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HODL Podcast Episode 12

HODL Podcast Episode 12 was originally published on May 12, 2023.

Join Drew, Skyler, and Joel from the Hold on for Dear Life Podcast. In the episode, a discussion around NFT lending, the launch of Blur's "Blend", Goblintown "Big Inc" launch, Doodle's launch and partnership with Pharrell, and Balaji losing his 1m bitcoin bet.

Episode Rundown:

  • Blur launches "Blend", a way for NFT traders to purchase NFTs on a loan.
  • What the Holder team think of NFT lending as a whole.
  • Goblintown's Big Inc launch, an NFT mint for only the worst traders and unluckiest in web3.
  • Adidas and Pharrell Williams have partnered with Doodles 2 to launch "Pharrell packs".
  • What we think of Balaji losing his 1m (1.5m) bitcoin bet.

About Holder

Holder is a CRM and marketing automation platform for web3 brands and creators. They help businesses engage and communicate with their customers on the blockchain. With Holder, companies can manage customer data, track user engagement and automate marketing processes. For more information visit our website.

Podcast Transcript

Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below:

Welcome back everyone to the Hold on for Dear Life Podcast episode 12. This podcast is brought to you by Holder. My name is Drew Beechler. I'm the CEO here at Holder, and I'm joined by Skyler Braun and Joel Moser on the Holder team.

And this is just our weekly ish podcast where we discuss the top headlines and news across Web3, some of their impact on our business and also just get to share a little bit more about Holder. which is a web three CRM and marketing automation platform for brands and creators moving into web three.

And so today we've got a lot of headlines over the last couple of weeks here. And I thought maybe we just run through some of them quickly. And there's some fun kind of thoughts around them. 

First Headline: 

First being that blur the new NFT trading platform that is skyrocketed into fame.

Launched their new lending platform over the last week calling it blend, which I thought was a funny and fun name good marketing there, but they launched their first lending platform which enables kind of Peter peer loans and also buy now pay later features. So just throw it out there.

Thoughts around the launch thoughts around this kind of new product what it'll mean or do to the industry from either of you.

Yeah, I I'm not too in on the world of NFT trading and NFT lending specifically, I know that they're not certainly not the first to launch a technology like this, but like you mentioned, they've been the hot name on the block and a lot of what they have launched has been met with a lot of success, especially in the traders market.

From what I understand, though, so the way it works is you can essentially buy an NFT. And I want to say that there's only a couple of different ones that you can do this with. A Zuki is one. Yeah, they launched it with just a very few number of Basie and Azuki, I think with the first two. And they say they'll roll it out to other ones in the coming month or so.

That makes sense. So an Azuki has a floor price. I think of something where around like 15 ETH or around there and you can borrow or Buy one of these using blend for about two weeks, but then there's an interest rate associated with that. And the last I checked, it is crazy. And it's a daily interest rate of about 2% or so.

So over the lifetime of this loan of this Azuki year, and I'm using air quotes right now that you purchase for two weeks, which you don't actually own. It is like a token that they issue to you until you have fully paid off the loan. And once you fully paid off the loan, then you get the actual NFT. But that daily interest rate.

compounded over just a couple of days, couple of weeks, I don't know why you wouldn't have just waited to buy the Zuki itself. So there must be some reason for maybe trying to farm an airdrop of some kind. But then I also believe on the actual lender side of things is that they can recall that loan whenever they want.

So if they decide that they'd lend this out on Thursday, they want to collect a 2% interest rate and then they want to call it back on Friday. They can absolutely do that to a person. And I don't, I just don't know how that's going to work out for. Not only NFT projects and the floor price of those projects when you have this kind of third party marketplace coming in here and shaking up the way that these were originally intended to be purchased in this kind of traditional measure that we have of the value of these NFTs, which is their floor price and basically making it so you can get them for you to, Nothing.

This is to me, worse than payday loans. 


This is yeah, this is like payday, NFT payday loans. Yeah. This is payday loans and margin trading combined together into a much worse version on a unstable thing.  Which by the way.

According to the SAC, you actually have to  do research on that before you enable that for your account in a brokerage account. This, nope, whatever, whoever could do it. And it's yeah it's just a bad idea. In general, unless you know what you're doing, right? Like there, there will be people that will figure out how to game this in such a way that they can make money.

Just like people figure out how to do margins and options and everything and make money, but it's still very dangerous for the average consumer. So I'm Yeah. 

It does feel like they won. Do they want that? Because people are going to figure out who to game the system. Great. I don't think that's their target audience at all.

No, it's the people who like, Oh, I would love to have an Azuki. I could just pay two ETH for that. And then two days later, they're wrecked paying four percent. That's my thing. Overall, it's bad. For blur, maybe it's fine for now until people figure out that it's a horrible idea. Maybe, I don't know, but it just doesn't.

And I know this is not exactly like margin and options trading for anybody going, you don't actually know what you're talking about. I'm aware it's not the same, but to me it feels very similar to that in that it's just not. It just did not seem like a good idea for somebody who doesn't know exactly what they're doing.

And I think I saw you guys posted a link and somebody's yeah, I'm sure people are going to know exactly how to use this without any issues at all. And I was like, yep, that's exactly how I feel. No, that's, it's just a bad idea. And OpenSea's pro version. pretty good. It's a pretty good UI.

So I get that blur needs to build things that are, which I mean, there's no way they didn't already have this on their roadmap because since it's not like they added this since open, say open, see it launched the pro version that Because the time between is not that long, but it does seem like they're still trying to add in new things that OpenSea doesn't have to compete.

And I don't know that this was it. Time will tell. I've also been very wrong about a lot of things in the space. So yeah, we should all jump into this. We're definitely being harsh on it right now. But that just goes to show you we're in the space every day. Not the financial side of things with NFT projects, but this is just a little bit beyond me on what the purpose of this is.

What's the problem to be solved, I've also listened to Dave Ramsey for too long to not be a little bit cautious about taking a loan on an asset that is not even stable in price. 

Just to be honest, like I don't follow his thing to the T anymore, but I used to for a little while and I'm still just like very cautious of taking loans.

Yeah, and these things are very easily subjected to crashing of floor prices or even increases to. Even just, it was actually, I think about a year ago now, the founder of a Zuki came under a lot of fire from the community for coming out and saying that he was the founder of three separate projects that the community claimed he rugged.

He claimed were. Just learning experiences, which ultimately led to Azuki and the success of Azuki, but their floor price over that course of the week, when that news came out and he wrote that article saying that, Hey, I was the guy who did all those projects and sorry about that.

Here's the money back. The floor price of Azuki's went down well over 50%. And. Yeah, that kind of thing can happen and will continue to happen is my guess. So you add in these types of, blend technology, letting people get loans on these NFTs. I just, I don't see how this ends well for anyone but the lenders themselves.

And at that point, if you're just playing a play the game, just buy the Azuki. Yeah. I think more of the bigger point here is. They are bringing professionalized trading tools to NFTs. And I think that's always been their goal. Like they're not optimizing for the 99% of consumers. They're optimizing for the 1% that happens to spend right now, 99% of the wealth and NFTs.

And so they are really trying to find a balance for these pro traders. You know what I mean? It'd just be like the Bloomberg terminal. For kind of NFT trading. And so the challenge I think, and this is partly why like they're not very us focused. And if you wanted to claim the blur air job, you had to say you were outside the U S I'm sure the lending stuff is very similar.

I think that the challenge right now for them is just they're not protecting the consumer, very well. And the U S cares a lot about that kind of TBD around the rest of the globe and where they're basing these operations. And so I think they're just trying to move fast and break things mentality.

But yes, I also loved that tweet that in particular, the quote was like, I'm sure quote NFT degens will know exactly how to use this kind of tool. That's a very complex trading tool around using margin and leverage and things like that. This has been going on though in like web three for some time.

So I think it's around like margin and leverage and Ben Dow and all these kinds of other things, but it'll be interesting to see what happens in particular. I think what happens with what this does to the trading volume and industry and personally, I think even just the collections. It even are the top collections on blur the collections that they're starting with the lending stuff.

Like personally, I feel like I love those collections, but I would even want to stay away from them because their price is going to be manipulated so much by all this activity happening. And you're seeing it already with the blur bids and things that the ones that are the top, collections in that space are already really being manipulated.

And it's hard to, you have to have a very long term outlook on it and it's hard to really understand like what's the true price of that asset right now. 

Second Headline: 

Another major launch over the last week, truth labs, which is the brand, the business behind the Illuminati Dow, which I am a part of actually.

And Goblin Town launched their Goblin Town 2. 0 project calling it Big Inc. So this is, it's funny because they are prioritizing the worst traders in this kind of new mint. And so you go through, you connect your account and it tells you basically how wrecked you got in buying different collections at their peak and the people who made money, you're basically not going to be on the allow list and how much money you lost will move you up in the allow list. And anyway, I just love it. They're also giving a 50% discount to token holders are going to mint using the Pepe coin, which is also incredible. They're just leaning in. Like the truth team is just on top of it around culture and memes and you've seen that with Goblin Town.

And so I think this is a, also just an interesting comparison to the other, I would say mega NFT studio brands, particularly like proof and doodles. And so it's just been interesting to see them take a little bit more of the degen and a little less sophisticated brand, at least in the space.

And I think that they just have a really great. I around marketing, creative, and I don't just applaud that team. I am if I am on the list, I'll definitely admit one. I think as a Illuminati holder, I may get one or two spots and I've held for quite some time and known some of their other assets that are in their in their ecosystem.

So TBD but I'm looking forward to that. What I love about what they've done with this is they have really doubled down on the whole, Hey, we're in goblin down the worst of the worst. You guys are the people that we're going to reward. And this is pretty much on the opposite side of the spectrum of the same people.

We're just talking about it with blend the 1% who's doing 99% of the volume. My guess is, and I don't have these real stats in front of me is that there is a significant percentage of people who have probably lost money on NFTs versus making money. To be totally transparent. I am definitely one of those people, so I'm really excited to sign up for this and Hey, maybe I'll be one of the top 1000 worst traders in the market and get an allow list.

But they did the same thing when they launched Goblin Town last year. It was all about, we're down here in the the slums, if you will. And really the Lord of the Rings song, I think it's called Goblin Town or something was their theme song. It was just like a whole ton of fun about, Hey, we're.

We're just a bunch of degens. We all suck at trading. We're the worst. And then to come out this year with this program, it's getting a lot of marketing attention and it's just so much fun to see. And this is the things that I just love about web three is that it's awesome and it's a lot of fun. 

And just for those of you out there, the official link.

Is biginc.inc.business . I don't know why it has such a, an odd URL and I wish it was a little more I don't know, tied the truth labs. Cause if you want to actually go through the truth labs site, you can go to the truth lab labs. com slash chapter 64. Just to I always like to be extra cautious of making sure that I'm getting to the site through an official channel, but that was out of their discord.

So anyway, it's going to be a fun, it's going to be a fun drop. I think, and I'm watching it closely. Another interesting drop. 

Third Headline: 

Also some friends of holder doodles launched their new studio product along with, they've had a number of key announcements on, I think there was like a 12 tweet thread here with a bunch of announcements, but they launched their studio product along with.

They're Pharrell pack that included a number of unique wearables that Pharrell designed in collab with Adidas and a number of other really awesome kind of traditional brands. And so this is one step further into their move into this doodles to experience around the studio particular is you can.

Move your doodle into the studio and you can start to dress them, put different wearables on top of that doodle and design basically your own doodle and the product experience looks just incredibly seamless and just a kudos to their engineering team on kind of this launch, but also just super excited to see.

Coverage in this invoke business and some other much more traditional outlets looking at doodles and what they're doing, not just from the NFT lens. And I think kind of Pharrell being, associated with this obviously brings just a different level of sophistication, but it was super excited to see this drop and especially as they this is all by the way on the flow ecosystems for all of the wearables are on the flow marketplace.

So yeah, it's been interesting to see this kind of first. Major drop in that space for them. Yeah, I think they've done a really good job. He's been doing a lot of work with Adidas over the years and others and has been very successful at that. Good and big pick up for Doodles to bring in somebody that is really well known in the Web2 space to start designing and creating some of these Wearable packs and just for the listeners at home, a lot of what doodles to is based around right now, or at least as what's alive is building your doodle and giving it clothes of different kind of NFTs.

And these were dropped as packs. I think there was a couple hundred of these for L packs and. These packs basically, could get like a hoodie out of them or a pair of pants and you could use it to dress up your doodle. So what I like, it's going to be a raffle actually, I think, depending on, and that kind of gamified, it's been unique of if you own different assets and if you do certain things, then you get entered into the raffle.

I think there's six things, but so it's encouraging people to go through the whole experience to, dress up your own doodle and then you get entered into this raffle for, I think it's the a hundred or 200 of these for L packs, which is pretty cool. 

Yeah, and it's such a good idea because it actually paves the way for them to do this with other brands with other artists.

We talk all the time about removing these walled gardens that we have in these ecosystems and bringing others in. This is like an amazing opportunity, especially if it is successful, which we think it will be for doodles to go to other brands, to go to other artists and say, look how successful this Pharrell drop was with these doodles.

We love your design. We'd love to have you participate in our ecosystem. And it's the social proof that I think is necessary for some of these things that. It's really going to help them as a brand. It's going to help consumers who are obviously going to have, their favorite types of brands or apparel makers and, I really think this is just, it's an amazing idea. I've not had the opportunity to actually go through the experience yet, but from what I understand, it's pretty good so far and they're only going to keep building it out. So really big news on that front. 

Fourth Headline: 

Our last headline here for this episode is that Balaji Srinivasan.

Actually, he spoke at consensus. I got to see see him speak. He zoomed in during consensus. It was like a 20 minute talk, which is like so short and he was clearly cut off and he's a long winded. His podcast episodes are like three hours. He's a long winded talker. Anyway, so it was a very short kind of clip of him at consensus, but even post consensus, he actually ended up unraveling in spinning down his bet. And, and he ended up actually donating an additional half a million dollars. And a lot of this was given to charities and his bet. But his headline in the tweet was, Hey, I just burned a million dollars to tell you that they're printing trillions.

And I think he's still very bearish around. The U S economy and the kind of the reason why he did this bet. And if anything, it has brought a lot of attention to it, but I don't know any kind of thoughts. I think I expected maybe this to happen, that he wouldn't, I hoped, to be honest for the sake of our economy, I guess that would not happen.

But I do understand the point he was trying to make. And he is a very eccentric person and wanting to make those kinds of make those kinds of statements. And Anyway, I think it served him well, even from a brand building perspective, but any other thoughts on him spinning down and losing this million dollar Bitcoin bet?

He spun it out early, by the way, like almost, I think there's still 30 days or so left in this 90 day bet that he made, but the price of bitcoins basically stayed the same. From when he made it, it popped over 30, 000 for a couple of weeks there, but now it's sitting back under a little, just a loan under 30, 000.

So did he forfeit the money then basically? Is that what you're saying? 

Yeah. They, the million dollar bet is now closed out by mutual agreement. He made a million dollars in provable on chain donations, and then he showed links of where he put 500 K to the Bitcoin core development via chain code.

And then he gave. 500 K to give directly, which I think was the charity that the person that he made the bet with said, Hey, give some of this, I'm going to give half of this to this. And then he gave half a million to bedlock the actual person who made the bet with him. And he said something like, I'm going to put this into some kind of more stable investment, like some kind of low fee index.

That's awesome. For him, yeah, really expensive brand building experiment, but I think he also really believes what he tried to share when he made this bed in the first place. And I actually watched the videos five or six minutes long. I think you can find it on his Twitter. It's at Bellagio's pretty interesting video overall, and he definitely.

Sounds like there's no hard feelings about it, and it really was like a look. There's something wrong. Same thing happened in 2080 shares in the video where you have as treasury saying, Oh, nothing's wrong. Everything's totally fine. And then all it took was just two months and everything starts collapsing.

And I think the point he's trying to make is these things can happen extremely fast and extremely rapidly. And with all of the kind of negative things from a financial perspective that are going on, not only in the U S but the world we think about war, we think about economics, it can all unravel very fast.

And we're, the debt ceiling is only getting higher and higher. So it was really just, I don't think there was a call to action other than to just be wary because I don't really know what, you or I is like a, Consumer or regular person can do about these sorts of things other than just being knowledgeable about them, but it was interesting.

They talk about this a little bit on the online podcast. Jason was talking with him on Twitter and basically, said a lot of this can still be solved. A lot of the problems he brings up in the video itself and Why he made the bet through technology and innovation and efficiencies in the United States.

So how can we have more efficiencies and the power industry and how can tech AI, things like these be used in a way that we can outgrow a lot of the problems that we've sown over the past, I don't know how long, 20, years. With technology, so it's not all doom and gloom, but, hats off to him.

For making the be again, really expensive brand building. Bet. 


The fact that most of it went to either development or charity or something. The fact that kind of just turned into all donations is really just building goodwill. It's not like somebody just made a million dollars on this.

It was this wasn't gambling right. It was goodwill more than anything. So I don't think that there's any it was more like a marketing campaign almost. It felt like, 

yeah, exactly. And somebody at, his level of wealth, I would assume is already doing a lot of that donation stuff anyway to offset a lot of the taxes.

So this is just like another way to do that, but also maybe make a. But also being able to make a statement about the state of the world at the same time. 

I don't know, it's interesting. Yeah. I think it'll be interesting for us to look back at some point. I don't have any doubts that Bitcoin may actually hit a million dollars at some point.

So I don't know, maybe when that happens, I don't know if it's five years, 10 years from now, whenever decades from now potentially we'll. Come back and record a podcast episode, but we'll see. Yeah. 

I am a little concerned just like thinking about the Bitcoin network overall, the. It's going to get more and more bloated as they are launching.

People are launching BRC 20 tokens now and oh, interesting. 

And like this whole trustless protocol there, there's a whole bunch of things going on that are making Bitcoin a little bit more like a theorem. And that concerns me because it's going to bloat the kind of like simplicity of the system overall and like doing wrong.

Like it's innovation. It's great. But I'm, I know that Bitcoin to this point was fairly simple overall. It wasn't an overly complex. Like as far as blockchains go, it's compared to other technologies that's complex, but as far as, Okay. Comparing it to aetherium and the complexity of the smart contract framework, it was, simple and and did like one thing really well, or a couple of things really well, whereas, aetherium was trying to be way more flexible and do everything really well and and that, came at a cost of all the crazy gas fees and everything.

And yeah. That concerns me a little bit that it might blow the Bitcoin network a bit and make it more costly and make the, being able to download all of the like the full Bitcoin node. I think Skylar, you said you did it and it took two days and that's even after there've been.

Another like 2 million ordinals inscribed since that like it took there's over 3 million inscribed now time. Yeah, two days first. Yeah, there's multiple steps to it. And there's I don't know how to describe it. Levels maybe of how much of a node you want to run. And yeah, I think the entire process end to end for me from nothing to being able to inscribe ordinals from my own node was about two weeks.

It was not an insignificant amount of time. And this was. Within the first month of these becoming popularized, I want to say that was such January or February, one of those two months, something like that, maybe March. But still, and here we are, and it's only can do, there are services now, like you can go to just like OpenSea or manifold, I should say, actually, or highlight and they will inscribe the ordinals for you.

Yeah, there's been over 3 million now people are, it's just people are just printing them. Yeah, they are. So it's, yeah, it's crazy. And I, somebody shared with me that they like trustless protocol, 

I think is what it's called. But it's basically like trying to do smart contract stuff on Bitcoin.

Yeah. And the beautiful thing about Bitcoin is our opinions on it. Are only worth just that, our opinions it's interesting because you and I are talking about it and almost like a, Hey, we're wary about ordinals. We're wary about the health of the blockchain with BRC twenties and ordinals.

But that's the thing is if that's what the majority of people want to do with the technology. And if that ends up running it to the ground, then I guess the experiment worked, if that's how we want to frame it, but. That's the thing. We don't have that choice as individuals, but as a collective, if that's where we were going to head, then, I guess we'll just have to take it in stride and see what we can do.

It's definitely, I love seeing new innovation and new things entering the space and kind of the Bitcoin as a whole getting a refresh. Cause I feel like it was getting a little. Stale feels like the wrong word, but it feels like people weren't doing as much on it and compared to Ethereum.

Everyone just jumped to Ethereum or Solana or Polygon or, they're jumping to all these other ones, L2s, L3s. And now they're like coming back to core Bitcoin, which is where it all started. So it is cool to see that innovation, at least that it's not just like an outdated technology or something.

Not that anyone was necessarily saying that, but. People are always saying Solana is the Ethereum killer and Ethereum I think has proved that's not the case. 

Yeah, I do. I would like to personally see more innovation around like Bitcoin, L2 stacks and like scaling layers to your point.

I think there, there is a beauty in its simplicity and efficiency and kind of I do feel the pain of that kind of going away where I fear the pain of that kind of going away. And and I don't think that I want personally, I'm not a Bitcoin maxi by any means, but I don't think I want to see anyone else take the coins place in that hierarchy either.

Like I think it, it belongs at that kind of stalwart spot. And even the fact that like Satoshi is still like anonymous and you don't really know. I just think there's so many like other. Kind of cultural things around Bitcoin that we should not as a community, the let it not be the kind of most stable, secure, efficient kind of base root layer of like payment network, in I think there's a lot of value in, in that just writ large for the blockchain community.

So I totally would agree with you on some of that on some of that front too, but it's been interesting to see people innovate on it, especially in a realm where. There's not been much innovation around like Bitcoin in the blockchain or the Bitcoin blockchain for some time outside of like stacks, which was pseudo and some of the lightning network and stuff like there for a long time, there's not nearly as much innovation as you see with Ethereum and all the other kind of L1s and L2s happening.

That was a lot more where I feel like developers were rushing and kind of building new things was in, we're in more of those kinds of realms. Yeah, this has been an awesome podcast and a quick episode, but it's fun to just try to share some of the additional highlights. And thanks again for listening.

Feel free to rate, review, subscribe on Apple podcasts, wherever you listen to podcasts. Or you can also just go to hodl. simplecast. com, which is our home for all of the Holder podcasts and previous episodes. So thanks so much for listening. We will catch you on the next episode. 

Listen to more HODL Podcast Episodes: https://hodl.simplecast.com/episodes 

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