For games to succeed in the Web3 space, they must go beyond just asset ownership. They should also make the gameplay experience highly engaging to keep players looking forward to more updates. In this episode, Dreamer talks about how he focuses on navigating the Web3 gaming industry through DeFi Kingdoms, an immersive fantasy RPG game with beautiful pixel art, tokenized resources, and Hero NFTs integrated with DeFi protocols. He talks about the inspiration and collective effort behind the game, as well as its in-game economy, hero creation system, and upcoming combat system. Dreamer also shares his insights and takeaways as one of the finalists of the reality show The Next Crypto Gem. For this episode's Hot Topics, they discuss how Stoner Cats NFT drew a $1 million penalty from the SEC and the most immersive blockchain summit to be held in the MENA region this October.
Listen to the podcast here
The Gameplay Experience With Dreamer From DeFi Kingdoms
This is Dreamer with DeFi Kingdoms, a cross-chain fantasy RPG game with beautiful pixel art, tokenized resources, and Hero NFTs where strategy trumps luck. I'm on the Edge of NFT, the most fun strategy for keeping the tabs on all things Web3.
NFT-curious audiences, stay tuned for this episode to learn more about how to go from being a VP at Goldman Sachs to being a president of a gaming company, how to thrive and learn from being on a reality TV competition, and finally, what led to Stoner Cats' company, including founders Mila Kunis and Ashton Kutcher, settling for $1 million with the SEC.
It's official. You can dive into the captivating world of artificial intelligence with the Edge of AI Podcast. Join us as we explore the frontiers of AI and its impact on our lives. Subscribe on your favorite podcast platform and follow us on Twitter @Edgeof_AI and LinkedIn for exciting updates and insights. You can also visit our new website, EdgeOfAI.xyz.
This episode features Dreamer, the President of Kingdom Studios, which is the development team that brought you DeFi Kingdoms, the tokenized RPG game that came in on the top four of the hit reality show, The Next Crypto Gem. Prior to Web3, Dreamer was a Vice President at Goldman Sachs where he specialized in hedge funds and alternative investments in the Risk Division. Dreamer's background is not only in banking but also brings financial acumen and the unique strategic perspective that uniquely positions him as a leader in DeFi Kingdoms where precision and visionary thinking are paramount.
DeFi Kingdoms is an immersive fantasy RPG where you step into the role of a Commander. Players can build their legion of unique Heroes, engage in epic PVP duels to rise as a legendary champion, test their combat skills against mythical creatures in the Combat Testing Grounds, and explore two distinct realms and more to come, each with its resources and objectives. Dreamer, it's great to have you. How are you doing?
I'm happy to be here. I'm doing pretty well. I finished up TOKEN2049 in Singapore. It was a very good trip but a long flight home.
We got back as well a little earlier than you. Did you catch the F1?
It was getting started. 2022 was the same. I show up. It was a long week. I'm like, "I'm so excited to get home." You're bummed you're leaving right when all the fun is getting started. I didn't catch much of it. A lot of Singapore shuts down. You start hearing the Time Trials on Friday night, which is pretty cool but I did not get to go to the actual event. I used to live in Singapore. When I did, there was at least one of the years when I was able to attend. It's pretty fun.
It's a good time. It was great to run into you in Singapore. I've been seeing you a lot lately. You have been building quite a lot over the last few years. It's an honor to have you on the show in this official capacity doing a full show together as opposed to a short clip. I've been a fan of the game and a player of the game since the early days. I own my suite of Heroes and have watched as you created this engaging world that took Web3 by storm. A lot of the games before you weren't nearly as sophisticated. The bars have been elevated since then but thank you for pioneering in this area. I would love to start the interview by asking you this. What inspired you to create DeFi Kingdoms? How is it different than other fantasy RPG games both in Web2 and Web3?
The initial inspiration came from two people. One is Frisky Fox and one is Pie Face. They were old coworkers. We were talking about gaming and blockchain. We thought, "How cool would it be if there was a Final Fantasy-like game where everything in the game used blockchain technology? How could we get started there? Maybe we take a DEX and make it game-like so that people can understand crypto better and start from there?" From there, people were drawn to the idea, including myself.
A lot of people on the team came in at various times and a lot of people that were there at the beginning have since moved on. It has been a combined effort from community development, art, music, business development, and so on. Over 100 people have contributed to DeFi Kingdoms. Although I'm the president of the development company, through the ups and downs, I have been working with many others to make decisions as a group. The game that you see, the success, and the troubles that we have worked through are a result of a large number of people, which extends to the broad community.
That vision came to life when we started to see an immediate response on a chain that nobody knew of back then. People were figuring out how to bridge a chain that they never thought they would use to get access to this new idea of gamification of DeFi, not stopping there, and starting to tokenize an RPG game. If you've ever played an MMORPG, you know that they're not simple. It's not like you're going to take a Maze Runner or another simple game and convert it to Web3. You have to build it from the ground up. One of the main characteristics of these types of games is the in-game economy.
You're farming for different items. You're using those items to craft weapons and potions. Your actual characters are getting stronger. All of this transfers so well with Web3 technology because they all hint at ownership and exchange of ownership in one way. That's where the DeFi part came in. Making your DEX, NFT marketplaces, and even a DEX that's more of an order book-style to cover all the low liquidity items was imperative to create a foundation where the real game could be built.
You unpacked a lot and something that stuck out for me is the complexity of setting something like this up. To be able to set up the DeFi elements of an MMO is a tall task but there's something else that I want to go back to for a second that was a tall task. It's the transition that you made from Wall Street over into gaming. Those are two very distinct types of career paths. What have been some of the surprising synergies between these seemingly disparate fields? How has it helped drive innovation at Kingdom Studios?
It's a different lifestyle and work environment. However, there's one thing that was pretty similar for me. I didn't come from a long line of people in banking. I grew up in Maui. I had a pretty simple education at public schools. I paid for my education at a school that isn't great on paper but I worked hard to learn, started trading while I was in school, and did some side education like CAIA. I don't know if you've heard of CFA and CAIA. They're self-taken exams to progress your knowledge.
Every step of the way, I was a self-starter. I didn't have somebody holding my hand, somebody who has done it for generations before, or a network that gives you an easy in. It was the opposite. I decided early on that I wanted to work at Goldman Sachs because they came to my school at one time and I was like, "It's the best investment bank in the world. Sign me up." When I showed up, they were like, "You don't fit the bill. You're not the guy that we usually hire."
Although I came from a diverse environment, I didn't appear diverse. I worked hard at my education but on paper, it wasn't very impressive. I didn't know anybody there. I didn't come from money. I started as a temp. I was like, "Give me a data entry role." They gave me a contract for a year. Within two months, I had automated my position and the guy next to me, and they hired me on as an analyst.
At that point, I went on to be the earliest associate in the Risk Division in terms of how young or how long I was there. I was asked to go to Singapore to lead a group out there where I made Vice President early on as well and then sent back to Salt Lake City to cover additional prime services, futures clearing, and other products that started to expose me to crypto.
This was around when Grayscale Bitcoin Trust and CME futures were coming out. We needed that risk to be understood. I started to get excited about the technology and reporting on it with my team. The feedback I got wasn't as positive. There wasn't a lot of appetite for risk-taking. It was more about staying relevant while being cautious, which makes sense in a new industry, especially from a large bank like that but I felt a little stifled. I felt like this was a space that had a lot of opportunities. In my position, I wasn't going to be able to explore it.
When you look at the transfer to Web3, there are a lot of the characteristics I was saying. There is no path in this space. There are no generations of people that are going to tell you exactly how to do everything. You have to figure it out on your own. You don't have the expertise so you go out and learn it from others who have it and then add on top of it.
You have to continue to push because, in bull markets, people are pretty excited. They're encouraging. In bear markets, people flee, blame, flood, and get scared. If you don't have that tough skin or you haven't learned how to fight for what you want and make the dream that you have come true, a lot of people don't make it, as we have been seeing in this extended bear market.
I didn't know your whole story. Thanks for sharing all that with us. There's one word that comes to mind that sums it all up, which is grit. Grit is essential to any emerging market like Web3 and leading the team that you lead over at DeFi Kingdoms. It's all clicking for me. I appreciate that context. Let's talk a little bit about the gameplay and explain it to folks who haven't checked out DeFi Kingdoms yet but might after this and get hooked. How do the game mechanisms work? What goes into building this legion of Heroes?
To build Heroes, you're going to have to first learn where they come from. Differing from many other Web3 games or crypto projects, we don't go and sell anything. We don't make items, put a fixed price, and then sell it. The gamers or players have control over all of this. If you have two Heroes that have the ability to summon a new Hero, not all do, you can put them together.
Some of the earlier projects called this breeding. When we were developing DeFi Kingdoms, the thought was more around, "These are people. It's weird to call it breeding." When you're talking about cats or something, CryptoKitties make sense but we use the word summoning. You are summoning a new Hero into the realm to fight, adventure, and so on.
The cool thing is it pulls genes from both of the Heroes that you're using. You have two existing Heroes. They come together. The visual genes, the stats underneath it, and the classes that make up these Heroes come together. You have a random chance to mint or summon a new Hero that could be mythic and has high growth rates. It could be a rare class. It could be visually appealing in different ways or have unique abilities for combat that would be rarer.
This main feature has been the driving force for a lot of people in the game because the Heroes are constantly getting new utilities and features. The game even after 2 years is only 15% done. We have a long roadmap and a lot of features to add. It's the excitement of understanding how they're used and then, for example, having two classes that when put together mint a more advanced class.
When I first got my first Ninja, I was like, "Dang it." You go and tweet it, "I mutated my first Ninja." People get excited. That's the core of the early stage of gamers. They could potentially get a rare Hero or a strong Hero. You have to start leveling them up. You go questing, phishing, foraging, mining, and gardening. You play the mini-games, which is like a card game that you play war. You turn over your cards and it randomly selects a stat.
It's quite simple but the strategy there is we're building the game. We have seasons where rewards are unlocked in real-time during the season, which is a unique innovation that other games haven't put in yet where the rewards are sitting on the blockchain. As you climb the rank, you automatically are given real items that carry a real value and are tradable, or you can use them to continue to level up your Hero.
As a Commander of your Heroes, your goal is to collect and level up your Heroes and then make choices on how to use them because you can't use them all at once. We have a cool feature coming out. It's the first PVE feature. We have been developing a combat system. Everything I said up to is more gamified, finance DeFi, or the early stages, establishing your Heroes prior to gameplay but from here on out, we're very focused on gameplay.
We have been developing a combat system where your Heroes come to life. All of their abilities in the NFT metadata get live and you start making decisions to fight things. We have been practicing this in the testing grounds but soon enough, we will have our first player-versus-environment or PVE hunt where you will go out and be hunting monsters within the realms. It's exciting.
There are a couple of pieces that I won't share yet but it's related to the type of rewards that you will get from it that's very consistent with the gameplay you get from traditional MMORPGs. If you think of combat turn-based role-playing, managing resources, leveling up your Heroes, and having the excitement of growing your legion with hopefully more legendary, mythic, and rare Heroes, that is where we are at.
You spoke to the excitement around this. You keep adding more different gaming elements and content pieces that have thus garnered a very passionate player community. You keep getting feedback from them to create more of these cool things that they can do in the game to keep coming back for more so much so that you had a pretty significant impact on The Next Crypto Gem show. Can you give us some of the key strategies and insights that set your product apart from other competition that was on The Next Crypto Gem?
The Next Crypto Gem is a show that's being pre-screened but it will have hit the Insight TV distribution, which I believe has over 300 million homes worldwide and a number of streaming services. People should check that out. It has judges that many might know like Brian Evans who's a major investor in the space with an extra focus on Web3 gaming and Layah Heilpern who is a public figure with a number of views, many of which are related to crypto and bitcoin, a very interesting person, and a smart woman, and then George of CryptosRUs. Many people in crypto are there because of his videos.
There were three awesome judges who looked at a number of submissions. There were sixteen that made the semi-finalists, and then DeFi Kingdoms was one of the final four. The show has about seven episodes. It's the first foray into educating the broad public in a way where you see people in the space get humanized. We're competing and doing challenges. It's meant to be entertaining but the primary goal is awareness, trying to tap into the traditional non-Web3 market that might only see headlines or only think that crypto is about currency, gambling, or something else or see all the bad stuff that comes out and think that everybody in crypto is bad.
The non-Web3 market must go beyond usual headlines saying crypto is about currency or gambling. These barriers must be brought down by real people who have committed to building out Web3 technology. Click To Tweet
The primary goal is to break those barriers down to hopefully teach a little bit about the space and then show real people who have committed their lives and dedicated themselves to building the technology. You could think about it as The Apprentice meets The Voice meets Shark Tank or so where there are challenges. There is a reward. There is some pretty grueling judging. Hopefully, it's a little bit of fun.
George is one of the guys that I followed early on back in 2017 or 2018. He has been a grinder continuing to create content. I have a lot of respect for George. He's one of the many inspirations for us in terms of doing our show and a lot of content as well. We're past episode 300. He's very passionate about educating the masses and creating snackable content that resonates with the broader market. I love what this show is all about. What do you think it was about DeFi Kingdoms that stood out to the judges and the viewers?
On the show, of the 4 finalists, 3 of them are games, and 1 of them is more of a memecoin but there's an interesting story as it launched in the bear market and was around a community. Even though there are three games, they're all quite different, one of which is very much focused on maximizing the game portion and integrating blockchain technology without it being forefront in your face. It's a strategy to promote mass adoption in this space.
They brought some interesting things to the show that I learned. For me, it was a great learning experience because it was like free consulting. We had all these incredible people judging us. I had competition in this space where I was looking at what they might be doing differently. That was one focus and I realized, "We haven't been as focused on breaking down those barriers to entry. We're DeFi Kingdoms. We're in-your-face Web3 gaming." That was an interesting polarized approach.
Another one is doing a lot of everything. DeFi Kingdoms has the DFK Chain. It's powered by Avalanche Subnet. We were their first subnet. We have done over 500 million transactions on that subnet, which is its own blockchain. One of the other games has its chain as well but they have a lot of simpler games. They're trying to create a franchise of games in the space following trends that have been popular before. For DeFi Kingdoms, it's not the simplified blockchain technology in the background or an easy-to-get-in-and-play-right-away game. It takes a lot to onboard. It's not a do-a-little-bit-of-everything type of game. We have a very specific brand and a long roadmap to build this detailed game.
The judges liked that it was more complicated and multifaceted. We have been around for two years. It's a little controversial launching in the bull market, having everything crash in the world, figuring out a way to survive at the Harmony Bridge hack, and so on. That also adds an interesting narrative. Our team's ability to deliver a product that's powered by hundreds of smart contracts on two different chains over two years was one of the reasons that they felt confident that we should be in the top four.
It's something cool to see that 3 out of the 4 finalists were in gaming. It speaks to why people like the story that a game can bring. It can bring out so much creativeness out of so many different facets. What you described and what's setting apart DeFi Kingdoms holds true and is another reason why people are as passionate as they are about DeFi Kingdoms. Going through that journey, competition was very fierce and I'm sure you had to go through a lot. What do you think were some of those key lessons that you had to discover about DeFi Kingdoms that you were able to take and keep growing?
First, I discovered myself. It's hard to perform when cameras are pointed at you. It's not fun. You get out there and think there are going to be 1 or 2 cameras. There are eight different cameras. There's a director yelling at everybody. A loud airplane flies over. He screams, "Cut," and curses. He is like, "We have to do it again." "This isn't scripted. What do you mean do it again?" The thought process and being able to be normal was hard when you add challenges to it where the whole point is to make you squirm, make it hard, and make it a little bit embarrassing.
A lot is on the line. Your community and your family are watching you. Performing as a professional normally is different than doing it under a camera. It's super interesting and pretty hard. They asked us to do a lot of things that they knew we didn't do. In a lot of established projects, teams, or companies, you have departments that focus on things. There are some challenges that were focused on marketing, teaching, or creating content with tools that I haven't used since I was in college.
It's a pretty interesting show. You can see me and others squirm a little bit but when it all comes down to it, it's entertainment. The goal was to entertain and educate. I feel like we did that very well. It's exciting as well. We all care a lot about it. You will see some emotions come out. You will see that the competition does get fierce because everybody is good at different things.
There is one team on there that's very good at marketing, putting their name out there, and being on camera. One of the contestants was in the real world back in the day. He had three million subscribers on YouTube. This is Scott Herman. He's awesome. He and I hit it off right away. We have been going back and forth on Twitter. That's a little bit about the competition, what it was made up of, and how it was both enjoyable and nerve-racking and tested my ability to perform on camera, let alone do things I haven't done for a while.
Practices help. This has been a pretty smooth interview so far. We will try to get you off your seat with Edge Quick Hitters but meanwhile, here's one last question. Is there anything looking ahead in terms of development on the project partnerships that you have cooking that are continuing to push boundaries that we should cover?
One of the games was very focused on lowering the barriers to entry. That's WAGMI Games. They have an awesome product that folks should check out. It's a tower defense game. You can pull it up on your phone. You don't even realize your wallet is being created. You're in and you're playing. With DeFi Kingdoms, we have a lot of depth and gameplay but there are a lot of hoops you have to jump through. Leaving the show, one of the takeaways was, "We have to focus on making it easier to get in."
We have a partnership with Halliday. One of their services is around wallet creation. When you hop into DeFi Kingdoms, before, you had to connect your wallet, go through all these steps, and figure things out. Now, we have a catered tutorial per area of the game that you're in. Once you're in, there's a simple three-step process, and you have a wallet created for you in the background without seed phrases or anything.
This is all made possible by working through the technology with our partners at Halliday. They're even looking at ways to make the on-ramp a little bit easier. We're working with a number of on-ramps globally. Halliday has their own. That's a way that you can get your money from real money onto the blockchain without necessarily going through centralized exchanges. That will be huge for gaming. Imagine looking at a Hero that somebody else is selling and it says, "Pay with crypto or use your credit card." We're weeks away from that. A lot of barriers to entry have been broken down with that partnership.
We have other features coming. I mentioned the PVE feature. That's only the tip of the iceberg. The combat system that we have created that is continuing to be built out can be applied in many ways. The first is this hunt approach where you're going around the map and hunting enemies to get resources and other things that I won't go into too much detail.
The other is getting together and fighting a boss, potential dungeons, and player-versus-player tournaments where you will have to strategically look at your Heroes and the opponents in a bracketed style tournament where it's Avalanche versus Clayton or guilds forming within each realm to compete against each other. You can have qualifiers for these tournaments and say, "It's only those with fishing skills above ten, only priests fighting each other, or anything that we want that's happening in the world." We can make it fun with that player-versus-player environment.
The final step that unlocks everything is Travel. That's where the Commander aspect comes in where you're looking at the map. Your Heroes exist everywhere and nowhere. Your Hero is going on a quest. You can see them moving but they're not anywhere specifically on the map. When we take the questing for resources, fighting creatures and PVE, and fighting each other in PVP and start giving them actual locations where the Commander will have to choose, "If my Hero goes here to go fish this fishing hole as a higher yield than normal because the fish are biting, I can't be down here and compete in this championship. I can't be up here and fight this boss," a choice is introduced.
You're spending the stamina of the Heroes as a Commander to decide what you want to be doing. That's where the legion comes in. You can't have one Hero and do everything at once. People are going to be amassing hundreds of Heroes. Where we are is combat system and development, DeFi foundation established. We're going to apply that in PVE, find other ways to apply it, and then grow it into more of a full-game experience where that Commander feeling comes to life.
It's exciting stuff. I can't wait for the combat component. The first game I got hooked on was Mortal Kombat. There's no pressure there. It will be fun. You've had all this media training. You are officially ready for Edge Quick Hitters. This is a fun and quick way to get to know you better. There are ten questions. We're looking for a short, single-word, or few-word response but feel free to expand if you get the urge. What is the first thing you remember ever purchasing in your life?
A Green Day cassette album, Dookie. I was very young.
I was a Green Day fan as well. What's the first thing you remember ever selling in your life?
When I was young, I moved around a bit before I made it back with my mom in Maui. It's not a positive memory but in fourth grade, I uprooted my whole life and couldn't take much. What I couldn't take, I did my best to sell. I sold a lot. I don't know which item it was but it was pretty much everything.
You were learning from an early age. I'm sorry it wasn't the best memory but I'm sure it gave you some good skills for the future.
I grew up with my mom mainly in Maui but there was a transition period where I was in Utah for a couple of years with my siblings and my father. It's not a horrible memory but it's a lot of transitions. Things smoothed out. I have a good family and strong relationships there but the things that were sold were a reset. I got rid of everything.
People pay consultants to come in and help them become a minimalist like that. It's a sought-after lifestyle.
As a child, you want toys and things. You're not focused on being a minimalist but it makes you enjoy what's around you. Resetting back on Maui, you start surfing, boogie boarding, and doing things in the ocean rather than playing with toys.
Philosophy is not the friend of any child and their favorite toys for sure.
What was the most recent thing you purchased?
I ordered the new iPhone 15 regrettably. I saw this meme. I don't even know if it's a meme where they put it out there but it had the 14 and the 15 next to each other. It was 172 grams and the new one is 171. I'm like, "I don't know if they meant to do that but it's not very impressive." I take a lot of pictures. Whenever I don't buy the new phone, a month into it, my current one doesn't work, and I'm like, "I regret it." I'm three months late. I'm sure I'll get some hate for going from 14 to 2023's phone but that's the most recent purchase.
You will have to let me know what you think about it. What's the most recent thing you sold?
My older skydiving rig. Before I relocated back to Hawaii, I was getting rid of a lot of stuff. I had another rig and an old parachute. When you're skydiving, you start big so you fall slower and lower the likelihood of breaking your legs in your landing. As you get better, you downsize. You get smaller parachutes. I had to sell older parachutes and stuff.
I don't know if I would buy a used skydiving rig or parachute. The risk management side of me would be giving that a second thought.
I'm with you on there. I do buy new stuff but it's not always a good thing. It's crispy and hard to pack. It's all slippery and everything. With the used stuff, there's a sweet spot where it's broken in and reliable but it's not super old. Also, the stuff is expensive. When you're changing it once or twice a year, buying a $2,000 parachute every single time is a lot harder. You see one that's a bit old but you can get it for $800, jump it for 50 jumps with fingers crossed that nothing happens, and then move on to your next. People make their decisions but I'm with you. I tend to get the newer stuff and not worry about malfunctions.
Stress test Dreamer's parachute before going too high. What is your most prized possession?
Probably one of my surfboards. I have too many of them. Your board is more than a possession. It transforms your mindset. You get to escape and then interact with the ocean in a way that isn't comparable. I go snowboarding or skating and do things that are very predictable. Surfing is never predictable and easy. My surfboard even as a kid has always been something that allowed me to escape a little bit, have fun, and be challenged. It's not one specific board because they break and get old. I'm not attached to too many specific things but in my garage, I probably have twelve that I've accumulated in the last years since it's coming back. Maybe it's a little bit of a problem.
You are a board hoarder, noted.
You can use them for different things. They don't all sit there and look pretty. Any given day, you look in your quiver, and you can use it for something different.
You play games and put things on them. I hear you. Whatever you need to have to have plausible deniability is fine by me. I'm sure there are some nice boards. If you could buy anything in the world, digital, physical, service, or experience that's currently for sale, what would it be?
If I was in a financial position, I would buy a brand new Diamond DA50 airplane. My COVID thing was to figure out how to fly planes. In Utah, that was a lot easier. I bought my first plane. It was an old DA40. It was twenty years old. It had tons of hours on it. They have new planes that are incredible. Living on the islands, it would be cool to have a reliable nice plane that you can fly around maybe one day. We will see.
I'm on the website of Diamond. It's a beautiful plane.
Instead of the yoke, it has the stick and rudder. You feel like a fighter pilot but you're not. It doesn't go that fast. It has a pretty glass cockpit. I don't know if you've seen Maverick or others but it makes you feel like you're in that kind of plane. Flying is cool. For those who haven't tried it, it isn't as hard to get into as it might seem. You don't have to become a commercial pilot. People are doing van life. Imagine doing plane life where you can wake up and fly a couple of hours at a time, land at an airport, and explore a new place. There will be a time in my life when I do plane life.
If you could pass on one of your personality traits to the next generation, what would it be?
Self-belief is big. Oftentimes my mom has been in my corner and has always believed in me but I was always different in school. There weren't a whole lot of White kids at the school that I went to. There was a lot of violence, not guns and knives but a lot of fistfights and confusion with differences in culture where different forms of judgment and racism come out.
It's moving there to college where I didn't have that background, to banking where I didn't fit in, to going to Asia where it was hard to be accepted. I also spent two years in Korea. I had to figure out how to learn Korean on the streets without anybody teaching me as a young kid right out of high school. It's important to believe in yourself. Grit was mentioned here. If you believe in yourself, you don't rely on anybody else to get you there. Everybody else becomes teachers, influence, or helpers but at the end of the day, none of their opinion matters for you to survive and succeed.
That's a good one but we're going to talk about the other side of it. If you could eliminate one of your personality traits from the next generation, what would it be?
I'm not the most patient human. I remember when I was young. I was listening to a talk and the guy was complaining. He was much older than me. He was like, "We're living in a microwave generation. They don't necessarily want to work for what they want or understand where it comes from." I've tried to internalize that throughout my life and be like, "Be patient." My impatience isn't like a whiny child, "I want it now." It's more like some things take time, learning new hobbies, learning a new field, or the bear market being way longer than all of us want.
Sometimes impatience comes out in hard work, which is what I try to focus on, and sometimes it comes out in becoming almost obsessed. That hard work can consume your life. I have to constantly make sure that patience doesn't ever affect me emotionally, which I feel like I do a good job at but if I could remove that trait where I didn't have to try so much on being patient, that would be great.
It's a double-edged sword because that impatience is what kept you innovating over this time but we will get there. There will be a bull market sooner than later. We don't know when but it's coming. What did you do before joining us on the show?
I flew back. I woke up because the time zone was a little bit different. I was going to surf but it was very windy. I went out and took care of my yard. There are a lot of flowers, trees, and things outside. I like to cultivate the land and try to take care of this unique opportunity to have a home.
On my flight back, I was watching that Netflix documentary on longevity. They said gardening is a path to longevity. You're on the right track there. What are you going to do next after the show?
I have a lot of work to catch up on. There were a lot of incredible connections. There was an event for The Next Crypto Gem. That was exciting. I'm planning for an event coming up. That's CypherPunk put on by CryptosRUS where we're going to be announcing some pretty cool things from Kingdom Studios and also planning to meet some of the teams on the show because collaboration is everything.
Here's one thing that I've always preached. The Founder of DFK, Frisky Fox, has a similar mindset. For Web3 gaming to succeed, it's not only about making individual games that are competitive with Web2 games because there are a lot of things we can't compete in yet but it's adding the value of Web3, which isn't just ownership. It's interoperability. For players to be able to move between games with their assets and have the same assets do things in different games, that's important. I'm having a couple of those colleagues, catching up with the team, and continuing to build.
We have a bonus question, Richard.
We always like to wrap up with one final bonus question. You brought up that you're in these extreme sports like skydiving. What's the most epic dive that you did? How did it impact you?
Should we define epic as thrilling and scary or fun?
I'll do the first. I'm a new jumper. You get your license at about 25 jumps. It's something called tracking where you use your body shape to move horizontally. You're flying like Superman. You start going fast. Before you deploy, you need to slow down. You get big like a starfish and grab the air so you slow down because you can go anywhere from 100 to over 200 miles an hour depending on the shape of your body and the orientation.
Throughout the little parachute that pulls out the bigger parachute, I was going way too fast. I was new. I didn't have good positioning. It ripped out that parachute. You're supposed to slow down from 100-plus miles an hour to 0 over about 5 seconds. It was immediate. That thing will slam open. I was half-unconscious and spinning. It's called the death spiral.
Part of the lines were all in a big knot and the other part wasn't. It made it so that I was going down fast. They teach in school and ground school after a certain altitude that if you can't land your parachute, you cut it away. There's no brand new nice one packed by a professional that pops out. It's a pretty scary thing as a new jumper to be like, "I'm going to cut away this parachute."
I had to do that. I kept trying for 30 seconds. I shouldn't have even tried to undo the knots as I was half-concussed. Eventually, I went and popped it out. I was flinging through the air and a new parachute popped out. I landed it safe and sound but when I landed, all the instructors came up and their eyes were all big. They're like, "What happened? Are you okay?" I'm like, "I did what you told me." I walked away from it. They made me jump one more time that day so I didn't go home and never come back, which is good because I went on to have over 500 jumps. That was the scariest and most thrilling one.
There's a shorter answer for the funnest jump. When I was in Singapore, I would hop over to Thailand. There's a cool drop zone right out of Pattaya called Sriracha. You jump out. It's green for as far as you can see. You can see the ocean. You jump through clouds, which you're not supposed to do but it's the Wild West out there. When you land, there are all these wild dogs that come up. You get on a moped with the dogs. You can't compare the experience anywhere else that I've been so far.
I've skydived exactly once and that was enough for me. Kudos to you.
That's what people get. They either love it and they're like, "I'm addicted. I want to learn the sports," because there are a lot of sports in skydiving, or they're like, "That was cool. I never need to do it again."
Fun and scary go hand in hand for me but that's probably a hard pass. Kudos to you. This has been a great conversation. We want to jump to our third segment, Hot Topics. There's some stuff going on in the news that's worth discussing. One of those things is Stoner Cats. They have gotten smoke. The SEC announced charges against Stoner Cats for an unregistered securities offering. Mila Kunis and Ashton Kucher's Stoner Cats NFT project collected $8.2 million in mint fees in 2021 promising holders an animated Web3 series with actors such as Seth MacFarlane, Jane Fonda, and Chris Rock.
For a little bit of context here, part of the SEC's case included screenshots from their Twitter and Discord promising financial rewards for purchasing, encouraging people to sweep the floor, and other statements the SEC used to allege that they strongly suggested a return on investment. That's some of the context that wasn't covered in the news that gives some sense of why this project got picked up by the SEC. There were some real utilities there in terms of the focus but there was this behind-the-scenes discussion of additional value that folks would get in terms of selling their NFTs. That's big news. Any reaction?
It's unprecedented with the way it's going down but in DeFi Kingdoms, we have tried to focus on avoiding selling tokens or any type of NFTs at a fixed price. The majority of all of the assets that make their way into the DeFi ecosystem are ones that the players mint themselves. I would have to learn more about Stoner Cats and how it was all offered. As a risk manager working with our lawyers at Ashbury Legal, from day one, we have been going out and saying, "Selling X at Y price is a big no-no. We want to avoid that for this type of thing in the future."
Instead, players will play. They will do things in the game and we would reward people with Gen 0 Heroes that have unlimited summoning potential. They create that initial supply and then the users set the price. It's all based on the game token that's variable and the value of that token indicates the price of the Heroes. We have been looking around corners to avoid things like this. It's yet to be seen if that is enough or if we will have to continue to adjust, which we're willing to do with the regulatory landscape. I'm sure as more things come out, all of us will have to be like, "I didn't know that was going to be the focus. Let's shift, pivot, and make sure we're following the evolution of that regulation."
This is going to continue to evolve. This will be the last NFT project that the SEC goes after. As more things have been coming up, it usually revolves around companies that launched around the height of 2021 when things were getting minted out. Lots of money was made. Levies came in. They said and did whatever without knowing the full ramifications of what that meant.
They're also going after people of influence that potentially could have influenced people to come and purchase an NFT but as not great as this is, the SEC coming out and doing these sorts of things is setting precedents, which then means that there are going to be clear guidelines on how to do things in the future. That's what the industry needs for us to continue to grow, evolve, and be able to move faster and move forward. It's not great that they're settled for $1 million but they will live. This is continuing to make things a lot clearer on what the SEC is saying is okay and what isn't okay. It's going to continue to help move things forward.
There was a settlement. Stoner Cats did not admit guilt. For me, this one is a tweener in terms of how far over the line they crossed relative to other projects in the space. There were two dissenting opinions here. I would love to see that regulatory clarity come down. I also think that folks should be cautious when they're launching a project in terms of what they communicate on Discord and elsewhere, stick to the pure utility of the projects, and focus on that as a company. That's what creates long-term value.
There's one more Hot Topic, which is close to home. All the travel to Asia wasn't enough. We will be heading to the Future Blockchain Summit, which is the Middle East and North Africa region's most immersive large-scale blockchain event, which is going to Dubai Harbour from the 15th through the 18th of October 2023. It has all sorts of new concepts that they're emboldening toward supporting disruptors and change makers across Web3, blockchain, crypto, NFTs, metaverse, and gaming. You name it.
This is a four-day event that will have countless networking opportunities, all sorts of fascinating speakers, and even the Supernova Challenge for growth funding and Investors Program & Forum. It's exciting. These guys have put a lot of thought and work into this event. I appreciate that effort. I'm excited to head over to Dubai. Richard and I have been talking about how there's a lot going on over there. Dreamer, have you been over to Dubai yet?
I have not. I was at the Avalanche Summit in Barcelona and ETHDubai was the following weekend. That was the same week that all of the unrest was unraveling in that region. We made a decision not to go at that time. I've never been there. I would love to go.
It's not too late to join me in Dubai. Think about it. Meanwhile, if you want to check out this event or you're close to that region, visit FutureBlockchainSummit.com and learn more. I hope to see you over there. This has been great. It's so nice to have you on a proper show. There's a lot that we were able to cover. Where can audiences go to learn more about you and DeFi Kingdoms?
First is DeFi Kingdoms. We have a great informational website prior to getting into the game. That's DeFiKingdoms.com. You can check us out on Twitter. It's @DeFiKingdoms. My personal Twitter is @DreamerDFK. DFK is short for DeFi Kingdoms. My Instagram is @Dreamer.DFK if you want to check those out. The website will direct you not only to what we are and who we are but also how to get into the community, which was mentioned a few times.
The projects use Discord. We have a great community, an active Discord, good moderators, and an awesome community onboarding experience. At DeFiKingdoms.com, check us out, learn more, hop in, give us your feedback, and get along for the ride of the build of the overall project where every month or so and sometimes multiple times in a month, we're coming out with new features. Every week, we're reporting back to the community in a press conference-style AMA.
Speaking of co-creation, we have dreamed up a fun little giveaway together of some Heroes that can be minted or maybe some eggs. We appreciate that. We will share more details on our socials together in the near future. We appreciate your generosity there. We have reached the outer limit at the show. Thanks for exploring with us. We've got space for more adventures on this starship so invite your friends and recruit some cool strangers who will make this journey all so much better.
How? Go to iTunes or Spotify, rate us, and say something awesome. Go to EdgeOfNFT.com to dive further down the rabbit hole. 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 NFT content. Thanks again for sharing this time with us.