Episode 68: NFTs with OG Jordan Lyall

Ben Lakoff, CFA
May 2, 2022
Listen to this episode on your favorite platform!

Today's interview is with Jordan Lyall.

Jordan is an OG in the space and has been involved with NFTs from the very beginning. In this episode we have a wide-ranging conversation from his company Niftys working with gigantic brands like Warner Brothers to use NFTs for super engagement to the more community-centric projects in more niche corners of the internet like Meme and raCC0ons and the power of memes on the internet.

Reminder that I’m doing a lot of these podcasts live on Twitter spaces. I do them from my personal account ‘@benlakoff’ as well as the podcast account ‘@investinalts’ - hope you can join and ask questions directly to the guest.

Enjoy this conversation with Jordan.

Listen on your Platform of choice:

Check out for all the listening options (Spotify, Apple, etc.)

Show Notes

0:00:00  Welcome and context  

0:00:17  What is your background?    

0:07:26  What got you into NFTs?    

0:10:25  How do you explain NFTs to newbies?    

0:16:05  Overview of the NFT market right now?    

0:21:11  What is the goal for big brands entering these markets?    

0:27:00  What are the biggest worries for these big companies entering  NFTs?  

0:30:13  Why did you build on the PALM blockchain?    

0:32:30  How do you envision cross chain connectivity?    

0:35:30  What are raCC0ons?    

0:44:30  What is the power of memes?    

0:49:41  Where could things go wrong with NFTs?    

0:55:00  Where can people find out more about you?

Show Links

Jordan on Twitter




Helpful other Alt Asset Articles

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Ben: Welcome to the alt asset allocationpodcast, exploring alternative investment opportunities available to theeveryday investor. Here's your host Ben Lakoff!

Hello and welcome to the altar asset allocation podcast.Today's interview is with Jordan. Jordan is an OG and the space. And that hasbeen involved with NFTs.

From the very beginning, he's been involved with crypto andBitcoin from very, very early on. In this episode, we have a wide rangingconversation from his company. Nifty is working with gigantic brands likeWarner brothers to use NFTs for super engagement of their fans, to the morecommunities. The projects in the more niche corners of the internet, like memeand raccoons and the power of memes on the internet.

Overall, I really enjoyed this conversation and remember thatI'm doing a lot of these podcasts live on Twitter spaces. So I do them from mypersonal account at Ben lake off, as well as the podcast account at invest inalts. I hope you can join one day and ask questions directly to the guest. Wewent from hour after the episode ended, I'm cutting out the questions now tokeep this in podcast form, but they are very, very fun before we jumped intothe episode. I also wanted to take a second to thank you for all the greatquestions and feedback I've been getting. You guys are freaking awesome. Ifyou're getting some sort of value from these podcasts, please drop me a line oreven a review.

These things mean a lot, and I really. All right. Enjoy thisconversation with Jordan on all things. NFT, Jordan, welcome to the all toasset allocation podcast. Excited to have you on.

[00:01:48] Jordan: Hey, Ben. Great to be here. Thanks somuch.

[00:01:49] Ben: Yeah, absolutely. This has been a longtime coming man, where you know, friends from the internet, they started seeingeach other more often at conferences.

You were like the one person that I know that even if a NFTconference has like 20,000 people there, I'll end up running into you a fewtimes and it's always great to see you IRL and great to finally do this on, onpodcasts forum.

[00:02:13] Jordan: Right back at you. I know we'reinvolved in several different things together, and like you said, keep runninginto each other at all these events, but it's great to be on your podcast.

Excited, damn straight.

[00:02:23] Ben: And one day, one day, we'll, we'll getyou over to crypto, Mondays and Dennis, you know, one day. Cool. Everybodyjumping into this Twitter spaces knows you and what you were up to, but like Isaid, this will be recorded. So let's start off with a little background onyou. And what led you to where you are today?

[00:02:45] Jordan: Sounds good. Let's do it. I am. Youknow, eyeballs deep in the NFT space right now. And I'm, you know, those of usthat have been in this space can probably relate, but like my friends andfamily knows know me as the NFT guy. But my background is in, you know, I've,I've been, I've been full time building on the blockchain for over four yearsnow.

Prior to that, I was building products and startups. And theweb to space. I actually started up a, an app mobile app startup and sold it toa company called Jim jab. And they've been around for a long time. Therethey're also an LA based media company made famous by like the elf yourself.And so we were acquired.

We were their first and only acquisition. And it's really justa culture for like, for having fun on the internet. And I worked there for fouryears until Ethereum came around and, and that just blew my mind that I canlike, you know, build stuff on this blockchain. And it's more than justBitcoin.

It's more than just digital gold, but you can actually buildproducts and services and start to replace some of these banking services. AndI, I jumped in. So I went to work for a company called total T O T L E, andthey're a Dex aggregator, and they, they work a lot with differentdecentralized exchanges and providing liquidity to a lot of apps for tradingtokens.

I was the chief product officer there helped get them off theground and launch the product. And then in 2019, when DFI kind of became aword, became a thing it was recruited over to consensus. And I was atconsensus, the big blockchain company founded by one of the co-founders ofEthereum itself. I was at consensus for a couple of years and I was head ofproduct for, sorry, not, not at the entire consensus, but I was head of productfor.

So it was leading a couple of defy related product groups, andwe launched several products there within the device space. And then defysummer, you know, by day I was, I was building B five products by night. It wasa DJ and participating in yield farming and, and having, having fun there Andwhile still employed at, at consensus, I launched this project, this communitycalled meme website was don't buy still, still is available.

And that just kinda sent, sent the whole world spinning. Memewas as you know, as you were kind of there in the early days as well. I mean,meme was kind of like an early Influence early project, the intersection ofdefine and FTEs. It kind of struck it right at the right time. And that, thatallowed me to just jump in with just completely into the NFT space.

Launched that the main platform in 2020, and then in 2021 andjust over a year ago kind of pivoted to NIF, DS and handed. I handed off thememe community over to the, to the community itself and then kind of jumped inwith and I'm a co-founder at . And we're. We're continuing to experiment oflike, what, what do NFTs mean to like large scale IP brands and big growingcommunities?

So NIF, and I F T Y And we launched projects likespace jam and matrix, and we got a lot of other big cool projects coming upsoon. And. I know I'm going through my, my entire, I don't know if that was theintention of your question. I've gone through my whole resume here, but reallykicked off the raccoon thing too as well.

So I just, I just like having fun on the internet and now itjust happens to be NFTE season and, and you know, I, it's just, it's just beena blast. You know, this is like everything coming together of like Fun giftsand means, you know, I made, I had a business doing fun gifs and memes that wthat was acquired by Jim jab.

And then I worked in blockchain and now I'm doing fun, funcontent on the blockchain. So it's the perfect story arc for me personally.

[00:07:00] Ben: I love it. And I didn't realize you wereproduct. Total I, which I always said that name incorrectly because I, I, Iread it as toddle. I think I'm not sure if I'm the only one, but yeah, that's aname I haven't seen or heard for awhile.

I definitely want to jump into, you know, meme and Nipsey's andraccoons and a little bit more detailed, but perhaps stepping back. What, whatinterested you in the NFT space initially? I mean, especially coming, comingfrom defy, going into defy meets NFTs, and then full NFTs, but what was kind ofthat spark that made NFTs more interesting for you from the.

[00:07:44] Jordan: Yeah, my very first NFT that Imentored was crypto kitties in 2017. I'm part of that group that you know, we,we clogged the blockchain by minting crypto kitties and trying to breed them atthe, at the end of the year of 2017. And it was, it was it just blew my mind,you know, here I was thinking.

That Ethereum was cool because you could build like maybe likelittle loans or smart contracts that can control you know, financial vehiclesor whatever. I can send money to you and then have a rule that sends also sends10% over here, but crypto kitties really did blow my mind around how there'svalue here.

In a non fungible way, right. With, with art and collectibles.And I, and I use this analogy a lot when I was telling friends, likeintroducing them to NFTs way back then. And I still use it every so often now.And it's like, you know, what are an FTS? We'll just think of. Digital assets.If I took a picture, if I took a selfie and I sent it to a hundred friends,there's now a hundred copies up until this point up until the blockchain, wehadn't been able to distinguish one digital asset from another or proveuniqueness.

And now we can now using the blockchain, we can assign adigital asset to a token, to a record on this, this ledger. And now we knowthat there's only one of these things that exist and not only that, but youknow, it's been owned and, you know, Ben owned it and then I bought it. So thatreally, that really You know, stuck with me.

I continued my career in building products and working atconsensus and really focused on Dexis and you know, decentralized lending andcollateralization and stuff like that. But it wasn't until, you know, summer of2020, where NFTs kind of came back around. I had my eye on them and I, I wascollecting here and there, but it wasn't until mean.

Spun out of control there and launch that project that I waslike, wow, this is the community is quite amazing. And I fell in love with thespace from the community, getting able, you know, being able to work withartists. And it was just a group of people, you know, I was used to workingwith or building products for, you know, financial project pro I was used tobuilding financial products for people that were just trying to earn a littlebit extra.

APUI right. Or Jen's trying to flip this, these tokens, but nowyou get into this NFT community and there are people that are in it for thetech, the tech that allows art to just totally expand. And now we're able togive artists an opportunity to earn an income. Digital artists can now earn aliving.

And everybody was just so welcoming and It was kind of thecoming together of like my technical passions and creativity. So that's when Ijust decided to go all in and start an NFT company. But it's been, it's been afew years, but really just in the last couple of years, like with a lot of usthat decided to make it our life's work.

[00:10:47] Ben: I love it. I love it. So you pretty muchanswered my, my next kind of question, but I'm sure you like, I am and dubbedlike the NFT guy as you were the crypto guy. And every year, the kind ofconversation ends up with some newbies questions about this strange world inwhich we operate, which I'm fine with, but I actually use a very similar.

Example about digital assets and true ownership and perfectprovenance on the blockchain as a way to explain why these things have value.But what do you tell people if they just don't, you know, air quotes, get it.And they just can't wrap their head around how this thing, this NFT, thisperfect provenance, digital, digital asset, true ownership.

What do you do to kind of get them over the line? Or what haveyou used in the past that is perhaps helpful?

[00:11:50] Jordan: There's the classic, you know exampleof Mona Lisa, there are lots of pictures of Mona Lisa. I can put it up on mywall, but like only one entity owns the Mona Lisa that that's usually helpful.

Not always. But I think there's, there's also something aboutlike you know, traditional art. Sometimes you can get into you know, baseballcards, some of my friends that connect. You know, on the whole trading cardside of the story, right. Where it's they get rarity they get thecollectability and there's only certain amount number of these cards printed.

But another cool thing is just like, you know, what, what ifyou got an autograph painting from an artist and it's proven that it's artautograph. And then what if there's a way to do that digitally? So we know thatthis artist minted it because we see on the blockchain that you know, theysigned it digitally.

And then that's literally what happens. An artists signs itdigitally with their wallets. We know it's from them. It is kind of a bighurdle for people, but That's why I think it kind of needed to kind of take itscourse you know, Bitcoin and Ethereum and then defy. And the now and FTS arehaving its moment.

We needed to kind of go through the rabbit hole in a certainorder, so to speak, right. Where we kind of already get that things can bedigital and still have value. People coming at it now could, could strugglewith that and struggle with like how has their digital value when it can beeasily copied.

But then again, I see my brother Taylor just joined the theTwitter spaces and he kind of, it kind of the sparked for him when he got intoa top shot. And now he can, you know, trade a LeBron. Hi. And there's suddenlyvalue there. And that was kind of his, his gateway into discovering. Okay. Iget what NFTs now are all about.

I'm used to trading basketball cards. So now I see that thereare rarities. I open up a pack and I get something and there's only 10 thatexist. And then he was able to kind of go from there and ask me a bunch ofquestions around. Okay. What does, what does all this stuff do? What's Mehtamask all about and how that.

Kind of walk him through get getting him up to speed on therest of the, the NFT community. So I think it's a, it's a differentconversation, depending on who you're, who you're speaking with, whether theyhave knowledge of tech or crypto or trading cards or art market, or you, youreally have to, if you want to do it right, you really have to sit down witheach individual person and hear out their story first.

[00:14:25] Ben: Yeah, it's this is, this is why Ana teamsare so powerful, right? There's different stories and different things resonatefor different people, but that's why it's just difficult to get people to thatpoint. But it's a matter of finding that, that particular one. For sure. Let'szoom out a bit. So NFT landscape you've been in it.

Know the beginning. Well, for sure, basically with cryptokitties, but certainly of this, this massive bowl, can you give an overview ofthe NFT market now? What it looks like?

[00:15:06] Jordan: Wow. What a question and overview ofthe NFT market and one of them. Yeah, no. I

[00:15:10] Ben: mean like where are we in the hype cycle?There's a bunch of trash coming online, more and more big companies starting tothink about this, moving out of just, PFPs just kind of like, you know, riff onit, whatever, whatever kind of makes the most sense for you.

[00:15:27] Jordan: Yeah.

I I've never been able to, to, to, to tell where we're at inthe mid market cycles. So take this with a grain of salt. There are argumentsthat we're, you know, we're, we're, we're kind of, we're topping out here, butI think in the, in the grand scheme of things, we're just getting started withthis technology and what it can do.

We're just now, like, if you're familiar with like, what'sgoing on in the music and FTC. Like people are just starting to get into it.And platforms are just coming around and artists are, are just now launchingand experimenting with it. I feel this NFC technology is gonna revolutionizemedia in general.

And, and it's going to affect how people consume and create andcollect and earn from and participate in communities. It's just going to changeup not just entertainment, but so many other. So many other industries. And Iwould say that where, you know, I started in fifties with my co-founders justover a year ago, and we were having conversations with big brands, big sportingleagues, big studios, big, big creators and entertainers.

And there was some interest there. And There, the question fromsome of those brands was like, you know, we, we can go put our, put our logo onan NFT and sell it on open C. But we don't really, you know, we care more aboutour brand and like flipping something for a million bucks. Right. We startedtalking to more and more people and it's like, these brands are starting to getit now.

And these big, large conglomerates, they, they care more about,you know, a thousand. Passionate fans, a million passionate fans and they do amillion bucks. Right. So that's what, a lot of what we've done on the niftyside. So I think we're still really early on and we're still experimenting. Andthis whole big, this whole crypto thing is just one giant experimentation.

And we're still kind of figuring out and we're, we're findingpockets of success. And that, that I think go beyond hype board apes has proventhat, that they could actually create a thriving community and create aneconomy and create something that, that, you know, it's IP that people arereally excited about.

It's, it's much more than just number of go up which I thinkwould like define. Pure hype. And there is a lot of that. But I think we'restarting to find pieces of success here that I think can lot can last a while.I know everyone always mentions on, on these types of podcasts that like 99% ofthe projects out there will fail.

Well, it depends on what your, what your what you mean by fail.Like I know we'll probably get into the, the raccoon project in a little bit,but there are only a hundred of them. Some people have multiple, so there'sprob I think there's only the numbers like 73. It's never, you know, in itscurrent form, it's not going to get NFTs in the hands of 10,000.

But there's, you've got a handful of really passionate peoplethat enjoy community that we've kind of created this little, little economy andI would say it's a success. So I think, I think it's really pessimistic to saythat 99% of projects out there will fail. It's just finding you, you don't needjust, just like we're seeing with YouTube and all these influences.

You don't need you know, millions of people listening. Youreally just need a hundred passionate community members or a thousand payingfans, or, you know, whatever the number is for you. So I think we'll still seesuccess in, in kind of small, small you know, shards, if you will.

[00:19:10] Ben: Yeah. And I think it's important thatsuccess.

Defined a very different lead by multiple people. And that,that Kevin Kelly article, the thousand true fans really resonated really wellwith me. But I mean that thousand, it doesn't matter, right. It can be 10, itcan be a 10,000, whatever it is, but. When, when you're talking to these, Iyou're in such a unique position because of your background in defy and productand crypto.

And then now this juxtaposition between both. Well, all three,I guess, mean raccoons. And the nifty is like, it's such a unique perspectivethat you have where you're the different touch points across the varying typesof NFT communities here. So I want to go into raccoons because I think it's,well, I'm a proud raccoon holder as well, but I think it's a fascinatingexperiment as well, but first let's talk a bit about these big brands thatyou're talking to.

What, what is the goal? I mean, is it just to look cool or it'smore finding out who their true supporters are. What kind of resonates reallywell with these big brands and companies and thinking about their metaverse orweb three or NFTE strategy when you're talking with them with somebody likeNipsey's.

[00:20:40] Jordan: Yeah. Yeah. So what nifty is as manyof you have seen, if you're aware of, of nifty. We've gotten in deep withWarner brothers. So we, when we launched, we launched with space jam and thenat the end of last year, we launched with matrix. And then we've got some otherreally cool partnerships coming up later this year, but it's more than justlaunching a PFP project.

You know, when we did matrix, it was a hundred thousand PFPNFTs and we sold out within hours. I think we're the first a hundred K PFPproject to sell out. But, but that was really the start. We're we're, we'reactually working with them on, okay, what's next? Well, now we have thiscommunity of passionate people and they have these matrix characters.

And then if you were around in January you have your characterand then you could choose between a red pill or a blue pill. And that reallykicked off like this story that we're telling on our platform, we think ofnifty is as the engagement platform, experiential platform, it's more thanbuying and selling.

You can definitely buy that. But I think those are tablestakes. And it's really more about telling a story participating in, in ajourney and alongside community members. So we were building out thisengagement platform where it's like these gamified activities where a user cantake their avatar.

And they're in the center of the story for the example ofmatrix, they You know, they play the role of Neo. They have their own characterand they, they have its own, it has its own name, but they're playing in thatcentral role of the first movie, the matrix where you take the pill, you godown the hole, you, you learn the down the rabbit hole.

You learn. You know who these people are. You discover who's onyour team, right? You, you, you learn skills and then you fight the bad guys.You fight the agents and each character that's participating on the matrix.Storyline though, there'll be able to play that. And it's not really a game, soto speak.

It's not a video game, but it kind of blurs the lines betweenlike this kind of fun gamified engagement, and you're able to make choices andkind of like a choose your own adventure on the blockchain. And you'll be ableto earn rewards some of the rewards or additional NFTE. Some of the rewards arelike physical products.

Or, you know, IRL experiences. So we're, we're building thatout, not just for matrix, but a lot of our other partners. So kind of goingback to your question of like, what brands are interested in this? It's justthat it's okay. A big, a big blockbuster movie in a particular franchise maybecomes out every couple of years, right?

I don't know, have they confirmed a new, a new matrix thatAlaskan wasn't, wasn't amazing, but you know, big movies, big tent polereleases are every couple of years. What, what do you do with your fans inbetween, and there is this dormant or otherwise, or, or vocal base of, ofpeople that just can't get it.

Matrix or whatever, whatever the IP is. And it's really aboutkeeping those users engaged, continuing to work with them in Warner's case,continuing to provide content that engages continuing to, you know, get themexcited about other products and spinoffs. And it's a revenue opportunity forWarner It's like it's it's, it doesn't sound sexy, but it's like airline milesor these like reward programs, you know, AMC movie ticket reward programs.

Like it doesn't sound sexy, but like in a way I think that'show they think about it. It's ways to keep them coming back, keep them engaged.We just do it in a really fun way using NFTs, which means the users can, canown a piece of this. Right. So they, they are into keeping users, engaged,additional revenue, revenue opportunity, and.

To their credit. And a lot of other groups that we're talkingto you, they're, they're totally experimenting, right? Like we've, we've hadsuccess in, in one respect, but they've been really open to trying new things.So I think a lot of it and why these brands are doing it is just to figure thisthing out and not be left behind and be at the F you know, the forward, thefront end of this thing.

If you're a media company, you're not an experiment. This techthen something's wrong. So to their credit, a lot of our partners are, arelooking at.

[00:25:05] Ben: I love it. Absolutely fascinating. Imean, really true fan engagement in a new unique way. And I think positioningyourself as a trailblazer and forward looking forward thinking is veryimportant.

I'd be curious for these big companies though. Like what aretheir biggest worries, whether it be regulation or the fact that, you know, allof these can be done without a blockchain on some central database, obviouslyblockchain, true ownership and stuff, but they've gotta be worried aboutonboarding and ease of use for the majority of their users.

What's work kind of the pushbacks or biggest worries from mostof these bigger banks.

[00:25:47] Jordan: Yeah. Yeah. That's the other side ofthe coin, you know, like I just said, they've been really experimental, butit's always the lawyers that kind of bring it home. Right. And they're theresponsible parties in the, in these, on these conversations.

They, they care about. Treating their brand. Right. And they,they do want to bring, you know, when you think about space jam, the Looneytunes characters, they, they care about bringing these characters forward to thetwo new generations, but they have to be careful because it is it's their IP.So, you know, there's, there's been a lot of re review process on, on art andcreative and things like that where otherwise we'd have a little bit moreleeway.

One other thing. And, and, and part of the reason why nifty is,is so compelling to project. Or for projects coming from big, big grants, bigcompanies is because we are a new user-friendly and we're energy, efficientenergy efficiency you know, in, in the blockchain means very low gas fees,right?

Transaction fees energy efficient, because we're using sidechains to Ethereum. So it's great. It's great. That's great on the environment,which is something a lot of those bigger brands care about. And it's new.User-friendly where you don't need an extension and you don't need to wiremoney from your bank.

You really can just type in a credit card. And all of a suddenyou've got, you've got an NFT rather than going through jumping through thosehoops. We make it really easy. So yeah, combined. That with, like, we're notjust a bunch of developers that have launched a project. Like we have you know,my, my partner, Jeff Marsilio, he was an executive at an executive at the NBA,our first hire Shannon decades at a big media brands like vice.

So we, we come with like a background and You know, it's, it'sin our, it's in our vision, it's in our DNA to treat brands like they should betreated like they're expected to be treated, handling artists and creators withcare. So that that's, that's, that's another benefit of, of going with acompany like nifty is, is that we, we know how this media stuff works.

[00:28:07] Ben: Yeah. And talk a bit about the energyefficiency and it's on Palm blockchain, right? So a bit of your decision to buildon Palm and kind of how that differs from other blockchain.

[00:28:23] Jordan: Yeah, long-term vision for is to beplatform agnostic, blockchain agnostic. So it doesn't matter much at the end ofthe day where your NFTs sitting those of us that have been in the space for awhile, a little bit more techie.

Care. But a new user coming in, they don't, they don't yet carewhich, which blockchain you're NFT is sitting on. So our long-term vision is tobe the experience layer and eventually NFTs will be, we'll be on multipleblockchains. However, you gotta start somewhere. Right. And when I launched orwhen we launched the company, I was coming out of consensus.

I'm gonna X consensus employee. And consensus invested in FTEsand we decided to kind of be partners in the launch of the Palm blockchain. Andpoem is a a theory from side chain. It's a proof of authority side chain, andit's, it's super gas efficient. And as I mentioned, and really cost-effective,it's, it's NFT focused side chain.

And that's, that's, that's where we launched. And so everythingthat. We've released from our platform right now is the Palm blockchain. Andthey're great. They allow us to kind of offload all that energy concerns,right? Because they're 99.9% more energy efficient than layer one, Ethereum.And they've been a good partner in allowing us to kind of scale and grow.

But at the end of the day, you know, we are, we want to gowhere the creators are. We want to go where the collectors are. So we'llcontinue to support more and more look for announcements in the coming monthsaround future support for future blockchains. So that's, that's our officialniftiest position.

[00:30:04] Ben: Gotcha. Makes sense. And in jail, Likecross chain in FTS. I bet you look. I believe that we're going to live in thismulti chain world and different chains for different things. And NFTs will liveon multiple chains and you'll experience layer. Companies will be veryimportant, but how, I mean, the devil's in the details with cross chain and FTSor moving an NFT from one chain to another.

How do you. How do you envision that working like in the futureonce we've worked out a lot of the UI UX?

[00:30:45] Jordan: Yeah. I think that's the challengeright there as the UX. You know, you and I are fine changing the RPC and metalmask, but that's, that's that's. That can be difficult for a lot of people outthere. It, it is a challenge and that's one that we're embarking on here. Youhere now at NIF T's is like, what does a multi chain network, what does a multichain platform like?

How do we do that? We've done a really, you know, we've done agreat job already being able to jump between Different networks between atheory and POM on our current experience. And you know, we, we, we kind of,we've built on top of an existing wallet structure, the, the magic link out ofthe Fort MADEC group.

And, and we kind of control the whole wallet experience. Sothere are things that we can do to remove the user doesn't necessarily have tohit accept to you know, the approvals for moving in ERC 20 out of there. Youknow, in one example, we can actually do that for them. So there are certainthings that we can do on the UX side to make it really easy.

But at the same time, it's it's difficult. It's like, well, Ican't sell this until I first bridge it over to this blockchain. And then thereare things that you can do maybe a layer higher, but then is it trulydecentralized? So I think it's You know, you, you caught us right in the middleof us trying to figure some of this stuff out.

And I know that there are other projects over there, otherprojects out there that are doing some interesting things when it comes to, youknow, cross chain NFT projects. But, but we hope to be at again at that, thatleading the bleeding edge of determining what's the proper experience how muchcentralization is ideal.

But it, but, but you hit it right on the head, the UX UIchallenge, especially as we're trying to bring in, you know, millions of usersthat haven't done this before, that that's certainly a challenge.

[00:32:38] Ben: Yeah. And you know, all these things willbe worked out in time. For sure. It's just going to be, you know, one of thosethings that we wish we could snap our fingers and all of these things workedout, but there's some bumps and bruises along the way.

Shifting, shifting gears a little bit. So let's talk aboutraccoons and CC zero, what this means and kind of like all great things of theinternet. They start with a late night tweet. That's strong community, butyeah, let's talk a little bit more about CC zero and records.

[00:33:14] Jordan: It looks like we have a couple ofraccoons in the in the community.

What's up guys. So yeah, like, like you said, like, like a lotof my side projects that kind of starts with just silliness starts with a sillytweet and I just made a dumb, dumb tweet a couple of weeks ago of a, of a Ijust noticed that CC zero comes up in a couple of words in including raccoon,CCO.

So it was just making a Korean. Tweet that joked about CC zeroraccoon project. A couple of days go by and my wife and kids are out of townand I had some free time and I'm like, you know what? I actually want to build,build something again, you know, when you're. And a manager, you don't reallyget to get your hands dirty.

So I spent a day and a half just like jumping in and I ended upbuilding out the raccoon projects and deploying the NFT contracts on my own.And that was actually the first solidity contract I've ever deployed. I've beenin this space for a long time and worked with engineers. Brilliant smartcontract developers, but there's the first time that I, I kind of jumped in andfigured it out and deploy my own contract.

So that was really all it was, it was just supposed to be a funthing. I was having fun with, if I'm going to launch something, I may as wellmake it, you know, put my own twist on it. And so I grabbed, you know, ahundred photographs of raccoons. They were already in the public domain, theywere already CC zero.

And then I launched the project and I assume that maybe a fewpeople would, would pick it up and we'd have some fun with it. But thecommunity, as, as they often do, kind of took it and ran. They had other ideasand it just kind of blew up. It, you know, was hovering for a couple of days ataround 0.1 floor 0.1 eighth floor.

But then a few other people, some heavy hitters got involvedand it was kind of cool where it was all happening in real time. And someonesaid, Hey, I'll go do this. Or I'll go build a Twitter bot. Someone said, Hey,what if we dropped the, the trash token on all the holders? And at that timeyou know, everybody got excited in the, the floor went to a few ease.

I think now it's sitting around, I don't know, five or six eachfloor at the moment, but yeah, it's just a silly, a silly group that turnedinto something slight, less silly and a little bit more serious where, yeah,it's a hundred PFPs of erection and we just were in a gated discord and we makerecommend jokes and.

We we're talking about doing other things like you know,donating to raccoon charities, literally. Now we have the, the trash tokenecosystem and we have some developers building out like staking mechanisms, sothat you'd be able to deposit your trash in the dumpster and go dumpster divingfor four new NFTs.

Like I'm not, I'm not making this up. Somebody is actuallyworking on this. So it, it turned into. Crazy Ft community. That's, that's reallyjust, you know, a small group of passionate people. And it's just amazing thatthis is, you know, all this stuff is really is only possible with, with, withweb three.

[00:36:36] Ben: It's it's so flipping cool. I just loveit. I mean

[00:36:41] Jordan: your story, cause you got him prettyearly as well, but you months from the contract

[00:36:46] Ben: I did, I did. So I, I don't know. I likeyou want to support whatever you did. And you had a late night project with apicture of a raccoon. So I thought, yeah, why not? That's cool.

And then, you know, didn't pay attention. And next thing Iknow, mint it out. And now then it was like a six each floor. So for the peoplelistening, you know 15,000 or $15,000 Base price right now. But no, I mean, Ithink the community and the, the thing that kind of evolves out of these thingsyou can create something truly magical and it's, it's pretty cool.

That's for sure. So I am curious. The raccoons, for instance,it's very much this, this group effort community initiative, bunch of peopleadding ideas on where this could go. But do you have a, like back of theenvelope plan, as soon as you started seeing this thing take off of where youwanted to see it go or just kind of letting it go work?

[00:37:53] Jordan: You know, my, my original goal wasjust create a group of a hundred people and just have a community and kind ofsee, see where it goes. I really liked the idea, you know, these, these doubts,these collector doubts, I'm a big NFT collector myself I'm also a member ofproof and I see some proof people here in the audience And I just love that.

We, we get, you know, we use these tokens to like do gated,gated access of like passionate people. And, you know, whoever's in this groupwithout even talking to them, you know, that they're, they're kindred spirits,right. We've got something in common really easy to have conversations andwe're all kind of pulling in the same direction.

So it was really interesting to me if like, what if instead ofa thousand people, we did it at all. People level a hundred tokens. And westart small and I'm, you know, I'm a, I'm a web to startup guy. So I like theidea of MVP and like lean, lean startups. So I wanted to start small and seewhere it see where it went.

So that's why I started at a hundred. And there was, there wasreally no preconceived notions of like, yeah, this is going to be have, havelike a four of 70, or this was gonna drop a token or. You know, I think that, Ithink some really big things could happen with this project. And it in our, ourteam is really solid.

It's made up of some really good, really strong builders andsome really amazing artists as well. And this thing could, could be somethinginteresting. I'm just involved in so many different things in this space,including, you know I have my own company that I co-founded you know, I've gota family.

I just don't have unlimited hours. So I'm I'm hopeful thoughthat we can find, find some help and find others that can help push thisforward. Because really it's, it's quite an eclectic mix of people and they'vegot the right name you know, with, with meme with a big M uppercase mean don'tbuy me that we launched two years ago.

It looks awfully familiar if you're, if you're familiar thisthis wrecking project, what we did with the pineapple project. And it reallyis, you know, you really start with the meme. You start with a joke, you createa community and then you see what happens. Sometimes it fizzles away and othertimes it just kind of, it just kind of.

Sparks something and you get the right people to come aroundand pick it up and run with it. We saw that with meme and silver surfer is kindof carrying the flag forward and his team. And with, with this raccoon thing,it's still early, but we've got enough passionate people pulling in the samedirection that really the sky's the limit, you know, we've discussed a lot ofother follow on things where, you know, the hunt, the a hundred quantity oftokens could be gen zero.

And then gen one would be you know, more of a traditional 10 Kproject, or we just keep it at the hundred, but we do, you know, morederivative works. There's there's a lot of ideas and collaborations that, thatare already in discussion. And then like, like I mentioned, some, some stakingtools that are already being built as we speak, but.

The beautiful thing is that like, I I'm, I'm totally cool beingthe, the igniter here the instigator, if you will, and seeing what thecommunity can do with it, that's, what's most exciting for me.

[00:41:22] Ben: Absolutely. You touched on it briefly,but I think it's worth kind of double clicking the power of memes and.

Outside of the crypto space. We just take, take it for granteda bit of like the almost meaning, meaning it into existence. But I just finishedLuke, Burgas his book wanting the power of mimetic desire. And it really justgoes into a lot more detail on the power of memes and this way, but I mean, youknow, Firsthand the power of memes.

What's your first start-up and don't buy meme. And now raccoons,can you speak a little bit kind of for the non crypto audience on the power ofmemes and what this really means?

[00:42:10] Jordan: Sure. Yeah, I think memes. I know, Iknow those of us that are natively digital grew up online. A lot of us just thinkabout it.

Like they would kind of take it for granted. A lot of peoplethink it's just, you know, it's a gift that gets posted online and it's gottexts on a gift or whatever. But really mean it's more of like, if it's anyform of communication, any media And it's, it's a way to kind of packagesomething up and convey an idea.

Right. So it's can be synonymous with propaganda, right? That'sall, that's usually. Negative connotations there, but it's just, it's a, it's away to communicate one idea and then it, it tends to, if it's, if it's theright that's formatted the right way, it tends to spread virally. So if you,for users that have been in the, the space for awhile, the meme Bitcoin forBitcoin is digital gold.

And it's really just like shorthand digital communication. Touse memes, just like we see in emojis, right? It's, it's so much in a lot ofcases, it's so much easier to convey an emotion with emojis. You've gothundreds or however many are however many emojis there are to convey. And now we'vegot tens of thousands, if not millions of, of gifts that we can share justanother, another way to communicate with people.

And it just makes, it's just so easy to do online. And you cantell when certain things. And sir, certain things catch on. And this idea iscommunicated in the, the, the receiver of the, of the message just kind of, youknow, is aware and they pick it up and they get the idea and they share itagain. So meme memes are just like, through.

Throughout history throughout throughout the industry,throughout every industry, just kind of prevalent. I've, I've, I've kind ofused them to my advantage. You know, several years ago I made it kind of mygoal for that year. I think it was. I don't know. I think it was 2019. I said,okay, I'm gonna, I'm gonna grow my following.

And one way to do that is just to what they call shit posting,right? Where you're just, you, you have some knowledge of the space, but you'reotherwise just trying to tweet things that get a reaction. So I spent. Solideffort in trying to increase my follower account and try to post engagingstuff.

Sometimes it is, it is more just like a shit post other times.It's what I think could be meaningful or insightful. And so that, that's kindof been, you know, we've kind of been living on memes for a while beforeactually built a project called meme, but Yeah, they're just so powerful andit's a way to just get a community pulling in the same direction.

And it's, it's no coincidence that all these PFP projects andif T's in general, crypto in general are where they are because of because ofmeme is because of the power of memetics.

[00:45:15] Ben: Yeah, love it. I'm curious. Have you seenthe video line language? For number goes up. I'd like critics take on NFTs.

[00:45:29] Jordan: Oh yeah.

That one came out maybe a month ago. A month or two ago. Yeah.Yeah. I think I saw bits and pieces of that. Okay.

[00:45:37] Ben: Well, I mean, is it. For me, you know,I'm always in my echo chamber of empties or the next big thing, and crypto'shere to stay. So I, I quite like to hear, you know, skeptics a well-researchedskeptic, not just, I don't understand that.

So it's stupid and it should go down, but like a well-researchedskeptics take Yeah, it's valid concerns in the video focus on price hyperfinancialization like this in versus out crowd. So, I mean, these are verypowerful things that like unique communities, but also could be quite negativefor the space where, where amongst these things, or perhaps since you haven'tseen it or the whole thing, like where could things go wrong?

And FTS right now where our blind spots as crypto in Ft.Permeables what valid arguments do these non NFTE people have? I guess.

[00:46:39] Jordan: Yeah. That's, that's a really goodquestion. I, I think, I don't know if it's, if it's unique to NFTs, but athought around crypto in general. And, and what are the, the knocks or the, oneof the, the main kind of kind of complaint is that it's the rich gettingricher. And it's people that have come in early and they were just you know,lucky or whatever it is fortunate enough to get an early and everyone else's isyou know, playing this game of hot potato.

Just don't be in the last to leave. We, we need to be as, as agroup, we need to be. There's a delicate balance. And I think I'm trying towalk that balance of like some of the projects that I do are more for theadvanced user, right? Like you need to, to mint a raccoon, you needed to mintdirectly from the contract.

So it's, so it's definitely a little bit, a little bit moreadvanced with me. And you were actually sticking, you know, unit unit swap LPtokens. We need to counteract this like DJ. Insider work with more outwardfacing accessible projects. So I'm excited that I get to do both with he'sbeing the, the counterbalance right, where I can build super accessible NFTprojects and make it really easy for a new user to get in and plug in a creditcard and you can get a matrix NFT.

But we don't want to lose the spark. We don't want to lose thefun of you know, that, that we enjoy as more advanced users. Because if, if,if, if, if it is this echo chamber of people that have just been in this spaceand we continue to use these same memes, you know, the other side of the coinis that, you know, some of these things, some of these means, and some of thesequotes GM and w a GMI.

If they're not accessible. And I think those ones are, arefairly accessible, but if, if our terminology at the end of the day, doesn'tlike appeal to new users. Then, then we, we have all failed if we're notaccepting and we're not creating content that is accepting, that is accessibleto a brand new user, then we're kind of just spinning in circles and you know,minting projects for each other and just kind of passing the torch.

But it, we, we really need to be more. New user facing andthoughtful and not just, you know, what we post on Twitter, but also theseprojects that we're launching and we're going there, you know, Coinbase isgoing to launch and Ft platform at some point. I think that's going to be a bigstep forward, what we're doing at NIF D's.

And what we're about to launch the rest of this year is justbeing, it's just being open. And I think that's one of the benefits. Of theblockchain itself is that everything is transparent. Everything is on chain. Wejust kind of have to have an honest conversation with ourselves and with, withnewbies around like Like where we're at in the market.

Like a lot of people ask around, like, should I get in? Andit's like, don't buy something because you think the number's going to go up bysomething because you really resonate with it. And you're not going to look atsomething and re necessarily instantly identify with it. You need to like, knowthe backstory and need to know the creator to get into the community.

Because. We've we were all, or many of us were around and in2017 when the hype kinda got ahead of itself. And I there's always the dangerhere. What what's what's encouraging to me is that the creators and publishersand big brands seem to be doing, doing it. Right. And there, there there's somuch more here than just a quick cash grab.

But I would just recommend people that are getting into thisspace. Just do your homework set aside a 0.1, ether 0.2 east and experiment.And just write that off as a loss because you're going to be sending it aroundand you're going to be minting out NFTs, and you're going to sell it on opensea.

Just get in here and experiment. And I think you can quickly.You can quickly identify the bad actors and you can separate the good projectsfrom the bad projects and the people that are in it just for number to go upand the people that are in it for, for the right reasons. So that's, that's howI recommend new people getting into this space.

[00:50:49] Ben: Great stuff. So I'll, I'll ask one morequestion. I know we're getting up towards the end of the time period. Where canmy listeners find out a little bit more about you? Niftiest meme, raccoons.Where, where would you like to send people?

[00:51:06] Jordan: I would say I'm pretty active onTwitter. So check out Twitter.

I'm at Jordan lion. That's just my full name altogether. J O RD I N O Y a L. Right now, my PFP is, is picture of a raccoon it's token IDsnumber zero, but find out on Twitter. And I linked to all the differentprojects that I, that I'm involved in. dot com. Be sure to check that out.Yeah, I would say I'm pretty, I like to think of myself as like instantly goingto Twitter and when I went.

And the last thing that I looked at, it's probably not healthy,but I do spend a lot of time on Twitter.

[00:51:44] Ben: Well, Jordan, awesome to have you really.You taking the time today. There you go. First off. Thank you very much forlistening all the way through. I hope you got a lot of value out of thatconversation as always.

You can find show notes, links, [email protected]. Please share this with anyone you think might beinterested in derive any value from this conversation. And as always, you canreach out to me for any feedback or questions. Please give the video a like, oreven better subscribe on YouTube or your podcast player of choice.

This really helps others find the podcast or the video as well.Thanks a lot. Hope everybody has a fantastic day and stay safe out there andinvest wisely.

Ben Lakoff is an entrepreneur and finance professional. He has developed strong global finance experience through 10 years of international assignments in the US, Brazil, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Czech Republic and through the award of his Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification.