Roman Tirone From Zed.Run On Digital NFT Horse Racing, Plus 12-Year-Old Making $160K On Weird Whale NFTs, Nextech AR NFT Hologram Creator Platform, And More...

|Zed Run: Artifact is pioneering in the augmented reality space. They have their own fashion brand and AR sneakers that you can redeem physically.|Zed Run: It takes these massive tech companies to embrace rogue technology for AR/VR to go to market. The pioneers are the ones without corporate investors. They're in their basement testing the parameters of what's possible.||Zed Run: Zed Run is an NFT horse racing platform where each horse has a unique genetic sequence. It's the home of the first breeding NFT.|Zed Run: With Zed Run, you're like the Mark Cuban of your own stable.  You need to turn your yield-bearing assets into horses.|Zed Run: You don't need a super-expensive horse to win in Zed Run. You can start with one of the lower-cost horses and work your way up.||
August 3, 2021


Imagine racing horses virtually. You will have to take care of them and breed them so that you can keep them in top shape. Then with augmented reality, you can have your stable of horses right in your living room. That sounds insane, but it’s happening. It’s happening today in the world of NFTs with Zed Run. Zed Run is a horse racing game created by Virtually Human Studios. Roman Tirone, who is the head of Partnerships at Virtually Human Studios, is the guest in today’s episode. Join your hosts, Eathan Janney, Jeff Kelley & Josh Kriger as they talk to Roman Tirone about their NFT game, Zed Run. Learn how to race virtual horses, how to breed NFTs, and how the future will look for Zed Run. Learn all that and more today.

Listen to the podcast here:

Roman Tirone From Zed.Run On Digital NFT Horse Racing, Plus 12-Year-Old Making $160K On Weird Whale NFTs, Nextech AR NFT Hologram Creator Platform, And More…

This is Roman Tirone, Head of Partnerships at ZED RUN. I’m here with Eathan, Jeff, and Josh at Edge of NFT. One of my favorite resources for the latest info on NFTs. We chat about some fun things around ZED RUN and some other NFTs that I think are cool. Enjoy the episode.

Ready to reach the Edge of NFTs? Keep reading and find out who Purple Elf is and how she is taking the virtual horse racing world by storm.

Also, find out how you can make virtual horse racing a game of skill and not just chance.

Discover how a twelve-year-old is crushing it in NFTs. All this and more on this episode of Edge of NFT. Also, go to to sign up for our newsletter for the latest giveaways and breaking news.

This episode features Roman Tirone. He’s the Head of Partnerships at, a digital horse racing game that enables users to buy, sell, and breed virtual NFT horses and race them in a video game-style setting against other horses. Roman started his career in entertainment, cutting his teeth at some of the world’s biggest talent agencies such as WME and CAA. He then pivoted into tech, starting his own app development company, The Rumble Company. He works alongside some of the brightest minds in the NFT world, pushing forward with the future of sports look like and redefining fandom. Roman, welcome to the program.

Thank you. I love that bio. I haven’t got an intro that pumped me out that much in God knows how long. I appreciate it.

Eathan has been practicing a lot. We’ve done a little over 25 shows and we try to stump him. Your name is relatively easy to pronounce.

We’re going to have intro music too, but we didn’t get to you in time. What would your intro music be?

Rocky sounds about right.

The Italian Stallion.

It’s great to hang out with you and cool to learn that you have some history in New England like myself. I do miss those lobster rolls from Gloucester. I’m appreciative of Esther, one of our friends at DeFi Summit, for connecting us to chat with you.

You have LinkedIn. It’s a sweatshirt, by the way. I don’t have any real connection. Somebody may have left it at my house to come clean. New England is not my favorite spot as a New York Giants fan. I have to make that clear in the show. The power of LinkedIn is awesome.

We spent racing our soon-to-be prize-winning horse, Purple Elf. We had a blast doing it. It’s so much fun. We had several races and we loved the experience. It’s cool. We want to know, out of the gate, where the heck did the idea for ZED RUN come from? Can you do a little background on it?

It started with the founders, Chris Laurent and Rob Salha, out of Australia, where horse racing is a way of life in the land down under, which I wasn’t familiar with before joining the team. They combined their passion and understanding of human behavior when it came to betting and the thrill of watching live horse racing, one of the oldest sports in the world. It’s interesting when you look at the technology that it’s being merged with.

They saw the emerging blockchain technology in 2018, which is centuries earlier than a lot of us did. I began working on this blockchain horse racing platform that is now ZED RUN. They also have two other cofounders. It’s a group of four. Chris Ebeling, who’s the creative director, is the artist behind the world the horses operate called NOVUS EARTH. Geoff Wellman is the CTO. Working with blockchain technology, algorithms, and all these different types of challenges, the CTO needs to be top-notch. They certainly have a dream team and they put together something cool.

I’m impressed with the gameplay and the level of sophistication and realism. It’s easy to understand why this has become one of the most addictive games of the year, COVID on top of that. People had a lot of time on their hands and found you guys and it took off. I’d love to know a little bit more about the model of the game and the gameplay and how it’s similar and different from traditional horse racing.

For those who are new to this space, ZED RUN is an NFT horse racing platform where each horse has a unique genetic sequence. It’s the home of the first breathing NFT. Virtually Human Studios, the company behind ZED RUN, has pioneered this technology of breathing NFT. What is breathing NFT? It’s similar to an NFT in the sense that it’s a non-duplicative asset, but it has its own genes. It has its own genotype and it can rear a yield-bearing asset that is unique like an offspring tantamount to real-life running in parallel to how real horses act and any other yield-bearing life form does.

NFT 29 | Zed Run

Zed Run: Zed Run is an NFT horse racing platform where each horse has a unique genetic sequence. It’s the home of the first breeding NFT.


We’ve put together a game where horses race against one another and there are different classes of horses. There are four different bloodlines, Buterin, Finney, Szabo, and Nakamoto. Nakamoto being the most sought after and have the most desirable traits for a racehorse. We democratize what it means to be a horse owner. A lot of people are in a place of privilege when they own a horse or even know somebody who owns a horse. I know I haven’t. I didn’t know anybody. Experiencing that thrill on the track and being the Mark Cuban of your own stable and figuring out, “What is my horse good at? Where can I breed it with?” Turning your assets into yield-bearing horses is a pretty exciting thing. It’s something that hasn’t been done before and it’s exciting to be part of it.

It sounds like there’s so much sophisticated technology behind it to enable that to occur. Purple Elf hasn’t performed that well yet. Is there hope for the future to horses run differently in different types of races? Do they get better in time?

Have no fear. It’s a game of skill. It’s about you understanding where Purple Elf is most effective and where you can deploy her. What is it, a colt or filly?

I wanted a filly so that we could breed her. She’s beautiful. She’s going to have some beautiful babies. Edge of NFT should have a whole stable of horses and all that good stuff.

There are many different roles that people can play. You can be a stable owner, a breeder, a horse owner, and there are always different opportunities as well.

It’s how you want to strategically play the game. You have people who master breeding and they understand their colts. For those who don’t know, if you have a male horse, you can put it up in the stud park. In the stud park, people could pay to mate with your horse. If you have a filly, which is a female horse, you can go and pick a male suitor and pay someone to breed it and you got to keep the offspring. In your guys’ case, you have a filly, you can look at Purple Elf’s data. There’s a bevy of third-party analytical tools that can tell you from 1,000 meters to 2,600 meters where she’s running best and how she’s running best and against what competition. Once you have an idea, “This is where she’s most effective. Maybe I should find a colt who’s also effective at that specific race. Maybe we get lucky and the kid will be a savant at that certain level.” You can experiment with it. There are all different ways that you can look at what you do with your horse and what best route you should take.

We’re talking a little bit about the technical aspects of things. This is also a little bit reminiscent of some of those digital pets that you could have. There’s this actual possibility of building an emotional connection with a digital asset. That seems like a tough sell for the clients that you’re dealing with, but you’re having some success. We do it with figures in movies, TV, and other forms of entertainment. How do you do it at ZED RUN with virtual horses?

The community truly rallies around that connection with your horse. When you’re watching your horse racing and seeing it pull ahead of the other, ownership that NFT technology allows you to have over it brings you closer to the whole experience. It’s fun. I’m sure you’re watching Purple Rain.

Can I change the name to Purple Rain? That would be pretty dope. It’s Purple Elf. I was watching Prince on 60 Minutes in The Afterlife. He’s releasing a new album once per year for the next 1,000 years. The dude has so much music.

There’s plenty of horse names for Prince. We should start building a stable around your future Prince albums.

The emotional connection, is this happening? How are people building these connections?

Number one is the investment, so you have some financial backing aside from you watching this breathing, living horse-winning races. You’re watching and studying it. It brings you closer to the NFT technology. It takes that relationship with tech to the next level. I can’t tell you how many people I know that have a horse that’s getting offered 10 E, 15 E, some ridiculous price and they don’t want to give it up because they love their horse.

Are you finding people or horses, in particular, have a following in communities, their Discord, or whatever? Maybe Purple Elf will start to get some interest from third parties or supporters and fans.

NFT brings technology to the next level with emotional connection. Click To Tweet

We have some celebrity horses on the platform. There’s one named Steph Curry who took our world by storm. For those who are new to the NFT world, the ZED RUN, the Genesis horses are a collection of 36,000 horses that get released from ZED. Those are the only ones we’ll be able to buy directly from ZED RUN and we named those horses. The ones that you breed could be named by the community. That’s why you have a horse named Steph Curry. The bred horses are amazing racers. There are some amazing races out there and Steph Curry is one of them. You see entire profiles being built around them. The stable is sponsoring and promoting when Steph Curry will race. It’s amazing to see the following growth for these horses.

That would be intimidating, too. I wonder if a lot of horses don’t even want to enter the race when they see Steph Curry is going to be competing.

I know I don’t, that’s for sure.

Purple Elf is going to have its special place on The Edge of NFT brand.

It’s clear, though, we have to breed her to be able to name the next one Edge of NFT.

Is there an eon horse, Purple Eon? We got to incorporate it into the logo. Roman, we know partnerships are at the forefront of your mind all the time. How are you thinking about partnerships? How does that relate to sponsorships, in-game content? What’s the roadmap look like? It seems like it’s a world of possibility.

It is. It’s a fortunate position because I feel like the product is radioactive in the best way. It drives a narrative of innovation and being at the forefront of that next phase, Web 3.0. For us, we’re trying to propel the ZED RUN brand and Virtually Human Brand into the social Zeitgeist, into the media, taking the stigma away, or the non-commercial aspect of NFTs. It’s still early days. We’re trying to be that lever for brands, gaming companies, and operators alike to embrace the NFT space and bring the brand to the forefront of media. That’s my goal, to bring ZED RUN to as many people as possible and take blue-chip brands and partner with them and figure out creative ways to integrate them with the metaverse.

Are there any that are in the works that you can talk about or anything that’s happened that you could share with our readers?

You’d be amazed at the level of intrigue and excitement that’s coming in. It’s like a tidal wave. I’m sure you saw Mark Zuckerberg, he’s talking about his foray into the metaverse. With so much buzz, there’s so much opportunity for us. We’re coming off the heels of a partnership with Stella Artois and Atari, both partners who we’re super excited about. We’ve closed our round of funding, which is exciting. It allows us to be a little bit more creative. It gives us a little bit more freedom with the activations we look to carry out. There’s so much on the roadmap. If you’re following this podcast, congratulations, you’re still early. ZED RUN is still in the early days. You should be excited. There is a monstrosity building with the war chest that we have and it’s quite exciting to be part of it.

Let me ask about that specifically. You raise this around $20 million, Series A. What are the plans with those dollars? Think about that roadmap, beyond even partnerships. What should we expect to see from ZED RUN?

Anytime that you have Andreessen Horowitz and The Chernin Group leading the way for an investment round of that size for a blockchain company, you know things are changing. You know that the landscape of technology is beginning to form and the future is bright for the space. You can imagine that the level of sophistication, the streamlined experience, and the breadth of various features that we’ll have on the platform will grow. It’s going to be quite amazing. Beyond that, ZED RUN has been a market validator for a lot of brands and to get a sixteen ZATZG involved in the way that they are and, on top of that, get AB InBev in the space. We’ve acted as a signal for the entire space moving forward what is possible. We’re pushing the boundaries in a way that a lot of NFT eSports haven’t yet. It’s an exciting place to be.

Jeff and I have done a lot of experiential events over the years. My head is running with ideas. We work closely with Bright Moments. It’s a physical NFT gallery in Venice, California. They have these fun CryptoVenetians that they mint there that are starting to go viral. Everyone wants to get one. Eathan’s flying in from Chicago, theoretically, to hang out with me, but he wants a CryptoVenetian.

Don’t flatter yourself, Josh. He wants the Venetian.

NFT 29 | Zed Run

Zed Run: With Zed Run, you’re like the Mark Cuban of your own stable. You need to turn your yield-bearing assets into horses.


They’d love to do some event with you guys, maybe even figure out a way to make cigars part of the action in the back area. What’s live horse racing without cigars? We’ll talk about that. It’s great to know that you guys are thinking big. We started talking about the fact that we’re early. If people reading early and they’re like, “I didn’t get a Genesis horse. Is it too late to be part of this game? Is this another one of those situations where the value is going to go down now?” What I’ve seen in NFT gaming is that a lot of the most popular games are going up, up and away like Axie Infinity and ZED RUN. Maybe you can give folks some encouraging words of wisdom on how to get started and what they can do to get into the mix.

Anytime you’re evaluating any NFT platform that you want to go and dive into, find one you like. Find one you generally want to go and learn about. If it seems too good to be true and you’re in it to get rich quick, good luck. We’ve seen a lot of people go for cash grabs and get burned. Make sure you do your research before you dive into anything serious.

This is not financial advice.

Beyond that, if you are looking to dive into an amazing platform that’s immersive and you can sink your teeth into, ZED RUN is the one to go to because it’s an experience like no other. We’re talking about it and I feel like a lot of people who are reading are like, “I wonder what it would like to own an NFT horse. I want to tell people I own one.” I can attest, it’s a fun conversation to have with people. At first, they’re a little bewildered and confused, but then they’re turned on and they want to figure out how to get one.

The way you get one is you go to There are community guidelines that will guide you on how to purchase your first horse whether it be from ZED RUN on drop. There are still Genesis horses left. Beyond that, on the secondary market, join our Discord. From there, you can learn the ropes as they say. For anybody new to the space, if you create a MetaMask, which is a wallet or any form of a wallet, you’ll end up getting a seed phrase. You should not tell anybody that seed phrase. As soon as you share your key with someone, it’s no longer your key. It’s theirs. Make sure you’re not sharing that seed phrase with anybody and you get off to a clean start.

Unless it’s Josh, Jeff, or Eathan from Edge of NFT.

I suppose. Unless you truly want to share all your NFT.

The foxes will get in the henhouse or the horse stable. That’s not a good thing. There are horses as low as $150 that you can buy. One horse sold for as much as $150,000. Does the breed of horse that you buy impact your ability to get started and win some races? Can you start with one of the lower-cost horses and work your way up?

You can start with the lower-cost horses and work your way up. We’ve seen Buterins, who are the most common breed, dominate the racetrack. It’s about understanding where your horse runs best. If you get a higher-end horse, your likelihood of achieving the results that you envision is higher. If you’re out there and race and understand when and how to raise your Buterin for $120, it’s how you deploy your asset. There are Cinderella stories and there are Seabiscuits out there that kill the racetrack. $150 to get started at ZED RUN is freaking amazing. I didn’t even realize that horses were going for that. I’m excited to check those out.

You got to get them before Roman snags them. Bitcoin is on a run. These prices definitely won’t last.

We’re interested in the future of this. We’ve heard, and you can maybe attest or not, that ZED RUN has been messing around with augmented reality to allow owners to view their horses as if the animals were in the room with them. It’s like teleporting them from a parallel timeline. What’s the vision there? Where are you taking things like that?

The collision of AR, VR with NFTs brings what we view the future and technology to life, that Ready Player One vision of the future. Once Apple snapped and Microsoft embraced and figured out AR and VR the same way they did with the iPhone or the smartphone, that’ll be the next quadrant that we venture into. Here at Virtually Human, we’re anticipating that. We have an AR app for Android and that’s coming out for iOS that allows you to play with your voices and see them out in the world.

We’ve seen people bring them to the beach, volcanoes, in Hawaii, and all types of crazy crap. It’s super fun. It gives those forces a new life. They’re transporting from a different universe into your home. It’s cool. My dad has a Nakamoto horse that I convinced him to buy. He makes it pop up in the living room. Talk about fostering a connection with a horse when it’s sitting there in AR. You get close to it in a different way, for sure.

Zed Run is the market validator for a lot of brands. Click To Tweet

I don’t know if we’ll get there. Some people like to decorate their houses with statues of horses, lions, and things like that. I could imagine a nighttime scene where somebody’s got a digital holographic image of a couple of their ZED RUN horses on the sides of their driveway or something like that.

A whole stable in the living room, why not?

We’re headed that way. We have plots of land with various metaverses. We’re bringing that stable ownership for life in a lot of different ways.

You’re on the cusp of what’s going on in the world of NFT in gaming. Are there any other projects in the space outside of ZED RUN to get you jazzed personally?

I have my Apple Watch with my Ape on the back of it. That’s a flex for those who know. I love the Apes. I love the community. They’ve been able to foster and take a tribal understanding of the way communities work in NFTs. They set that precedent for this profile picture boom that we’ve seen in these generative avatar projects. I love what RTFKT is doing. RTFKT is incredible. Talking about AR and the technology that they’ve been able to pioneer for those that don’t know. I first referenced the Bored Ape Yacht Club, which is a generative profile picture project of Apes that started for a couple of $100 and now go up to close to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The floor price for an Ape is $10,000.

RTFKT is the Supreme or the Nike of the metaverse. They’re the fashion brand. They have all these AR sneakers and you can redeem them for physical sneakers, too. Finally, I’ve been diving into Axie Infinity a little bit. Their play-to-earn model and the sheer volume of what they’re doing are pretty incredible. It shouldn’t be ignored. I’m trying to figure it out. It’s the only game that’s a little bit more complicated than ZED RUN in a lot of ways when you first start. People are intimidated by ZED RUN, but at the end of the day, it’s horse racing. You enter your horse, you race, you watch it, and it’s fun. With Axie, I’m like, “What is going on? This is insane.”

We’re starting to dig in there, too and figure that out. The Bored Ape community has taken on a life of its own. They’re having eight events live, in person. They have their bright moments. Who would have known? I saw them sell out and I thought about. I was like, “NFTs of that type, you never know how much of a lifespan they have. That was one where we should have grabbed some Bored Apes while we could under $10,000.”

I don’t know about you guys, but this gives me more and more excitement about ZED RUN and what the possibilities are and also to see what we can do with Purple Elf. That’s our gravy train.

Purple Elf, let’s get it trending. #PurpleElf, let’s go. I want to see it down on the tracks.

We got to show you the first race because you’ll see the potential. I saw the potential when I saw her run the first time. We’ll have to watch that race in 3D. For the people that are reading, go to our YouTube channel and check out that part of the show.

Edge Quick Hitters is a fun, quick way to get to know you a little better, Roman. Ten questions and we’re looking for just short, single word, or fewer responses, but feel free to expand if you get the urge. Number one, what’s the first thing you remember ever purchasing in your life?

It would have to be a Fisher-Price Knight that I used to play with when I was young. I remember buying that, so that would be my first physical NFT.

You had an allowance early to get that because a lot of our guests talk about things they purchased later on. Your parents are like, “You’re on your own. Here you go.”

NFT 29 | Zed Run

Zed Run: You don’t need a super-expensive horse to win in Zed Run. You can start with one of the lower-cost horses and work your way up.


I get hooked up from the area. I’m a spoiled brat. I’m losing to go buy toys.

Number two, what’s the first thing you remember ever selling in your life?

I would sell a lot of different things on RuneScape, which was a game. Some people are shaking their heads like, “I remember that game.” It was actually virtual items on RuneScape. I was addicted to buying and selling stuff, which helped me in my NFT collecting career a lot. I feel like I’m tapping back into the old Lumbridge or Farrah and RuneScape. That’ll have to be my first sale.

Number three, what’s the most recent thing you purchased?

It was a squiggly line from Art Blocks, which for those who don’t know, Art Blocks is an NFT art company and they have squiggly lines. I bought a squiggly line for way more money than I care to admit.

Number four, what’s the most recent thing you sold?

A horse. A virtual horse, virtual NFT.

What was that horse’s name?

That horse’s name was Purple Elf.

Number five, what’s your most prized possession?

My signed autographed picture of Eli Manning.

Was he with the Broncos or the Giants at the time?

Eli was only on the Giants.

Find an NFT platform that you want to learn about and just dive in. Click To Tweet

That would go nice next to a signed autographed picture of Tom Brady.

Tom Brady’s coming out his own NFT company called Autograph, funny enough.

They’ll be a guest on the show soon enough.

Don’t have him follow me because I’ll show him up, so I wouldn’t want to do that to him.

It’d be great to have you guys on together. That would be a lot of fun.

That’d be great. I’d have to do my best Eli impression and beat him, but we’ll see.

He can put the Autograph on the wall in the background.

He’s just being obnoxious and then ultimately fall victim to his charm and love him at the end of it.

How does Eli versus Tom work out? Career statistics. I’m a little hazy on that.

He’s 2 and 0 on the Super Bowl against Tom for career statistics. I love this. I’m really tapping into my fandom right now. It all started with the Gloucester like New England. I should have never put it on.

I see in our future a Tom Brady and Eli Manning horses.

Eli holds a three to a win record over Brady and is the only man who can say he beat Tom in two Super Bowls. That’s definitely unique.

Question number six, if you could buy anything in the world, digital, physical, service, and experience that’s currently for sale, what would that be?

NFT 29 | Zed Run

Zed Run: Artifact is pioneering in the augmented reality space. They have their own fashion brand and AR sneakers that you can redeem physically.


Without going too out of the box, I’m so in the NFT world right now and I feel like a lot of goals for collectors, flippers, and people who are in the game right now trying to work their way up is to buy a CryptoPunk. CryptoPunk is the upper echelon of this entire ecosystem, so for me, that would be the purchase that I’d be most excited about.

Do you have your eye on one in particular now or a few?

Just the floor ones that are $50,000 each. I’m like, “If I can get that much money, I’ll go and buy whichever one’s available.”

Question number seven, if you could pass on one of your personality traits to the next generation, what would it be?

I would say humor. Hopefully, they’re cool and laugh at stuff, and have a good time. I feel like anybody who takes themselves too seriously, especially in this space, is pretty lame. I’d want other people to be upbeat and fun.

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

I just eat everything. I have no self-control. I need to tap into some type of self-control, eating healthy, and working out. Anything constructive that is anti what I have right now, I would eliminate. Allowing the other generation, what is it? Impulsivity? I don’t know the name of the trait but I’d want them to be better at structuring, organizing, exercising, and eating right.

Except when they decide impulsively to buy a horse on ZED RUN.

You should be impulsively buying things and binge-purchasing. That’s what we like.

Worst case scenario, you sell it on the open market.

Of course, there’s always somebody that’ll buy it.

Question number nine, what did you do just before joining us on the show?

It’s a Monday afternoon, so I checked my OpenSea, and saw that nobody bought any of my NFTs. I spoke with my coworker about the next cool things coming out in ZED. Classic Monday, got some meetings, trying to sell some stuff, that was what I did.

Once you get started in NFTs, you will get a seed phrase. Don't share that with anyone. That is like your key. Click To Tweet

Question ten, what are you going to do next after the show?

I’m going to eat dinner with my girlfriend and probably think about all the stupid things I said on camera.

We appreciate it. It’s been great. We learned a little bit more about you personally. Thanks for the indulgence.

Of course. This is awesome.

You’ve got to also pass to indulge in your dinner as well.

Thank you.

Let’s hit the hot topics of the day. The first one on the list is a fascinating one. Tell me how a twelve-year-old made over $160,000 worth of Ethereum on NFTs. The NFT collection is Weird Whales, a set of pixelated whale icons inspired by a stock image and the kid is Benyamin Ahmed. He is based out of a London suburb that one of Decrypt’s English staffers described as small, quaint, and dull. Fascinating stuff. It’s reminiscent of the internet revolution. You see these natives, we would call them digital natives. Maybe they’ll be a new word for the natives of the crypto space, the digital currency, and an ownership space. They’re young, fresh, have no preexisting biases, they dive in deep, and they hit it big.

This kid’s fearless. He got pumped by some of the projects that we have been talking about in the show, CryptoPunks, and Bored Ape Yacht Club. Instead of thinking about it and letting fear creep into his bones, he just did it. He created these weird wheels and it took off virally. It’s a testament to what’s possible if you just get out there and take action.

Did you buy one, Roman?

I don’t know if you guys know the story, but I bought multiple on the drop. There was speculation that was a catfish which it was not. What ended up happening was, Benyamin released it and it took the world by fire because everyone loves a good narrative and it’s pretty easy to convince people in the NFT world. There’s a lot of money actively trying to be spent. We all bought the whales and the prices of them astronomically increased, but there were questions about the authenticity of the story.

People did some digging and they found some things that they felt like he wasn’t twelve years old. That he had all this help and he was actually this 50-year-old dude. I’m like, “We got robbed.” About 2:00 AM, Benyamin made a statement and he wrote a bunch of things. He may have even recorded a YouTube video and it came out that he was authentic. The prices went from down in the gutter and freaking crazy. It was awesome. I’m a huge fan of the project. I love the whales. They’re really cute. They’re fun. I love a good story. They have this weird crypto aesthetic that I like. I’m excited to follow him in his career. Fearless is right. I love that.

How did you hear about the project? That’s wild because you’re in it from the very jump.

There’s no story to it, just being on Twitter a lot and tracking some of the better influencers out there and understanding. That narrative came out pretty quickly, so it was everywhere for that week. These things are razor-thin, they happen one day, and everyone forgets the next.

NFT 29 | Zed Run

Zed Run: It takes these massive tech companies to embrace rogue technology for AR/VR to go to market. The pioneers are the ones without corporate investors. They’re in their basement testing the parameters of what’s possible.


Just for our interest, are there any Twitter people you follow you mentioned that you think are worth following?

@RomanTirone is an amazing one that you can start out with. That’s me. I just figure out random stuff pertaining to ZED RUN and some stuff going in. Josh Ong is an amazing guy. He has a couple of thousand followers. There’s a Beanie. There’s another one named Drew Ventures and @AJT, Alexander Taub. That’s my squad. Ja Rule as well, he tweets about NFTs and it’s weird. He’s all over it. Take that with a grain of salt, but those are the ones I follow.

Let’s hit the next one on the chopping block here. “An LA real estate first, houses accept buyers Bitcoin and display NFT art. In high-end contemporary listings, developers and brokers are experimenting with accepting cryptocurrencies as payment and showcasing blockchain authenticated digital art.” Where else but Los Angeles? It’s the perfect place to get things started. Josh, have you been looking at any real estate that has NFTs added to it there in Venice?

It’s hard enough to get real estate without NFT in Venice. I’ve been looking at the market for years and it just goes up. There’s a lot of conversation about whether or not we’re in a real estate bubble, particularly in LA. This is fascinating. Pretty amazing, breathtaking views of the Palazzo di Vista in Bel Air may seem worth $87.77 million it’s listed for. I’m not sure.

We’ve been tracking SuperWorld, which is sponsoring this show. What’s interesting to watch there is they’ve started to have an overlay of the map where you can buy plots of virtual land, but you can also see where people are putting NFTs, or at least placing their digital or augmented reality artwork. It’s an interesting space to watch. If you want to dive in, if you feel like you can take the risk, certainly, people can get involved. There are places where you can watch the trends like Roman is talking about, and maybe you feel like you’ve done a little bit more due diligence before you dive into stuff like this. SuperWorld is an interesting place to see where people are active, at least, with digital art and where they’re placed to get geographically.

SuperWorld or some of the other augmented worlds is if you were showing your place, for example, and I love this use case, every few episodes, we talk about something related to the real estate world. You could literally give somebody your phone at that moment and show them all the digital assets that you have in your house and that’s pretty cool. There’s some dope stuff out there that people would appreciate. It’s a nice real-world application that doesn’t require somebody to know anything about crypto to appreciate it. I like it.

I can think about folks adjusting the NFTs on the wall based on who they’re showing the property to, to try to match the ambiance and aesthetic they think is going to sell the real estate the most.

I’m getting inspired here looking through this article in The Hollywood Reporter that we’ve mentioned here. It’s giving a picture of a tree in the courtyard. Interior courtyard with an olive tree at 1108 Wallace Ridge in Beverly Hills. What if you had an NFT tree? A digital piece of breathing art, as we’ve mentioned, that grows over time. It’s a money tree that drops digital currency to people in the vicinity at randomized points in time. Creativity is only measured by what you can imagine. Let’s hit the next article here. Nextech to Launch Augmented Reality NFT Hologram Creator Platform. We’re seeing over and over again that this space of NFT is melding very cleanly into this augmented reality, virtual reality, XR world.

Much of this is built around the creation of digital art, the actual tools that are used to create this art. When you think of some of the sexiness of like NBA Top Shot and whatnot, it’s about design. An NFT is how they deployed it, but that’s just sexy design and holograms. It doesn’t get any sexier to me. You think about layering that into your world or the augmented world. There’s a lot of hardware coming out that will enable us to use holograms. Once you layer that on top of NFT platforms, the sky’s the limit. It’s crazy to think about what can happen on that front.

People have been talking about when is the year of AR, VR for a long time, but when there are financial incentives around experiencing an NFT game in a different way, or buying and selling something, and adding that hologram layer, maybe that’s the secret sauce that’s been missing, what do you think, Roman?

It’s going to take time. It takes these massive tech companies big tech to embrace what the rogue tech is doing. The pioneers are the ones. Without the corporate investors, we’re the ones who are experimenting and are in the basement testing the parameters of what’s possible. Once that corporate adoption comes, that global embrace will follow. Anything to do with holograms, AR, VR, NFTs is the small cogs of how we will experience technology education and infrastructure moving forward.

A little more detail from the article, “AR-enhanced video conferencing and virtual events, revealed plans to launch its NFT hologram creator platform. The creator platform will leverage the company’s human hologram creator platform HoloX, which is expected to launch in the third quarter. Once launched, customers will have the ability to seamlessly experience its digital collectibles in augmented reality.” The last thing I would say on this is, when we talk AR, it’s easy to imagine, “I got to have some weird headset on in order to even experience that.”

That can seem exciting but a little bit onerous. “How long am I going to wear that headset so I can see everything. How long I’m going to hold my phone up just to experience AR when I can just live in the real world and rest my arms a little bit or something.” Having holograms be a part of AR makes it a lot more fun and makes it seem a lot more, to use an ironic term, realistic. Realistic that you can experience AR with holograms much more easily than if you’re using some device that you have to engage with.

Roman, it’s been great having you on. This has been so much fun and we learned a lot more about ZED RUN and what we need to do with our prized horse, Purple Elf. We’d love to stay in touch and continue to learn more about what you have in store for all of us followers of ZED RUN. Meantime, where can our readers go to follow you and stay abreast of what you’re up to?

Thank you. This was so much fun. I appreciate all the things you guys do for the NFT community and your passion and voice are definitely appreciated as contributors to the metaverse, so thank you. You can find more about ZED RUN at You can follow us at @ZED_RUN or you can follow me at @RomanTirone on Twitter. Our socials are also all listed on our website. If you have any questions, feel free to DM me or anyone that’s part of the team. We’re always encouraging newbies to ask questions and get involved because once you start, it’s hard to stop and it’s really a fun thing to get involved in.

You’re going to be doing a giveaway for our readers. Can you tell us a little bit more about that?

Absolutely. We’re going to be giving away $150 in Wrapped Ethereum to anyone who likes, shares, and follows the Edge of NFT and @ZED_RUN. A little starter pack to get started. Maybe get one of those four horses and race against Purple Elf. Maybe get Blue Elf, Silver Elf, Yellow Elf, Red Elf, who knows? There’s probably a whole squad of elves out there. It’ll help you get started and get your hooves on the track.

We appreciate it. We reached the outer limits of the Edge of NFT so 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 all so much better. How? Go to iTunes right now, rate us, and say something cool, then go to to dive further down the rabbit hole. Got guests who want to see on the episode, questions for hosts, or guests, or an NFT you’d like us to review? Drop us a line at or tweet us at @EdgeofNFT. Lastly, be sure to tune in next episode for some more great NFT content. Thanks again for sharing this time with us.

Important Links:

About Roman Tirone

NFT 29 | Zed Run

Head Of Partnerships at ZED.Run & VHS | Founder of The Rumble Company

Top Podcasts