Transcription Episode 77

Hi everyone and welcome to another episode of Living on Blockchain. Today we are speaking to Vikas. He is the co-founder of NFTFN.

It was earlier called Bliv Club. Basically, they are creating huge waves in the NFT space. They have a product called Supernova, using which you can actually invest in some blue chip NFTs.

It’s like an index, makes it very accessible, the NFT market for the users. They’re also coming up with a few tools for the seasoned traders as well to go long and short on NFTs. They’ve created a robust platform and they are also doing something very, very exciting with Bitcoin ordinals.

So I really think that all your NFT aficionados should really tune in and traders as well and do give this a listen. Hi Vikas, thank you so much for joining us today. How are you doing? Doing well, Tarusha.

Thank you. Thanks for having me here. It’s wonderful that you could make the time.

So for our listeners, can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got into Web3? Sure, Tarusha. For everyone, my name is Vikas Singh. I started my Web3 journey in 2016.

It’s a very interesting story that a friend of mine in 2016, February specifically 2016, he used to work. He was from actually an institute from IIM Lucknow. And then he was supposed to have a project done on top of blockchain.

And at that time, I was completely taken aback. What exactly is this blockchain? And he was being very, very pushy that Vikas, we have to do something on blockchain because let’s say blockchain will save credit card industry billions of dollars because it can cut intermediary and it can actually save a lot of money in the compliance side of it. I said, wow, very, very interesting, but I couldn’t wrap my head around it.

Then what happened is this, he wanted to build some sort of a use case around blockchain. And back then in 2016, it was very hard to understand what blockchain is because it is now today, it’s very easy. I mean, you can just put up a LinkedIn post and there will be 10 people criticizing blockchain a fad and crypto a fad and still.

But back then it was like very, very hard to understand blockchain from the technology perspective. So what we did, we essentially could at that time, we could only get our hands up on Ethereum. It was really hard back then to even understand.

The docs were also not very detailed, but there was some IDE that they have, it used to call mix ID. So now the browser version of it is now called remix ID. So when I use, so I installed mix ID, I did some numbers.

I wrote a code in solidity and then off I go. So what are we, so my entry into the web three was from the tech perspective. So it was unfortunate that I was not exposed to web three from the crypto side of it.

Later on, I figured it out. So, and that too, I entered into the ecosystem from the Ethereum side. So Ethereum as a technology rather than Ethereum as a currency or something or Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency.

So my entry was very technical when it comes to how I was introduced to web three. So that was a, that was a small story. And then as things moves on, I was very intrigued by the promise that, and when I read, okay, after that, I read, after I was done with the yellow paper of Ethereum, then white paper, and then I read Bitcoin white paper.

Then I was like completely in, I would say brightest as well as I was starting to ask these questions. Hey, why not? Somebody has already thought about these kinds of things. Why can’t actually we remove, like why can’t we send money like an email? It was exactly all those questions which were flowing through my head.

So later on that year, I was able to, I was very fortunate to have some folks who have been experienced into the Bitcoin ecosystem. They helped me understand what Bitcoin is as a blockchain, not again, as a cryptocurrency. And from that, from those fundamentals, I build up my understanding.

Okay. This is something which is actually going to upset a lot of people in the coming time. And that’s where I, I got my, I got my Northstar very, very much set that boss, I have to work in this industry.

And I was anyway, trying to, trying to find the technology, upcoming technology, which I can pick up for the next five, 10 years. Because back then I was trying big data. I was trying like different other genres as well, Hadoop and all these things.

They were the, back then it was a very much rage. Like if you know Hadoop, then you can get into the big data then. And that too from Google and all these things.

So I was trying, so I was continuously seeking a technology which is up and coming and not yet has taken a fully much shape and it is yet to ripe. And that’s how I figured it out. It used to check all the boxes and the rebellious, rebellious nature of blockchain actually just matched entrepreneurs nature.

So I would say a lot of the three founders are rebellious by nature. That’s why they got inclined to it. So that’s, that’s, that’s pretty much, that’s pretty much what it is.

Yeah. I think a lot of us got into the space because, you know, we were the misfits and rebels and we, we kind of fell in love with the technology and the prompts it had. Right.

So, and I think it still has that, that promise still exists. It’s just that there are times there can be a lot of noise, but I love how, you know, your journey kind of came from being introduced to decentralized technology in such an organic way by your friend. And now, you know, you’re one of the, you know, older builders in the space.

So what inspired you to create NFT FN and what sets it apart in the growing NFT ecosystem? Oh, absolutely. So my journey, when I started, so after I understood it in 2016, I was continuously seeking for the opportunities as a developer in the startup ecosystem where, because I was very much sure that this technology would be picked up by the startups first. So I was looking for the job in those sectors.

So I was fortunate to get the job in a healthcare company, healthcare startup in Hyderabad. Okay. And then I stayed there for 16 months.

And in those 16 months, those were the most productive 16 months, if I could say after my college in and headed to the, put in back 2009 to 12, because in those 16 months, I was actually maybe working for maybe around 16 to 18 hours a day. Not just that I was trying to understand and wrap my head around the blockchain technology by myself. I was also evangelizing it.

I was also trying to make it understand by the CXOs of the bigger companies who really wanted to actually take the decision fast, heavy cost, whether we can use it or not. So I was like attending a lot of breakfast, early breakfast, lunch, dinners with the CXOs. And they were, they were, they were really, really keen to understand whether they can actually use it or not.

So hardware startups, software startups, healthcare, I would say logistics. I touched almost all those areas, built a lot of solution as a customized solution for a lot of people that back then just to trying to, who just wanted to actually create a small MVP kind of platforms. So those 16 months were really, really productive while I was doing a lot of cutting edge work based on the EHR, electronic health record.

And we were trying to, I was trying to understand HIPAA, HL7, FHIR and all those standards in the EHR world for the patients documentation. So EHR, so electronic health records have different standards, just like our APIs have different standards like HTTP and JSON over HTTP. So all these kinds of different ways by which we send data today over the internet.

Similarly, when two hospitals use different kind of infrastructure to store the patient’s information, they might use different kind of foundationally, different kind of structure. So we were trying to understand that how can we make a single structure, which not only is HIPAA compliant, as well as people can actually take up their digital health records along with them, and they can also do selective sharing. So back in those 16 months, I did really good work around that.

I happened to just spend a lot of time in the hackathons also, because I was trying to take my hands on to everything and anything which can actually explore the, or extend the fabric of a blockchain and Serendipity allows Serendipity to work for me because I just wanted to get as much exposure to the similar kind of people, as well as from different kind of backgrounds, because it just helps you understand the technology in a different ideological way as well, because Web3 is not just a technology, it’s a mindset, it’s an ideology as well. So then I branched out in 2018. And then I gained enough confidence after working for almost 16 months with different CXOs, that I was able to figure it out, like, it’s not a lot of difference being in the job as well as running the job.

So I was able to understand and measure the how much distance do I need to cover from going from this side of the table to the other side of the table. So I started all of all by myself, then the whole game in 2018 was just to keep helping the people into making the products. So I did some sort of services.

And I used to by that time, in 16 months, I was able to create those small freelancer kind of community around myself. So I used to get the work done from outside and then used to use that money, remaining money into building my own products. So I did.

So my understanding, because I was coming from earlier, I was coming from a telecom experience for five years before I jumped into the blockchain. So I knew that the product is something is the way to go, rather than just keep doing the services. That’s not scalable, right? After the point it is, it’s very hard to scale it.

And you, people do not understand this. But I mean, they do understand this. But the problem is that they cannot execute on it.

Everybody starts services just from this mindset that they will eventually one day will create product. But because of the fresh scent of the money, doesn’t it’s like the same salary kind of mindset in the job. Similarly, then the services you keep getting money from the customer.

So that money and the responsibility that comes with that money keeps you engaged in the service work rather than that you cannot think with the freedom that what exactly that you want to do in the product if you were given a chance. So I happen to keep those things apart from the day one get go. It really helped me to keep building the products, trying to market those products.

Of course, some see some sunlight, otherwise, some never see the sunlight of the product that we made. But it always giving me that exposure to how to think from the product side. And from 2018 to 2020, before the pandemic hit, and in the pandemic, also, we did some services just to keep the lights over our head on, and keep building whatever we were building.

So in 2022, we essentially, I was, I was always intrigued by the financial side of it. So defy side of the blockchain, because that way, I’ll be honest that I completely missed. I don’t know how did I miss.

But I think it was the pandemic or something. And we all builder tried to work in the beer market. So when the bull came after the pandemic, I think everything was like upside down.

DeFi became a boom. Aave became Aave, synthetics became synthetics. And I could never understood and I made a promise to myself that I will never work on the centralized, I would say, I used to work on hyperledger as well, just to keep the services part running.

But then I made a point that since DeFi was something, which actually made the crypto legitimate in terms of the overall appeal of crypto, because it is, it became something foundational, because now people can actually earn the yield in native tokens, let’s say whatever they will put up, they’ll get something in the native terms, right? So that DeFi opened my eyes to the public chain impact. And that’s how I was continuously understanding was that DeFi is something which is scalable, and it has the appeal. So I tried porting synthetics on Polygon once in pandemic, but I was not able to because it was having like 1000, like 130 contracts and bit complex.

Then in 2022, I again give it a shot now, which is called NFTFN now. So when NFTFN started, we started with something, same thought process, like what, what is something upcoming? And where the market can move? And what is, is in it is still an infancy stage. So NFT checks that stage that it was an infancy stage, because it just created some, I would say first cycle around itself.

And it was doing really good volume. Second was this thing that nobody was talking about how NFTs can, because NFT in itself is also a financialized asset. How can you actually create other create the whole financial ecosystem around that base asset? So can it be staked? Can it be borrowed, lend and all these things? Of course, lending and borrowing use was there.

So we figured it out like there is nothing right now into the derivative space on top of NFTs. How can you build that market? So then we started and chalking out ideas. And then we once we understood, okay, what we will do, we float around the company, we send the message across to our community, friends, builders, operators, and they love the idea.

They, they quickly chip in. Sandeep was the first one to write the check for us. And then AlphaWave Global, Roland.

And then there was like, of course, Mohit, Ajit, Khurana sir. There are EG4 founders, and there are, I mean, so there were many folks like from the Web3 community who knew what I’ve been trying to do. So they just happened to be a very good backbone for this experiment, new experiment that I was about to go.

And then for the last two years, we have been building this. How it is different. It is uniquely different from the position of the USP itself.

I can simply ask you people, whoever is listening, of course, let’s say for, let’s take a hypothetical case. I can simply ask you, okay, now what? That now what doesn’t lead to a lot of answers very aggressively, right? So you can, you can of course say that it gives me an access to the community and all these things. But after that, we want to understand this thing, like if NFT has to become a rage and NFT as a overall market has to survive, it needs more liquidity around itself.

And to make sure that the liquidity is there. So we thought of having a derivative space and derivatives market around it. So the first market that we, or I would say first idea that we thought of to create a NFT, to create a financialized ecosystem around NFT was to build perpetual products.

So that’s how the journey started. That’s how we ended up actually doing it because I was trying to do something in the financial space, but we couldn’t, but I couldn’t. So next time when I got an opportunity, so I definitely started into it back to with this new, new vertical.

And now, because we have a lot of, I would say competitors. So that actually legitimize the whole narrative now, because perpetual decks in itself is a narrative now. And NFT perpetuals also is something which people are looking forward to.

So, yeah. So that’s where, you know, that’s how you kind of identified a problem and now you’ve created products around it. So, you know, NFTFN in short is basically a platform that would connect NFT traders to go long and short on their favorite NFTs.

Is that understanding correct? Absolutely. Okay. So what are you guys doing in terms of Bitcoin ordinals? Like I saw a post by you recently, and you had mentioned that, you know, you guys are working on something new there.

I would love to know more about that as well. Absolutely. So we are trying to make ordinals break free from Bitcoin.

Of course, I know it will be a very depressant news for the Bitcoin community, but that’s how the technology is. It’s permissionless. So we think that the Bitcoin ordinals community is really strong.

They love, they’re outpouring love into the ordinals is actually making them much more appealing. We think that what we are trying to create, we are trying to create a platform where we are not thinking about the blockchains as different, I would say, countries. We want to just give everyone the single space where they can trade every favorite asset that they can.

So today it is NFT, tomorrow it is going to be ordinals, which will anyway come soon, really soon on our testnet. And tomorrow then it can be crypto, but it is all down the line. So we are really, really interested into making sure that how do we make NFT and ordinals really accessible in a very low amount.

I mean, entry barrier should be really, really low because ordinals are also very costly. So the whole intent of NFTFN was actually to give the exposure of these pricey blue chip NFTs in as little as like $1 or $10. So that’s that aim, that focus, that North Star still is there.

And that’s why we are actually focusing on the NFT, the ordinals in our NFTFN as well. All right. That’s very, very interesting.

So now, just to take a step back a little bit, if you could explain very simply what ordinals are, because I think a lot of people who tune into our podcast, they are just trying to find their footing in this space. So can you explain simply to them what Bitcoin ordinals are? Okay. So I think ordinals, what ordinals started as, I think back in the days in Bitcoin, so there used to be some space in each block.

So what they used to do, so they used to do it. I mean, they used to use that space in a very creative way. I think back in those days, it used to be called colored coins.

So Satoshis are marked. So Satoshis are the smallest unit in Bitcoin. Similarly, so what developers were able to find a way that they can actually program that small space and they can actually target those small space and call those Satoshis which are traveling in that blockchain, in that block as colored coins.

So I still remember that Infosys once called me on an interview and then they actually asked about colored coins. So back in 2016, it was a rage that how can you use Bitcoin blockchain to do something. So whatever is happening today on the ordinals is, I would say perseverance that the Bitcoin community is showing to make Bitcoin more, Bitcoin as in the blockchain, more than just passing around the currency from point A to point B. So that’s where the options, these kinds of options are coming up.

Now ordinals is, I think again, it’s a spin-off of the colored coins. So they again, marking these Satoshis in a different way so that the people can actually identify. And also they’re writing some sort of information in the, and I think there are segments now, which is essentially, okay.

So it goes in a very different technical direction. So Bitcoin blockchain also has gone through multiple, I would say, iterations. The way Ethereum has moved from POW to POS.

So similarly, Bitcoin has also gone in 2016. There was after that, I think there was segment in which segregated witness it used to stand for. So they used to combine all the transactions at one place, but all the data part in those transactions used to be separate.

So they used to travel differently. And that’s how the 1MB block used to, I mean, it was always the fight that how many transactions that you can put in the Bitcoin block. So segment was one, then taproot I think is the latest one.

So between all of these innovation, I think they found a way that how can they essentially now on each transaction, they can actually write some more data and that data can be identified. So you can use that data to put up some information, maybe in script. That’s why it’s called inscription, because you can scribe something in it.

So that data essentially becomes the NFTs, whatever they want to say, like you can put a SVG, PNG information, whatever that you want to. That’s how those inscription is now coming back as a, so those colored coin, maybe it is again, colored coin version 2.0 and now being called as, as inscriptions. So yeah.

Apologies for the little bit technical background, all of this thing, but I think that’s how this, these things are connected. It’s not something which is overnight done. It is being very, very focused approaches that people are trying to do from back in 2016 days.

But I think now they have found a way to do it. It’s become a rage. Yeah.

Pretty much like NFTs, right? Like they were always around, and whatnot. And now utility NFTs are coming up and so many use cases have come up for NFTs, which is wonderful to see. I think obviously in, in the web 3 space, it all becomes very technical, very quickly.

There’s no need to apologize for it because you have to set the context, otherwise it would not make sense. So I get, you know, you mentioned how you guys are democratizing basically access to the NFT ecosystem. So what kind of impact do you see NFTFN having create in the space or what kind of a dent do you guys want to create with NFTFN? Are there any specific tools that you are building that will make accessibility easier for the user? Sure.

It’s like a two point approach. First is, there are a lot of people who just like in cryptocurrency, people can buy a fraction of it. In NFT space, it doesn’t make sense to own one, one 10th or 1000th part of an NFT.

It’s an art and it’s an art, but still it’s a financialized asset. So what we thought about it, that there are a lot of people who want to enjoy this volatility in the prices of these NFTs. And there are people who really wanted to actually get the exposure of these, these, the price fluctuation in such a way that they do not have to end up paying a lot of money just to participate in it.

So as long as there are enough liquid spot market is available, that will always keep the market very active. So we essentially zeroed it upon this behavior that the people who cannot buy the whole, like one by one of the NFTs, they would love to get them exposed in some way or the other. And prior to us, a lot of people have tried fractionalized NFTs as well, but that fall on, fall flat on its face because eventually the utility is not coming out of that whole value prop, right? What will you do of holding one by 100th of it? If that one by 100th of it also gives you the same freedom, I mean, same rights, then it makes sense.

Otherwise it was like just, I mean, it was not making sense neither financially nor logically that what will you do just by owning the fraction of a NFT. So we understood this. So we thought of like, not thinking from the utility perspective, but looking at it from the financialized perspective.

So people are happy to have an exposure in a most affordable way to the most liquid NFTs. And that to the blue chip funds. So that way we understood that this is the demanding demand from the market.

That is one. Second, the more easier to, the more it will be easier for the common people to get exposed to these kinds of blue chip NFTs, the more liquidity it will attract, the more liquidity it will attract, the more financially stable this product becomes. Similarly, the way we are now saying that ETF will essentially bring the swings in the Bitcoin price a little bit less, right? So sideways, like the VIX in the Bitcoin will reduce, the more ETF money will bring into the ecosystem.

Similarly, we think that what an FTFN is trying to do in this ecosystem is the same impact. We think that we will try to get more volume of the people who chip in a very less amount, but eventually it will be a volume game and can bring a lot of, can create kind of a market where it’s a futures market where people can see, okay, people can open interest platform and can see whether which on which side the market can move. That is the kind of impact that we think that we can provide on the NFT market, because we are trying to go in that direction.

So we want to become the gauge of NFT market eventually that people should just look at us and they would be able to understand, okay, NFT market is going in this direction. Right. Yeah.

So, you have described NFTFN as perhaps like one of the greater innovations in the NFT space. And I completely agree there. Can you share some specific strategies that you are implementing to stay at the forefront of this rapidly evolving space? Yes.

So first of all, on the infrastructure side of the product itself, it required a lot of rethinking because that’s a liquidation and doing liquidation is very, very, okay. Let me not go directly on the liquidation first on the infrastructure side. So how do you get the price? How do you get the price of such illiquid assets when it comes to this kind of product? So you can only build a derivative product when you have a stable price coming from some sort of, I mean, API or let’s say on-chain prices are being shared.

So we started solving these challenges in such a way that back then there is no upshot back then there is no, there is no, I would say chain link price, like no API was from chain link, which were giving us on-chain prices. So we started solving all of these problems one by one. That is why I’m starting from the infrastructure side, because infrastructure is foundation for such kind of products.

So slowly the kind of problems we have solved for the NFTFN, we very specifically think that there are so many modules that tomorrow can be open source and can be put up in the retro RPFG public goods funding. So, because that innovation is helping us to create such a market, which was, which will not only work on the NFTs, but also work with the ordinals, but will also work with the RWAs as well. So the technology is very much extensible to any kind of long tail assets.

So, yes, so that is one innovation that we think that we have done and that too all came from the financialized and creating a, I would say financial engineering has been the second part in the product of NFTFN that how do you make a product which of which you have done a thousand simulations so that you know for sure that what kind of market we can get ourself into. So that is a continuous process. So we started with a very solid quant team as well.

So how do you actually create these kind of financialized product, which I would say properly risk management, risk managed is the right word to simplify everything which goes in the quant side. How do you create a properly risk managed financialized product? So that is the second thing I would say. And then rest of the thing will go into creating a leverage product.

Leverage product requires some sort of a very diligent handling in the numbers. So solidity is a very mischievous library language where you require to be, you require to be correct up to 18th decimal because of the Ethereum. So having the third thing is like writing the smart contracts in such a way that where the numbers are not like till the 18th point, the numbers are coming as correct.

So that product can behave deterministically tomorrow for even low amount of dollar value as well. Let’s say $10 value or $20 value. And then it comes to finally, because leverage product require liquidation.

So how do you bring liquidation in such a way that again, it’s a liquidation, but require very, very much novel thinking. So we have built some really robust version one of the liquidation suite, which we have created in such a way that anybody can run it in a very cost efficient way. I mean, cost efficient in the sense like the footprint, technical footprint to run that thing is very low as well as people can run it as per their, I would say pocket.

Let’s say they just want to liquidate up to $500 worth of assets. They can do that as well. So we have, we have been doing a lot of hard work, a lot of engineering, but that’s where we are like about to put this engineering into the main net beta.

So that we’ll try the product. We have been running this product from in the test net for almost one year now, nine months, nine, 10 months. Yeah.

We were waiting for the market to actually come back up. Otherwise it would make no sense. Yeah.

Yeah. So I would recommend that too, because otherwise, you know, all the effort that you put in, it’ll seem like it’s going to waste, but obviously it’s such like, I’m getting excited just hearing about it. Yeah.

The feedback cycle becomes really strong when the program is there. So you can quickly get the feedback. Yes.

Yeah, that is absolutely true. This is wonderful. Like these are some very strong innovations that you guys have created.

It’s, it’s a solid product. And, you know, as somebody I’m personally, obviously I’m friends with you and I’ve, you know, have utilized the platform as well, but this is not coming from a place of bias. I think you’re one of the, you know, more solid founders that I have seen because you know, your fundamentals, right.

Which is very, very important. So whatever you guys are building, I’m always excited to try it out. Yeah.

We are very excited to actually put up this product out on the mainnet beta. We are going to again, stress test the product from the infrastructure side, because we really want to create a world-class FinTech product from India. I mean, India has an engineering talent, not from the geography, I mean, so the engineering talent is definitely Indian.

So, and that engineering talent, I have been, I’m very much bullish on that. There’s a, there’s a famous saying like we are, we are bullish on the Indian. So yes.

So I think we are just trying to minimize the surprises that people can have. That’s why stress testing is right. Absolutely.

Because we understand that the, the audience is global and we want to give them the experience. So version one would be a bit clunky. I know, I know there will be like a lot of edge cases, rough edges, but I think we are, what we are trying to do with the stress testing is just to test the infrastructure, right.

And making sure that the numbers are correct. So rest of the thing will be, I think can be managed. So that’s, that’s where we are focusing really, really heavily.

Wow. This is super exciting. You know, you’ve mentioned blue chip NFTs multiple times in this conversations and could you, for our listeners, explain what are blue chip NFTs and how does your platform leverages them in its vision to make this entire ecosystem more accessible? Sure.

So as we understand the word blue chip actually comes from the stocks. So whichever, whichever has tested through the times, generally we call them blue chip. So similarly, we thought back in 2022, that 2022, like what exactly are we going to offer when it comes to an FTFN product? So we created a standard that, okay, there are these six, seven filters, whichever, whichever product passed through these six or seven filters will eventually become a blue chip.

And now what are those six, seven filters? Like the project should be at least a year and a half old. The project should have minimum 500 ETH of worth of liquidity happening in the last three, last 30 days. And there are certain things that we took our help of the partners to actually check the wash trading index, how much, how much wash traded a project is.

That’s why if anybody who will visit today, they’ll find it surprising that we have not kept Cyberpunk, CryptoPunk in this thing. Reason being because CryptoPunk was at the time when we checked two years back, it was very, very, I mean, the most wash traded product was in the NFT ecosystem was CryptoPunk. As per our partner’s index.

Now that partner is essentially is like now very much reputed. So they are doing what they knew what they’re doing. And we are much, very much happy to actually take their help.

So blue chip is something which is, which will not like the team is really, really good known dogs. And we know that what the team has done in the past, plus the project is actually doing really good volume, more than 3000 wallets, 4000 wallet has to hold the NFT project. So that’s sufficiently project is distributed.

It doesn’t have the concentration of let’s say 10% of the NFT is just in the one wallet. So we make sure from the distribution side, as well as the community side, because, and yes, community has to be active. So discord should have some chatter.

There has to be minimum number of amount, a number of amount of people should be in the discord. So these are six, seven, I would say checks that we implemented and we passed through all the projects from them. That’s how we came up with these four or five projects.

And we created an index out of it. So today we are offering an index, not an individual project, but sooner in the journey, we will provide individual projects as well. The risk management of single project is very, very difficult.

That’s why we are starting with index first so that we can go, we can learn from the market and then we can move to the single project. Right. Absolutely.

It’s easier to basically minimize the risk there at least or mitigate it in some way. That is, that is excellent. And this is, you know, the more you’re talking about it, the more I think that NFTFN is like the, it should be the go to market, go to place for, you know, users were just starting their NFT journey because you guys are trying to create tools around, you know, NFTs and investing and stuff that perhaps, you know, not just seasoned investors can use, but just folks who are just starting off in their journey can also utilize.

Is there one tool on your platform that you would recommend say to one to a seasoned investor and one to a new user to try out? So far now we have just one ICP right now, which we are catering to. So that’s why the index is created rather than the individual projects, because individual projects will actually appeal to the, to the traders who love risky assets. So right now we are starting it with very slow guarded launch and that too with one single ICP, like people who love to expose themselves into the NFT ecosystem in an easier way.

And that too with the very less kind of, I would say security risk as well as capital risk. So currently everybody would love, would just see one product right now, Supernova. Supernova is an index and we have named the product as Supernova.

So it’s easier to, for the communication as well. And Supernova is an assorted bucket of 5 blue chip NFT, BAYC, MAYC, Azuki, Doodles and Clonex. Moonbird was there, we removed Moonbird because of our, we removed it because of some sort of, let’s say the volume, because of the volume was drying up in that.

And Moonbird recently, and those decisions again can be again mapped to the recent problem. Moonbird actually is going down. It went to less than 1 ETH right now.

That was very, very sad to know because Moonbird was a very good product project back then. Right. So as of now a user can come onto your platform and use the index that you have created to start investing in NFTs.

And in the coming future, you guys are launching a bunch of other products that you’ve already mentioned for perhaps a seasoned investor. Yes. So currently we are offering a leverage market so people can actually go long and short.

We will bring investable products as well so that people can actually just do a DCA into an index, which is actually going to give them the exposure into the most hardest blue chip assets out there in the NFT ecosystem. So investable product will come later. Right now it is like more of a speculative one.

So speculative first, investable second. That’s how we are going. Okay, good.

That is a good way to perhaps capture the market as well. So more power to you guys. Now, just zooming out a little bit, you have like over nine years of experience in the blockchain domain.

What kind of major shifts or trends have you observed? And how have they influenced your approach to creating solutions? So there are a few things. I think one that is definitely now picking up heat is the privacy. Privacy in 2016, 15, 14, back then when Zcash was like I would say invented.

So it used to have that, it had that ceremony where it was like burning up all the… So electronically there used to be some footprints to make the Zcash run. So it will not discard it properly, those digital footprints. So it can always have some gap and people can always trace back to the… So it is called a ceremony.

So I would say Monero, Zcash, there was this ideology that privacy will be super, super important. So it was built on top of let’s say Bitcoin blockchain, I mean, as an inspiration. But that died down in the last three, four years, but now it is coming back because of the FHE, fully homomorphic encryption.

So fully homomorphic encryption actually allows you to search and look for the data within the encrypted state of the data so that it can somehow just give you… It’s like a ZK stuff. So ZK is another, ZK is another. So ZK on top of FHE is very, very crazy combination.

I don’t know the maths, I just know the theory part of it because I can only keep on top of these things in Web3. It’s super hard to actually… Because the offshoots are so many when it comes to the Web3, it’s exploding. It’s really hard, I mean, to keep tap on everything.

But privacy in general, one, and ZK and FHE comes under them. The second is definitely perpetual DEXs is making some comeback. I mean, the requirement, DYDX is leading there, but I think the centralized platforms blow up.

And in general, the centralized platforms are mostly used for the futures in the crypto space. So decentralized alternatives to them is becoming the second most demanded need. So for crypto and in cryptocurrencies, perpetual DEX is the second most, I would say, the need of the RS.

That’s why if you see the first DAP now on any Solana injective, they all want to offer the on top of crypto, right? So that’s where we think that we also fit in because we are also perpetual DEX, but that too for the NFTs. So that’s the second. And other thing, I think the centralized player in terms of social network, like the way Twitter is gaining a lot of strength.

So generally what I have seen is this, the amount of power a centralized platform hold, the more demanded it’s decentralized version is. So Lens, Forecaster, and SO, and there are other platforms like Upcoming, Socially. These platforms are trying to actually create a decentralized alternative to these centralized Goliaths.

So I think that would be required in the future. These kinds of requirements come suddenly. The way DeFi actually hit the market suddenly, the requirement for a decentralized alternative for this kind of platform will hit suddenly and then you will have to have those products.

You cannot go back in the kitchen and try to understand the recipe and then try to come up with a solution two years later. There has to be some people who should be working on all these things from some time. So the requirement, the moment the requirement hits, there is some solution that is ready to serve the market.

This would be like gradually and then all of a sudden, all at once. Exactly. Yes.

This is the same feeling I personally feel. So I think I can think about on top of these things. And the other one would be, I think what decentralized distributed hosting, I think what it is doing in the space.

So that if we can actually make the hosting of all these platforms in such a way that even the distribution is also decentralized. So the deep in as an industry is also going to make a lot of sense. I mean, I mean, we are actually going in the gradual space right now.

All of it would immediately become so much valuable because suddenly people will require and billions of people will require because of the ETF. A lot of people are now researching about cryptocurrency and soon they will understand the underlying technology. They will start looking up and questioning things.

What can be the alternative version for this one? So let’s try to search all of these things. So I think the next two years should give us some sort of peek into all these, I would say, hot narratives. But I think the narratives which cut across the genuine curiosity of the user and utility of the user would definitely see some action.

Absolutely. I think you’re right. You picked up all the relatively hot notions here right now in the Web3 space and they are sure to stand the test of time, at least for the next cycle, definitely.

And with the right utility, I think good platforms will always survive because builders will survive on the basis of the users using their platform like any other user. And if you’re building something that is actually solving a problem, then you would be able to, you know, if you market it well, then yeah, you would be able to survive these barriers. Founders have to understand the value of the marketing.

Yes, absolutely. Absolutely. It’s very, very important.

I think there are a lot of people who build wonderful products and they’re just not able to market it well and they kind of don’t work out and it’s very unfortunate. But selling is something that all founders should learn. You mentioned the Bitcoin ETF.

Now, I would love to know what is your take on the Bitcoin ETF being approved by the SEC? How do you see this development affecting the market and the industry as a whole? I think it’s the needle that we were all looking for to put up into the balloon of fiat world. So what I personally feel that the shift will be again gradual now that it has entered in the day zero phase of the industrial, I would say, sorry, institutional capital. So at day zero, the institutions, they are sitting up with lots of cash.

They would love to do some sort of a DCA and their DC amount would be really, really huge. So I think price action will definitely drive the curiosity of the people who are sitting on the fringes. That’s where I think the people would understand that what actually this Bitcoin as a cryptocurrency is.

So I think first, the exposure will always be the curiosity around the price. And then maybe people will try to find the fundamentals of why the price is there and whatever the price is there, like why people are like super interested into buying Bitcoin versus my favorite Apple stocks or Microsoft stocks, right? So I think that will extend the fabric of this new thing called Bitcoin to the masses. And once they understand once Bitcoin touches the masses, it will definitely intrigue, let’s say a certain percentage of people.

And then the slow snowflake will take the avalanche kind of shape. People would love to research, people love to understand, then more and more people try to understand the foundational stuff. And once you go in their rabbit hole, then there is no point coming back up.

So generally, they get Web3 redpilled. So I feel that I feel that that it is a good top of the funnel marketing for actually Web3 builders and new startup folks who’s going to join us in the next two to three years, or maybe in four years, or the time to come. Right.

Yeah, this is like a very nice way of putting it. I think recently, I had also written a blog about just, you know, what Bitcoin ETF is, and why is there a hula hula about it. But the way you succinctly put it, that this is like a good way to fill up the top of the funnel for adoption, right? This is a very good perspective, very refreshing, because everybody’s talking about wealth, money and decentralization and not owning your Bitcoin.

But there is this is a new perspective to have that this is going to just push more people into the space in one way or the other, and it’s thereby legitimizing it even further. Yeah, I think I think financialized aspects is always connected with Bitcoin, but what it is going to impact, the impact of this thing is going to be truly fundamentally, it’s going to change a lot of people’s career and the graphs. I mean, there are more smart people who can just understand what Bitcoin’s nine pages white paper actually is capable of.

So I think everybody would love to understand what actually is the underlying technology. And I think that’s where they will, they will definitely be interested in what they can do with this kind of technology. That is going to be the tipping point is a very interesting perspective, because I’m really grateful that you put it that way.

And it’s very refreshing as well. So everybody seems to be, you know, everybody seems to have a pretty positive outlook on this Bitcoin ETF. Obviously, everything comes with its pros and cons.

And we don’t have to get into that right now. But looking at this as something that will help in greater adoption is something that I can buy immediately. So this is wonderful to get and hear from you as a perspective.

Now, you know, you are also an avid reader. And I know that because we’ve spoken about the wonderful books. Reading.

And I would love to hear from you about if you could recommend perhaps to our listeners that some books that you know, you find really valuable and not just in the Web3 space as an entrepreneur, because I think ultimately, all entrepreneurs are alike, be it Web2, Web3, you’re making a business, you need to make money to keep the lights on. And it needs to solve a problem. So if you had to recommend some books to some founders, or you know, folks listening to this podcast, which books would those be like, you know, your top three picks, perhaps? Sure, I think very few people talk about books.

So I would love to definitely give my recommendation. So generally, I segregate whenever I pick a book. First of all, I don’t I don’t read fiction.

So I only go for the books like from the people who have actually built businesses or have played an active role into building those businesses. So or people who are curious enough to see how actually our industry have taken shape. So it requires grit, it requires perseverance, passion, selling, understanding the psychology of the users.

So if I have to go for the top three, one, the first one would be Hooked by Neeraj. Right. And that’s a wonderful book.

We talked about yes, and I think that that sets the foundation, right? That that actually would love to that that book is not a book. It’s a workbook. People should definitely try to Yeah, people should try to actively use everything that they have shared in every two to three pages.

I couldn’t finish that book in like, three months, because it was so brain wrenching that people I mean, I cannot move forward unless I will not be having at least two, three ideas or five ideas around my product when I’m reading that book. So that’s one. It’s very intense.

Yeah, yes, yes, it will give you it will give it will add dimension to to the founders thinking that, okay, this is how big, big farm companies are thinking. And why can’t they have this kind of virality quotient or kind of the way they want to look at their product? Why can’t create a system that the audience look at their product from that perspective? Okay. So that’s, that’s second would be a grid by Angela Duckworth.

It’s forwarded by I mean, Angela Duckworth talk about what actually sets the successful people apart from the unsuccessful people. It’s not the money. It’s not the background.

It’s not the connection. It’s not the luck is most about the perseverance. That’s why the book is called a grid.

And I generally say one thing that stronger the wires easier the house. So I think that book sits at the cross section of these two things. If you have your wire really, really strong, you will always find a way to actually circumvent the situation.

And by people who have been so Netflix is an example. I mean, all the companies, all the big companies have will will go through the near death experience, they will always come back stronger. The reason to do so because the founder or the team or somehow the advisors, they always gave them the the understanding of how big they need to persevere, just by changing this or that.

So second was great. Second would be great. Third, I’m reading one right now, but I think I can recommend that.

That is one is called the daily strike by Ryan holiday. Daily strike by Ryan holiday is for the people. The founders are very much small community, I would say scarcest commodity is founders.

So they need to preserve their, their mind, their brain really, really well. They cannot pollute their brain. So I think stoicism will help them to become like, really steady brain.

So I think the daily strikes by Ryan holiday would be my third thing where this will be the foundation because brain is the foundation of everything. So it will help you to think in the long term, rather than short term, and that too with the stoicism. So yeah, these three.

These are wonderful recommendations. I think, you know, stoicism is, is so interesting when you start getting into it. And, you know, if somebody is really going to get into the recommendations that were cast is pushed through, I would add another recommendation.

If you are new to stoicism, then read meditations by Marcus Aurelius, I think it’s a great starting point for anyone who wants to just learn a little more about this, these ideas associated with stoicism. And it can be, I think it can be especially, especially good for entrepreneurs who see too many ups and downs in any given day. And yes, it can perhaps pave a path for you to have a better mindset.

So these are wonderful recommendations. Great. And you know, all three are very wonderful recommendations.

And I would highly recommend that, you know, our listeners go ahead and read these books, I have read all three. And I think they only add as you know, to as Vikas mentioned, they only add to another dimension in which you are thinking, and they’ll give you ideas and Hooked especially, I think Hooked is something that I had made mandatory reading for my entire marketing team, you know, and we did like exercises around it, that using the Hooked model, let’s see how this kind of will work. And that that gave us great success.

It can seem very daunting to read a book to, you know, come prepared for a meeting like that. But I do truly believe that it is it should be mandatory reading for anybody who wants to make a career in marketing, especially in this day and age. So, Vikas, I am almost out of time, actually, we are exceeding the time limit that we had set for ourselves.

I would like to wrap this up now. But not before I ask you one question that I ask everybody who comes on the show, you know, you’ve been on the other side of this particular rabbit hole where you were in web two, and you do not know what blockchain was, leave alone, you know, crypto or web three. If somebody is perhaps struggling like you are, and they are still trying to understand whether you know, web three is for them.

What would be your advice for them to start living on blockchain? So how should I make it easy for them to start understanding it and then get into it? Yeah, to get into it and also to perhaps persevere, because I think that is also important. Yeah. Everybody talks about how to get in this phase, because I think that is still a straightforward answer.

But from you, I would like to understand how what would be your advice for these guys to persevere and keep building? So I think now that so first of all, there are too many tools today. People need not to like persevere in the way we have to persevere. So I think what we learned in the first six to nine months in the blockchain today, that can be learned within like a week today.

Yeah, I think first of all, you are at the benefit of too much information today, which is much more polished, much more amazing. So information is that second, choose the right folks to be around with. Because that’s what going to be the very important difference when you start your journey.

If you are in web two, try to find a community and there are too many communities now and that too, I want to say that it is again differentiated. So earlier in 2016, 17, 18, getting 50 people in a in a in an event was like a heck of a thing for a web three or a like a like a blockchain thing. Today, you can find a community just like 100 and not 100.

But let’s say within a kilometer or two, that somebody must be doing a web three event. So try to join them. That will that will set you apart for the that will set the foundation.

And then from there, you have to take the conversation conversation forward as for the interest, because you have a certain interest and that interest today, because web three today is having same kind of offerings as a as job opportunity, I would say, which a web two company has, we have marketing sales, BD, UI, UX, everything in the web three ecosystem today, it’s not just that, that I mean, you can take a shift, still have a better career and still living on the blockchain kind of thing. You can truly do that. So I think I think that’s how you should like architect your journey and be available on discord and telegram, because that’s where the community thrives.

So I think you can you can be offline as well as online. Yeah. Sorry, I said that is where the all the action is happening.

So you might as well. Yes. Yes.

So I think that’s the that that would be the steps, I think. Yeah. Thank you so much, because we’re taking all the time for this wonderful conversation.

I have always been a believer in earlier belief club and now in FDFN and your team, I think your solid founders were trying to make sure that you know you your platform a reaches a lot of people and be you survive, no matter where the cycle is, so that you can keep creating better solutions, which is absolutely wonderful. So thank you once again for making the time to speak to me today. Anything you want to add before we wrap this up? No, first of all, thank you.

The structure is very freewheeling. So I think I was able to speak my mind. So there is no, there is nothing that I would say that it is pre process.

It was all all impromptu. But I think it came from the deepest learning and struggles and hurdles. But still, I think the shiny part of Web3 is that the promise it provides to actually disrupt and create things by yourself.

I mean, which is not possible in the Web 2.0. You cannot create a leveraged trading platform in Web 2.0. You will you will you will die just buying the licenses. Yeah. Yeah.

So if I if I put things perspective for your listeners is that I’m trying to create a NYSE or NSE kind of platform right out of my office. That’s that’s the that’s the power of Web3. I mean, otherwise, this thing is just not available anywhere in the world, anywhere in the technology realm.

So that’s just amazing. Yeah, absolutely. I think the power that decentralized technology provides each of us to be able to create these amazing tools, platform solutions, the world is your oyster pretty much.

And, you know, you can go after any problem in a steadfast manner and really be able to solve it as against, you know, doing it in Web 2. So no better way to wrap up this episode. Thank you so much, Vikas, once again, for taking out the time to speak. Thank you.

Thank you.

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