In the last few months, NFTs as a concept have become mainstream, with sales of Digital Art by various artists selling out quickly. NFTs by many investors had become speculative assets where they would attempt to buy early and sell at a profit. With time, the hype has died down, but developers continue to develop as the use cases of non-fungible tokens become even more apparent. OneOf develops a green NFT platform that connects fans and collectors to different artists and celebrities. They work with artists such as Doja Cat and the Estate of The Notorious B.I.G. At the Blockchain Futurist Conference, I had the opportunity to talk with the CEO of OneOf, Lin Dai. This is an insightful conversation for anyone looking to learn about the future of NFTs and the Metaverse.
I started our conversation with Lin by asking about OneOf and what they do.
“I’m Lin Dai, co-founder of oneof.com, a green NFT company for iconic musicians, athletes and brands. So, we work with the music, sports vertices or lifestyle vertical. We integrated the world’s top brands to really be their shepherd into the Web3 world ecosystem. We do everything. We have our own marketplace, oneof.com where you can collect and trade some of the iconic NFTs from artists like Doja Cat or Biggie Smalls. On the sports side, everybody follows Wayne Gretzky to Muhammad Ali. And then we’re also an official entity partner for institutions from the Grammys to IHeart Radio to Anheuser-Busch. Also, American Express, that we just announced. So very excited to kind of really use the power of music, sports and brands to bring the next 100 million non-crypto native users who these artists and athletes and brands, for them to ease their entry into kind of crypto and web3 in a non-intimidating way.”
It was interesting to talk to someone from the Web3 space who works so extensively with traditional organizations and artists and brings them into the Web3 space. I wondered if he encountered any problems while doing so.
“There’s a lot of kind of misconception about NFTs and crypto and blockchain in general. So, you know, rightfully, there are a lot of concerns about energy usage, how much it costs to maintain NFTs. The biggest stars in the world don’t want their fans to call them that they only care about their richest fans. They want to make NFT where they can sell for $5 or even $1. Even giveaway to their fans, right? It’s about building communities on. They can’t really do that on a kind of traditional Ethereum mainnet based on ecosystems. It costs anywhere between $200 and up to mint an NFT. In theory, proof of work has a bad reputation for being not energy efficient. So, we build a platform where we mint on our multiple proof of stake blockchain. So we mint on Polygon. That’s EVM compatible. We also mint on Tezos. So, we develop a kind of unique minting method on top of blockchains that allows us to make minting very fast. And even with up to another 90% more efficiency. So essentially, what that means is we can mint NFTs for less than a penny. We can then mint for up to 2 million times less energy than other platforms.”
“When we kind of bring that to the biggest celebrities or biggest brands and make them feel a little more comfortable jumping into the space because they don’t have to take on any reputational risk. Once they’re in, right it’s the best way for them to engage their biggest fans. “
My next question to Lin was what utilities he provides that make fans want to buy NFTs. In the bear market, we have seen superstars struggling to sell their NFTs as speculators don’t believe there is long-term value.
“Our kind of three pillars of our company is really artists first, and then all fans, and the last one use blockchain technology sustainability. We easily allow any user to sign up with the email and phone number and purchase via credit card. It’s really targeted at the real fans, and less about the speculators; the NFTs just like the rest of the crypto have a lot of speculation, a lot of leverage, and a lot of flipping.”
“There’s 40,000 of us, myself included, traders that basically buy a lot of volume. And many of these traders are very much impacted by the broader crypto ecosystem. We’re very little impacted by the crypto downturn. 85% of our transaction happens in fiat. Three weeks ago, we launched the Biggie Notorious BIG Sky’s the Limit collection. It sold out in nine minutes!”
“The other star you’re mentioning that basically have 100 million social media followers. He sold 300 pieces of a 10,000 collection. It’s about building the community the right way, and then selling the NFT. Not to speculators, but to our true fans. We always care about utility. So, the Biggie Smalls collection, if you bought one of the 3000 NFT’s, you become part of the Sky’s the Limit collection, and the collection is granted the rights to the most famous freestyle song that Biggie ever recorded. It’s called the Fulton Street freestyle.”
“We’ll also be releasing a new Metaverse by the end of the year called The Brook. The Brook is a 3D, full realistic recreation of the 1990s Brooklyn neighbourhood where Biggie grew up with all the people and characters, and you can walk around interact, you can play dice with the guy on the street corner or you can jam to some rapper. There are some videos that we released on oneof.com/biggie that basically give you a hint into what this experience is going to look like. I would say it blew us apart.”
“In my mind when you use the word Metaverse, we’re thinking about a Ready Player One type of experience. Today’s Metaverse comes a little bit short of that. So, we’re very excited. The NFT holders will be the first to access that Metaverse.”
“I think today’s Metaverse is all kind of essentially a game on a multi-multiplayer game experience. You’re kind of becoming a character in that world, whether your avatar that you can design for yourself and go in.”
Oneof has had an impressive track record with NFTs as they work with some of the biggest artists in the world and provide utility to the fans. It will be interesting to see how their venture into the Metaverse takes place.
I asked Lin how he is ensuring The Brook is enjoyable, and a place users actually want to spend time in.
“I think it’s gaming first, right? The centralized game experience is so advanced. You have the Fortnite type of experience. I think, for a while, a hybrid approach is probably the best. Probably a centralized server experience is the most important thing. You know, like we didn’t all adopt the internet as rapidly until Apple put the experience in the palm of your hand and made it so easy that my mom can navigate without instruction. The interface layer is, you know, I think probably the most important factor for mass adoption. Like, the average consumer doesn’t need to debate whether this chain is better than the other chain, the application layer an interface where you can make their selections and really build the best experience. Take into account the blockchain’s reliability, scalability, speed, you know, transaction throughput. But you know, the consumer doesn’t really need to know if it’s TCP IP, or any other protocol like the first time of the wave on the internet.”
Lastly, I ended my conversation by asking Lin how he sees the future of NFTs turning out to be. Will it just be digital art or much more?
“I think the next wave will be so much more than digital art. I think we’re tapping the first one or two use cases for NFTs. We certainly have NFTs as a collectible. And then really NFT as representing a membership. So, I think those areas are obvious.”
“5 to 10 years from now, I buy a house right? It required me to literally go to some lawyer’s office and he then was missing some documents and he had to call this office that literally handles like one piece of documentation. And there was like literally, probably seven or eight parties involved. All could have been, you know, digitally handled via blockchain that’s immutable. So you know, I think use cases for, for government. You know, I just heard the there’s a judgment in UK that literally just send a summon to someone by air dropping a summon into their wallet.”
Metaverse Insider would like to thank Lin Dai for taking the time out during a very busy conference. We wish the team at OneOf the best of luck with their NFT and metaverse projects.