NFTs are no longer a fad or a hype. Rather, they have cemented themselves as a bona fide part of the future of blockchain products.
All leading up to this
Dai is no stranger to the tech world. His background stretches back years before behemoths like Facebook. He started his own tech startup out of his dorm room, a social media site for teenagers.
“That was a really fun, exciting experience building your first company out of your dorm. I ended up working also at major media companies…developing a digital business. About six years ago, I met up with the VC Bill Tai, who became one of my mentors. We were talking about the blockchain use case for the music and entertainment industry because that’s my background,” he explains.
“I ended up building a B2B marketing software company that was building some early projects for companies like Warner Music Group, Uber and also Brave Browser.”
Finally, about two years ago, Dai and Tai ran into each other. Both were at a charity dinner for ocean conservation, where they began chatting about CryptoKitties. This early NFT iteration piqued Dai’s interest in the value of secondary royalties and ownership.
“We started working on this as early as two and a half years ago. This eventually led to the OneOf idea of applying NFT technology to the music and entertainment industry,” he explains.
“I feel like everything else I did in my life and career all led up to this project. This is the perfect combination of all my media entertainment experience plus technology experience.”
Focusing on OneOf’s sustainability
OneOf’s focus is on expanding the relationship between fans and artists.
“We’re building an ecosystem around NFTs, that is for the music artists. They can issue any type of entities, whether it’s their music, their artwork or getting gamified pieces or experiences, and have a way to directly conduct these one-on-one transactions with the fans.”
The initiation of Dai’s journey to OneOf taking place, in part, at a charity event for ocean conservation is not just a simple coincidence.
Rather, OneOf is built not only for the music industry but also as a sustainable, green platform.
“We ended up building our platform on top of the Tezos blockchain as it’s 2 million times more energy-efficient than the primary solution out there today, which is a platform built on top of the Ethereum blockchain,” he explains.
“That’s a huge issue for music artists. 99% of all music artists care about the environment a lot. The other 1%, even if they’re ambivalent, they don’t want their fan base to turn on them and can’t afford not care about the environment. So, being green is not a nice to have, it’s a prerequisite for being able to provide the services for the music community in an authentic way.”
In addition to the high price for the environment, Dai explains that they wanted their platform to be accessible to all music fans. Rather than just those who can pay top dollar. To make this happen, Ethereum wasn’t an option.
“We want artists to be able to sell their NFTs for $5 or $1 or $10. So that’s impossible on AWS or on the Ethereum blockchain. The average minting cost is $150, sometimes as high as $400 to create an NFT. This means artists will have to basically price their NFT for hundreds if not thousands of dollars,” he says.
“We are striving for a frictionless ability for artists and fans to connect without this economic barrier.”
Big names and emerging artists on OneOf
In addition to being accessible to fans, OneOf is aiming to democratize the NFT space for artists. Rather than serving as a platform for big names only, Dai explains that there is also an emerging artists programme.
“We announced about a dozen major, major artists. So those are certainly headline-grabbing from Whitney Houston to Doja Cat to John Legend to Alesso,” he says.
“Our emerging artist’s programme is not a small programme but it’s the actual core of what we do and where the majority, we think, of our transactions will come from.”
The platform works directly with emerging artists to curate different sections and guide them in minting their NFTs, from music to images and videos.
“This is the power of what we want to do. Really bring to the attention to the players, the next big thing. Not only serving hundreds of independent or emerging artists, we want to serve millions of them. So the platform is built in a way where that is the goal.”
“Our platform is built for fans”
Much like crypto and blockchain might be new for emerging artists. Dai also expresses his platform’s interest in bringing the fans to this technology as well.
“Our platform is built for fans and for the super technical crypto people. So we made some deliberate design choices to optimise the experience for the non-crypto native people,” he explains.
Access and understanding is a well-known issue for cryptocurrencies. Crypto platforms are often seen as complicated and unfriendly, with user experiences that are not yet streamlined.
“Like, how do we allow a 14-year-old fan that never touched crypto before to be able to sign up and complete a purchase, and be able to start enjoying their NFT or show off their NFT, all within three minutes. So that’s the entire goal for our UI.”
As such, the platform operates similarly to a standard e-commerce site. Users can choose to purchase the NFTs with crypto, debit card or credit card. Dai says that users have a choice of 135 different fiat currencies to pay from.
However, crypto die-hards aren’t left out with ethereum, bitcoin and a variety of stablecoins all on the table as well.
“So the idea is to be a very inclusive platform. So it doesn’t matter if you don’t know crypto at all or you’re a fan of bitcoin or ethereum, you’re all welcome on our platform.”