A16Z Partner Dialogue with the Founder of Coinlist: The core of Metaverse is that the ownership Meta will eventually become obsolete
“It’s a strange idea that people who own items in the meta-universe can only be giant companies. This is basically a weird idea. This basically means that only Zuckerberg is allowed to own the meta-universe, and only he can own the entire meta-universe. Why does each of us Can’t you all have your own room and your own property in the meta-universe? Therefore, those who deny and oppose NFT and crypto are basically saying: “We will not have a collectively-owned future. We will have a company-owned future. future. ”
“I used to think that what we want to do is to replace Uber, Facebook and Twitter with the primitives that support Web3 and the resulting networks, but now I don’t necessarily think so, I think we just want to create that we can’t even predict or recognize But we will eventually turn our attention to these things. So, Twitter and Facebook will still be good and will continue to exist. But we will focus on these new applications that are uniquely enabled by primitives such as NFT and token. “
—— Naval Ravikant, Founder of Coinlist
Recently, “The Tim Ferriss Show” hosted by angel investor and popular podcaster Tim Ferriss invited a16z partner Chris Dixon and Naval Ravikant, who is known as “the originator of equity investment.” This podcast involves many hot topics, such as the miracle of Web3, Friends with Benefits (FWB), the unexplored potential of NFT, etc. The time for the complete podcast is more than two and a half hours. In order to facilitate reading, we have divided it into four parts. .
The first part: a16z partner dialogue with Coinlist founder Naval: the miracle of WEB3.0
The following is the second part (the content has been deleted):
The evolution and development direction of NFT
Naval Ravikant : We are now entering the core of Web3, which is NFT (non-homogeneous token). This is what Chris has been doing since day one. Among all the investors I know, Chris is the first big move People who have entered the NFT field and have always been consistent. In fact, in February of this year, I remember that when I met with him, all he wanted to discuss was NFT. And I didn’t understand it at the time, I thought, “Yes, anyway, Chris, this sounds cool, a good toy.”
Now I thought: “What did you say?” So I missed the NFT, But NFT answered a lot of questions that I didn’t know before. One problem is that a group of people appeared. They bought Bitcoin early and became rich in this huge wealth transfer movement.
When we switched from fiat currency to some kind of scarce currency backed by mathematics, Chris mentioned them as well. So does this mean that people who entered this field in 2009-2015 or 2016 will become rich, while everyone else will be poor? No, there is a very interesting saying that has always been popular. Someone said: “Each generation invents its own new Ponzi scheme and rejects the previous generation Ponzi scheme.” Now we are moving faster, So the previous generation of Ponzi schemes may be Bitcoin or Ethereum . If you think about what Bitcoin is, it will stand up and say: “We reject fiat currency, we reject printing money, we reject kings, rulers, and tyrants, we want people’s currency.” We understand, and some people say, “Wait, can you create your own currency? Well, I want to create my own currency.”
So everyone will stand up and say, “Well, I have my own currency, don’t use your record book, but use my record book.”
……Just like in the real world, any popular thing can be held in value, it may be real estate, it may be oil, or it may be gold. It can be every house, it can be every business, or it can be a pair of shoes.
Of course, the value of the vast majority of objects will tend to zero, which may be a short-lived, but at least this provides an opportunity for everyone who is “late”, “Well, we can define any object as having value (we think Valuable)”, such as these cultural memes that we created around NFTs such as Boring Apes. HODLing is the meme of the Bitcoin community, right? You must hold your bitcoins, the word comes from the wrong spelling of HOLD, and in the NFT world, you hold it for emotional value.
If you own Punk 6529 and someone comes to buy your Punk, you will not sell it. The most famous Punk has been used as a Twitter ID by its holder. His CryptoPunk received an offer of approximately $10 million, but he refused to sell it because it represented his identity. This actually makes it a cultural meme, and now his CryptoPunk may be more valuable. So NFT is an absolutely fascinating rabbit hole, I think Chris may be the first investor to deeply identify them, which can be traced back to his investment in Dapper Labs. These people built CryptoKitties and evolved from there. So, I would love to hear Chris talk about NFTs, such as their evolution and their development direction.
Chris Dixon : Yes, obviously I am very excited about NFTs. I think they are very, very broad, kind of like primitives. As you understand, like the way we use it, it’s a bit like a key basic building block of the Internet. The Internet has gone through such a process-I think most of the problems I mentioned before, you can only use open methods to build, and many problems, frankly, I think that comes from advertising. In fact, because we don’t have native payments and tokens, all this forces people to do what Google wants. They want a digital closed loop before crypto, and you can only achieve it through advertising.
So we built this huge infrastructure, and the Internet is now driven by banner ads and search ads and similar things. This is great for some companies, but it is usually terrible for creative people. Yesterday someone posted a great tweet: “Web2 convinced you to give up your creation in exchange for a little red heart (like). But yes, please tell me how NFT is a real scam.”
Surprisingly, they convinced all these people, oh, Instagram, what did they give? zero! Facebook, zero! YouTube, 50%, right? Apple, as long as users own a mobile phone, they take 30%.
Do you know how many companies cannot survive when you take away 30%? It’s a bit crazy for us to endure all this. So now, as you said, put NFT aside and see what happens in Substack like that? This is a communication platform, you can visit as a writer and get people to subscribe to it. This is a relatively simple and very elegant idea, but the interesting thing you see now is that a writer who might have made $100,000 or something in the past can now make $1 million a year. You will see a lot of people saying, “Hey, this shouldn’t happen. We are told that the internet is bad for creative people.”
The Internet is not bad for creative people, but Web2 is bad for creative people. I just saw the statistics promoted by Spotify a few days ago. They have 8 million artists, of which 14,000 earn $50,000 a year, and the rest are even less. Basically, with this kind of income, life is very difficult. By the way, I am not blaming Spotify. A lot of money goes to record companies. I think Spotify is a good company. This is just a logical problem of the model. Then, there is an artist named 3lau. I think his popularity on Spotify can only be regarded as a moderate level, and he made 11 million US dollars by issuing an NFT.
You might say that this $11 million is just a bubble. If he makes only $100,000, it will be transformative. This is the same as Substack. Therefore, you now have this very powerful new method. These creatives used to use banner ads at most, which was very poorly monetized. Now, they can create all kinds of interesting things. We have art, we have utilities, we have…NFTs are also a broad concept, so I think you will see all kinds of interesting experiments, and I really encourage people to participate in these communities to learn about them. For example, I will buy NFT on Foundation. This is one of our investment projects. It is a high-end NFT art platform and planning platform.
I think in the future, we will see more and more practical use cases. The game now is really interesting, I don’t think the world has seen this yet, but I’ll tell you that our company has a game team, these people are from Riot and Blizzard (Blizzard), I think they are almost 1% now Baihui involves NFT. They are at the forefront, especially the next generation of young people, there will be a lot of interesting things, these will be real practical programs.
I think NFT is a concept as common as web pages. Think about a website. When it first appears, people will say, “Oh, this is a website!” They try to map it to the offline world. It’s like a This booklet, but as we have seen in these 30 years, all the smart people have come, they have innovated, the website? This is not a website, but a social network, this is a SAAS tool, this is a… and NFT will be equally widespread.
This is a core new concept, the idea of owning something on the Internet. Another way of thinking I like is, for example, imagine that every time you go to a hotel or restaurant, they will say: “Oh, you have to change clothes, buy a new set of clothes.” This is how the Internet works today , And then you leave and they will say, “Hey, you have to return those things to me.” Then one day, someone came by and said, “No, you can take it away.”
Imagine the number of innovations this will initiate, and this is what is happening on the Internet. We used to have this leasehold design, and now we are just breaking it, so people will say, “Oh, this is a bubble.”
But I don’t think so. I think this is the beginning of an incredible creative journey for the next 20 years, and I have no doubts about it.
Tim Ferriss : Chris, I would love to let you talk more about the game, because I think NFT in the game environment is easy to understand by many people, even if they don’t play games. But many applications make sense to me. So I mean, you can talk about whatever you want, right? For example, something like YGG, what does it mean? Because it is too funny for me — and “fun” is a lazy adjective — it is eye-opening and exciting.
Chris Dixon : So what is the video game model today? It is the dominant model. Despite the emergence of new technologies, the old methods still exist. Therefore, to buy a video game like “Madden-Madden Rugby”, you have to pay $60 or other expenses, this kind of business still exists, and companies like EA do just that. But now there are new, more modern companies, perhaps the best are companies like Fortnite and Supercell, Clash Royale and League of Legends.
The model used by these companies is that the game is completely free, you can play forever, and the only thing you have to buy is skins and the like, so you can’t buy products that will allow you to win, because people think it will destroy the integrity of the game. Sex, so all this is just to look cool, but this is a $40 billion industry per year, just virtual goods. Okay, by the way, the same is true for NFT.
But those virtual goods are locked in the game, right? And when you buy virtual goods, all the money goes to the company. And for games like Axie Infinity , you don’t buy from the company, but from one of the investors. It’s more like peer-to-peer, right? This is more like the eBay and Craigslist approach, you are buying from another person. For example, in the case of Axie , there are about hundreds of thousands of people playing this game. Many of them live in the Philippines and rely on this game for their livelihoods. So they did a lot of different things, which people call grinding.
You play a lot of things, and then they may improve the NFT, and then, other wealthy people buy these NFTs from these people, and the company only charges a similar 3% transaction fee instead of all the money. In other words, the agreement will charge a lower fee, but in exchange, you will get a very cool and vibrant economy. So this game really broke out. It has about 2 million active users. By the way, this game is not in any app store because it is banned by Google and Apple. Despite this, it still has such a large user group.
I think Axie may really inspire you a lot. The YGG you mentioned above is an independent company, and we are actually its investors. Its full name is Yield Guild Games. It is actually what we call DAO, but in essence, it is an online Software organization where people can basically get Axie loans so they can play it without having to pay upfront fees and then make money. This is like the guild mode in the game, people get together and join the same team, but suddenly, you can have some real money, and people can live on it. So I think this is the future of the game industry. Many next-generation talents see this and are excited about it.
Tim Ferriss: Thank you, Chris, Naval, do you have anything to add?
Naval Ravikant : I mean, you both mentioned a very interesting and subtle point, which may be worth clarifying, that is, when many people see NFT for the first time, their reaction is, “Okay, I Just right-click and save this JPG. How can this thing be valuable?” Then you all gave examples to illustrate how these things are valuable. The simplest answer is, “Yes, I can also copy any artwork. Right? This does not mean that I have real art, it still has its origins, and the art itself still has authenticity.”
For example, in the Bored Ape Yacht Club project, suppose we are building a meta-universe. We are building a 3D virtual space. Of course, we don’t want Zach’s 3D virtual space, but an open meta-universe. Well, if I walk into two rooms, one of which has an authentic Bored Ape Yacht Club with real photos of Apes or CryptoPunks hanging on the wall , my software tells me this. Then I walked into another room, which was full of fakes and copies, and my software immediately told me that these were fake. Where do you think cool kids will go to play? Where will the children of the rich go to play? Where will the queue be held? Therefore, NFT provides real value in identity verification. It allows you to create a meta-universe and then distinguish between space A and space B, but this is only the simplest level.
You also exemplified that in the game, NFT is a smart contract, which is a thing that can be used in the game. If I have a special loot or a special item I picked up in a game, and then the developer or the same group of users go to the second game, I can transfer my NFT well, they will have some value, And right-click the saved JPG has no value. Finally, Tim, the example of the NFT you gave can also be a social contract between the creator of the NFT and the fans of the NFT, so that it can get a ticket for future rights, while the fake one does not have this function, or it can let the holders Some prefer to get the artist’s future works, and so on.
I like Chris’ webpage example. Because the web page is programmable, the web page can do anything, it is complete, and it can run any piece of code. Therefore, these objects we have are essentially complete programmable objects. These objects are suddenly scarce. You can own them, you can transfer them, you can link to the real world, or you can link them to the digital world through smart contracts.
In essence, the role of the blockchain is to allow open composability and programmability among all these objects in the digital domain. If Bitcoin can be valuable, if Ethereum can be valuable, then in theory, as long as the social contract’s smart contract and the community that executes it are valuable, NFT can be valuable. Of course, most of them will not be valuable, but some of them will.
Tim Ferriss: Chris, I want to ask you a question. You mentioned a word before, skeuomorphic , and you wrote before that one of the most common mistakes people make when evaluating new technologies is to focus too much on doing old things. Better, so as we have seen, many people are trying to copy and paste Web1 or Web2 into Web3 . I hope you can spell this word, and then give some examples of skeuomorphic design, and then, if you can, give some examples of Web3 native applications, or just give examples of possible situations.
Chris Dixon : I remembered this as a term used by Steve Jobs. He used it to refer to visual design. Do you remember that the original iPhone had a book-like application? Therefore, the concept in design is to get something from the real world, and then use the design to make it look more familiar in the online world. I don’t know, for whatever reason, my colleagues and I started using this term internally before March or April. I’m not sure whether we invented it or enabled it, I mean, it was transplanted from the design world.
But we always use it to express an idea, so when you go back to the early movies, the early movies look like drama, and then over time, the movie develops its own new grammar, right? This happens with every new technology. Like the early Internet, right? It’s like brochures and magazines, and people say, “Wait a minute, you can make new…”, which is what we call original things, such as having a social network, it can be a two-way medium. So I think it wasn’t until the mid-2000s that people really started to explore “native” web experiences. I believe the best way to invest is to develop native things . So this is a concept we often use internally. People like to use blockchain to do things like supply chain management or offline tickets. I am very happy to see entrepreneurs in various fields do this. I respect all entrepreneurs, but I think these are skeuomorphic ideas. They It might work, but people won’t talk about them again in 10 years, right? This will be a new thing, NFT, so let me give you an example of a very cool project, its name is Loot, we have never heard of it before, Loot is such a game.
Tim Ferriss: Yes, the creator of Loot, seems to be the creator of Vine.
Naval Ravikant: Yes.
Chris Dixon: Yes, Don Hoffman, he is a talented developer and product designer, he created this thing called Loot. What is Loot? Basically, they are small cards with elements like Dungeons and Dragons, with some words on them, and those themselves are NFTs. But the cool thing about it is that it inspired the entire community to build around it. It’s as if Ernest Hemingway didn’t write a book, but only wrote the first page of the book. , And let the community add the next page, right? This is what Don did, he wrote: “This is the beginning of it, now let your imagination go crazy.” By the way, Loot will not have a standardized game, there will be a hundred different things in it They are all built on the basis of Lootverse.
This is a tapestry of creative people who have added different building blocks to this new structure. This is just a very deep new way of thinking about building games. These are very simple new building blocks, and it is this simplicity that makes them so powerful. This is just an early experiment, and there will be more such cool Experiment, Loot does not have millions of users, but the people who like it are the best product designers in the world, so I think this will be a moment, Naval, do you remember del.icio.us and Flickr, from 2003 to During this period of 2005, all the core Web2 primitives appeared.
Naval Ravikant: Yes, the emergence of Flickrs sparked Pinterests.
Chris Dixon: Exactly!
Naval Ravikant : Yes, your skeuomorphic thoughts are even deeper. Like you look at a basic computer, we use the desktop computing model. It has a desktop, files, and folders. This is a skeuomorphism simulation from the physical world. It can help people reason about how to use something by analogy. In fact, I made a big mistake. It was in the early days of blockchain history. I thought that what we need to do is to replace Uber, Facebook, and Twitter with primitives that support Web3 and the resulting networks. Now I don’t necessarily think so, I think we just want to create new things that we can’t even predict or recognize. But we will eventually turn our attention to these things. So Twitter and Facebook will still be good and will continue to exist. But we will focus on these new applications that are uniquely enabled by primitives such as NFT and token.
Chris Dixon : I think this idea is right. I mean, people are still using Microsoft Office, it still exists, and the Internet hasn’t gotten rid of it, right? I think these are just layers of things. I also agree that value is created in cool things and will be created in original cutting-edge things.
Naval Ravikant : On the border.
Tim Ferriss : Yes.
Chris Dixon : Yes.
Challenges facing Web3
Tim Ferriss : I would recommend a book and a movie. You might make fun of me for that. The first I recommend is the book “Avalanche”, which is an incredible book, and then you can watch or watch it again The movie “Ready Player One”, of course, I don’t think some aspects of it are coming, but I think many things are faster than people expected. In the past few months, I have been immersed in the depths of the rabbit hole. Nevertheless, I still want to ask, what are some of the weaknesses or challenges related to Web3?
For example, I remember I bought some NFTs, and someone suggested that I share them online, so I asked: “Wait a minute, if I share them online, then people can effectively check my bank account. It is filled with a certain amount of assets, all of which are stored on the blockchain.”
Then, their answer was: “This is your own bank.”
But I asked again: “I’m not sure if I want to be 100% my own bank. In a sense, people use external banks for many good reasons, right? They don’t want to put gold bullion and money into their own homes. In the mattress, and also have to deal with security issues.”
Naval Ravikant: I have been to your home, Tim, I think your home’s security is still done well.
Tim Ferriss: Yes, I do a good job of security, it is true, but the question is, what are the challenges? I sometimes think, “Well, do I want Amazon to see my entire purchase history, or do I want the entire Internet to see my entire purchase history? Personally, the answer may be Amazon.”
I want to hear your views.
Naval Ravikant : For me, safety is a big issue. I have been supporting crypto for some time, and I have to be very careful to transfer all of my investment to the custodian and fund so that I don’t need to hold anything directly. You can give it to the custodian, and then there will be a multi-signature that requires multiple people to agree to move something. Or the setting time is delayed, and it cannot be transferred within 6 months or 1 year. Therefore, some measures can help us alleviate these security problems.
The progress of the industry in this area is too slow, which makes me feel uncomfortable, but it is happening. But I think you can also remain anonymous in many ways. We mentioned Punk 6529. It is a pure Twitter identity. People don’t know who the holder is in real life, but he has been regarded as an excellent NFT collector and curator. You can also create new wallets instantly, and the software is getting better and better. Therefore, you can actually make each purchase from a different wallet, which can be difficult to track because there are enough ways to anonymize it, at least for the public. Or if you can use something like zero-knowledge proofs.
Therefore, these problems will be easily solved, but they are the problems that exist today. When anyone can cast, hold and easily move NFTs, it will be a happy moment, but many so-called alpha opportunities in this field will also follow. It disappeared .
Tim Ferriss: Yes, Chris, do you have anything to add?
Chris Dixon : Yes, I agree with this. I think the point that is closely related to security is usability and how to make everything easy to use and safe. I think everything will be resolved, but I agree with Naval’s point of view that these are not yet complete. For me, the biggest challenge in this field may be the transmission of information around it. I think there are many misunderstandings around it, some of which are caused by ourselves and by the community, which makes a lot of people think about crypto and Web3, etc. Reacted negatively, and I think this may have led to excessive regulatory actions. What we are trying to do here is just to explain these ideas, but to finally convince people, they need to decide whether to study in depth. I have been working in this field for 8 years, and I have never encountered a person who knows the field very well. People who would doubt it, never.
Naval Ravikant: Yes, if you have serious doubts about the idea of owning digital assets, then you—
Chris Dixon: You haven’t understood it yet, yes.
Naval Ravikant : This means that you are a denier of the meta-universe, because if you look at “Avalanche” written by Neil Stephenson and the meta-universe described almost anywhere, you will find that there is “property” in the meta-universe Concept, obviously some people own property and have jurisdiction over the property. For example, this is my room. These are the objects in my room. I can move them at will. I can control who gets in and out of this room. When someone tries to sit on my meta-universe sofa, I can control it. So, All this programmability comes from ” ownership .”
“The people who can own the items in the meta-universe can only be giant companies”, this is a strange idea. This is basically Zuckerberg, I didn’t mean to offend him, but this basically means that only Zach is allowed to own the meta universe, and only he can own the entire meta universe. Why can’t each of us be in the meta universe? Zhongdu has his own room and own property? Therefore, those who deny and oppose NFT and crypto are basically saying: “We will not have a collectively-owned future, we will have a corporate-owned future.”
Ironically, the best career in 2021 is to be a JPG collector, and I thought too late. The best career in 2020 may be to be a DeFi farmer. This is crazy, but the world is developing so fast. Adapting so quickly, the frontier is in the crypto field, which is digital. If you have a natural thirst for knowledge about these things, then your moment will come. In fact, ACE participants and YGG participants may find that the best profession in the future and the best profession at present may have to revolve around the game, just to play the game in a specific way within a specific time, which is important for all gamers. That is good news.
Tim Ferriss : Yes, I want to read two passages from the blog post “Climbing the wrong hill:
“The current temptation of this mountain is very strong, and mankind has a natural tendency to move upward in the next step. He eventually falls into a common trap emphasized by behavioral economists: people tend to systematically overestimate short-term returns. Not a long-term return. This effect seems to be stronger for more ambitious people, whose ambitions seem to make it difficult for them to give up nearby ascent steps.
People early in their careers should learn from computer science: when you find the highest hill, stop wasting time on the current hill, no matter how good the next step might be. “
Reading this article is because after paying attention to Web3 in recent months, I found myself a bit late. This is like the national anthem before the game. And I have never seen so many high IQ, ambitious, capable people give up anything they are doing, which is very attractive in many cases, and then spend all their time on Web3. , I have never seen anything that can approach it. This is not a trickle. What is certain is that in all the time I have been engaged in technical work, I have never seen anything like this. At least it means it deserves careful attention. Research.
Posted by:CoinYuppie，Reprinted with attribution to:https://coinyuppie.com/a16z-partner-dialogue-with-the-founder-of-coinlist-the-core-of-metaverse-is-that-the-ownership-meta-will-eventually-become-obsolete/
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