HODL Podcast Episode 7 was originally published on March 8, 2023.
- The blur airdrop and OpenSea making the decision to drop fees to 0% for a limited time.
- Digi Daigaku's SuperBowl ad, was it a success for web3?
- Dapper Labs NBA Top Shot vs. the SEC continues to unfold.
- What is Coinbase's new layer 2 blockchain, Base, and why it's important.
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.
Read the Full Podcast Transcript Below:
Hello. Hello. Welcome back everyone to the Hold on for Dear Life podcast, the Official Holder podcast. And today we are one man down as it's just myself, Drew Bechler, and Skyler on our team here holding down the fort as our third regular contributor here on the podcast, Joel, is out this week, but we've got some travel and a lot of things just going on, but thought we'd still try to hit in a quick episode this week cuz there's just been a lot of developments particularly the NFT space that we just thought we would kind of bring all of you listeners up to speed on and share a couple thoughts.
So with all of that, I will get out of the way, our obligor maybe legal requirements that this is not financial advice, but just fun advice maybe. I dunno. We gotta rebrand that.
Yeah. Advice some way. This is not financial advice, just for fun advice. Actually not advice. Anyway, just fun tidbits, but yeah. So let's jump right into it. First thing on the docket today. Blur on February 14th.
That was the drop of their blur token. The airdrop released 360 million tokens, which is about 12% of their total supply and was, many. Multiple hundred millions of dollars into the NFT ecosystem. As some stats here in front of me, over 115,000 recipients were eligible to claim the blur token airdrop.
And the average airdrop was worth about $3,000. The median was $295 at the current token market price. And today the token price is sitting right around 84 since actually has stayed it, you saw the pop like you do with most kind of token airdrops right at the drop. And then it stayed really relatively in the kind of 80 cents plus or minus, kind of 20% around a dollar it seems like over the last, couple of weeks.
But but this has just been a monumental, a liquidity event into the market. You're seeing also no surpriser, but a lot of these people pouring that money back into blur, which has also put it into the top spot among marketplaces and has since also sent open sea a little bit scrambling.
Also trying figure out what is their strategy here. And so three days after the airdrop on February 17th, we saw Open Sea make a really big announcement that for the first time they were dropping their fee to 0% for a limited time, and then moving to optional creator royalties.
And so a little bit to not gamified the system. They have a 0.5% minimum for all collections that they will take on a royalty if it's not enforced. And then continue to keep their same policy around marketplaces with the policies around royalty enforcement won't be blocked by the operator filter, but massive news in the NFT space.
I think lots of ramifications around, this royalty war I think where we're heading with royalties, but just wanted to. Tee this up and I think there's a lot of different directions that we can, and maybe we should take this, but maybe Skyler kind of just first, what are your thoughts around the blur air airdrop as a whole?
And everything we've seen over the last, two weeks really.
Yeah, it was definitely a smooth airdrop, so I'll give him props for that. I'd say there's so many ways we could take this right now. This is not the first time that a marketplace has tried to take down open sea, so I'm thinking immediately looks rare with their gorilla marketing strategy where. Air dropped a bunch of looks tokens to people who were doing trading volume on open sea, and I think they came very close in kind of overall volume and market cap to open sea, but eventually it dwindled off and they never really overtook open sea at any point.
They got really close blur, I think has finally cracked the code with the things that they have put in place to do and I think there's a couple of reasons for that. You touched on a couple of those. One, they really don't have any marketplace fees. I think they started at 0.5, although they did make it optional for you to pay create a royalty.
So if you didn't want to pay them, you didn't have to. But if you wanted to pay the full royalties, I think it actually set. When you went to purchase or sell an NFT, it would tell you what it was set to you can tell I've not used the platform a whole ton and did not get an airdrop from blur.
But I think it did at least tell you, and you had the option to do that. But they didn't enforce it. They let you choose. And again, not the first people to do it, but definitely one of the best people to do it. And I think the third thing that. This airdrop shows is that this was like the final piece that really made it all come together is they incentivize trading on their platform through loyalty use.
Hey, you're using our platform and we know you're using your platform because we can see we're an aggregator. For all these different marketplaces where you're listing yourself. If you're listing on blur, you're gonna get more airdrop points. And when we do this eventual token drop ico, you're gonna get more tokens.
That's as easy as that. And I think what that brought in was a lot of people who are in it for just simply trading and making money on these NFTs. The liquidity went to straight to blur. So just to share a couple of stats, which is really fascinating over the last 30 days. Blur has generated over 1.24 billion in trading volume.
Open Sea has traded 436 million over the past 30 days. So getting close to what is that? 900 million more than Opens Sea has, and this has now basically changed the narrative altogether. What used to be the up and coming marketplace is now the dominant NFT trading platform and what blur.
They've done is they've almost turned trading NFTs and buying and selling them. into your typical Bloomberg terminal. You go to your website and it looks exactly like the Bloomberg terminal. And now instead of highlighting the fact that you're purchasing an NFT, you're selling an NFT and there's cool metadata associated with it, with its traits.
It's maybe 10 by 10 pixels on there. And it shows you all of the relevant data that you would wanna know trading wise on there. And it has effectively, NFT trading is basically just going to become Altcoin trading and Blur really turned it into that, but it shows where the market's at.
The fact that the trading volume is all on blur now. A lot of that is farming for this second air drop that they're doing, I think over this next month because I think they want to continue this market domination over opens sea and like you mentioned, it's forced open sea's hand a little bit to drop their royalties down to 0%, but there's not a lot, open sea can do at this point.
They are more of a regular regulated company than blur is, and I think they're trying to do things in, not saying blur isn't an ethical way, but they're at least trying to make sure that hey we need to make sure that we're compliant with regulation and, we're not going to just, drop a token to everybody because a lot of the regulation that we're seeing is coming from the United States with the blur airdrop specifically, you were not allowed to claim it in the United States.
There was a checkbox that said, you are not a US citizen if you're claiming this airdrop. I think a lot of people just ended up using a VPN as they will, but they attempted to make it so that you couldn't claim the airdrop there. So I think there's a lot going on right now. Creator royalties and what it's going to amount to.
But what this has shown us is that all it took was a couple of marketplaces competing for market share to drive creator royalties to zero. I think greater royalties are good. I want the artist, especially to be rewarded for the work that they put out.
And I think there's a lot of scenarios in which that might happen where, an artist reaches a really nice piece, but it doesn't do as well in the first couple months to even years, and it takes a long time for that piece to take off. They might never realize the success that comes, days, months, or years later if royalties aren't enforced or if they didn't have a mint for this NFT that, brought them in a certain amount of money.
But I also think that creators should be looking for other avenue. For ways to keep the project afloat, if it's one that's more than just an art drop in, it's just an arc piece that you'll use. What I mean by that is what happens with buying and selling NFTs in their current form is you are effectively reliant on customer churn, an NFT churn in order to.
Generate money, and I know I'm putting that very bluntly , but it is the case that you would want to pump up your project so you bring new liquidity into the project and that new liquidity being brought into the project might allow people to exit if they're wanting to get outta the project.
But then it also funds the project through those royalties, so you're constantly churning your customers, which feels a little bit against the whole goal of building a tight-knit rock solid community. It just shows that when you add financial motivation to these JPEGs, the dynamics just get really crazy.
And here we are now today February 27th, we're recording this, and creator royalties are effectively
zero right now. Yeah, I'm looking at a couple of d Dune dashboards too, where the past week actually royalties on blur have been 5.7, 5.8 million in royalties. Royalty volume fees, volume on opens sea has been 4.1 million which is wild.
But actually the past week, the highest fee marketplace fees, volume has been from, looks rare actually. Because they still have kind of that really high fee. All that to say though, I think I don't know. This is it's really interesting. I think it completely changes the dynamic too, where like projects now are going to have to rely on.
Releasing new products to make more money. Open Seas tried to really support creators even ever since Blur launched, had been very , adamant about it. And then really this kind of token airdrop, when you see the writing on the walls, it's hard to not shift strategy or figure out, when we're faced with. So far we've not seen even looks rare, any kind of material impact to open sea business, and so now we see a very material impact after the blur airdrop. It just becomes really hard to. To not take a stand, but point here was that the likely side effects are gonna be a will teams charge more for their mint. B, we see lots of new on chain world team enforcement contracts for new products, experimenting with transitioning over older contracts, et cetera.
And then three, a lot more of launching, deliver on the thing you promised and then abandoning your p your project, and an unfortunate kind of race to zero and race to the bottom. And that's what I think I'm worried about. That we're really just putting a lot more focus on the traitor itself, even like blurs tools to your point, and this I think is also a big difference between looks rare and blur is black, looks rare, had the strategy maybe right?
In terms of kind of the vampire attack and how do we just go after. Even like rewarding people cuz they, they would do the same thing, rewarding people based on listings and if you were in the top X amount of collections and things like that, you would get looks for rewards. But I think the major difference is blur actually walked the talk and they're product development.
And it was very clearly focused on the elite day trader of NFTs. It is the Bloomberg terminal for NFTs for sure. And So it just because of the fees war, they captured a very large volume or the whales that were transacting in very large volumes.
Like even if you look at the stats on the number of whatever percentage of blur volume is really held by only a very tiny percentage of wallet addresses. All of that is really interesting. But I think net it really hits the creator a little bit in that, how are we going to help them build sustainable businesses here Where now launching an NFT project doesn't seem that much more appealing potentially than launching it not on the blockchain.
So anyway I think there's a lot to be said here. don't think we've seen the end. Royalties, obviously, again, there's lots you can do with on chain enforcement and all that kind of stuff. And open sea try to make that very easy for a lot of people, with their operator contract and being able to write that into your contract.
I think that's really gonna probably end up being the answer is people are just gonna be coding this into their contract.
If you want royalties, just enforce it on the chain. Otherwise, people are just gonna find a way around it. At the end of the day, traders are good for the market. They're good for NFT projects. They bring in new liquidity that might not have been there, and they keep things fresh from a perspective of, oh, new big sale or lots of trading volume going on with the.
It's almost like an indicator you can use of if a project is worth buying into or not, which again, makes it seem like it's a casino of sorts and in some ways it is right now, but, Yeah, we definitely haven't seen the end of this. A lot of this is probably just gonna be solved by robust on chain enforcement.
Otherwise, I think creators and project owners are gonna have to get creative with the ways that they're launching NFTs and the reason that they're launching an NFT. You have to really, think deeply. What is the reason that you think launching an NFT project is the answer. How are you gonna keep your business afloat?
Because at the end of the day, I think you should be thinking about it from a business perspective. If I'm launching an NFT project, what's the business model? I'm, launching this so that I can give you token gate access to my exclusive kind of i l merch that, I don't know, LA based right style merch.
There's so many different ways you can go about it, and if that's your reasoning, then that's great. Royalties might not be very necessary for you because the business model is selling T-shirts, right? It's not selling NFTs, that's just a vehicle that's used for it using this new technology. So remains to be seen where things will go, but I'm convinced it'll be on chain royalties.
Yeah, and if anything, it's brought the pump and liquidity, but like we're seeing market volumes over the past week, that we haven't seen since May of last year, which is really wild. To keep us moving here. Moving on to our second topic.
Something we di we haven't actually gotten a chance to discuss yet, but I found this really interesting so I wanted to discuss it really. During the Super Bowl, so this was a couple of weeks ago, we did see one very major NFT ad which was digit, Iku, and Digit Iku is an NFT powered game run by limit break.
And their CEO Gabriel Laden is very prominent in the space. And the startup limit break at the Super Bowl had a very short Super Bowl ad with a QR code where you could go and claim a Digi Iku. Nft that I don't know what the floor price is now, but we're selling for the hundreds. So essentially just gave away free money to a lot of people.
Yet I think there was only like 10,000, maybe five to 10,000 of these that were really available and they were minted. They tweeted it out before the actual super Bowl ad even went out. So really just ended up being a lot of people already in their ecosystem minting these. And then after the mint out they actually redirected to Gabriel Laden's personal Twitter account, who's the CEO of limit break the company behind Digit ICU.
And so just wanted to bring this up as one of the big kind of brand activations we've seen for NFTs in quite some time. I'm a little bit perplexed maybe by it, but in kind of the strategy. Like whether it helps the ecosystem as a whole at all, or whether this just pumped the digit iku holders bags.
TBD I don't know. I have kind of feelings on that, but I do think it's something worth talking about because it was, a multimillion dollar investment into a Super Bowl ad campaign just for a free NFT claim for a few thousand.
Yeah, it was definitely an effective ad from the perspective that we're still talking about it today, weeks later.
There was a lot of noise around it afterwards, but again, I'm not sure how much of that noise was coming from the existing community and just being shocked and surprised that this was the approach that they took and the amount of money that they. So just a little context as well, is startup raised about 200 million, so I'm not gonna say six and a half million is a drop in the bucket, but they definitely had the funding to do it.
I get why you would maybe think about dropping a Super Bowl ad that's pretty hype coin based did it last year with their QR code and everybody loved it because like the old DVD player where it bounces around, I think it actually hit the corner and that was like amazing.
So that was a really well done ad. I would say, and I don't know if I can say the same about the limit break one. The ad itself was fine, but again, being directed to the guy's Twitter profile, if I am someone who's not familiar with Web three at all, or NFTs and I really feel like that's a very large majority of the population, I would be very confused on what I am supposed to do in how I'm supposed to go from that.
Like how does that onboard meet it to NFTs? I don't. Oh yeah. And
even the, his, the first thing on his Twitter profile, no offense, and that you see this all over the space, but it's all retweet and like to sign up, to get a free X, Y, Z. And it's just so like full of the same kind of scammy, spammy stuff that we see all in the NFT ecosystem.
And it's just that was an incredibly terrible way to onboard anyone into Web three and NFTs in my personal opinion. And so I just feel like, I don't know, there could have been a million other better ways, like if the goal was actually to increase awareness and to onboard people into Web three and, showcase why NFTs in this technology is really unique.
I just feel like there were many better ways to do that, and this just felt like a little bit of a flex for the Digit iku community to say, Hey, we have $6 million to. Light on fire in the driveway let everybody watch it together, which, is great for brand awareness for them, but it wasn't even like promoting a game or, or anything that like a consumer could really, you know engage with it was like a max of, a few thousand people really, that they could have potentially onboarded where at least the Coinbase ad two years ago.
Or last year anybody who scanned that would've been, was on the list, claim free Bitcoin or whatever kind of it was, or create your first kind of wallet. And it just seemed like you could have gone through that, a different experience of even if it was like a PO app free drop, or create a free wallet with your email through Magic Link and you could claim some. You knowing, like in my opinion, Reddit, who didn't spend anything, they didn't spend a dime on the Super Bowl with their Super Bowl avatars. I think something on 1.8 million people or something like that. Claimed one of the Super Bowl avatars Reddit did more to onboard people during the Super Bowl than Digit DKU did in many ways.
Yeah, a hundred percent they did. And hey, more power to the community themselves. You wanna spend money, you're gonna spend it on your own community. What I will say though is I am a little bit perplexed too did a little bit of research before this, and I think Drew and I are, you're, we're both generally familiar with this project, but really what exactly this N F T project is going to ultimately be.
I, I still think a lot of that is TBD and under wraps and still being built. So they're building the plane as they fly, and it was definitely a marketing strategy to bring people in. So if that's the goal, then yeah, I think just linking to the Twitter profile was probably not the way to do it. Like you said, Popop probably would've been a great way to do that.
And for those at home listening who aren't familiar, Popop is proof of attendance protocol. Think of them as a little digital stamp you can get for showing up to a place. I wanna say the mom. And New York City is a place that if you go in, there's a QR code that they have that you can scan. It might actually be its own NFT, but it might also be a PO app.
But it's effectively Hey, I showed up here and this is my digital stamp to prove that I have, and there's a ton of use cases for things like those and even that, right? Is a cheap freeway to bring people into the ecosystem. And say, Hey, we're building a really dope mobile game. It's gonna be web three powered.
And you might not even know that it is, but it is, and I think that's really gonna be the whole goal with Web three games to begin with, is that they empower this new type of technology and way to play games and way to use that. The items that you earn in game. You're not gonna necessarily want to know that it's built on web three.
Maybe the nerds like us will, but for the most part, people aren't really gonna care that it is or isn't. Things like Popop are great for that. And hindsight's always 2020 again, respect the fact that they put the money in and we're talking about it today in this podcast. It did a little good, at least from that perspective, given us some content.
Yeah, that is very true. And then maybe this we're gonna sign off here, so this isn't too long of an episode, but just maybe one couple last things that we are just keeping an eye on in the news kind of perspective. One is dapper Labs is actually currently in a lawsuit. And I think everyone is you've.
A handful of kind of headlines out there saying oh, the courts are saying in this lawsuit with Dapper Labs that NFTs are securities, which is not true. The only thing that the courts are saying is Dapper had filed a motion to throw out the case, and the courts are just giving it permission to to move forward.
So they're saying that the plaintiff did make enough of a case to this and continue basically, and they won't just throw it out.
But I think also one of the big things to to see here is basically they're going through the how we test with b a top shop moments and saying, were these a secur and should they have been regulated and registered as securities, which Dapper Labs did not register NBA top shop moments as securities.
And I think this is just something that we're all keeping an eye on. We look at, what is really an NFT and what is a security. I think the interesting thing with this kind of particular opinion is that they are making the assertion that because. B top shot is run on the flow blockchain, which they're saying kind of dapper runs, though.
Dappers is also they're saying that we've, effectively decentralized over recent time period, but because they've run it, that is what kind of makes this characterization that it's its own kind of private blockchain. That wa would make this kind of a security. So we'll we will see where this goes and be keeping an eye on it, but I think it's just something that kind of, at least the NFT plus finance plus kind of legal nerds in the space, it's something to keep an eye on.
Yeah, and I'll just quote actually what the Dapper Labs lawyers are saying. Baseball cards are not securities. Pokemon cards are not securities. Baseball cards are not securities and common sense say, so the law says so and the court says so, and that is like basically what they're defending here is that hey, these are just effectively the digital version with provable providence on a blockchain.
Of these Pokemon, these basketball cards, and they're not securities. I think the whole argument, like you mentioned a little bit, is the fact that it's on a private blockchain. It's not exactly public. So by purchasing one of these, I guess you're really invested in Dapper Labs being successful because of Dapper Labs goes under your NFT goes away, all the people hosting the flow blockchain go away.
And what you originally purchased effectively goes to zero. I don't really even know. I'm not even familiar. Blockchain is turning itself off other than Solana, for the regularly scheduled maintenance. So I really don't know. I guess it would just become inaccessible at that point.
And I think that's the whole argument is that you really, you own it. You do from an NFT perspective, but it's not decentralized in nature. Like Ethereum or Bitcoin are where these hardened computer systems run on nodes all over the world. If I stop running my Bitcoin, no, the bitcoin chain isn't gonna stop running.
But if Dapper Labs decides to turn the flow block chain off because you know they have money to turn, keep the lights on then your baseball carts go away or basketball carts one of the two. So I think that's the whole argument right now and it's definitely one watch. I think it'll be really interesting.
Yeah, I think it will be really interesting and I think it's just goes back to the how we test a lot and, is this an investment contract between me buying the moment and in Dapper Labs and does are my profits derived from the efforts of Dapper Labs, and being a business or not?
And then also, as Dapper Labs, enough of a common enterprise. This is a DAV haver labs controlled market. I think, their intention is for it to not be, obviously that's what they're trying to do with flow blockchain. I think we're seeing more and more, decentralization there where like you, it's much easier to make the argument with Ethereum or Solana that the Ethereum Foundation is not doing anything that is making any kind of price of an NFT or a bored ape yacht club, go up.
and, I am not depositing my money into Ethereum and they're holding it as a bank, in a centralized organization, but, , but just another one to we look at, we've been seeing a lot of just SEC from, staking and kraken agreeing to a penalty and shut down there staking as a service.
Coinbase saying, Hey, we're gonna or sticking up for staking and think that it's, not security. It's just been interesting over the last, really just couple of weeks to see all of the from the regulation side Just a lot of kind of enforcement and it feels I feel like we still, we need more actual regulations than, just strong handed enforcement.
And so I'm hoping that we can move more toward that here this year, just we have more clarity really is like the biggest need. And I just wanna jump
in here and riff a little bit on something we're talking about regulation legal right now. Let's talk about Coinbase real quick and the launch of their layer two blockchain called base.
This is a really big deal, especially from a legal and compliance perspective. Coinbase somehow managed to get this through their own legal and compliance team in the. Which is incredibly bullish considering this, current regime right now is pretty oppressive against crypto, I'd say, and we have these lawsuits like is Dapper Labs selling unregistered securities?
And there's a lot of uncertainty going on and there's, does Binance have the actual funds that they say they do to pay out users as a non-US exchange? Coinbase, I feel like for the most part. And Brian Armstrong has really tried to do everything by the book. And now with this launch of their new blockchain base, it's incredibly bullish from the ecosystem.
So first and foremost, it's a layer two built on Ethereum they could have chose to build on their own blockchain. Like flow blockchain, they did not, they chose to build on Ethereum and the fact that they chose to build on Ethereum for me is a massive vote of confidence for the ecosystem as a whole.
And it's great for decentralization that they're leaning into the ethos as well. It's one of the core pillars of Web three. and I think that's gonna end up setting a precedent. A lot of people and a lot of companies FinTech especially I'd say, are gonna look to Coinbase and say, Hey, what is the right way to do this?
And if Coinbase is jumping in with their own blockchain built on Ethereum, these other companies that they're most definitely consulting with, they're probably gonna recommend they build on their own chain or, pull out of the same playbook that they are on Bill, on Ethereum. And again, Ethereum being this open source open source technology, it.
Overall bullish for the industry. So again, the fact that they got this through their legal and compliance team is just so awesome. And hopefully the s e c or no federal organization comes after them for launching this chain. I don't know. I feel like, I wanna say I doubt they will, but . This feels like the sky's the limit for Gary Cancer.
But I think too it is, and they talk about this on the website too, but this is like their commitment to on chain and, we believe that the on chain platform is the most important developer platform since the internet. And so I think it is really interesting that they're leaning in and they even talk about, bases built to be the on chain home.
For Coinbase products, users and assets and an open ecosystem. And so I think it's, it is definitely a testament to their kind of commitment to decentralization. And I think they've just found a really strong place in the market. The other thing too, like me personally, my background, at Salesforce and we ha, and the app exchange has been like such massive leverage point for them and letting other people build on top of Salesforce.
And we had the same thing at Exact Target with our own App marketplace and developer platform. It's just cool to see this is like the same exact parallel of the app ecosystem and developer marketplace but in kind of the crypto world. And so I think this is really a interesting, if you make the parallel to, know, Salesforce and App Exchange and Coinbase and Base it's really interesting and I think as a really unique.
Playbook for people to look at in terms of like, how could we maybe, decentralize our app, ecosystem and developer marketplace is really cool. So I'm excited to see where base ends up. I did Min to one of their kind of commemorative NFTs and I don't know how many.
There are they're at over 200,000, I think They actually extended the mint. Oh, they did? Another min. Because the goal is for everybody to a base NFT, or at least have the most opportunity to, they're probably well over 200,000 because I read that this morning.
Yeah. I'm looking right now. There are 373,000 in fts.
That's just wild. Yeah. Yeah.
This goes into something that you and I have talked about and been reading articles on even this well-written piece that we've been sharing around in the office around the power of defaults. Ethereum is truly the default go-to smart contract ecosystem, and Coinbase recognizes that and they want in on that action base as a chain.
They want that to be the default reigns to be seen for what? But if you go to their website base.org, you'll see a couple of. Animations for build NFTs, build gaming, build decentralized exchanges, build bridges. They want to be the default. They want a piece of that pie. But again, they're building on the Ethereum ecosystem.
And I think this is a testament to this technology that's now, I think eight years old is not going away. And it's a vote of confidence for the ecosystem as a whole. And it's a massive win for Coinbase. It's a massive win for everyone in Web three completely.
All right. And with that, we are signing off for the hold on for Dear Live podcast.
Thank you very much for joining us. If you wanted to learn more about Holder, you can go to holder.xyz or follow us on Twitter at holder xyz. Or you can follow me on Twitter personally at Drew Bechler, and you can also follow Skyler on Twitter. Mine's a little weird. It's at Baker two. Saul. I might change that, but yeah, for now it's that at Baker two.
Saul, sol. And with that we are signing off. We will catch you on the next podcast.
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