestimate the importance of change over the next two years, but underestimate it in ten years timeline. It's exciting. It's especially valuable if we can keep in mind that longer time horizon.

That's exactly right. Realize that you have to survive for a long period of time sometimes in order to see that happen. Facebook was that way in the face of MySpace and Friendster oddly enough. The internet and the whole dot-com thing, everybody was like, “It's all over. It's dead.” That was fun. Some people made money. Most people lost a ton of money. Instead, that was the foundation that spawns 10, 15 and 20 years of growth.

Shout out to a project that I don't follow as much lately, but several years ago, there was this project called The Long Now Foundation. I always enjoyed that ethos, that philosophy. Stewart Brand was part of that. They made this clock that would last whatever thousands of years and stuff.

I've heard him speak at TED. He's amazing.

That's a real shift that I'm seeing with Web3. It’s that very rarely do entire communities of people think about building things that are going to endure for generations. Some of the great winemakers and industry builders, if you look at a lot of the industries that are built in other countries where literally, they started out making fine linens or fiber or clothing and are now building ships. That's been going on for generations. Some of these companies like Sony have been around forever.

I love that rather than just trying to build the quick hit stuff, Web3 is focused on DAOs and hopefully longer-term wealth now, and these generational things. Look at what Ethereum has done. Look at the fact that they're planning for who knows how long. That's an incredible gift to the world and to society that I don't think other generations have thought about. You go back to the early generations that built some of the financial institutions that we see now.

Last two questions here. Simple and easy to answer. What did you do before joining us on the show?

I called somebody about closing a big real-world deal. It's interesting because just as this crypto stuff is taking off and the blockchain stuff is taking off, that has become a popular purchase for large hedge funds, governments, banks, and everything like that. We managed to generate it quickly and at high quality.

What are you about to do after the show?

Take a breather, maybe take a walk, and then get right back on closing these deals that I'm about to close.

ABC, Always Be Closing, but also always be taking a walk in between to get some fresh air. I like that. That concludes our Edge Quick Hitters.


Our next segment is Hot Topics, which will feature another guest to be hopping on here soon. Pinar, are you available?

Yes, I'm here guys.

Let's introduce you. This episode's sponsored Hot Topic features Pinar Öncü of AtlasSpace. Pinar is a technology entrepreneur and a mentor. She's the Cofounder and COO of AtlasSpace. It's the exclusive metaverse platform for enterprises targeting a revolution in the future of work. Pinar comes from urban planning as her background in geographical information systems, GIS, specialization. She is an expert in designing 3D virtual world concepts with a neuroscience perspective. She is a women tech network mentor and women in games ambassador, mentoring women entrepreneurs in metaverse and XR technologies. Welcome, Pinar.

Thank you. It's great to be here.

Let's dive right into this. What's your opinion? How is the metaverse going to affect the business world?

We've been searching this for the last six years, even before people said metaverse. The way we were calling it was virtual spaces. You're going to have your offices there. You're going to mingle and visit each other. People were looking at space when we said that. We know the evolution in the last few years. I can say that in the last few months timeframes, enterprises have huge know-how and experience on what this is, but still, they are much confused. They still don't know, but pretty much most of them tried a little bit. Some of them tried some big stuff and some tiny little bit minor stuff. In summary, they're confused. They don't know what to do, but they're eager to learn.

NFT Karl Jacob | Blockchain Technology Uses
Blockchain Technology Uses: A lot of enterprises are confused. They don't know what to do, but they're eager to learn and try everything.

They're trying everything. They're doing events and some exhibitions. They're trying to open some buildings or lands at some different platforms. We're one of the platforms that are targeting to lead them the way. We're uniquely targeting enterprises. You can imagine we are the LinkedIn of Web3. We have got this 3D virtual world of our own. We're onboarding old companies and enterprises there within a focus they need. Finding that purpose is super hard because most of the time, it seems like it's nice to have. It's not a must-have for the moment. It's a hard question to answer what will make my audience come back to the platform?

It reminds me of Karl's point, which I totally agree with about these technologies being nascent and people being more focused on, "Isn't this cool?" than, "What can this do that you can't do in any other way?" It's like what you said, Karl, as people are putting radio shows on the television, people are putting physical things in the metaverse. It's like, “Look what I could do. I can go bowling in the metaverse.” It’s like, “No, you could also go bowling in the real world.” It’s what you can only do in the metaverse. Have you put thought into that, Karl? Not to put any pressure but anything specifically like, “I can only do that in the metaverse. That's why metaverse is cool?”

For us, if you consider the metaverse broadly, it would be the speed of funding loans and the flexibility, meaning new loan types that we can't even imagine now. Imagine your mortgage gets paid daily. It’s never going to happen in the real world. It’s too hard. In the metaverse itself, that's hard. That's an amazing vision. I was involved with a lot of the early virtual reality stuff. That's exactly where everybody went. It’s like, “Let's make it an office.” It looks like an office, except who wants to walk across the office in the virtual world? I want to teleport. That's still coming. There's a lot of investment in that area. I'm excited to see people who know what's going on in physical spaces, helping evolve that and neuroscience. I was a biomedical engineer. My dad was a neurosurgeon.

Figuring out how people's brains work and then mapping this new environment to that so that you give enough cues of the real world that they feel comfortable, but also do things that you couldn't do in the real world. You couldn't walk from the campus of Apple to the campus of Facebook in the real world. You could in the virtual world, or mix and mingle. A bunch of the technologies and products that you could be experimenting around with in the virtual world may not even exist in the real world, so getting experience with that stuff. Maybe those are some ideas.

That's a great point. I remember when I had this little piano tuning business in New York City and was experimenting with moving to Peru and trying to manage it from afar. The fascinating thing I didn't realize until I started doing things on the internet and doing Zoom meetings and things like this. This was back in 2015 to 2016. It's easier for me to get together with my team in New York from Peru on a Zoom call than it was for us to plan. You got to get on the subway. You got to come over to my house. It's early in the morning. You're tired. You don’t have a coffee yet. People don't realize there are these things. It’s like what you said, Google and Facebook, just go from one to the other in the metaverse.

How often are you telling people when they're coming to you that this doesn't need to be on the blockchain and this does need to be on the blockchain? Where do you broker that relationship in the metaverse?

My target is enterprises. Most of them have no idea about how to integrate with enterprises. Those who have the ideas probably are getting stuck in regulation. What we do is find the bridge because we cannot force anything that will not happen in the timeframe that we want. We're bridging. We're accepting all of these fiat payments or we're accepting all of these email registrations. Step by step, we're getting our users to get used to the website or the blockchain part. We're teaching what blockchain will do for them. It's not only the currencies, but it's the clarity in the network movements and whatever is happening on the network, all these reports and logs. They're learning. We're never forcing anyone to jump into the blockchain.

We can’t force anyone to jump into the blockchain. It’s a slow process. Click To Tweet

It sounds like it's a slow process.

I'm talking about six years. When people ask us what the metaverse will do that's different from the real world, we're never telling them you're going to do these avatar meetings. This is way more convenient than doing the avatar meetings still because you can see my face, my motions, gestures and everything. Instead, we're telling them it's totally a storytelling place that cannot be done in the real world. I can prepare this experience on Zoom, taking your customer to your history, to your kickstart.

We did a chocolate factory like that. We teleport people to the kickstart of the company. People are making the chocolate and meeting the founder. For the company employees, that is something having to go over something, teleporting people to the future showing the vision of the company. You cannot teleport me to the past or future right now, or me as a human being in the physical world, I cannot scale myself. I cannot go inside the cell or I cannot run on to Saturn. These are impossible.

In such an environment, if my concept is cool, I can do everything I want. In terms of the physical world. I have no gravity there. I have no scale. It's all about me and my concept. Merging this backside, the enterprise is still thinking this is the real world and their transition to any 3D environment is not as easy as the gamers of the fantasy worlds because they're expecting all this fun and stuff. My people still want to see themselves, their face, and their suit in that world.

You're saying to them that you're unlimited, but they're preferring everything as it is in the real world. We're not pushing the limits so much. We still have got these meeting rooms or some natural spaces or amphitheaters that is looking like the real world. Once they get used to it, we're pushing their limits a little bit more. It's totally a slow process.

That's an interesting approach because if you look at things like the power of habit, some of the ways that people have studied how habits are created and formed, you start a habit by attaching it to something that's already working that people already are used to, but then it can be whatever you want it to be. If I'm brushing my teeth but I want to make the habit to do meditation after I brush my teeth, that's interesting. I see what you're doing there. You got to make people feel comfortable. You got to make it easy, simple and accessible, and then slowly but surely, they're like that frog in the boiling pot of water. All of a sudden, they're floating around in a life-sized cell, exploring the DNA, whatever.

You have to find the perfect balance between not scaring people with something unknown, but enough unknown to trigger their curiosity. There are sensitive values.

You have to find the perfect balance between not scaring people with something unknown but enough unknown to trigger their curiosity. Click To Tweet

Familiarity with digital identity is that struggle there. A lot of it feels like it could exist without blockchain, but the blockchain becomes important once they take on that digital identity more fully.

For the identity part, the kickstart is always exactly the real life in real life view. We even have got some digital twin photometric studios in our office spaces where we exactly take photos of the person from 100 different points. In the beginning, they don't care about the blockchain. They don't know the blockchain so they don't care about the blockchain. Once we put them on the platform, they realize they can change their hair and color. They can even be a dinosaur. We see those limits. A CEO at 65 years old running all of these 10,000-employee companies walking around in a dinosaur costume. We've seen this stuff. They ask, "What is the blockchain?" At that point, we have to tell them about how the identity fits.

If you want to own your dinosaur costume, we're going to have to start talking about the blockchain, otherwise, anybody can take it from you.

If you don't want your 3D avatar for anyone else to be used.

It's like the early internet stuff. People tried to tell people like, "This is what the internet is. This is why it's important." All they cared about was buying books faster. In our world, it is interesting because 99% of the people who get a home loan through blockchain technology don't even know that blockchain technology exists. They just know they got their home loan fast and the terms are better than they could get anywhere else. They don't care. That's awesome. The 1% that do care is the kickstart.

NFT Karl Jacob | Blockchain Technology Uses
Blockchain Technology Uses: 99% of the people who get a home loan through blockchain technology don't even know blockchain technology exists. All they know is they got their home loan fast, and the terms are better than they could get anywhere else.

There's this example I love. When the wheel was first invented, it was for pottery. It was just for making the pots. It was turning all around. It took 300 years for somebody to put it upward and create a chariot. Transportation was invented and the whole world changed. Now, the use of blockchain technologies is like pottery making. At one point, we'll find all of these genius ways where it will become the chariots and those cars. We're going to have a little bit more time for that.

My spine is tingling with wonderful analogies. Any successful examples of what you guys are doing that are working well? Bank branch, art exhibition, VR involved company, digital twins, anything that's particularly successful you're seeing?

We have got one specific example of that. We made a meta branch for a bank. They're a physical bank for the moment. They're not doing any bank activities like transferring to wires or anything. This branch targets only showing whatever information on their website is in a visual way. Our habits are changing. Talking about neuroscience and all of this perception and how we perceive the world, we are more focused into more comfortable processing the information that is visual right now. It's not like we love digging anything on text-based websites.

That bank has got full of information on their website, but nobody is taking care of their website. Nobody enters and receives the information. In the metaspace, all these credit cards are hanging around, different types of clicking, and immediately getting the information. We're turning back. You see all these credit types. On the other side, you can reach out to customer service immediately with a video call, not waiting for 14 minutes or 100 minutes to connect with someone on the phone.

That space is for perceiving stuff faster and easier. This is what the bank wants for the moment. They don't care about anyone making the meetings there. They don't care about anything else that is promised on the Web3 or metaverse for the moment. What they care about is targeting all of this new generation's perception way, no matter how old we are. This is a great example. We do it on both the web and virtual reality. They're making all of these meetings. There are internal meetings with VR supported as well. They love it. We involve both technologies at the same time. You are on VR. I’m on the web. We can see each other in a smooth way. They're happy about it. It seems like we solve the problem.

Once there's an actual physical metaverse location, please consider that I could have a dinosaur as my bank teller. I would find that fun. Great stuff, Pinar. Before we wrap with you, we want to make sure we know where people can find out more about you and the project. Tell us about the website and socials.

Our website is Atlas.space. It’s pretty easy. Both the public version of the platform is freely available on Atlas.space and our social media tags. We are soon going to release our token in about February 2023 timeframe. If the folks join our Discord channel, we will be announcing them only on the Discord channel in the beginning. Better follow-up. Plus, for the audience, we'd be happy to plan an art gallery. If there's any NFT collection owner or any NFT producer team, we can give away one of the art spaces that we have for three months' time and create their virtual space, redirect all of these NFTs to these sales websites wherever they're listed. We can consider that.

We talked about this before. We'll work out some details later. Long story short, everyone, look out for some type of giveaway that might involve a virtual art gallery as well. Listen for the socials on that. Pinar, thank you so much for joining us. It was a pleasure. Awesome conversation. We’re glad we could integrate with you and Karl. We'll catch you on the flip side.


Let's kick it back to Karl for our next quick segment, which we've been enjoying lately. That's a bit of a moment for you to shout someone out that's special in your world. Go for that. Who would you like to choose?

I have two special someones, my daughters. They're the center of my world. I got them into the whole blockchain Web3 stuff. They have their own ETH addresses, which I gave to them in 2021. I can't wait to see what they do with them.

I haven't tried to onboard my five-year-old yet.

We're still early, guys.

It's funny, you don't realize how getting those names early makes a big difference. I’m @Karl on Twitter, to give you an example. I know those can be pretty important.

It's like that OG status. It is pretty awesome. That's great. Shout out to your daughters. I hope you tune in to this episode and continue to tune in to the rest of them as well, although you may be more interested in other things. We’d love to have them at NFT LA. Is there a space, Zack, for 13 and15-year-olds at NFT LA? I know we're doing some cool educational stuff.

There is. We're also doing a high school education summit as part of it. We love the younger generation.

Be careful what you ask for because I've got nieces and nephews who love that as well. One of them who I gave some Ethereum staked it as a thirteen-year-old, and then turned around and bought some stuff with it. Watch out for that generation. They're coming.

Before we drop off with you, let's make sure we say where the audience can go to learn more about you and the project you're working on as well.

For the projects, HomeCoin.finance is the main website. @HomeCoinFinance on Twitter is a great place to discover what's going on in real-time. We have a Discord channel as well. It's active. The community helps us to carve out the vision and test our theories and everything like that. For me, I'm @Karl on Twitter.

I understand that you guys are having a generous giveaway with us as well that will be posting about.

We are. You can't be on this show without giving away an NFT. That's the whole deal. We made three NFTs. They are boosted NFTs for us. They are the dollar value, which is between $500 and $250 boosted for a year, which is right now about a 7% return. You're not only getting a great NFT, but you're getting an NFT that pays you monthly, which is pretty rare in the NFT land these days.

This is like giving away savings bonds or something.

I hope that that is what it becomes one day. It'd be fantastic to see some of these NFTs. This holiday season, that will be a great gift for someone.

You gave me the idea for some Christmas gifts.

Bring it. We love it.

It's been a great episode. It’s great to have you, Karl. I want to give a quick recognition here again to Zach and Ben for joining us. They'll be hopping on the Twitter space that we're doing here in a little bit, but make sure to go check out Zach and Ben on our weekly now Twitter spaces, celebrating the buildup to NFT LA as well as Howl, our partner in promoting the event. That's every Thursday. What time are we at now?

It depends on what time zone you're in.

Let's go Pacific.

It’s 4:30 Pacific. It’s coming up. It will be a good one. We dropped Agni. We're going to talk about Austin in the NFT LA space, which we rarely do. That would be fun.

We were doing it biweekly, mostly focused on NFT LA. Howl has taken every other week and they're going to talk about current events. You got something to do on a Thursday on Twitter spaces. It's fun. Put it on your calendar. Anything else to follow up with that, guys?

I'm following Karl now. I can't believe you got that for Twitter. That's amazing.

That is a great handle. Go on Twitter to @NFTLALive and you'll find us.

Our newsletter, we always pump it. We mention it in our socials and stuff like that. That's it for this episode, guys. We've reached the outer limit of the Edge of NFT. Thanks for exploring with us. We've got space for more adventures on this starship. Invite your friends, and recruit some cool strangers that will make this journey also much better. How? You could easily go to Spotify or iTunes right now. You could rate us and say something awesome. You can go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole. You can also look us up on all major social platforms by typing @EdgeOfNFT and start a fun conversation with us online. Lastly, be sure to tune in next time for more great Web3 content. Thanks again for sharing this time with us.

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