We are seeing theexciting digital evolution happening everywhere, which just goes to show theincredible potential we have yet to see in the space. In today’s episode, we goon a global journey right in Asia to the outer edge of innovation along withamazing guests who help us navigate this digital evolution across identity,collections, food, fashion, and even phones! We sit down with Gojo Satoshi from Mocaverse to talk about how they plan to reinvent digital identity. LucaNetz of PudgyPenguins shares their incredibly successful toydrop. We hear from Yuya, who is building a viral blockchain-powered food ratingapp called SARÀH. Gmoney also shares his perspective on the state of fashion and Web3 inAsia and Lina from Vertu talks about their luxury Web3 phone brand. Plus, we go fullcircle and chat with the founder of Legitimate, Calvin Chan, on building digital and physical fashion. Get a front-rowseat in today’s digital evolution; tune in to this special edition of Edge ofNFT Asia!
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Navigating The DigitalEvolution In Identity, Collections, Food & Fashion With Mocaverse, PudgyPenguin, SARÀH, Gmoney, Vertu & Legitimate
Welcome to another special Edge of NFT Asia roadshow edition, where we take you on a global journey to the outer edge of innovation and digital identity, collections, food, fashion, and even phones. First, we catch up with our friends from Mocaverse and find out how they plan to reinvent digital identity while also creating a robust reward program on Web3 steroids. We traveled to Seoul and Singapore where we connected with some early and emerging Web3 pioneers shaping the future of food, fashion, and digital collectibles.
You will hear from Luca Netz, CEO of Pudgy Penguins, on their incredibly successful toy drop, as well as the founder of a viral blockchain-powered food-rating app. In addition, we catch up with gmoney and hear his perspective on the intersection of fashion and Web3. Sticking with this theme, you will then meet the team behind a luxury Web3 phone brand. Lastly, we go full circle and chat with the founder of a Web3 company that connects physical products to digital identities and has been used by Puma and Mocaverse to close out this special guest-packed episode. You don't want to miss it.
Welcome back to our special new recurring segment, the MocaMoment. We're catching up with the team at Mocaverse on a monthly basis given the breadth and depth of this special growing ecosystem. For those that don't know, Mocaverse is the Animoca Brands membership NFT collection of 8,888 unique beings. They call them the Mocas. They are building the world's largest Web3 identity pass in culture and entertainment, empowering personal growth, partner project growth, and the growth of adoption of Web3 in general. For full disclosure, our parent company, Edge of Company, lies within the Mocaverse ecosystem. This is a regular segment as part of our immediate partnership.
I'm excited that we have Gojo Satoshi who's the Marketing Lead of Mocaverse and the Marketing Director of Animoca Brands. Gojo came from a creative advertising agency background with over ten years of marketing and branding consulting experience. He was the Head of Marketing of an NFT marketplace. Before that, he was Head of Brand of a crypto exchange.
Now, he is all about crafting the right story for Mocaverse and building the largest Web3 identity pass for culture and entertainment. He also knows how to throw a great party, which I got to experience in Singapore where I got this dope hat that I'm rocking as well. It has an RFID tag, and he's rocking that as well. Gojo, it's great to have you on the show. There's a lot to cover.
Thanks for having me.
There's so much to talk about here. We've got the $20 million investment round, the Moca ID, and other stuff to cover. First, how are you doing? It was great to see you in Singapore. Thanks for building the Moca community and having us over at that event. It sold out. There's a lot of FOMO, but we had a great time.
Thanks, Josh. I'm glad you liked the party in Singapore. It was a hell of a party. Thanks for the kind words on the $20 million. It's a strong vote of confidence from the investors on what we have been building and what we have been experimenting with in the past few months. To us, the vision has always been super clear. It's the same for the team, which is to build the largest Web3 identity pass for the culture and entertainment segment.
With the new capital, we can even be bolder and more aggressive in growing the project on all fronts. That includes product development, the partnership side, marketing channels, community, and more. Our latest focus for those who haven't been following us is the Moca ID. It's our approach to build on-chain identities in the form of.MocaDID, which I'm sure we will talk a lot more about later. I'm super excited about being part of the project. I can't wait to show the world what we're building.
You have been busy but let's start with something more simple. Tell us about this cool swag. I got this hat, and I've been playing around with it. You could tap on it with your phone. This was a collaboration with a cool company that I happened to interview in Seoul. I met with the founder, Calvin. They have done a huge collection with Puma. These guys are crushing it with some great technology. What does tapping on the hat do if you happen to be around someone who's part of the Moca family?
It's our first phygital merch collection that we rolled out at the Moca 2049 event. You should have kept the stickers, and that's for the culture. This is where the NFT chip lies. You use your phone and tap it, and you can claim an NFT, which is this MoCap visual. It will be an NFT itself. Once you claim this NFT, we will provide a phygital experience for the MoCap holders. In the future, we will be dropping exclusive benefits or real-life perks for holders. For example, right after the Singapore 2049, we gave away one championship ticket to MoCap holders for free. Keep the MoCap NFTs and look out for more surprises.
It still works without the sticker. I didn't completely miss that.
As long as you claim the cap before you throw away the stickers.
I think I'm good. We will figure it out. Let's talk about the investment round. It was led by CMCC Global and a lot of other interesting folks. You talked about the big vision here. What I've come to understand from getting to know the team and having a chance to experience the ecosystem is a lot of that vision comes to us in terms of gaming and entertainment. Maybe you can elaborate on that aspect of Mocaverse.
We're trying to build Mocaverse almost like the L1 empowerment layer across culture and entertainment. That's what the Animoca Brands ecosystem has been focusing on. We're building this loyalty points program where we integrate with different portfolio companies within the ecosystem. We have been doing it in season one already with the Mocana Odyssey campaign.
We have been doing it with GAMEE and a cool Mocaverse group game, and then we also did it with Biker and Dustland. That's the approach that we're trying to get at. When you think about it, gaming, culture, and entertainment are probably the most retail-facing pillars in Web3 and probably the easiest way to onboard the crypto-curious and Web2 crowd. This is where we're focusing on and trying to target with Mocaverse.
When you think about it, gaming, culture, and entertainment are probably the most retail-facing pillars in Web3 and probably the easiest way to onboard the crypto-curious and Web2 crowd. Click To Tweet.
It makes a lot of sense. In Outer Edge LA, we doubled down on this intersection of gaming, entertainment, and culture. That's where we see the most traction as well. That's where people are excited. It's one thing to have these tools available for digital art and PFP projects and to have the infrastructure, but it's a whole other thing to experience it from a consumer lens. At the end of the day, it's part of being human. We like to consume things. Those tend to be things that we watch or listen to or games. That makes a lot of sense.
You have been quite clever about this. I'm trying to understand what's going on here behind the scenes. I don't get that much more than everyone else. Part of this mass adoption approach is this buzz around Moca IDs. I've claimed mine. I've shared some with some friends. We're going to announce a pretty cool contest for our audience. What are some of the unique privileges that await Moca ID holders as they journey through the immersive realm of Mocaverse?
Moca ID is our approach to try to build and tackle that concept of on-chain or digital identity. Moca ID will become the on-chain identity for the participants within the Mocaverse ecosystem. There's an analogy I love to use when I explain the Moca ID concept. Think of Moca ID as your passport plus your club membership card combined in one pass. Not only does it reflect your identity with that unique.MocaDID, which is your legal or passport name that people will recognize you with, but you can also earn loyalty points passively for even more benefits when you engage in different activities or engagement within the Mocaverse ecosystem. It's exactly like a frequent-flyer program but for Web3 and not only limited to airline experiences.
It's a good frequent-flyer program, not like Spirit Airlines. It's a high-end frequent-flyer program.
It's like a Oneworld premium frequent-flyer program. Imagine going to a restaurant for food or playing games and not just flying airlines or traveling to earn points. You can also redeem these points with a lot more different real-life benefits and utilities. That's the beauty of it. By engaging within the ecosystem, you're not only earning the points passively. Because we're so early in Web3, you're building reputation and influence along the way. The more you engage, the more you build your network. The more you earn, the stronger the network effect you will start building within the space.
Mocaverse has always been this ecosystem play. We're trying to expand it bigger than ever with Moca ID as the first step. When you think about it, we launched the Mocaverse NFT in the beginning. It's only 8,888 NFTs. We can only reach that many with that finite amount of NFTs. With Moca ID, we can reach a lot more users. That means a bigger network effect and a bigger net collective value that we're all co-creating. That's a win for everyone. It's not dilutive, but when you think about it, it's an ecosystem expansion play. That's what we're trying to achieve with Moca ID.
It's like a Oneworld airline program unhinged with the types of benefits that these airlines would love to have. It's complicated in a Web2 world to negotiate all these agreements and get all this input from all these different community members, whereas you have the flexibility to do whatever you want without the same bumpers. It could be hundreds of partners and all these things that people already want to do.
That's what makes a good rewards program. You're not incentivizing them to do something they didn't want to do. You're adding gas to wherever they want to go, "Get this extra benefit while you're doing what you already love." Those are the airline programs and plane programs that I enjoy. It sounds like you're going in that direction, so it's cool. On another note, you also announced a partnership with Phaver. I downloaded the app. I checked it out. I updated my profile to flex my Mocas. Honestly, I'm still jetlagged. I have a lot going on. I haven't digested what Phaver is all about. Break it down for me and our audience.
Phaver is probably the biggest decentralized social app within the Lens ecosystem. They're incentivizing you to create, interact, and socialize on the app. The foundation of this partnership is built on the mutual dedication to build Web3 social and on-chain identities with Phaver. Once you're on the app, you can see the profiles. In nature, it's either .Lens or .Phaver. They adopted .Cyber, which is CyberConnect. They're big on digital identities and decentralized social interaction.
Our first step with them is onboarding the Mocaverse NFT collection to the app so that people can now connect their Moca NFTs and flex their muscles that, "I own a Mocaverse NFT." There's a limited-time offering for those who are connected to NFTs. They can earn Phaver credit and Phaver points at the multiplier within a limited time to amplify and grow the Web3 social pie together. A little bit of alpha here is the next step as you can tell because the Moca ID will be appearing in the form of .Moca. We hopefully will see .Moca be integrated into the Phaver app very soon.
I was going to ask. It seemed like that’s the direction you were heading there. Moca has a nice ring to it as an extension. We will leave it there. That's not all the news. You are so busy building and I love it. You also announced a big collaboration with Rarible to create MocaMart. I'm curious about what inspired this program. How is this custom marketplace different from other marketplaces that are out there?
We launched MocaMart a few months back. What's new is that reward program. I can touch on the incentives on MocaMart first because there are two main reasons why we needed to build our custom marketplace. It's because of security reasons and also better integration into our ecosystem. In this space, we see a lot of scam collections, imposters, and shady OTC trades. We always put our community first when we think of different user experiences and products.
Building MocaMart with Rarible is to provide a safe haven for true fans or our community to interact and trade with peace of mind. Secondly, when you go to MocaMart, instead of trades and full prices, you can see the XP count. The beauty of MocaMart is it automatically reflects the Moca XP per Moca. You have way better visibility on what you're purchasing. You can make a way more informed decision when you ape into a Moca. It's not driven by only the floor price or the trades that you love.
I didn't realize that MocaMart started a while back. It caught my attention with the new program. That's the goal. It worked. You understand how we consumers are busy zombies. Eventually, we wake up and we’re like, "That's exciting." To your point, these are key parts of a marketplace now because we have seen the challenges with the generic one-size-fits-all marketplace from a creative royalties perspective to the overwhelming amount of stuff on there, and then not having the custom features for specific collections that are relevant. You mentioned some other perks. I'm excited to see that partnership evolve. I'm excited about everything you have going on. Before we close out, you've been working hard on an exciting event coming up in Hong Kong. Could you tell us a little bit more about that?
We are going to announce and set the date and more details. What we're doing is we're co-hosting a side event in early November 2023. We will be hosting the side event around Hong Kong FinTech Week and also ApeFest. The whole objective of this side event is to onboard Web2 users onto Web3. It will be a big side event open to the public instead of just holders. Holders will have different unique privileges if they attend.
It will be a Web3 experience showcase where Web2 audiences and other Web3 communities can go to different booths and experience different projects. We booked a venue that's big enough to host 4,000 people. We're going big on different experiences for the audience. We will have, as usual, our party theme. We will hire 100 DJs to perform in our show and make sure Web3 or Web2 people or the retail crowd can enjoy themselves in our event. More details will be coming in the next couple of days.
That sounds exciting. I'm looking forward to hearing how that goes and hopefully, even coming out there myself. I have such a crazy travel schedule but I already have the FOMO. We will see. You never know. Maybe I'll hop on another plane after going to Dubai. You have so much going on. I appreciate your time and spending some time with our audience and letting people know all this cool stuff cooking.
Thanks for your generosity. Thanks to the whole team. I'm excited to announce that our audiences are going to get 50 Moca IDs hot off the press. It pays to be early. We know that in Web3. We're going to announce all sorts of fun ways that you will have a chance to earn these Moca IDs and share them with our audience. If you don't know and you just tuned in, Moca IDs will provide unique privileges and bonuses to holders using Mocaverse's reward system. Think of it as an airline reward program on Web3 steroids. It's going to be a lot of fun.
I want to quickly add that with the 50 Moca IDs, we wanted to design the Moca ID program to be as inclusive as possible but we're starting it exclusively. Those 50 Moca IDs will be distributed in the form of invite codes. Before the actual mint date, we're only giving out the invite codes to Moca holders and close partners such as Edge in this case. You have to have the invite codes to be eligible to reserve a Moca ID spot where you can have priority access to calling dibs on your favorite Moca ID name, so Gojo.Moca or GojoSatoshi.Moca won't be taken by someone else.
That's the exclusiveness. The invite codes will evolve into something more referral model-like. After the mint, we can still use the invite codes as a referral code. If you refer someone using the invite code, you get part of the attribution from that person. In other words, the more active your referee is, you as a referrer will earn more points from him or her. We have been advising our community to be wise when they give out these invite codes. Edge has been a great partner of Mocaverse. That's why we think these invite codes are in good hands with Edge.
You heard it, people. If you want to have a chance to get one of these invite codes, make sure you're going to do something with it. Participate with the community. Don't just put this on the shelf and let it get dusty. Let's do this opportunity justice if you decide to apply. I appreciate all that cool context. Gojo, it's great to hang out with you and learn more about what's happening in the world of Mocana. I'm sure we will have lots of fun things to talk about in another month.
Thanks for having me.
As we wrap up this edition of MocaMoment, be sure to mark your calendars for the Future Blockchain Summit at Dubai Harbour, where you can explore the future of Web3 technology, blockchain, and gaming firsthand from October 15th to the 18th, 2023. It's going to be a lot of fun. Gojo, will I see you or the Mocaverse team there?
Hong Kong is our top priority. I will FOMO in Hong Kong.
Fair enough. I'll make sure you hear about it. If you're a Mocaverse holder or an Edge of NFT fan, come say hi. I'll be there from October 10th through the 20th. I hope to see some of you. I'm excited to hang out with 1inch, Binance, Circle, and Sui. A bunch of folks will be in Dubai. There's a lot going on internationally, and we try to cover it all. I also look forward to your event in Hong Kong. Thanks again for hanging out.
I'm Josh Kriger, co-host of Edge of NFT. I’m at TOKEN2049 with none other than Luca Netz. It's great to have you on the show finally.
I'm happy to be here.
You have done so much for the industry in terms of Pudgy Penguins. For those who don't know at home, Luca leads the NFT collection of 8,888 adorable penguins. He took over in April 2022 and revived the project from a pretty rocky past. That's the nature of Web3 and emerging technology, expanding into the physical world with Pudgy Toys, amassing over $500,000 in sales within two days on Amazon. That's not too shabby. You're the visionary leader of a transcending brand.
I went to your website. You are reshaping the narrative around digital collectibles. I was inspired by the language that you used to talk about Pudgy Penguins. A lot of it has to do with your past and how you look at the power of Web3. Maybe you can give us your perspective. You get in the door, you start looking at the potential of Pudgy Penguins, and then you get to see this incredible toy release. Walk us through how you made those decisions to get there.
The writing on the wall for us was you have to build a real business and meet the consumers where they are. I don't think digital collectibles are in a place where the masses are ready to get involved. How do you get them familiar with this technology in a non-invasive way? A content strategy, a physical product strategy, or a storytelling strategy is the thing that we're looking at. It's what Disney and Sanrio are already doing. How do you leverage blockchain and Web3 to do things better?
A lot of companies today sell things on the blockchain and think they're a Web3 company, and that's a mistake. Building in Web3 versus building in Web2 is leveraging your community that has this aligned incentive in this token model or this NFT model that ties the success of both businesses between brand and consumer in a way that was never possible before.
How do we meet Disney and Sanrio where they are? How do we leverage this diehard community who has this aligned incentive in this NFT, which is our first edition Pokemon card to achieve success? That's how we're looking at things. We're very much looking at it from a traditional lens. The era of extracting liquidity from your community and leveraging it to make you rich is over. The day of taking the consumer and making them a participant is here. That's our vision for Pudgy Penguins.
Walk me through how the demographics of your community have shifted. I envision the early community as similar to our audience. They're 28 to 35, predominantly male, tech-centric, and love crypto and blockchain. How has your audience evolved? How do you make that bridge happen to this mainstream audience that loves these adorable penguins?
No matter your demographic, whether you are in Asia, you're 60 years old or 50 years old, you're in America, or you're a man or a woman or identify in the middle, everybody understands the concept of family. Pudgy Penguins is here to unite the family and bring them together around this common consensus around blockchain and Web3. For blockchain and Web3 to win, it can't be a thing just for the 28 and 35-year-old boys and men or maybe even the subsegment of women who decided to come into the space. It has to be a space for everybody. If blockchain is truly going to win, it has to be a consumer-facing product. Consumer-facing products are not marginalized to one small finite demographic. There has been a bro culture in crypto up until this point. We're here to change that.
I was checking out your Instagram. Someone on my team, Audrey, shared with me a cute comic about a penguin that went to sleep for a power nap and woke up at 2:00 AM freaking out. I was like, "That's me," but that's so many people across the world. We oversleep those power naps, "If I still go out, what do I do?" It's pretty funny. You have a great editorial team there working on all that type of stuff.
Here's a shout-out to Peter.
How does Asia fit into the Pudgy Penguin ecosystem? We're here in Asia. There are a lot of activities outdoors. It took a long time for us to meet here in the interview room because of the crowds. What does Asia mean to the ecosystem?
Asia is a huge focus for us. If you understand the total addressable market of characters in general, cute is the one with the highest tam. If you understand cute IP and Asian culture, you understand that cute IP permeates and dominates Asian culture. There's an interesting fact that most people don't talk about, but Pudgy Penguins is the number one cute IP on the blockchain. It is the number one cute character in this space. As a cute character who understands Asian culture and how cute characters dominate this entire region, I would be irresponsible to not come here.
It's funny you bring it up. We have a couple of huge announcements coming. I won't allude to it but in its fundamental purposes, it doubles down on what we talked about. These announcements are about breaking barriers, bringing blockchain to the masses, and ultimately changing the narrative around NFTs, which is not a good one right now. You will see. Around September 26th or September 27th, 2023, Pudgy Penguins will make some noise, and it will kick off a huge moment. When you hear that news, go out and support. We will need everyone's support on this one.
We will get the word out on social. We will have to have you back on to do a deeper dive into some of these big upcoming milestones. In the meantime, where can people go to learn more about Pudgy Penguins?
Follow us on Instagram and Twitter. Keep the notifications on. Like and share the content with your friends. Keep apprised of what we're doing, and then you can follow me on Twitter @LucaNetz. It's @PudgyPenguins on Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Share it with your friends and enjoy those cute little penguins.
Thanks. I appreciate everything you're doing for this space.
It's Josh Kriger, co-host of Edge of NFT, in Seoul, Korea at Avalanche House with my new friend, Yuya. We have been enjoying the food scene in Seoul, but we have had our struggles. When I learned about what these guys are building, I had to say hi and talk a little bit about it. It's good to have you on the show.
It's nice to meet you. Thank you.
Tell us a little bit about your background and what you're building over with SARÀH.
We are making the food review app SARÀH for Google Maps, which reviews whole restaurants. SARÀH focuses on each individual dish. The reason why we made SARÀH is we want to eat good meals in Japan but these other review apps are for each restaurant. I can't find good meals in Japan, so we made SARÀH.
Are you planning to expand to other countries eventually?
Of course. Even though SARÀH started in Japan, now it's worldwide. You can find the best dishes in your country.
Why did you choose to take advantage of blockchain technology? Why Avalanche?
The reason why we chose blockchain is we can put every data in the blockchain. We can share every data for the food industry. It makes the revolution in the food industry. We chose blockchain. The reason why we chose Avalanche is that it's very fast and easy to customize.
What kind of traction have you had so far? What have you learned? What insights from putting this in the world? It must be pretty exciting.
We have two million users and over a million reviews in Japan, but we are going to expand and increase the reviews in the world.
It took off.
How did you scale it so quickly? What kind of feedback have you gotten from people who have used the product?
We always communicate with our users. We made a Discord group. In this group, we always meet up with users and get their feedback every time. We upgrade the product every time.
Have you got any fun invitations to restaurants now to try their food because your app is so popular? Do you get to eat out a lot more?
Those are some of the perks. What's on the roadmap? What's coming up next?
For now, we are building an Avalanche subnet. Our subnet name is Onigiri. It means rice ball. After we release the Onigiri blockchain, we will promote the blockchain to all of the food service and food industry.
If people want to learn more about what you're doing, where do they go on the internet and Twitter?
My Twitter handle is @SKYuya03.
Thanks for hanging out and good luck with everything. Thanks for helping people eat better.
This is Josh Kriger, co-host of Edge of NFT, at the Marina Bay Sands during TOKEN2049 hanging out with gmoney. What's going on?
What's up? How are you?
It's good to see you. We have been crossing two ships in the middle of the night in Seoul and now here. I enjoy all your posts about all your travels. You've been hanging out in Asia and Europe quite a lot in the last few seasons. What's your perspective from being over here? I always find that travel opens my eyes and gets me to think clearly about the future. How has it been for you?
It has been good. Part of the reason why I've been spending so much time in Asia is because I felt underpenetrated by the Asian market. This is my first time in Singapore. It was my first time in Seoul. I'm trying to get a feel for the cities before figuring out what an action plan looks like to tackle the Far East.
What have you seen? What are some of your insights from the trip? Let's start with Europe, and then we will cover Asia.
In Europe, it's the same old, same old. I have always been aligned with the European market and understanding it. In Asia, it's understanding the culture, local norms, and local neighborhoods. There's a lot to be said about learning about cultures in person that you can't learn in a textbook. That's where I'm at in the journey right now.
How has that impacted your roadmap with 9dcc?
It hasn't yet. I'm in the digestion phase. I'm taking in all the inputs and figuring out what I like and what I don't like. It happens to me organically where I'm like, "This would make sense to me. I want to do this and that," but it's not one of those things where I come here with an agenda and say, "This is what needs to be done." I'm in the learning portion at the moment.
I appreciate that. You've always been a student first and very curious. A lot has changed since you were on our show. How has your perspective on Web3 evolved over that time?
Fundamentally, it's unchanged. I do think that Web3 rails or the NFT infrastructure is going to be what powers everything over the next 20 to 30 years. The story is still fundamentally the same. The way that message gets told and the way adoption happens is probably different, which I would have expected. Nothing is ever a linear path.
Are you changing the language you use in terms of how you communicate about this to your audience and folks that you meet who don't understand the world of Web3?
Yes and no. With people within the space, I continue utilizing the same language because they know it. For people who are not in the space, it's always evolving between conversations I have and seeing what clicks with people and what doesn't, and helping with that framework of describing it to people in a different aspect. If I see that light bulb go off, maybe it's something I remember for the next time. That's how I iterate on my message.
The digital-physical fashion world has always been important to you. You've done a lot in that space. I remember the excitement folks had at the activation you did around Gateway with the t-shirt and whatnot. What have been some of the highlights in terms of that experience interacting in digital and physical fashion? Where do you want to go next in that realm?
The experience has been awesome. For the time being, I want to continue down the same path. We have struck on something special. The gamification that we have been able to do has been something that I'm not sure if I've seen anybody else been able to replicate at scale yet at least. It is encouraging because every time I do something, it's a new experiment. I have a hypothesis and say, "This is interesting. Will other people also find it interesting?" I then go from there.
In a lot of ways, your approach to co-creation resonates with some artists in the space and music. You can find them in mixes with different artists from all different genres. You've done that in your own way across industries and fashion. One of those folks you've worked with a lot is Jeff Staple, a living icon in fashion with a creative long-term perspective as well. I can see how you mesh together. What has it been like working with Jeff? What have you learned from working with him?
It was great. It was organic. It was very easy to work with him and his team. We came up with an idea. We had been talking for a while about how we should do something together, and then the collab itself came together quickly. I was happy with that. Personally, we will see, "What does this person do well? What can I learn from them?" That has been always one of my strengths, being able to learn from anybody. Whether they get older or younger, it doesn't necessarily matter. More experience or less experience, there's always a lesson to be learned. I'm working with a legend like Jeff and understanding why he's where he is. It’s because of his attention to detail on top of his impeccable design, taste, and whatnot.
Speaking of detail, traditional collaborations involve a lot of legal, contracts, and pre-planning. There's this impetus in Web3 to co-create and run with it. How do you balance that in terms of finding the right collaborations and dotting the I's and crossing your T's enough to feel comfortable to proceed, but still not gripping the wheel too tightly?
It's on a case-by-case basis. There are some people who are easier to recruit than others. With Snowfro, we had a handshake deal from day one. That also stemmed from the fact that he's a very good friend. We have had multiple dealings in the past that were not even on handshakes. We had escrowed Punks and given each other loans and whatnot for large figures of money without even knowing each other's real names or phone numbers for that matter at that point when we did those things. There are some relationships where you can't move forward unless you have that contract executed, and there are others where you can move forward in good faith and then go from there.
What gets you excited about 2024 in terms of the space and your roadmap and broader in terms of the industry?
It’s adoption. People are building a lot of cool things. The seeds of the next bull market are being planted. We're starting to see that. I don't know what starts the bull market but at the very least, you have the opportunity to get a live front-row seat for the action.
Let's cover for a moment gaming and AI. These are two hot topics. What are you doing in the realm of gaming? What are you looking at there?
I'm not that involved in it.
Have you messed around with AI and explored that?
I've messed around with AI. I've done a couple of AI video compilations. I did one for the season finale of Suits. Now, you have Succession. I was a big fan. I messed around with AI and made an AI video. I messed around with different things on it. The tech is cool. It has helped a lot with my creative process so far. I'm only hoping for it to become much more usable over time as the tools evolve in the journey.
You talk a lot about gratitude on your Twitter, which I vibe with. Gratitude makes me deal with the ups and downs of our industry a lot. Is there anyone in particular that you haven't necessarily given a shout-out before that you're grateful for in terms of them being in your life?
Probably my grandparents. They had always been a huge positive influence on me. I don't talk about my personal life all that often on Twitter for that reason.
Shout-out to the grandparents. Thanks for hanging out for a little bit. Enjoy the rest of your travels and your time in Asia.
We have another episode of the Edge of NFT with your host here, Richard Carthon. We have a very special guest. We have Lina who is with Vertu and has a cool and unique phone that they dropped here at TOKEN2049. Lina, how are you doing?
How are you doing?
I'm doing great. I'm glad to be here. There's a lot of great energy. There are a lot of awesome people. I'm glad to be speaking with you. Tell us a little bit about Vertu and your experience so far being here at TOKEN2049.
We are pretty happy to attend this event here in Singapore. Vertu is a UK brand. We are attending this event because we implemented a new technology to our new models, which is Web3.
I'm excited to bring this into Web3. With that, you have your new phones that dropped. Can you tell us a little bit about those?
Let me show you our new models, and you can have a look at our specifics. You can see the new model. We have the first generation, and this is the second generation. It's still not launched yet. It's going to be on November 2023 but this is already in the market. The price is $3,600. It can be even more. It depends on the leather backside of the phones. For the new model, it's a dual system. It has two kinds of systems, the Android system and the cryptosystem. You can switch between them by switching your password. I can show you how it works.
For example, here you can enter the password and then find the Android system. You click for the second here, switch the password, and then go for the cryptosystem. Here, you can find all your wallets and the dApp store. In the new phone, we are using a decentralized operation system. We are using the MPC wallet. That means we are going to divide your private key into three parts. One part is going to be on Google Drive, one part is going to be on the S/KEY chip, and the other part is going to be on the cloud. That means it's very secure. You don't have to worry about the security.
The second thing is that we are using the decentralized model language. That means we don't keep your data. You don't have to be afraid of keeping the data or selling the data. You may ask me how we can prove our innocence that we are not selling the data. We are using smart contracts, and the smart contracts are controlled by another third party. They're going to check if we are selling your data or doing anything with this data.
The last thing is the most important feature of this phone and that we didn't have in the first generation. It's about DAA, which means Decentralized AI Agent. That means you can have your agents that are going to be on your service. That agent can solve your problems and all the paperwork. If you want to buy the ticket, they can reserve for you the ticket. If you want to make a phone call, they will make the phone call. If you have a problem, and you want to chat with someone, then they can answer all your questions or give you some advice.
I know it's the AI language but is it a person you can speak with, or it's purely an AI?
It's purely an AI. It's based on ChatGPT.
Those are two different models. You have your AI side. You have been able to do crypto. For people who are tuning in on this, where can they learn for information? If they want to order one of these, how are they able to do that?
They can check on the website. I can leave my Instagram so you can check all the news and all the models and order from me directly or on the website. That's all fine.
We will make sure to share that additional information. Thank you so much for sharing Vertu and all these amazing things.
Thank you so much for being here. It's a pleasure to have you here in our booth.
Thank you so much. Take care.
It's Josh Kriger, co-host of Edge of NFT, in Seoul, Korea at Avalanche House meeting with some new friends and learning about how applications are getting done in the real world by an OG in the fashion space. Calvin, it's nice to meet you.
It's great to meet you.
Calvin is the CEO of Legitimate. They're bridging digital and physical fashion. Tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started.
I entered the crypto space in 2017. I joined a startup called AirSwap. We built one of the first decentralized swap protocols on-chain. AirSwap was acquired by ConsenSys in 2019.
I remember AirSwap.
On this side, one thing I was interested in was tokenizing real-world assets. My background interest-wise came from a very much streetwear influence or luxury influence upbringing. I realized that blockchain technology could be useful for connecting physical products to on-chain identities and experiences. That's how I started Legitimate.
Fast forward to now, you have done some pretty meaningful service partnerships with some big brands. Tell us a little bit about the recent ones.
We have worked with multiple streetwear luxury brands over the past few years all over Asia and North America as well. We did something with MBUSH and Bright Moments back in May 2023. Most recently, we launched with Puma and Roc Nation to create what we're calling phygital sneakers. Phygital is the combination of physical and digital. These shoes are being sold in Footlocker stores all over North America to consumers who don't even know that they're leveraging blockchain technology.
Walk us through the use case there.
When a consumer buys a pair of these shoes, they're called the Mixtape collection, they can scan an NFT chip that's in the tongue of the shoe. When a consumer scans that, they unlock this digital experience. Behind the scenes, they unlock a digital collectible but what happens is we enable token-gated access to content and entertainment. There's a Mixtape that was curated by Roc Nation with fourteen exclusive tracks that nobody has ever heard of before. The only way you can access that is by scanning the tag on this shoe.
If I want my friend to have a chance to listen to this, can he scan my shoe tag? Is it a one-time use?
After you've unlocked it, your friend can scan it but it will say, "This mixtape belongs to XYZ."
If they want to have the original, they have to then go ahead and buy the shoes.
The crazy thing is you can't share any of this content. It's all gated to the actual product itself. You have to scan the shoe to access it.
Keep the shoes in good shape if you want your friends to have a chance or cut the tag off.
You could cut the tag off but ultimately, you destroy the shoe in the process.
Sneakerheads aren't going to do that. That's cool. What's on your roadmap? What's next? What have you learned from doing all these collaborations?
Our name is Legitimate. We started as a company that was trying to tackle the counterfeit problem in the streetwear and luxury space. It's a $500 billion-plus industry. It's a big deal but what we have realized is a lot of these worldwide brands say they care about authenticity and counterfeit. I'm sure they do, but what gets their minds thinking or what gives them the incentive to leverage this technology is storytelling and content. That's the fundamental shift in how we approach brands and how we work with brands. We don't start the conversation off with authenticity. We start it off by engaging with consumers and telling the brand story and the campaign story.
Do they help with the creative? Is it a co-creative process there?
It's a very in-depth co-creative process. We operate as a B2B SaaS company. We call it B2B pass protocol as a service. We also offer creative consultancy services.
It's great meeting you. I'm excited to see what you have cooking. I'm going to keep following you. Where do people go to learn more about Legitimate and some of your collaborations? How can they work with you?
Thanks for hanging out.
It's a pleasure.
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