Transcript: Q&A #5 The current landscape of NFTs - Q&A episode 5 Transcript - With special Guest Chris Heron from TradeZing

September 30, 2022
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Hello everyone. Welcome to our 3-2-1 Q&A Episode 5. In this episode, we have a very special guest joining us today from Trade Zing to talk about the current landscape of NFTs. Then after that, we'll discuss the two most critical Twitter threads that our readers need to be aware of. And then finally, we'll analyze the Wintermute DeFi hack and how Coinchange protects its users' funds from such hacks. My name is Pratik and I'm the research analyst at Coinchange together with Jerome, our head of research at Coinchange. And joining us for the first part is Christopher Heron from Trade Zing. If you prefer to watch the whole video instead, please click here.

In summary, here is what you will be learning about:

Question 1. What is TradeZing?

Question 2. What tools is TradeZing providing to NFT artists? 

Question 3. Does TradeZing plan on collaborating with NFT Collections themselves?

Question 4. What`s your take on the future landscape of NFTs?

Question 5. Who is your ideal client and where people can contact you? 

Twitter Thread #1: Starbucks partners with Polygon Blockchain to offer NFT Loyalty Program

Twitter Thread #2: NASDAQ announces crypto custody solution for Institutions

DeFi Hack Analyzed: Wintermute lost $160M due to compromised hot wallet

Transcript From Our Guest Speaker Interview with Chris Heron from TradeZing

Pratik: 

All right, everyone. So today we have a very special guest, Chris, from Trade Zing. Chris, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and Trade Zing and what, you guys do in the NFT space and how are you helping artists with generating income?

Chris:

Yeah. Hey guys thanks for having me on. My name is Chris. I'm the marketing manager with Trade Zing. And basically simply put, Trade Zing is a Web 3.0 social engagement platform made for the next generation of communities focused on income generation. So our platform has a primary focus on improving community building and the conversations around income generation. So obviously this includes the big aspects of stocks, crypto, NFTs, of course, and many other sub-sectors as well. Really what we're trying to do is, we're trying to help better create a platform for users to create content and build communities around these different sub-sectors. and when we look at NFTs, especially, I think there's a big elephant in the room where, the amount of scams that are going on in the NFT space are ever increasing.

Chris:

And I'm sure that we see a lot on Twitter and all the DMs that we get and all these other mentions and everything like that. So, we really want to help solve this problem by improving the communication between real artists, and those that are looking to be, better involved in these real projects. This is what got us focused on solving the problem of false information by peer to peer education. So from the NFT side, we really want to help the creators by giving them the tools that they need to create great content, build communities and also earn their respective income, for doing so. So overall, Trade Zing is, setting out to improve the conversation and learning process between both creators and viewers, and better and, to better ease the use of these income generation communities.

Pratik:

Great. So what kind of tools are you providing? You say you're providing tools for the artists. So once they go to your platform, what kind of tools are you providing to the artists?

Chris:

Sure. Yeah. So like I mentioned before, one of the main strategies that we want to improve is the ease of use when navigating Web 3.0 and these other income generation communities. So, the first example is how we plan to, like the type of content that we support on the platform. This includes VOD content, this includes stories, and also livestream. So with this type of content that we support, it really helps the artists connect with the communities in real time, so community members can have their questions answered in real time, and it really just improves the dialogue between it all. The next example is the way that we built our platform. It allows us to be an ally to any other financial company or platform. So at Trade Zing, we have some pretty aggressive goals, and one of them is to be able to onboard other potential companies such as Open Sea or Rarible or these other NFT marketplaces, so that we can be able to use an API integration, so that users can actually trade NFTs on the platform just as they would on the marketplace itself.

Chris:

So this is really creating just an overall all in one component to the platform that just makes it so much easier to navigate Web 3.0. Some argue that this could help decrease the level of scams in the space. Like I said before, we see so many. So being able to have the creator actively show the energies on the platform and interact with the users on the platform itself it just minimizes the amount of like misleading information or links that send them to the wrong link or whatever it may be. It just makes it easier to navigate Web 3.0.

Pratik:

Got it. And so, coming back to the streaming tool, so artists can go on your platform and start streaming, and is this streaming content on the blockchain?

Chris:

So we have talked about, a couple different options and, we will release some more information at the time being, but as for now, you can think of it just as an easy live stream for people to be able to actually interact. So it's less like blockchain supported and more just helping out artists and people in the space communicating and build communities.

Pratik:

So where is NFT coming in this interaction? Are the users, who have access to the, artists' content hold these specific NFT to that artist?

Chris:

So, that's one thing that we have working in the books and I can't talk too much on the access with that, but, I think that the best way is making that connection between NFT artist and their community, making that even more seamless and, making it, better to integrate between the two. I think that's the main problem that we're focusing on solving.

Jerome:

I have a question in regards to the community that Trade Zing are building. So, has Trade Zing any plans in collaborating with the NFT collections themselves and basically almost like onboarding the NFT collections on Trade Zing and then building the community on Trade Zing rather, or perhaps in collaboration with the NFT collection and also on Trade Zing. Is there any plans to do that?

Chris:

So the, the, the main plans that we have is that we, a as Trade Zing, we don't want to ever act as a broker. so we don't ever want to have to necessarily issue the, the NFTs or, or tokens or, or anything like that ourselves. What we wanna do is just, create a seamless integration between the two. so that's why when we do things like API integrations or, or anything like that, it's not like we are a separate middle man in the process, is what we're really doing is bringing these two processes and bringing it into one. I mean, overall, we see so many great things that are happening in Web 3.0, as well as some of the things that are holding it back. and what we're really trying to do is we're trying to minimize these Web 3.0 growing pains and not add any more complexity to it. What we're really trying to do is help maximize the upside potential for the space.

Jerome:

All right. So follow up question would be, what would be your take on the future of, the landscape on, on the NFTs and, what potential application that you see, are coming in the future?

Chris:

Yeah, sure. So I think NFTs are gonna have a major shift in the next cycle. I think that we have seen a lot of good things come from NFTs, but I think that for, at least for any new projects that are coming out, if, if you're just setting out to create cool profile pictures, I I, you're really not gonna make it anymore. the next big shift is gonna have a much greater focus on utility, of the tokens itself. So this could be, I like to think about this as like the NFT 2.0. We saw the first aspect of, of cool profile pictures and for the art itself, but I think the underlying utility of the tokens, it's what, what's, underneath is really where we're gonna see the true value. so I, I'll, I'll give two examples.

Chris:

the first one being the types of access that holding NFTs, will give to its users. so this includes things like access to VIP events, to conferences, to special chat rooms, and, and so many other things. and we've seen this come from some of the bigger and better projects such as like Bored Ape Yacht Club and Vee Friends and some of those other ones. They've already implemented this and we see that it's, it's working and I think that this is gonna be even more prevalent in the future. The next example of where I see NFTs going is, is really for, digitally verifiable identities. one concept that's, that's really growing in popularity and it's one of my personal favorites, is about soul bound tokens or SBTs. so as I, I'm sure you know, soul bound tokens are, NFTs that cannot be transferred once they're issued to the soul wallet.

Chris:

so some, some use cases that you can see from these are if you, are like an early contributor to a DAO or to a crypto project, then you can be issued a SBT if you successfully repay a loan, then you can be issued an SBT or also if you just like attend an event or complete a specific course or whatever it may be, those, those platforms or projects can issue you an SBT so that you can see how you can start to build up your, Web 3.0 digital identity. Or you can almost think kind of like a, like a Web 3.0 resume. so I, I think that's the, this type of token is really going to help create a better identity system in Web 3.0. because obviously, like, like we, like we want is much more of a trustless system, and I think that these SBTs that are issued out will help, improve that, that trustless when you're interacting from one person to another.

Jerome:

Very interesting take. I gotta say the, utility, I would agree on that, that the utility will be, the prime, the prime example of, successful NFT collection in the future, or, the previous NFT collection. If they are able to overcome the whole that they have today and basically build more utility, in their collections, that might be, you know, one of the key to to success and to go about utility. I think utility then drives, drives value and value then allows the NFT to, be exchangeable. or you can essentially take on loans as, essentially using it as a collateral. So driving it further the utility of a token rather than just having a picture.

Chris:

100%. I Definitely agree.

Pratik:

I love how these, the industry goes through these iterations, learning from the previous, mistakes and bringing some new technology, right? We had this phase of NFT where people thought they owned the NFT, and then there was a FUD that, oh, you just own the receipt to the NFT and then the actual file can be changed. And now you have these soul bound tokens where you cannot change the data associated with it, and it sticks with you. You cannot sell it, you cannot transfer it. You could potentially use to sell it to, agencies who wanna use your data. Yeah, Right. Like credit score and like you said, course certificates, degree certificates, those are like, soul bound tokens, really good applications.

Chris:

Yeah. I definitely agree. I think that, in many cases, you start to see that the next iteration, like we said, is kind of like the NFT 2.0. we see the same thing within DeFi as well, you know, like, the original DeFi protocols and what they offer, and then kind of the 2.0 version. So that's kind of how I like to visualize this space as well.

Pratik:

Fascinating. Where can people find you, Chris?

Chris:

Sure. So first of all you can find Trade Zing, at tradezing.com. We currently have a, we opened our, our closed beta. So we are, actively integrating people into the platform. But you can easily join the waiting list so that, you can get on as fast as you can. As soon as we open people up, we will integrate everyone from the wait list itself. So if you wanna go sign up on the wait list, check out the website, everything like that, I would say that that's, the best place to go.

Pratik:

And then who is your, user at this point? Who should go to your platform?

Chris:

Yeah, so if, if you're a content creator, we're actively on onboarding content creator so that we can get more content onto the platform. and then once we have most of our content base on there already, then we're going to open that up to all the viewers. So if you're a viewer, you can sign up for the wait list so that you can get on as soon as we're open. If you're a content creator as well, you can sign up, or even reach out to myself or some of our team members, and we can, start that conversation as well.

Pratik:

Perfect. Jerome, is there anything else you want to add?

Jerome:

Perhaps one that, Coinchange and Trade Zing actually, have co-published two NFT reports. The first one being, you know, the NFT landscape general report, and the second one being, the NFT and the financialization of those NFTs into probably becoming capital assets. So they can check those two research papers on Coinchange website, Coinchange.io under the insight tab under DeFi Research News.

Pratik:

Awesome. Well, Chris, thanks for joining us today. Thanks for your time.

Chris:

Yeah, thanks for having me.

Two Twitter Threads You Need To Be Aware Of

Twitter Thread #1: Starbucks is using Polygon Network to enable users to earn and buy digital collectible stamps and unlock new, coveted coffee experiences.

Link to tweet

Starbucks is calling it ‘Starbucks Odyssey’ Started on 9/12, Starbucks’ Rewards-members and partners in the U.S can join the waitlist to get access to the Starbucks Odyssey experience and digital collectible stamps that will unlock access to new, immersive coffee experiences. It also includes a charitable component supporting causes that matter to partners. Brady Brewer, Starbucks executive vice president and chief marketing officer said, “For the first time we are connecting our loyalty program members not just to Starbucks, but to each other.”

So here’s what’s going to happen: 

  • Members can play interactive games or take on fun challenges to deepen their knowledge of coffee and Starbucks. 
  • Members will be rewarded for completing journeys with an NFT.
  • Members can also purchase ‘limited-edition NFTs’ through a built-in marketplace directly with a credit card.
  • No crypto wallet or cryptocurrency will be required
  • As stamps (NFTs) are collected, members’ points will increase, unlocking access to unique benefits and experiences such as a virtual espresso martini-making class, access to unique merchandise and artist collaborations, invitations to exclusive events at Starbucks Reserve Roasteries or even trips to Starbucks Hacienda Alsacia coffee farm in Costa Rica!! 
  • Starbucks will utilize a “proof-of-stake” blockchain technology built by Polygon, which uses less energy than first generation “proof-of-work” blockchains. 

Full post here

Coinchange take: This announcement is a proof of how blockchain technology can be used to revolutionize real world use-case. We just had Chris from Tradezing talk about NFT 1.0 was about community building which has been successful already. But the NFT 2.0 is the real-world use case. And who better than Starbucks to experiment with it! Overall very positive news and the takeaway is that regardless of bear market, big corporations continue to build and innovate in Web3. 

Twitter Thread #2: Recently the biggest news in the institutional space was that, Charles Schwab and Citadel are launching Bitcoin and Crypto exchanges and Blackrock a bitcoin fund! We also have Fidelity announcing plans to offer crypto exchange service to 34 million customers and they already offer Bitcoin in their 401k. And, as of 20th September, Nasdaq announced that they are launching their own Crypto Custody Solution for Institutional Clients! 

link to tweet

Coinchange Take: This is big news, really highlighting that institutional crypto adoption continues despite the bear market environment. We can also note that such announcements are most of the time, projects that have been worked on for years (as we mentioned in our previous Q&A with BlackRock and CF Benchmarks). The barriers to entry for institutions so far have been institutional grade crypto products, meaning regulated products and regulated custody. With this offering, Nasdaq is positioning itself as one of the regulated custodians to capitalize on this need. We talk about this in detail in our next Research Report on Institutional Adoption which will be posted under Research Insights. 

DeFi Hack Analyzed

Wintermute was hacked for $160m

Wintermute was hacked for ~160m on September 20th. It was a hot wallet compromise due to the Profanity bug that was publicly disclosed a few days ago by 1inch team.The attack started with a transaction where Wintermute’s hot wallet started calling their vault contract to transfer tokens out to the hacker’s contract. The vault only allows admins to do these transfers and Wintermute’s hot wallet is an admin. We can say that the contracts worked as they should but the admin address itself was likely compromised.

The Real Issue: 

The admin address was a vanity address (i.e. it starts with several zeroes) which were generated using a tool called Profanity. Profanity had a critical bug that was disclosed by 1inch team just a few days prior to this exploit. 

Why didn’t Wintermute act on this news from 1inch?

The CEO of Wintermute said that when the bug disclosure by 1inch team happened, wintermute accelerated the “old key” retirement. But due to an internal (human) error, a wrong smart contract function was called and they blacklisted the router instead of the operator (contract that signs). 

The result:

The attacker funded the Wintermute admin address using their own ether to pull off the exploit.

It seems that the attacker exploited the bug in Profanity to recover the private key of this hot wallet. Wintermute said they are still solvent and healthy so there’s no need to panic. Founder and CEO of wintermute addressed this on twitter

The CEO says that they did use Profanity and an internal tool to generate addresses with many zeroes in front (0x0000000). But their reason behind this was gas optimization, not “vanity”. What do you think about this, Jerome and how does Coinchange mitigate such issues?

What does Coinchange think: 

This is a challenge of running an Automated Market Maker, ie 100% on-chain. Most of the exploits come from human errors or from bad security practices. Investing into processes to minimize human impact is something we need to continuously focus on as well as keeping up with best security standard. Being purely on-chain brings a whole new level of complexity and attack vectors, and that’s why at Coinchange we have an off-chain logic being executed on-chain through proxy smart contracts, which can only work in one way. No one can get access to it since we’ve built our execution infrastructure to prevent it from happening.

This concludes our 3-2-1 Q&A Episode 5. We’ll see you in the next one, two weeks from now. Meanwhile, kick back and earn passive income using Coinchange. Sign up today!

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