NFTStudio24 held a podcast interview with Michael Sofaer from Pylons, Ryan Day from Blockworks, and Nick Vale from ReNFT to talk about different aspects of blockchain, Web3, gaming, and NFT. They’re all part of the Blockchain Game Alliance and have been actively building to contribute to the space.
Since Web3 is still in its initial stage of development, in this interview, the ongoing conversation was to understand how people in space are building it, integrating it, and how they envision the Web3 and metaverse to look in the future.
Michael shared interesting insights on the technology adoption, and how Pylons is working towards breaking down and simplifying this new concept to bring people in.
Pylons is a full-stack solution built on the Cosmos ecosystem, bringing blockchain items and Web3 property to common people by removing the barriers that prevent it. According to Michael, there are three “sources of friction” that prevent mass adoption:
- Downloading browser extensions
- Having to interact with Cryptocurrencies
- Paying microtransaction upfront fees
Pylons take away these hurdles to ensure people try out this new technology while remaining in their comfort zone but also getting a chance to explore something new.
Blockworks: Doing partnerships with brands
Blockworks is a leading media platform that has been working with different Web3 businesses worldwide.
Ryan, who is a veteran in the space, shares that the company focuses on showcasing brands that can bring value and maintain trust among its audience.
As a host for Playconomy, Ryan works with Web3 games to highlight what they’re building. He closely looks at a company’s long-term utility instead of advertising flashy products and services.
ReNFT: A multi-chain NFT rental platform
Nick Vale introduced the concept of NFT renting at ReNFT, which is quite different from the traditional rental companies.
“We’re focused on unbundling the NFT,” he said.
Non-fungible tokens have some kind of utility attached to them that drives people to buy them. ReNFT helps holders to rent their digital collectibles to let the borrower utilize them.
For example, if a person owns an in-game asset from a game but doesn’t really want to play, they can simply rent it to another person to get something in return.
Pylons for creators
Michael explains that Pylons is a permissionless system, which means artists and creators are open to minting their works as NFTs or digital assets with no gas fee; it charges commissions, allowing people to easily get used to the platform.
“We’re the only chain where transactions are free; natively on-chain.”
He also shared that anyone can download the publishing tool on their phone, publish art for free, and not pay anything unless someone buys the work. Artists are open to exploring different art styles and attracting collectors without worrying about expenses.
Michael refers to Pylons as a “publishing platform,” mainly focused on self-publishing right now where you have to drive traffic yourself. The Pylons team is taking the next step soon based on feedback from artists for new features to reach out to more people to present the curated blockchain art.
Educating Web3 to the public
Web3 education is an important task to achieve mass adoption. NFTStudio24 is holding educational sessions while Blockworks is also doing various activities. Ryan shares his opinion on teaching the public about blockchain technology.
According to him, people don’t really know what Web3 is but only know what crypto Bitcoin is. The term is usually used among community members or individuals who really know this industry.
In order to reach non-Web3 users, it’s important to break it down and give them opportunities to engage with content. “You need to look at it from different angles and see how you take that content and put it out. “
How is ReNFT different from other lending platforms?
A lot of people don’t trust lending platforms and NFTStudio24 highlighted this aspect to which Nick explained that there’s no risk in renting the NFTs on ReNFT because the borrower doesn’t get full custody of the asset. “It’s technically escrowed via a contract on-chain and the only person who can remove that is the original owner,” he explained.
Nick shared, in the case of Web3 gaming, there might be people who are interested in collecting but don’t really want to play the game. On the other hand, some might want to try out the game but don’t have enough money to buy the assets. So, they can simply use ReNFT to rent out these assets.
“There’s not actually like this transfer of asset anywhere outside of the owner’s control,” he compares the rental aspect in a traditional circle where there are more concerns. “Security is number one for us because they’re NFTs and they’re non-fungible; we can’t replace them in the same way.”
Pylons’ POV for “Metaverse for All”
Like NFTStudio24, Michael also believes that Metaverse should be open to everyone with equal opportunities. He shares he wants to disintermediate the financial parasites from the people who produce value in the world.
In the traditional world, artists are limited to exploring their artwork and making a living because of the overpowering giants. Even for collectors, it’s a challenge to protest against the system because they have no choice but to follow it. For example, if someone buys a skin in Fortnite, they cannot use it in Call of Duty or Fall Guys.
Michael envisions a metaverse where people can use any digital item across different venues, instead of buying specific items for each.
“I just want to remove intermediaries and get people onboard onto this like native digital ownership train. I strongly believe that it’s art and fashion that will drive this,” he said.
Web3 is all about moving the power to the artists, to the people, and away from these huge corporate venues. Michael believes there’s going to be a big fight to dismantle this system because no big corporation wants to lose its business but it all depends on whether people fight back or conform to the forced system.
Building a career in Web3
Ryan believes that passion should be the driving force when entering Web3 because this industry is very massive and there are different sectors working on various fields that can be specific to one’s interest.
“Find what your niche is, find what interests you because 9 out of 10 times there hasn’t been a role built for you before by whatever company,” he said.
Since blockchain is a new industry, anyone who has been in it for 10 years is considered a veteran, which is why it’s important to find what you like and then pursue it by joining communities, taking up roles, or even doing your own thing.
All in all, Web3 is opening to infinite possibilities without any limitations. It’s up to the individuals how they utilize this technology to build their careers.
Metaverse in five years
Ryan shares the metaverse would be more than what it is today. The biggest drive for mass adoption of this new technology is going to be through gaming because gamers are always the first ones to adopt something new.
He also added that people won’t really know what Web3, blockchain, or metaverse is because all of this will be backhanded. People will only focus on what’s on the front and how it is presented to them.
Opportunities for young students
NFTStudio24 asked Nick about opportunities for young students who wish to become builders or developers in the space to which he shared that the community is actively experimenting with different aspects of the platform. ReNFT has some interesting things coming out in 2023.
Since blockchain is relatively new, even if someone worked in the industry for two years, they are considered experienced. So, it’s important to have a fixed niche that you can pursue even if you’re a young student with no career background.
“My point is to just get involved. There are a million things happening and focus is one of the most difficult things in this space, so there’s a place for you.”
Partnership with Blockchain Game Alliance
Michael, Nick, and Ryan are all members of the Blockchain Game Alliance, an organization dedicated to educating and promoting blockchain technology in the gaming industry by forming a community of professional individuals and companies.
Michael says BGA has been more than just a space for gaming companies to connect. It’s open to different fields and anyone can onboard the community to learn and grow in the space.
Ryan is highly involved with Web3 gaming and so joining the space has been quite exciting for him to meet new people who share the same interests.
“BGA has done a litmus test for us. They’re all great people, they’re all great partners, and building this kind of forward momentum together in the gaming space.”
Nick shared that BGA is the perfect place to meet people who are actually building real products and trying to solve real problems rather than launching a token that doesn’t hold any utility. It’s a space filled with traditional gamers and even new Web3 developers, bringing diversity to conversations held.
Inspiring messages for NFTStudio24 viewers:
The interview ended on positive and empowering notes from the guests:
Michael: “What you wanna build is attainable. Don’t let VCs and the people who want to pump their bags tell you what you can build and where you need to build it. Stick to your dreams and what experience you want to create and find people who want to empower that because you know you can do it.”
Ryan: “I full-heartedly agree with what Michael said. I also want to add if you’re looking to get into the industry and make connections, DM me on Twitter (@Ryanno_Wrecks). I am always happy to meet new people who are new to the industry and make connections. So, feel free to use and leverage this network through NFTStudio24, through us, and through you.”
Nick: “It’s a really good point to just reach out. The space is the most approachable you’ve ever seen. The first space where competitors partner with competitors. So, just DM/reach out to anyone; the worst that could happen is they won’t respond. I also want to add my personal thesis has always been to not chase trends and set them right. The trend-chasing is a dangerous game. I think there is a lot of toxicity in this space and everyone continues to chase the puck to some degree. Get involved with what you love, there will be time for it.”