Bringing NFTs Superpower to Charities with Etched Co-Founder, Ediz Basol

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BeinCrypto spoke to Ediz Basol, Co-Founder of Etched. This Non-Fungible Token (NFT) platform aims to enhance NFTs for good causes, by building the bridge for charities into the growing world of NFTs.

NFT uses care growing with a wide range of industries cashing in on the hype. This includes the non-profit sector, which has seen the benefit of this new fundraising avenue.

However, those who have yet to discover the possibilities of NFTs are often put off by the confusing aspects of cryptocurrencies and NFT marketplaces.

This is where Etched saw an opportunity. Basol and his partner, Brett Memsic, wanted to help organizations onboard into NFTs. Thereby deepening the impact these tokens can have.

“We want to support charities and get them onboarded into the space. We want to work with people that are committed to the space,” explains Basol.

For Basol, the organizations they work with should have long-term goals for their NFT collections. Rather than just a one and done mentality.

“We want them to understand that you need to look at this as a permanent solution and a permanent enhancement to your fundraising capabilities. This is because so much is determined by your presence within the community. People sniff out money grab drops that are disingenuous,” he says.

“We want to work with people that will be here in the months leading up and will be here in the years afterwards. They’re not just going to give people an NFT and then disappear.”

A new way to fundraise

Etched’s model runs as a support for organizations unfamiliar with the NFT world.

The team works on building the story for the NFTs with the project. They take a 20% cut of the sales for this assistance, rather than an outright fee.

For Basol, this model opens up a new paradigm for non-profits as the older, more analogue forms of fundraising become obsolete.

“It gives them a new asset class to fundraise with. If you’re just thinking of an auction they can create really high-value items through NFTs. They can monetize their own story. These foundations, these charities, all have such impactful stories. You can just make those ownable moments for people that really care about it and people can collect those.”

However, Basol sees NFTs as a way to connect these organizations to communities for support in the long term.

“If you look at all the projects that are launching right now, they’re succeeding or failing based on their community, and it’s a really cool alignment of incentives. If you sell 10,000 NFTs, you have 10,000 people that all deeply care about the community success,” he says.

“So it’s this is not this fleeting thing like a GoFundMe donation. You have this permanent record of this thing that you care about and it’s a liquid asset that you could potentially even make money off of. So for us, that’s kind of the superpower that we want to introduce to the charity space.”

It is this mentality that has laid the foundation for Etched’s ethos of collections. Those charities that work with the platform will release collections rather than single NFT drops.

“We don’t want them to just drop an NFT and then disappear. The whole point is for them to have a permanent community of NFT holders that they can build on and grow. So we decided that these collections should be permanent,” he says.

Partners in NFTs, not brokers

In addition to helping onboard, Basol highlights how the Etched team aim to be partners for these organizations. Rather than being their brokers.

Across the NFT space, different projects relate differently to their users. Whether it is simply a platform that allows for NFT uploads, incorporates governance and decentralization or is simply custodial, the options for users are endless.

However, when it comes to onboarding newbies into the space, it is important to strike a balance between guidance and control.

“We can’t be the ones doing all the work for every charity,” explains Basol. As a result, the team show the projects where they should be putting effort in when it comes to community building.

So far, Basol and the Etched team have had an overall positive response to their proposition.

“Everyone is excited about the space, but everyone’s hesitant and nervous about the space a little bit too. I think that they feel it’s just so new.”

In keeping with the long-term outlook for NFTs, Basol explains that while there are trends when it comes to the popularity of tokens sold, the underlying technology will carry the space into the future.

“Everybody in this space agrees it’s the technology that’s super powerful. The trends are going to come and go. Top Shot was white-hot and then art was this huge thing. But how long was that going to last for millions of dollars being spent on artworks every day? The consumer base is growing and there’s so much innovation going on in the space. All these really cool solutions are coming around so that’s the real power that I think everybody sees.”

Into NFTs early but feels late

For Basol, the experience of getting the Etched platform together was an eye-opener for the speed at which the NFT space is moving.

Since Etched began with investor funds, the stress on creating this platform has not been around bootstrapping. Instead, the team have had to manage expectations in a space creating a new headline a minute.

“The stress comes in because you have investors that are watching all this stuff happen in the space and are asking where’s the launch? We just really believe in this technology and so trends are going to come and go and we’re keeping our heads down. It’s definitely been stressful but we’re just so confident in the space being around forever. As they say on Twitter: It’s early.”

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After working in news and lifestyle journalism, Leila decided to bring her interest in cryptocurrencies and blockchain to her day job. She now runs the Features and Opinions desk at BeinCrypto which fits perfectly with her enthusiasm for crypto's social and political impact.

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