My guest today is Jesse Walden, the founder of Variant, an early-stage venture firm investing in crypto networks and platforms building the ownership economy.
With all the hype surrounding NFTs, I wanted to talk to Jesse about them, given his background in the music industry and his focus on the creator and ownership economy. The conversation did not disappoint. We discuss the basics of what an NFT is, what new creative paradigms they might unlock, and where we are in the NFT hype cycle.
This episode is the first in what will likely become its own show we are calling Primers. Our goal for primers is to bring investors and operators from a zero to a seven understanding of a topic, concept, or industry. The goal here is for the education around these topics to be fast and entertaining. I hope you enjoy this discussion with Jesse Walden and hopefully the first of many Primers to come.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content, check out the episode page here.
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[00:04:19] - [First question] - Simple definition of an NFT
[00:05:22] - What distinguishes NFTs from each other
[00:06:24] - The value chain of a song, and who owns it
[00:12:07] - Monetization and royalties on traded tokens
[00:15:02] - Consumer incentives for purchasing NFTs
[00:19:19] - Long-term passive income and media legos
[00:22:23] - Technical breakdown of minting, hosting, and storing tokens
[00:24:28] - Verification of token ownership on the blockchain
[00:25:58] - NFT marketplaces and aggregators
[00:27:06] - Opensea.io
[00:27:21] - Foundation.app
[00:29:46] - Innovations inspired by the NFT explosion
[00:31:01] - Mirror.xyz
[00:32:26] - NBA Topshot
[00:32:57] - Crypto Punks
[00:23:24] - Nifty Gateway
[00:34:30] - Physical cultural assets in the digital landscape
[00:36:02] - Legacy brands exploring digital goods and tokenized ownership
[00:38:37] - NFTs becoming the port of entry of all media
[00:39:39] - An ownership economy in second generation internet platforms
[00:41:02] - Uniswap
[00:42:41] - The “hype cycle” of NFTs and incoming market correction
[00:44:18] - Lessons for investors in the NFT space
[00:45:15] - Lessons for buildings in the NFT space
[00:45:54] - Resources to continue learning about NFTs
[00:45:54] - NFTs make the internet ownable by Jesse Walden
[00:46:20] - NFTs and a thousand true fans by Chris Dixon
[00:46:13] - A beginner’s guide to NFTs by Linda Xie