This episode is all about NFTs. It seems like nothing has caught on and spread into mainstream interest like NFTs, where one hears everything from “I’ve never seen anything like this before” to “is this like ICOs all over again” to “it’s just a jpg I don’t get it” to “but what about the energy use!”
So, in this special deep-dive episode from the a16z Podcast network, we break down everything you need or want to know about NFTs — while cutting through the noise for what’s hype/ what’s real, as well as where are on the long arc (and sometimes seemingly sudden tipping point!) of innovation (apparently, Google trends data showed that interest in NFTs recently surpassed interest in cryptocurrency). Editor in chief Sonal Chokshi interviews friends of a16z crypto Linda Xie, co-founder of Scalar Capital and former Product Manager at Coinbase; and Jesse Walden, founder at Variant Fund and former co-founder of Mediachain Labs (which was acquired by Spotify, where he was then an R&D lead).
Episode about the Creator Economy, and how NFTs (but not just NFTS!) are making it possible for artists, musicians, videogamers, game developers, and writers to create entirely new markets to make money from their work and engage with their fans.
Part of this emerging picture is social tokens, which share a crypto foundation with NFTs, but unlike NFTs (which are non-fungible tokens, in which each token is unique), social tokens are typically fungible, meaning each token has the same value.
This hallway-style chat features a16z General Partner and crypto investor Chris Dixon, talking with Kevin Chou, who founded Kabam, and is the founder of Rally, an open network on Ethereum where creators can launch social tokens; and Jesse Walden, the founder of MediaChain, a music rights protocol that was acquired by Spotify; he’s now the founder of crypto venture fund Variant.
They’ll talk about how musicians, artists, and writers can think about NFTs and social tokens as well, and how those different types of assets can interact to create models that haven’t existed before.
But Chris starts off the discussion by talking about the emergence of crypto tokens, and a look at how videogames and gamers were early to the idea of community engagement and digital assets, and how that model is beginning to spread outward.
Recently, a16z and the Stanford Center for Blockchain Research hosted the NFT Virtual Summit, which brought together leading thinkers and builders on the topic of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens — these tokens are enabling new creator and ownership economies to emerge. They covered NFTs in other podcasts and articles, including a curated list of reading resources, and you can watch all the videos from the summit.
Enjoy one of the discussions from that virtual summit (all of which were also published on our a16z Live feed) — this episode features General Partner Katie Haun chatting with Devin Finzer, cofounder of NFT marketplace OpenSea, on the topic of NFT “Use Cases, Today, and Tomorrow” — they cover the "tokenization of everything."