Episode 74: All Things Art NFTs with Kyle Gordon

Ben Lakoff, CFA
June 13, 2022
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Today's interview is with Kyle Gordon on Art NFTs.

With Kyle’s background in crypto, art and entertainment - he is my go to guy for insight on where the Art NFT market is going. We’ve talked quite a bit about different NFT categories - you should be starting to see the breadth of what is possible here - and this one covers Art in great detail.

In this episode, we cover the art NFT Market, curation tools, methods to uncover artists in the space, and what it takes for projects to launch a successful NFT project today.

Kyle appreciates really great art and it shows with his own art and the art that he collects. There are tremendous disconnects in this VERY inefficient market and it is a very interesting space for interested investors - always an added benefit if the pieces you’re investing in and collecting are aesthetically pleasing too!

Enjoy this episode with Kyle Gordon on all things Art NFTs

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Show Notes

00:00:00 Welcome and context

0:00:17 What is your background?

0:07:25 What is Doing Good?

0:09:35 Overview of the art and collectibles NFT market right now

0:15:56 What do you think projects need in order to make it?

0:21:42 What curation tools can help people clear the noise?

0:26:55 What catalysts do we need to get more people exposed to NFTs?

0:33:09 What are your thoughts on Coinbase NFT?

0:34:09 How do you explain NFTs to newbies?

0:39:15 Where can things go wrong for NFTs?

0:45:25 Who is your favorite NFT artist?

0:48:05 Where can people learn more about these artists?

0:52:55 What is the most underappreciated artist right now?

Show Links

Kyle's site

Kyle 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 to asset allocation podcast. Today'sinterview is with Kyle Gordon on art and NFTs with Kyle's background in cryptoart and entertainment.

He is my go-to guy for insight on where the art nifty market isgoing. On this channel, we've talked quite a bit about different NFTEcategories. And by now you should be starting to see the breadth of what'spossible here, but this one covers art in great detail. In this episode, wecovered the art and of team market, overall curation tools and methods touncover artists in the space and what it takes for projects to launch asuccessful NFT project today.

Kyle really appreciates great art and it shows with his own artand the art that he collects. There are tremendous disconnects in this very inefficientnation market, and it is very interesting space for those interested investors.Always an added benefit that the pieces you're investing in and collectingcould be aesthetically pleasing as well.

All right. Before you listen, please don't forget to like, orsubscribe to the podcast. If you're listening to YouTube, give it a little,like a thumbs up and, or subscribe to the podcast, share it with somebody thatyou think would get value from it. These things all really help grow thechannel. And I really, really appreciate it.

All right. Enjoy this episode with Kyle Gordon on all things,art and FTS. Enjoy Kyle, welcome to the all to asset allocation podcast.Excited to have you on today.

[00:01:50] Kyle: Yeah. Thanks so much for having me Benpumped to be here, dude.

[00:01:53] Ben: You're like one of these guys in thespace who I've known for a long time. It seems like we see each other a lot.

And I haven't had this opportunity to sit down and hear moreabout your background and. Kind of gets you excited within the space. So for meand all of my listeners, let's start with a little bit more about yourbackground, who you are and how you ended up doing what you're doing today.

[00:02:20] Kyle: Oh, man. Well, my background's a bitunconventional, I'd say for most of the NFC D Jens I'm actually like afull-time artist.

And I did immersive production for the last 10 years. So I wasthe guy designing. Like the stages and animations and stuff for like peoplelike dead mouse and Kanye and a bunch of different people I've worked for overthe years. I did a lot of touring as well with a lot of musicians and doingtheir creative direction and like running their live shows.

And so when the pandemic hit obviously my studio kind of gottotally screwed over. But I S I pivoted a little bit and started looking intolike virtual experiences. And I'd, I'd been in crypto since like 2017. Idabbled like Blau and I used to like, do arbitrage trading on like thesketchiest of exchanges, like coin and stuff, like many, many years ago.

And there wasn't really anything for like creators, so to speakback then, like, I remember crypto kitties coming out. I remember like thepunks coming out. But there wasn't anything where I could just like upload myart. And like being a, like a motion graphics or digital artists is like reallytough.

Cause you either have to go the studio route or you likefreelance and you're not sure where you're going to eat and you often get paidlike nothing with no credit. And so this time around I was doing some researchfor like a freelance project. I was like working on a, that had to do with likespatial mapping, like real-world spaces where you could like go to likelocations and like collect digitally.

Collectibles or arts. And after reading through a lot of likereports through like Deloitte and like all these crazy like bank reports, likefinancial reports actually about like the art market. I stumbled upon NFTs, Ithink in like the summer of 2020. And. At first, I was like super skeptical. Iremember looking at like super rare and I was like doing all this like researchand like looking into like the different marketplaces and like, the sales werelike, you know, 50 bucks.

Like I think it's Arion was like 80, 90 bucks at the time. Andso I was like, okay, this is like, great, but nothing to like, you know, that'sgoing to save creators and artists from like working for the man basically. Andthen once the crypto market kind of took off, like those one eith purchasesstarted becoming extremely lucrative for a lot of these like digital artists,fine artists whoever was like participating in these platforms.

And so I kinda like took my time to jump in. I, I think Imentioned my first project in the fall of 2020 and like was like kind ofwatching as a collector from the sidelines. I wasn't really like a whale tobegin with by any means. And yeah, I mean, Well after like meeting people, likeconnecting with people, like there's, there's no substitute for like the peopleyou meet and like putting time and energy into like marketing yourself, growingyour brand, growing your art.

I started doing well, prof who's in the crowd actually is oneof my collectors. And I have some other amazing collectors like Tyler Ward,Richard from galaxy interactive some really amazing humans not just from like akindness standpoint, but also from a like a knowledge and like just beingoverall bad-ass is and yeah, one thing led to another, like obviously, youknow, the space kind of exploded after like the fall of 2020 going into 2021.

And I was invited to participate as one of the artists for thecarbon. Which was with people and like Rafiq Anadol G monk, like basically likesix other artists who were six, seven other artists who were like my heroesthat I somehow found myself in this, this charity auction on nifty gateway.

And we raised like $6 million for the open earth foundation.And that was like the climax of my NFT, like art days, I would say back then.And then I basically started working on doing good. And I came in as a co-founderand trying to build tools for creators, trying to like stream money to socialcauses and like work on like a protocol essentially to like make the space abetter place.

Fast forward to now it's been like a little over a year. AndI'm still making arts. I'm still working with doing. And it's been a crazyride. Like I actually just got back from Coachella. I was debuting a piece ofart I did with HP down there for their dome experience. And it was crazy.

I think like the piece I worked with like seven, eight otherartists and our piece is like sold for, I think 125 K or something, which islike the highest, one of one art piece that's ever sold on Solano. So that'slike my background. I mean, Ben and I, you know like DJ winning and like all ofyour groups as well, but we don't need to dive into deep to like my, mycollector GGN activities.

Cause I keep them like kind of secret

[00:07:18] Ben: except for the groups in which we bothrun, sir.

[00:07:24] Kyle: Everyone knows. I love sloughs that,that they do well. Yeah, no.

[00:07:30] Ben: That's, that's an amazing story kind ofre path that you've taken through the market. Let's talk a bit about doing goodfor my listeners who they are, what they do and how it's kind of important tothe space.

[00:07:45] Kyle: Absolutely. So, yeah, so doing good,essentially, it's like a forward facing marketplace today, but really whatwe're building is a, an open protocol that basically facilitates on chaindonations. So basically our protocol is backed by a like validated and verifiedsocial impact. Aligning with causes around the world.

I think we currently mostly work with causes in the U S no,because we don't want to work with other international groups and likelocations, but mostly just because like the laws and the jurisdictions and likethe way money is handled from like a charitable standpoint is so different indifferent regions of the world.

So basically where like putting in a ton of time and energyinto like, figuring out, like, how do we work with causes around the world? Howdo we create this decentralized, like registry of causes around the world? Andhow do we like make tools for creators that allow them to like focus on makingtheir arts and like tap into like, not only their own community, but asessentially what we want to build is a community of communities that are kindof banded around there.

Similar values, similar goals of creating impact and art. Andthat's like the grand vision, like, so, so today it's like a marketplace. Wehave it it's live. We're working on like an amazing campaign right now whereevery week through the end of July, we're basically educating and highlightingpeople about the 17 sustainable development goals.

And every week we have like an international community comingin and curating an exhibition of amazing art and basically teaching peopleabout like a specific sustainable development goal each week.

[00:09:27] Ben: Yeah. Huge fan of what you're doing atdoing good and full disclosure. I'm an advisor. So I'm also keeping a close,close eye on, on what's happening there.

Big, big fan. Well, with your background as an artist and verymuch involved from the art side, I found to be helpful from our listeners.We've done. Bunch of podcasts lately in this series about NFTs covering gamingregulations, kind of all over the place, but focusing specifically on art. Andcan we zoom out and have an overview of the NFT market, like from a art andcollectibles point of view?

You're involved in a lot. So lay it out for me. An overview ofthe art and collectibles and F teen market.

[00:10:21] Kyle: An overview would probably be thatthere's a lot and so true. Yeah. There's, there's not only a lot. There's a lotof confusion and a lot of frustration, at least that I'm seeing amongst likepeers and people like this space is very. Unforgiving. It's very fleeting. It'sattention span is like that of a peanut.

And so we're in this phase now where you have a lot of peoplewho got in early, who are probably like some of the top creators in the spaceand most well-known. And then you have like a bunch of people who are alsoincredible and had amazing traction for like a period of time. And what happensbecause this space is basically in the web three space, a lot of the arts andcollectibles is directly correlated to the market fluctuations, which is notnecessarily something we see in the fine arts.

Or like other like asset markets, so to speak. Maybe if therewas like a massive global economic downturn, a lot of markets would be hit, butif like the U S dollar decreases in value, you know, art as a whole, or likethe art market, doesn't like take a total shit. You know, people, if anythingare trying to diversify into different asset classes and the, the interesting,I'm not sure if it's a good thing to be completely honest, but with NFTs, it'svery correlated to fluctuations in the crypto market.

And the crypto market is also tied to conditions happening inthe world or global economies and stuff like that. So you have like a lot ofartists who were selling work for X amounts, you know, like let's just say like10 eith APOC, and now aren't selling. Anything. And there's a lot offrustration and a lot of confusion, and that's only made worse when you havelike subpar, NFTE, PFP projects like that.

Some one commissioned from Fiverr coming out and it looks liketotal shit and basically sells out completely. And the team walks away with themoney. And so creators are really special humans who need lots of validation,lots of support, you know, when they create art, they're basically pouringtheir life and energy into their creations and to have that validation and thenhave it kind of like rubbed, like literally.

Is confusing for a lot of people and upsetting. And so this,this space isn't for the faint of heart, especially when it comes to creators,even big creators you know, go through like their, their Hills and valleys. Soit's, it's tricky now. Like I think like there's, there's the coming, this kindof split where there's NFTs as arts and that's it, there's no roadmap, there'sno utility.

And then there's projects that are kind of arts, but they'renot really art. It's like artists making projects, thinking it's art, butreally you're basically promising utility roadmaps, future stuff, you know,whatever, like Metta versus everyone's building Mehta versus nowadays. Youknow, you release your, your character PFP launch, your metaverse launch, yourtoken, everyone wins.

Everyone goes home like super. And so I think it's, it's aninteresting space right now because we're going to see a lot of people gettingsmarter with their money. I think even just in the last few months, like peoplehave wised up to like the volume of projects coming out and how selective theyare about where they put their money, you know, moon, birds being a greatexample.

You know, I would say like, as of late people haven't beensuper active within like with buying new projects, but moon birds, like, Imean, broke a shit ton of records and just crushed it because of the team andyou know, because of what they were building and what was implied and promised.So it's, it's a tough space to be in, I'd say, as a creator.

But if you can like stay focused, like, and come up with likesustainable. Like income streams in the space. Like, you know, your, I thinkeveryone can agree. The 10, eighth sales and stuff. We're never going to last.They're not. And whatever we're doing now, probably also isn't going to last,but if you can start figuring out how to build an audience, just like you wouldin the web two worlds, build a group of people who are loyal to your workconsistently support you and like make your work accessible to like morepeople.

I think that's going to keep creators kind of like focused andlike in the game dedicated and like honestly happier when they're creatingtheir work.

[00:15:08] Ben: Yeah. That's great stuff there. And a lotof steps I kind of want to double tap on or double-click on, but I'm just formy listeners. So men birds, pixelated birds by Kevin Rose and proof collective,but these were sold.

Six or $7,000 a piece. There were 10,000 of them. So theyraised 70 million, 60, $70 million say now the minimum price of these things isaround 60, $65,000 each. So so much for the the appetite of buyers liketapering off because this one just went bananas and it is a bit of a higherbeta play on the crypto market, you know highly correlated to swings in thecrypto market in general.

And you're right. I mean, you mentioned metaverse and games.These things take a lot of time. And a lot of these projects promising thesethings coming up very, very soon, it's just not going to happen. So there'll bea day of reckoning in the next six months to a year. As people start to figureout that these things take a lot longer than they had originally thought, I'mcurious, like there's lots of froth in the space, but you seem to have a goodidea of what has staying power.

So for those upcoming enough team myths that are happening, orwhat do they need you know, to air quote, make it in your opinion.

[00:16:42] Kyle: That's a good question. So I thinkclarity is really important especially for like an artist. If you're releasinga project that's just art and that's it then. I, you know, you have plenty ofplatforms that make that very clear and that there isn't some implied utility,you can gamify that and work it however you want to work.

It just be careful not to over promise things that arecompletely out of your knowledge base and like capacity to do. If you arecreating a PFP project or looking at PFP projects, I would say, I mean, PFPprojects, aren't, you're not really buying it for the arts. Like, let's bereal, like basically PFP projects are startups and you're basically investingin this chicken or this bird or this bunny, and basically betting on the factthat this bunny that has this company building behind the scenes is going tosucceed and generate some sort of value for you, whether that's experientialvalue, human value, like monetary value.

And so. If you're investing in a startup, you absolutely needto make sure the team behind the startup is actually good and intelligent andhas experience doing this sorts of things. And that's where it gets kind ofscary with the artists because you have artists all of a sudden becomingstartup founders, and there's no guarantee that they're going to succeed.

And so when I'm looking at projects, like there's a few thingsI look at, I look at. The art and is the artists like well-established,well-known, what's their following? Like, are they successfully bridging theirweb to audience and their followers, like into what they're building or arethey kind of treating this NFT project as a totally separate thing?

If they're treating it as a separate thing, that's a big redflag for me, because it feels like a hard deviation from their brand and theircommunity. And probably not something they're going to stick to longtermbecause if they're so quick to drop the community and pick up and do somethingelse, like at the drop of a hat and like not utilize that community, thenthat's a red flag for me.

Then you have to look at the team. I personally am not a fan ofinvesting in projects or sorry, not investing speculating on projects that havenon docs teams or anonymous teams. Obviously, I understand people want toremain, remain anonymous, but from a standpoint of like debating, if someone'sable to deliver on their promises, I feel a lot more comfortable with peoplewho can talk about their previous experience, their successes, their failures,et cetera.

I want to see all of that. Just like you wouldn't like abusiness pitch deck, you know, if you got to like the, the slide with thefounders and it was like photos of a bunch of monkeys and their name was like,oh, X fun, fun, boy, you probably wouldn't be as inclined to like throw moneyat them. So that's like the second thing.

And then the third thing is uniqueness. Supposedly everyone'sbuilding a metaverse or a game or launching a token and all these things. Andlike, at least for me, I'm kind of jaded from all of these things. At thispoint, I actually think like most of these projects are probably not going tobe able to deliver on their metaverse promise and are probably going to end upintegrating with another one or just like building 3d characters that are readyin sandbox or something, which is cool.

But you just have to understand that the value that you'regetting from that is going to be far less than if they actually deliver ontheir roadmap and their promises, not to mention collectors, won't stick aroundif it feels like the projects failing or like not able to deliver on thosepromises. So I would say those are the three things.

Like the new thing that I'm also looking at is narrative andsomeone's ability to storytell. What we, what we don't see a lot of is. Gamingprofessionals. I actually think board Ilan talks about this in a podcastrecently, but when you are building a game or like a PD, Pete played an earngame and all this stuff, you have people building these things that are liketech people and not necessarily people who have experience with world-buildinglore, building character building and stuff like that.

And there's so much that goes into that to captivate anaudience's attention, just like a film, you know, like Coinbase is making afilm. Cool. Who cares if they aren't able to actually make a like compellingnarrative, write a compelling story, like work with people who are able toactually like deliver on what makes a film actually interesting and sucks youin and captivates you.

So I would say that's like the new thing I'm looking at withprojects.

[00:21:35] Ben: Those are super, super helpful. And this,I think the breadth of the bees. These categories that you're looking at showto how hard it is to actually have one that takes off, right. Art teamuniqueness, narrative, these, these are all very different and you need adifferent skill set to really crush it on all of these.

Very good stuff with PFPs and animals. I mean, yeah. My walletis a farmyard graveyard at this point, but moving more into the art space, Imean, you really have a great way of tracking of keeping track of innovatedinnovative artists in the space and what they're doing and what they're cookingup for.

New new people to the space that don't have a Kyle Gordonnudging them every time there's a drop that they should be reminded of. How canpeople find artists or what curation tools will help them kind of sort throughthe noise here.

[00:22:42] Kyle: I mean, that's such a good question.Cause there, there isn't really like a lot of sources that are just compilingall the things happening. What I've seen a lot of recently are these likecuratorial groups that are popping up where they launched their own platform orthey have a discord group and they're actually like acting as like NFC agenciesand curators, so to speak where, you know, you buy their NFT pass and then youget like access to their mints and stuff.

So you have like really cool ones. But this one's more of amarketplace, but legend dot arts. I love the stuff they're doing. They workwith some incredible artists. I'm not super like well-known, I would say yet,but they work with amazing artists and the artwork is like next to none. They,they care a lot about the fine details.

Another one I'm looking at recently is called drip, D R P's another one where they basically have like drops, curated with specificartists and they basically like help bring them into the space, come up withcool mechanics and have some sort of like members. I love the work that PabloFrau is doing as well.

Huge collector. He used to be a part of mocha. He's working ona project called a forest built on Al grand. And the it's just, you can tellthe attention to detail when someone actually uses the technology as a medium,like kind of like what POC does, rather than just like taking a photo of apainting and like minting it you know, like all the drops that have been outon, like, aorist have like, had some sort of interesting mechanic or there'slike the custom work that's gone into it to make it feel like it's, it's somethingunique, something different.

So I think going with platforms that are like doing these, likehigh-end curatorial bodies of work, there's a lot of them now. I would saythat's a great place to start. I would also, I know it's like ridiculous, butmost of the. Like my best plays best like artwork that I've discovered hasactually been through Instagram or Twitter.

I mean, I have like I guess different from most people I havelike 10 years of following almost all of these big artists and watching theircareers, watching their work. Like I was like literally downloading people'sfiles in 2009 to learn how to like animate. So like, you can see who thelegends are in this space.

You can look at like motion graphics conferences and see who'sspeaking. You can like, see who already has a presence in like the fine artworld is like a digital creator. It could be fine artists as well. I just havea much more tendency to lean towards the digital artists because I just havemore experience and like, understand.

Who actually is like someone with years and years of experienceand is considered like a true legend in the space versus someone who is likerelatively new and might not have that same sort of clouds, at least amongstpeers. So that's, that's kinda how I do it. I use Pinterest a lot. I useInstagram to organize, like, people's work.

I like so I can find it. Okay. You know, you can look uphashtags and stuff on Instagram now, but it's probably noisy unless you findlike very niche ones. But I would say if there's like an animated work thatyou're seeing on Instagram odds are that artist is somehow involved in NFTs.And that's a great way to kind of like deep dive into like where they'reselling their work or like how new they are.

Yeah. That's good stuff.

[00:26:10] Ben: And I think this is a lot of thefrustration, even for my friends. Right. I have people that are like, Hey,you've been in an FTS forever. How can I invest in NFTs? And there's no realgood method other than rolling up your sleeves, sorting through the pile ofrubble and rubbish and, and kind of hoping for the best and then easing into itthat way.

I'm curious. Have you heard of rara social?

[00:26:37] Kyle: I haven't, but I'm ready for you to callme about it. I'll share with you. I

[00:26:42] Ben: mean, they. They aim to solve thecuration problem. So it's like to earn the kind of paying curators and theircurrency and you, you win if that piece that you've curated gains traction sortof thing.

So paying you if you curate well. So trying to solve thisproblem early on yeah. Lawson is doing some really, really cool stuff overthere at a disclosure. I'm an, I'm an investor and follow them closely, butthey're friends of charged particles. I'll happily introduce you. I'm surethere's some cool stuff that you could do there as well as with doing good.

[00:27:22] Kyle: Absolutely. Yeah. Sounds great.

[00:27:24] Ben: Yeah. So talking about getting newbiesinto the space, what catalysts or catalysts do you see in the space that mightneed to happen to. Unleash like a whole new group of NFT investors and buyers,Into the market.

[00:27:47] Kyle: It's a tough question because I thinkyou need an appetite for the space, whether that's like your hunger for likethe value or your hunger to learn more.

You know, I think that's how, like all of us started originallythere weren't like a lot of guides or resources. It's kind of like trial anderror. And I think the same is kind of true nowadays, even though it'ssignificantly easier to get started. You know, a lot of people just want theirhands to kind of be held and that's like, totally okay.

And fair. But if you don't have like an appetite to learn andlike a hunger to really dive in, you're probably not going to be like. Able tolike pull the value from the space that you're really looking for. So for likethe next generation of people that are going to come into this space I don'tknow if it's unfortunate or not unfortunate, but I think they're probably goingto go with tools that are relatively centralized that kind of like hold theirhand that are linked to their Facebook, their Google, you know, they sign inwith traditional methods.

All their data is collected by a centralized entity. Andbasically they can check out using Stripe or whatever, like traditional paymentmethods they can, and now they have an NFT, which is cool. But there isn't alot you can do with that, especially in like a centralized ecosystem. So it'sreally complicated if you're not willing to learn and dive in.

I don't think you're going to extract the same utility causeodds are, then you're not going to be able to go into discord and like verify yourwallet with collab land. Now you have access to like token gated informationand like channels and all that kind of stuff. Like maybe you can plug yourstuff into a Samsung frame or like a digital frame, but again, like the, theeducation is abundant in this space.

I think from what I've seen, at least through my experiencewith, with doing good and like other platforms as well. I think our, oursociety and our culture is kind of used to. Short attention span, like easyaccess, like simple and blockchain technology is so complicated and probablyyears away still from being accessible to the point where everyone can justkind of like spin up a wallet with a snap of their fingers and like have moneyin there in like 10 minutes.

Actually had a, actually had a call earlier today with one ofthe large tech giants. And they were asking similar questions. They're like,how do we get people to like use NFTs and tap into NFTs? And I was like,honestly, probably for someone like you make sense to have like a custodialwallet system where people don't have to worry about what's under the hood andthe blockchain and all that stuff.

I think there'll will be a huge divide in the space between thepeople that want the true decentralized web three kind of ethos. And then I forsure expect like the Meadows, the Googles, the apples, and everyone's a kind ofcome up with their own sort of answers and solutions to like this, this craze.

But I guess like the smart people will understand there's adifferent value from a centralized system versus like a decentralized system.So yeah, that's, those are just some of my thoughts on that.

[00:31:03] Ben: That makes sense. I I'd be curious yourthoughts on Coinbase. So this is being recorded on four 20, April 20th, but abig news today is Coinbase goes live in beta

I don't know anybody that got on the list. I'm pretty sure Isigned up instantly and I'm not on the list yet, but what are your thoughts onCoinbase in empty entering.

[00:31:27] Kyle: To be completely honest. I took a peaktoday. I was not in the beta, but I took a peek at the site and everything,from what I saw, it seems like they're very behind other solutions that arejust better already.

Like, I think the, the strengths that Coinbase has is a lot ofpeople onboard into the NFU space through Coinbase, or they have crypto throughCoinbase, but then it just calls into question. Okay. So if the barrier ofentry is getting funds, what ma and that's what sets Coinbase apart and likehelps them, like, you know, be ready to go, how it is Coinbase.

Really fair much differently from like nifty gateway, who youjust sign up with your email and you use your credit card. I'm like, you don'tneed crypto through nifty gateway. So if the funds was Coinbase is leverage andlike everyone has Coinbase, everyone onboards through Coinbase is going toexpose so many more people to like investing in NFTs.

I guess my question would be like, why do people need to likego through Coinbase when they can just go to most NFC marketplaces and justcheck out with a credit card by entering their email and a password? So yeah,so, so far not super impressed. It seems pretty like. Par for the coursecompared to like a ton of other existing solutions that in my opinion are justa lot more advanced have like a lot more experience already, like with trialand error or bug testing.

And they will have an insane amount of stuff to work throughfor the next few months. So I guess to be determined whether like ha being theon-ramp also gives you success as an NFT marketplace, but so far with the othermarketplaces or the exchanges that have done this, I don't think there's been alot of traction or success.

And I honestly think most of them will probably shut down theirNFT marketplaces in the next few years. Just like in, I think in 2017, a lotof. Marketplaces like spun up different projects, like to capitalize on hypeand momentum and all of those also shut down.

[00:33:39] Ben: Yeah. It's a, it's a focus thing. Right.And if that's not your core business, but I think with Coinbase, I mean,Coinbase is where I send every beginner. It's like, you want to learn aboutcrypto sign ups, Coinbase, this is easy. Do the Coinbase earn, earn a fewthings they're publicly traded. You can trust there. They're hot laws, youknow, up to a certain amount.

Don't murder me blockchain periods. But so I, I liked the ideaof within that ecosystem, you can dabble into NFTs, but there's still, there's

still that problem of curation, you know? So all these NFTslisted there, you still have no idea what to buy or what a good prices, butit's a bit like. Art market.

Anyways, if you say you want to invest in art, there's no easyway to just one-click well, maybe masterworks these days, but you know, I havea small piece of the art market, so we'll get there, but I'm, I'm cautiouslyoptimistic about Coinbase NFC coming in when, when you I'm sure like me, you'reknown as the NFT guy with your friends.

But I still inevitably have those friends that air quotes justdon't get it within FTS. They have no idea how this could have value. What doyou, or what have you found that you can say to them to get them over the lineto understand that these NFTs do in fact have value and are here to stay?

[00:35:13] Kyle: Yeah, that's a good question.

I forget exactly where I heard it originally. I I think it wasmaybe loop defy or. Or some, or like some pretty well-known news source when Iwas first getting in and basically the correlation was like the Mona Lisaexample. You know, I can go into the loop today, take a high res photo of theMona Lisa, print it out, put it on my wall.

And that doesn't mean that I have like a multi-million dollarthing on my wall. It's the authenticity it's like someone authenticating orproving that the thing that you have has value. And I think that's fine. Arttoo. You know, you even have institutions who, whose job is to likeauthenticate these things and steal you have counterfeits getting past them.

So what really, all of this is, is like an NFT is like acertificate of authenticity. If you're familiar with collecting sportsmemorabilia, you've upper deck. And you have like all those sorts of companieswho authenticate. Signatures of famous people and say, this is authentic. Youknow, if you're collecting Pokemon cards, like, you know, you buy the packsfrom like the official Pokemon card person that proves that they're likeauthentic cards.

I think the same thing is kind of true with NFTs, except inthis case there isn't like a central line. Body dictating whether something'sauthenticated, you actually can look at the provenance and like discern foryourself. If the origin of this thing is in fact authentic, because you cantrace the history of it.

Did that, did that kind of answer the question? Absolutely.Well, it's not an easy answer, right? Which is, this is, this is part of it.

[00:37:00] Ben: And there's lots of people that don't seethe value in art or collectibles anyways, and see it as a bit of a greater fooltheory anyways. So if you know, some, some people just will never get it.

And that's something you have to accept, I guess.

[00:37:16] Kyle: Sorry. There was a, there was just onething I wanted to add on to that, because while we're talking about like theauthenticity of it, I think like one of the things that's kind of scary that Ithink a lot of artists are wising up to in this space, but still it's like aproblem is.

Cool. So everything's authenticated. Everything's on chain.Cool. But like the blockchain itself, isn't actually providing thatauthenticity. It's actually the trail and the wallet you mint from thatprovides the authenticity. So like, when I first joined the space, I don't knowabout you Ben, but I have like 15 different wallets.

I have so many dead ones, so many wallets and like, maybe theyget compromised, like who knows what happens. And so when you're an artist, youhave to have that redundancy and that consistency, and very clearly mark yourwallet as the minting wallet, because otherwise, like how does anyone knowwhether it's truly your work?

Not because it's from super rare, not because it's fromwhatever marketplace, you know, you're not going to be able to validate it froma random smart contract spun up by a marketplace. It really boils down to the.And so when we're thinking about like 10, 20, 50 years in the future, we don'tknow if these marketplaces are going to exist.

We don't know if these third party curators who are minting onbehalf of artists are going to exist. So if I'm buying something 50 years fromnow as an NFT, and I'm looking at the provenance, how am I supposed to know ifI'm buying or a fake Anadol piece from riff peaks wallet, or whether it's fromthe NiFi gateway, Omni bus smart contract or something, that's how they used todo it.

And that's scary because there's no difference between that atthat point. And like some random human who was impersonating this artist backthen and set up a fake contract and. So like from like a safe practicesstandpoint, it's really important that artists practice consistency from thewallets they're mincing from and men to their own works and are not using likethird-party contracts and stuff.

Like there is a reason, like there's a big, like hype andmomentum around the custom contract movements is just another layer ofauthenticity that you can provide for your collectors.

[00:39:35] Ben: That's a very, very good point. That'snot talked about enough in the space. This, this idea of provenance is the oneof the main value prompts, right.

And if you're having a wallet compromised or lose, lose a passphase, these things happen. So very, very good that you brought that up. So it'sgreat segue here. Speaking of scary things in the space we, we surroundourselves with crypto. Permeables constantly. Where could things go wrong? Likewhat, what keeps you up at night in terms of NFTs being the next big thing,besides that provenance wallet compromise aspect.

[00:40:19] Kyle: I'm going to say, I'm going to say the,the word or the acronym, and I know everyone's going to hate me for it becauseno one wants to talk about it. Cause we're all gonna make it in GM and we'reall wagging me and you know, we're all, we're all everything. Everything'sgreat. SCC, so yeah, it's, it's tricky.

Like the thing that worries me most about this space,especially the PFP projects is, and especially a lot of these marketplaceprojects they're securities, like. Like, like textbook securities, like theyall fail to Howie test. So there's like one of two things that are gonnahappen. Either history repeat itself, as it tends to do in the crypto market.

We're in a year or two, the sec will basically go after likereally high grossing projects and basically say, you have to give the moneyback just like they did in 2017 with the ICO, boom. Like this has happenedalready. And people have been pursued. People have been like come after by thegovernments.

Like it's happened. Like it, it's not like it wouldn't happenagain. So it's very plausible because it's a free payday for them. For a lot ofthese projects. I guess the other way is that maybe there's like legislaturereform where maybe these things aren't, or aren't seen as securities and maybewe just need to revise our laws.

I think that's a lot less likely to have. And while the moneymight be flowing today and everyone's sky high, I think like the majorcatalyst, one of the major catalysts, I remember from 2017 that cratered themarket was sec investigations and actual like lawsuits coming out of that. Andit's all timed, like very strategically.

It's like the press, the media, like everyone knows about itbefore it's coming. You know, like by the time you hear about it, often it'stoo late. Like you can literally go from like being up one day to down like 80%in like a 48 hours. You know, I'm sure if Ben, if you, okay, you've been aroundfor a while, you do TSD

[00:42:24] Ben: from 2018 or 19, whenever that happened,that's for sure.

Like actually I've never seen assets that I own and care about.Go down by 95% and it's not pleasant for anyone, but if you could, so Icompletely agree. But would you think that some more clarity on this or justyou know, three letter agencies coming in and clearing clearing house? I mean,obviously this is good for the space longer term but snap your fingers and haveone of these things happen.

What would be, what would be super helpful for the space?

[00:43:03] Kyle: Kind of as a, as a longer term, goodcatalyst for the space? I would love to see more people in there. Projectdescriptions, roadmaps teams talking about. Legal counsel that who's workingwith them to like help guide their decisions and stuff. I know the answer is theydon't exist in 90% of the projects, but I think it's important for people to betalking about these things.

And it's, it's comforting to people who are going to besupporting you as well. You know, especially people who may have no idea what'sgoing on. I know no one wants to talk about this stuff cause it's, you know,not, you know, we're not going to make it if we're talking about like, youknow, what could go wrong, but I would love for people to talk more about likehow we could help reform legislation.

I loved the lobby lobsters projects, like helping, like raisefunds to lobby for crypto and like better legislation when that was happening.Like I think we just need to be like, you know, more unified in how we approachthese sorts of conversations around. Laws and securities and like frameworksand things like that because we can help guide it.

And I think we can make a difference. I mean, just the amountof money people are making from like birds and owls and chickens and whatever.Like the money's there. I think people just either don't remember what it waslike when they were all rubbed or they are waiting and like hopeful that itwon't happen again.

So yeah, I think, you know, education's important. I thinktransparency is really important. And I think people should be able to talkabout it and talk about it in a way that's like very proactive. I know there'slike an entire task force of lawyers that meet every week to talk about like IPand frameworks and.

Universal like guides for how we can handle like IP withregards to NFTs and stuff. I think there would, it would be great if they weresimilar conversations on how project founders or artists, et cetera, can bemindful of how to like guide their project in a way that is compliant. BecauseI think, you know, we all want crypto to be mainstream and adopted and goglobal, you know, it's in our best interest for that to happen.

And, and if he's included, that's never ever going to happenwithout compliance to some degree, you know? So I think it's important that wetry to like shed more light on that stuff and like be more collaborative inthat sense.

[00:45:35] Ben: Yeah. That's great stuff. I mean,whenever I speak to founders on this, it's you have to have a minimum amount ofrisk you're willing to take within the space, but sometimes the problem is the.

These lawns are a little archaic and they're tough to apply thoselaws to what's happening in the digital currency space in general. But thatstill doesn't mean you just throw your hands up and say, I don't understand. Idon't comply. There's still like a level of compliance, but yeah, weighing mydoesn't have the same chime to it as wag me.

So do it. You gotta take that out of there.

All right. Shifting back into something a little bit more funthan regulation ever is. Who is your favorite NFT artists right now and why?

[00:46:29] Kyle: It actually didn't take me a long timeto think about it. So, so first off, like people I think is iconic, incredible.What he has contributed and his success in the space is like second to none.

And he's incredible. Like, he's awesome. But when it comes toleveraging like web three and NFTs as a medium of art, I don't think there'sanyone coming anywhere close to what POC is doing. And people can say what theywant about his token. Nomics is whatever, you know, that he doesn't care abouthis collectors and generating value for people.

It's, it's not even about that just from an artisticstandpoint, that dude is on another level. Like it's actually crazy, like, justfrom like an artistic standpoint. And just from like an engineering standpoint,what his team and whoever he's working with has been able to create for hisprojects is insane.

If you've played any of his games or tried to participate inany of his.

[00:47:32] Ben: Yeah, I, I somehow knew you would saypock. I was hoping for roughy, but you know, hock I messaged you before this,cause you said he has an upcoming drop it's he's pushing the limits, alwayswith like what it means to collect art or interact with his art.

And often, sometimes, you know, poor my monkey brain. It's notthe most easy for you to have to buy one thing to burn it, to redeem it for atoken. That's also redeemable for something else. It's a, yeah, but I know thathe's pushing the limits with, with what can be done within FTS. Where would yourecommend listeners to get more acquainted with somebody like.

[00:48:15] Kyle: W well, I mean, there's actually anincredible piece done by Robin Schmidt. I've, I'm just blanking on theSuperman. Oh my gosh. I cannot believe it's been a long, I love that guy'swork. He is also a genius in his storytelling, but he has a three-part seriesabout POC that talks about everything from like his history to like his themes,his motifs, his art, his projects.

I think it's a great introduction for anyone who wants to justdive into and learn about it in a very interesting sort of documentary styleway. Highly recommend.

[00:48:58] Ben: I'll definitely link that in the shownotes. I'm a big fan of Robin and all the videos he's doing, even though he didthat massive piece on board aids and how strong the community was.

And I didn't just go out and buy 50 of them after watching itand realizing how good it was. I hold them. I hold them personally accountablefor that. What so you monitor a lot of these artists things in the space. Whatare you most obsessed with in this space right now from a, from an art in Ftperspective and why?

[00:49:33] Kyle: Wow. I'm obsessed as a really strongword. I would say there's a few projects that I monitor like very closely. Andthen there's a lot that I'm not following as closely, but kind of still hold onto the ones that I'm like on top of like a Hawk, I would say is like the fluffworld ecosystem. That one was like the number one, I was monitoring theclosest.

But as of late I've also been really following the 10 KTFecosystem. I'm not sure how familiar you are with them. But I have very strongbeliefs that they are closely tied to the the other side metaverse project byboard, by the board apes group, if not working on it, to be completely honest.

I think I've I, I have a feeling they're going to be veryclosely integrated with that project. If you don't know who 10 KTF is orhaven't heard of them a good place to start would be going to check out. Weknew moment. It's basically a company called possible productions. Who'sresponsible for producing like the sickest live experiences of our lifetime.

Honestly they do like all the league of legends tournament,hologram stuff. They worked for like Justin Bieber or Paul McCartney. Likeeveryone, everyone, every major artist, like lady Gaga, like you imagine like ahuge like performer and they've done like immersive production for them. Theyalso have been collaborating with people for like 10 years.

And so they basically started this project called we knewmoments where they did the NFT releases for like Wembley and Louis Vuittonthose types of people. And they now launched a project called 10 KTF which isbasically they're like community vampire PFP projects of like sneakers and likedigital apparel But they're building this whole lore around it where they'vekind of like brought in other communities like toads and me bits and apes andall these different things.

Maybe not me bits yet actually, but like the apes and likeOnese and all this stuff where basically you could mince a backpack or sneakersof your year PFP. And now you're part of this like new Tokyo narrative wherelike toads are like mob bosses and stealing from like this wag Nissan guy. Who'slike the best craftsmen in the world.

There's tokens, there's mystery, there's adventure, it's sick.And honestly, it's, it's in my opinion, probably the strongest creative team,like in the world. And I don't say that lightly also people is a co-founder ofthe project. So, you know, you put people and this guy, Mike Figgy who is likesomeone I consider a mentor, I actually interned with his company back in 2012.

And then Geico, Siri with partnerships with Louis Vuitton,Gucci, like Warner music group, universal music group, you can just kind ofstart connecting the dots and yeah, I mean, they're, they're doing insanestuff. I highly recommend looking at them.

[00:52:40] Ben: So how so if you have a crypto, forinstance, how do you tell if a backpack or whatever accessory has already beensupported in the website is 10 K on LinkedIn in the show notes, but

[00:52:56] Kyle: the number of research right now, how doyou tell if one has been minted or whatever already?

Yeah. So you can just go on open seat and then you can actuallyjust search for your token ID based on the collection. So you can just go and,you know, if you have like one, 1000, you can just go to like the 10 KTFcollection on open sea and just like. The of like filter out Oni and then typein like 1000 and it'll show if it's been minted, if it has, then you obviouslycan't mint it.

If it hasn't, you can mint it, but you should also know thatyou can't just mince them anymore. You actually have to buy materials and craftthe blank in order to mint it, or you have to buy one of the blanks that arebasically under a separate collection called 10 KTF materials or something.

[00:53:48] Ben: I love it. Super, super, super innovativeand fun. All, all these things are, are more rabbit holes, holes to explore.What is the most underappreciated artists right now and why? Or you can name afew if that's easier versus just one.

[00:54:06] Kyle: Oh, man. Honestly, it's really tough tosay. I mean, I don't want to say something like cliche or like it's half-ass,but I would say.

95% of the NFT space is undervalued and underappreciatedbecause there are incredible artists from around the world who just aren't goodmarketers and that's part of the game. Like they might not be social. Theymight be introverted. They might not have the same hustle as going out andnetworking and meeting people, supporting other artists.

You know, another way to like get recognized as an artist is tolike, you know, collect other people's arts and like open up dialogues withthem. Like not everyone has the same accessibility or like ability to like makeit in a sense and the, see the community and the connection is such a huge partof this on top of the marketing and artists.

Aren't good at that. And so I hope as the space evolves,There's such a huge need for like agencies and marketers and curators and allthese people who everyone was. So gung ho about cutting out completely atfirst, but at least in the conversations I have, everyone just wants marketing.Like when someone wants to do a drop on a platform, it's not because they can'tjust do their own drop it's because they want to tap into someone else'scommunity and leverage their audience.

So I would say like lots of underappreciated artists much moreneed for marketing communication and curator type folks. And yeah, I mean, itdepends on what you're looking for. If you're just trying to be a patron of thearts in this space, definitely just go and collect art and like search for likecool stuff that you like.

I'm not saying you're going to make a return on it, but I knowthe artist you're supporting is gonna really be grateful for that. And then ifyou're looking for a return, probably stick to people that already haveestablished themselves or doing really insane things that you're confident aregoing to establish them if they haven't been discovered yet.

[00:56:10] Ben: Wow, Kyle, this conversation has beenfantastic. I really, really enjoyed it. Where can my listeners find out moreabout you doing good, wherever you would like to send them?

[00:56:22] Kyle: Yeah, of course. And likewise, I mean,it's always great talking to you, Ben, and I can't wait to see you again inperson. You can find more about me on my Twitter.

Mostly Instagram Kyle Gordon. Is my handle. If you want to findout more about doing good, we're doing good HQ, the [email protected]. If you want to learn more about whatwe're building or contribute in some capacity, feel free to reach out. Awesome.

[00:56:50] Ben: Really, really appreciate it, Kyle, andyeah, definitely looking forward to seeing you the next time.


[00:56:55] Kyle: Likewise, Ben, thanks again for havingme and thanks for listening everyone.

[00:56:59] Ben: Thank you, sir.

There you have it. Thank you for listening. Really appreciateyour support. Show notes, transcript links, and more can be found on [email protected]. If you'd be so kind, please share this withanyone you think might be interested or get some value from this conversation.

If you have any questions or comments, please reach out. I'malways happy to hear. Lastly, if you're on YouTube, please like the video orsubscribe to the channel. If you're listening to the audio version of this,please subscribe to the podcast and, or leave a review. This really helps morepeople find the podcast.

And I really appreciate it. Thanks again, and hope you have afantastic day. Happy investing.

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.