B2C0035: NFTs and Collectibles with BlokPax CEO Jeff French (w/ Jeff French)
In this week’s episode of Between 2 Chains Peter Hans is joined with BlokPax CEO Jeff French talking about his start ups and about BlokPax. Jeff French’s latest venture adds a new twist to the crypto landscape. French and his team are working to tokenize ownership of physical collectibles as NFT’s and expose this traditional asset class to a rapidly growing global audience of potential buyers using cryptocurrency.
In this week’s episode of Between 2 Chains Peter Hans is joined with BlokPax CEO Jeff French talking about his start ups and about BlokPax. Jeff French’s latest venture adds a new twist to the crypto landscape. French and his team are working to tokenize ownership of physical collectibles as NFT’s and expose this traditional asset class to a rapidly growing global audience of potential buyers using cryptocurrency.
Visit www.realvision.com/crypto to join crypto revolution.
You can reach Peter Hans on twitter @peterdhans82
IN THIS EPISODE:
1. Jeff French begin the podcast with talking about his experience in the web space and his startups.
2. Jeff discusses how BlokPax came to be and how it works.
3. Peter, in agreement with Jeff, elaborates on the BlokPax.
4. Jeff and peter talks about Serena Williams cards.
5. Jeff discusses about the decentralization revolution that will occur in the next years.
6. Jeff elaborates on whether the market will ever transform to 100% blockchain-based cards.
7. Peter asks Jeff about issuing tokens (BlokPax tokens) to their community members.
8. Jeff wraps off the discussion by discussing where we are in the asset class cycle.
NOTE: Following transcript is generated using AI. Minor errors might be present.
REAL VISION 00:00
Welcome to the real vision Podcast Network.
REAL VISION 00:08
Before we get going, we want to remind you that Jeff Dorman is the co-founder and chief investment officer of ARCA funds and Peter Hans is ARCA funds managing director. The commentary and opinions expressed in this podcast are solely those of the podcast participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of our funds or its affiliates and are subject to change for any reason without notes. Any discussion of investments or investment strategies within this podcast are for informational purposes only, and not to be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell a particular investment, security, digital asset or strategy. Investing in digital assets involves a high degree of risk and volatility, including the risk of the total loss of principal and now enjoy the show with your host Peter Hans.
PETER HANS 01:01
Hi, this is Peter Hans Welcome to this week's episode of a little bit of an episode this week. Today I'm joined by founder and CEO of BlokPax, Jeff French, Jeff is not your typical founder in the digital asset space. He's actually had a long and very successful career with BlokPax being his third startup. He's had a web one startup and then in the 90s, a web two startup that's still running and very successful today. And BlokPax is his third taking on the web three space. BlokPax is an NFT based company, which is something that I've personally and professionally been very interested in lately. But this is a little different of an NFT type company and that it's tied to physical items, namely in sportscards. Further, because I'm a nerd, it's a market I've been personally interested in since the 1980s. So I was very excited to have Jeff on the show. I hope you enjoy the episode, as much as I enjoyed recording it. Thank you.
PETER HANS 01:55
Hello, this is Peter Hans. And welcome to between 2 chains, I am joined by Jeff and Jeff, I actually don't know your last name, I just know you from from Frenchy through discord and Twitter.
JEFF FRENCH 02:10
I've got the name my last name is French.
PETER HANS 02:12
That makes sense. Probably got to deduce that but didn't want to didn't want to guess. From you know, frankly, is the first time I've ever had a founder CEO on from another company and and it's really twofold. One, Jeff is founder CEO of BlokPax, which I think is just doing incredibly interesting and innovative things in the NFT space marrying the physical collectible world and probably much more with with the with the digital and then if these know most people assume and associate NFT's with digital art digital collectibles, but you know, as listeners, the podcast, no, it can represent far more than that. It's essentially just your your tokenized statement of ownership. It can translate to any thing from a digital good to a physical good to a royalty stream. And, and I'm really excited about some of the innovation that that BlokPax is doing. I'm not an investor, I have no economic incentive. I am a customer of the platform and and really enjoy it. So Jeff, you know, thanks for joining maybe maybe it's just a kind of a brief intro. You know, love to hear a little bit about you your background, you know how you got involved in the NFT space in the first place. And then of course, you know, what's BlokPax?
JEFF FRENCH 03:34
Yeah, so my, my professional background, I was an accountant by trade, and it was we eon to go I was with Price Waterhouse back before it was even Price Waterhouse Coopers. And I actually left right around the turn of the millennium in the.com. Boom, did my first startup and weathered that storm. Basically we were we created the Sunday sales flyers for all the pure play E commerce stores that were coming online. Imagine back then, if they were having a sale or promotion, you wouldn't even know it unless you were on their website and think about how new the mobile browser or the visual browser was at the time. It was just a completely different space. And then all the clients that we had they started going belly up when the when the bubble imploded and all the money dried up. So we had to weather that storm built a database marketing firm came out of the backside of that grew that over 100 million in revenue exited that went on to do a startup in the web two space actually filed a patent on what's kind of was known as lookalike ad targeting. And we still have a really nice firm that builds services around that. And then this is my web three, play. So I did it in web one did it web two, and this is my web three. And so what brought me into the NFT space and the collectible space, that's actually something where for the first time in my professional career, I'm marrying something that I do in my free time. With with what I do professionally so I've, I've been a collector of sports cards since I was a little kid. I came through the what's known as the junk wax era where they overproduced card time, we didn't know how many of any particular card there were, we were, we were, you know, I remember the 86 Jose Conseco rated rookie that they over printed, the Ken Griffey Jr. 89, it gets over printed. And we used to think that those actually had real value. And then we found out that they printed millions and millions of them and come to find out they didn't really have any value. And so been in that for a very long time. Never really left card collecting, even though a lot of people did. And we kind of had this, this this niche audience where it was still fairly healthy. The values were, you know, they weren't, they weren't enormous values. And then COVID kind of hit and sportscards just went parabolic. And I was already looking into the NFT space, because I was a collector of of things, and got in relatively early on crypto punks. And you know, pick pick those up and then had was was relatively early in the board Yatch club. I got in, I think I got in the Yacht Club, I guess I didn't get in it meant but I was in fairly fairly soon thereafter. So I was already in on all these things. And then I said, you know, this, this, this technology can be used to tokenize ownership of physical assets. I think that doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that that was coming. And I was like, why don't I be one of the first to do it and do it with something that I'm passionate about sports cards, because one of the big things with sports cards, is that selling them across borders, in particular has always been hugely problematic. So I grew up three miles from where John Moran, young, exciting basketball player for the Memphis Grizzlies grew up here. He and his father and I, we actually went to school together for 12 years. And so I was early collector of him just because of that connection, ended up with some of his absolute best cards. And then he shot on the scene and everybody warned him, guy in Australia wanted one of the cards, and we worked out a deal. Between the time that we worked out the deal online, he then had to basically get what's called vouchers from somebody here in the states to say that I wasn't going to scam him and it was really me selling him the card that took a few days, then he wires the money in it sits in an international money laundering hold for a week. Finally, the money clears. Now I have to get the card to him and Australia have to ship it through all the customs and that sort of thing. In that transaction takes really close to a month. By the time it's all said and done. And I was like there's just a better way to do this if you had a trusted intermediary that will hold the asset. And this has happened in the art world and free ports for for centuries. And if if you have a trusted intermediary that'll hold the asset and you tokenize the ownership as an NFT that that transaction becomes liquid instantly, he could have paid me for the NFT ownership rights. The blockchain protects us, he doesn't need to get any vouchers, he knows if he sends the cryptocurrency, he's gonna get the NFT, he gets the NFT. And now he has those ownership rights. And then he can choose whether he wants to actually physically take possession of that card, or whether he just wants to let it sit in that vault safe and sound until he's ready to sell it. Because a lot of what is happening in the world of collectibles. Um, you know, people are viewing these as alternative asset investments. And a lot of times it's it's not the nostalgia of kids, where you want to necessarily hold these things and do a whole lot with them, you just want to own it. And you want to own the value or the value appreciated comes with it right. And so in that instance, the guy in Australia, he could just sit on the NFT. And then if he wants to wait for five years, and he wants to sell the car to someone in Japan, same thing instantly liquid, and he doesn't have to worry about shipping or holding the card. And so that that was really the genesis of the idea for BlokPax was to tokenize the ownership of physical collectibles. And specifically do it with decentralized NFT's. There are already companies out there that would vault your cards, you buy yourself from a vault, and they would transfer it from one vault account to another so that those things exist, companies like do that golden is doing it. But what we want to do is truly decentralized the NFT. So that as all of these NFT platforms come along right now we have a few which you're familiar with, obviously opensea there's relatable, eBay is going to have their own platform, a lot of other platforms are going to are going to come and we wanted to be we want to embrace that decentralization. That was a big part of what we're doing. And so you know that that's led to some bumpiness in the road because the tech is early. We're super, super early. But I think by being super, super early, I think we'll ultimately we and those in our ecosystem will ultimately be rewarded for that.
PETER HANS 10:00
Yeah, completely agree. In terms of it being early. I, you know, I will say, I think and one of the other things I want to get into with you is the is the is the business models definitely different than other, you know, NFT platforms I've seen certainly other other fractionalized collectibles, I can think about a rally road, right, which, you know, one, and I still don't understand why they went the route they did or a masterworks, which is, you know, somewhat analogous, you're there, you're talking about fractionalization. More, which I know you do have a fractionalized offering. But then you also have, you know, something that I think is really interesting and, and, you know, it really pulls on the, you know, the, the inherent gambler and everybody right, where you can win something big for not a lot, but you in essence, do a raz drop. And and it is might be a you know, one part of kind of the overall business and I'm sure there's some, you know, kind of regulatory reasons why this is the the format, but maybe for the audience just explain what that exactly means and how it works. Because before BlokPax, I was not familiar with it at all, but I can see why. And I can see probably why it's very difficult to do without a blockchain infrastructure because of the trust required to enter into that type of transaction.
JEFF FRENCH 11:34
Yep, so. So what we kind of came to the conclusion that it would be very hard to get people to onboard into tokenization of these assets, if we just launched that as the platform, it would be really hard to get adoption, a lot of guys would not want to pull their cards out of their existing vaults to liquidity, it's it hasn't all fully formed yet there. And what I mean by that is, there's some 4 million Card Collectors in the world. And probably about 3000 of them have a Metamask wallet with with ether in it and a lot more will have Coinbase and that sort of thing. But the true decentralized decentral it's not a ton and most of them have been on boarded into that world through blocks, because we went out to card shows and stuff. And we created that. And so it would have been a really heavy lift to get people to bring their assets onto the blockchain. So we said, look, we need to put the assets on the blockchain. And so what we came up with was a sweepstakes model. So that in any ways you participate in our platform, we reward you with these with these Pax. And, and you'll see that here in the next in the coming weeks, we've got a lot of new ways, we're going to be rewarding people with Pax. And what the Pax allow you to do is allows you to rip basically, you open the Pax similar to how you would a video game if you're ripping Pax in Madden or MLB, the show or any of the videos, if you see your kids play those or if you play them yourself. And what you get out of the Pax is you get an entry to win a specific cards. And each card has 2048 entries with it. And then what happens is after a certain number of days, and all those entries are NFT's themselves, so they can be bought and sold using cryptocurrency. And so then what happens after a certain number of days, we what's come to know in the community as the fan, Oh snap, and half of the entries get eliminated, then you wait a few more days or a day or whenever whatever. That's the cadences on that particular that particular set of eliminations it happens again and each time that winnowing of half all the way down to you get to a winner. And so what happens is, each time that happens if your entry survives, you're 50% closer to winning the underlying card and therefore your your NFT entry if theoretically, the expected value of that just increased by double. And so we have a lot of guys that will, they'll they'll they'll look for the look to get on a run and they'll look to exit those and sell them to someone who maybe has a higher risk tolerance. We have some people that aren't even necessarily buying the packs or buying into the ecosystem. They're just waiting until the entries get down to the end and then they're sweeping and trying to win big cards for you know, they're they're looking for deals what they're looking for. But it's a it is it's a white knuckle ride all the way to the end and it does play on that inherent idea of you know, just we all we all like a little risk and this is a way that you can do it in a in a pretty you can you can do this in a very in a very low risk way. And so it's it's it has been a lot of fun for people and they do seem to really enjoy it. And and it's it's allowed us to then on board a lot of these cards because when you finally when you win a card that is tokenized on the blockchain, at that point, you can say I want the card shipped to me and we'll ship it to you. But the vast majority of people are choosing to leave them on the blockchain which is what we want. And we're seeing offered start coming in on the ball cards. The people that have them are holding really tight to them. I think that there is a An idea in our community that we are the first ones to tokenize these physical assets and therefore some of these early tokenized physical assets, that they'll take on an extra value proposition because of that as this becomes more mainstream. You know, the one of the first Kobe Bryant cards that made it on the blockchain is a card that's worth about $1,000. I actually screwed that one up on the secondary market myself. And if when tokenization becomes a real thing, and people start to look back in 10 years and say, What was the first ever Kobe Bryant item ever tokenize on the blockchain? Well, there it is, is that little $1,000 card? And does that make it $10,000? Or 20,000? I don't know. I don't know people, people pay premiums for those kinds of things. So I think I think there's a lot of really interesting stuff that's in our vault right now, these NFT's where you can have the 100% ownership and they all came out of our out of that tax experience that you're talking about and all those people they won them you know, that that we have a winner circle, circle for people who win I mean, it's it's, it's in the we, you know, we run all this off of discord. And so the discord gets really, really hype around the final theme, final eight. I mean, it's pretty, it's pretty fun. It's a fun time, for sure.
PETER HANS 16:12
It is yeah, no I can I can I can vouch from experience for that. It's, it's, it's a lot of fun. And just so just just to explain it a little bit for the audience, in my words, kind of what happens from a, from a, from a customer standpoint, because I think it's interesting. So, essentially, you'll have a pre sale, and you'll have, uh, you know, obviously, just based on inventory, you'll have a limited number of Pax available, you guys as the as the, as the organization go out and purchase, you know, call it 20 different, you know, high value all graded authenticated cards, and predominantly sports cards, though I noticed last time, you know, there was a like a Pokemon and there and, and but you'll have, you know, soccer, you know, there was a, you know, a 77, Gretzky rookie. And there, you know, it was Ty Cobb mantle, Jackie Robinson, and then newer modern stuff, and basketball, football, baseball that could that could range and value, you know. So you know, if you go buy in the packs, I think we're five bucks. So if I go buy 20 of them for 100 bucks, I don't know what I'm going to get, you know, and I and I, when that when those get dropped into my wallet, I click I open it, and it's kind of this experience and you get like, I'm a huge Kobe fan. You know, we're like, the same age graduated high school the same year, like, was always a huge fan. It was, especially after his, his his, his passing like, you know, my, you know, I've always had a big Kobe collection and then stepped it up a lot, especially with my kids who are into it too. And, you know, got a bunch of like, tokens for pretty good Koby rookie that actually didn't have so it was I was pumped about that. But then, you know, in those eliminations, you start to see, you know, your tokens, get eliminated or stick around, and I actually was able to go on open sea, and, you know, there was a fairly valuable soccer card, and I'm not a soccer, fan or collector, so I was able to actually sell that, and I priced it slightly under the expected value, and it went nearly immediately. So there was some pretty good liquidity on open sea, though, obviously, uh, you know, in the grand scheme of things for the dynamics that that you talked about, because of how early we are a relatively small audience, but this is, I just think it's only it's only growing, which is, which is fascinating. So I was, you know, I got my college roommate into it, you know, we played ball together in college and, and, you know, collected as kids and, you know, have always kind of done it and, and we were both involved texting back and forth, you know, okay, I'm, you know, I'm, I actually made it to the round of four on one of the Lebron cards and then got eliminated, but you know, it was, we were, it was entertainment, you know, for me, that was like totally worth, you know, you can't expect mathematically to win but like just the entertainment over the couple of weeks was totally worth it, seeing how you stick around and like you're going to get eliminated this drop and then, you know, looking at open sea for something that's priced well below expected value, and it was just it was a blast. So I thought that was, you know, just just super cool. And the fact that, you know, there is the ability to win, not just a fractionalized portion but 100% is, is really great. So it was that pretty accurate description,
JEFF FRENCH 19:32
And I think that was great and a big part of the value proposition that comes with it as well is that you know, each of those comes with fractional ownership of a card in so the, in each of those big drops that we've done, the first drop, we did fractional ownership of an 86 FLIR Michael Jordan in the second drop, we did a 96 tops, Chrome Kobe, refractor, in the third drop, we just finished the the end everybody gets that like if you You participate, you get your share of that. And, and the expected values on those have been have been really, you know, again, liquidity, we've got to work on liquidity, we need more liquidity, we need more buyers any more eyeballs, but again, those early things that we've had, I think as the eyeballs grow, you know that we've already done Kobe, and we're not going to do another Kobe as a as a fractional chord. So when all these Kobe fans come, they have to go back in time and they have to buy that from you and others who were who were there to participate in that. And so it's we've done some unique things with our for actualizaciones. fractionalization is a it's a it's a, it's something you have to navigate a lot of regulatory issues, you have to regulate, you have to you have to navigate the SEC compliance rules, then you have to navigate the IP rules around the cards themselves. And so we've come up with some unique ways to kind of face all those challenges on how much you want to kind of get into that if you want to just stay on the core product but you know, it's a it's you know, we've we're trying to kind of get it all where you can own 100% of a card you can own a piece of a big card you can own we actually have the the little heirloom fractional. Which ones are those have you gotten so far if you picked up some of those where we had the the drop last week of the Harry Potter stuff, did you get it? Did you get a Harry Potter
PETER HANS 21:20
that that I know of? I have the Kobe? I don't think I have to Jordan in this and Serena Williams, which I'm super pumped about love them
JEFF FRENCH 21:31
when you check into your hidden folder you might have got you probably got a Harry Potter last week.
PETER HANS 21:35
Okay, I probably did. Yeah, with that with thanksgiving. I haven't. But that's jacked. But that's, that's cool. Yeah, the Serena Williams one I am. Like, I was telling everybody, like people who don't care at all, and I'm just cuz I was just nerding out about it like, and I've got girls who play sports, and I coach them and it just like, you know that that stuff hits home to me. So it's just
JEFF FRENCH 21:55
what's the first physically that's the first physical collectible tokenized that I that I know of have been able to find anywhere I believe it to be the first of a female lead. And then it is Serena. There's only 125 people that share in that, you know, does that have an opportunity to be something that will be pretty sought after as demand for this stuff grows? And people started looking back in time and saying, Okay, well, because something else will pop with Serena. And she's gonna go with Hall of Fame and all these other things. And then when people started looking around and say, Okay, I'm sure she'll do digital collectibles, right, she'll do her own. And she may already be signed on with Tom Brady's outfit, and autograph, you know, and that's all cool. And I'm not saying those things aren't cool. But it's still what we've done is we've tokenized a physical collectible.
PETER HANS 22:40
JEFF FRENCH 22:42
And I think that that provenance will matter, it's on the blockchain, everybody can see that it's the first and you know, I think that we've only had a couple of sales of those, and they've gone pretty strong so far. And I would think that's a that's a stronghold for me, like I wouldn't, I wouldn't let that sucker go. It's just not no research.
PETER HANS 23:01
I mean, this is the kind of thing it's going to my girls, you know, when when, you know, when I when I pass, you know, is it's, you're exactly right. And I think, you know, the one thing that's, that's really, that really speaks to me about about, you know, there there, there are other fractionalization in NFT's physical items. And in fact, like one of the one of the things I often say, so I had the CMO of, of Christie's on a few months ago, and right after the people auction dropped, and she mentioned, like, they've got an NFT auction before but it was for a physical, physical painting, right? Because again, it's if it's just gonna sit in a vault, like I got a PWC account to and I can look at my vault items, it's really no different except, you know, the the transferability of it to your point is, is just so much cleaner and transparent, and you remove those those intermediaries is just it really is kind of kind of incredibly powerful.
JEFF FRENCH 24:00
You know, and I think it's kind of level of the level of decentralization, we haven't we don't even know yet. Like, what is this going to look like in two years when there are tons of platforms? And again, eBay, once eBay is selling NFT's, you know, that they're, it's just it's a game changer? And they would there's no way that they're going to sit on their hands and not do it. I mean, it's there they're coming and open see is going to have other competitors. I mean, it's going to happen. And when it does, that liquidity that we all could then have exposure to across all those platforms for all these assets, I think is is I think it will be revolutionary, I think we'll see. And I think it'll help values it will help the will help with anytime you add the Quiddity to a market and add additional buyers. Because remember what I told you earlier about how hard it is to sell these things across borders, we remove that it's not hard for Canadians to buy anymore Canadians, like every time you're in an online car group, These poor guys, the one of the things they'll say is like, Hey, I'm paying this for a card but if Got to ship it to Canada and nobody, nobody wants to sell it to him, they'll sell somebody for less than the state because they don't want to hassle with shipping it to Canada. And so it's it's gonna be a game changer? For sure.
PETER HANS 25:10
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. Same thing with buying, right. You know, if I'm on eBay and I am looking at something and I see, you know, something mispriced and I look at it, and then I, you know, see it's coming from South Korea or South Africa or wherever I mean, I'm not, I'm just not buying it, because I'm just, you know, what am I paying the shipping into, I'm just, it adds an extra layer of uncertainty or risk that I just don't want to, don't want to deal with. You know, one thing I think is interesting. So, you know, I think when, when you think about the, the, the, the sports card world and NFT's, you know, you had, you know, panini got into it with kind of panini blockchain at first, and that's been, I would say, fairly unsuccessful tops, obviously, earlier this year. And then, you know, NBA Top Shot was kind of the one that, I think was, you know, by and large, successful, obviously, not, not, not, not physical cards, and I think, a little unique in that, it probably wasn't your traditional collecting audience, it was mostly a crypto audience kind of transferring over. But, you know, to me, even though the, the, what makes this you know, kind of bridge the gap between the the kind of legacy, I guess, world is that it is tied to something to a physical asset, right? That, that you can, you know, get shipped if you if you want to, you know, you have it there. And, but I think to your point, by and large, most people will probably be fine with the NFT. And, you know, like, like, I have, you know, cards, you know, here at my office, I have something to say if I have some, you know, you know, storage in a vault like PWCC, but ultimately, like the ones it's like, I'm going in and looking at him, right, if I want to show someone something, I'm showing a picture from my vault. So I think over time, you know, probably not too long, right? The the NFT side of it, that the physical will be incredibly in demand. I wonder what what do you think about? Is that going to ever translate over to pure blockchain based cards? And do you think we'll ever just have pure non physical blockchain? Popular?
JEFF FRENCH 27:21
Yeah, I think for sure, we will. I think that some you know, the, there's a one of the things about Top Shot, Top Shot, they minted a lot of supply of the stuff that they were doing. And we know world of physical cards, that when you have a lot of supply, it drives the prices of the high volume stuff down and then the rare stuff tends to then be where the value is to get rare rare items, right? And we've seen from cards that that the world will tolerate in the world of collectors will tolerate manufactured scarcity, meaning when you buy a look at the Kobe the tops chrome refractor, they don't they made a lot less of those purely manufactured scarcity. And then we add great scarcity on top of that, when how well the card grades or not. But even go back into the old tobacco cards, the Ty Cobb with different color backs, greenbacks, red backs, that's manufacture scarcity. So we've seen that collectors will embrace that. So do I believe that the first top shots the most, I actually have never bought a Top Shot. i It's, I felt that it was a little overcooked when it came out. I honestly I said, Look, I'm let this cool down. And I'll look at this maybe a year or two from now see where see where this thing settles out. It's kind of where I was on it. But do I believe that some of the more rare superstar plays of LeBron James, his rarest dunk in the in the in the rarest edition can hold value? Absolutely. I believe that. I mean, it's when you think about our physical card. I mean, it's printed on less than a penny worth of ink and paper, right? On the blockchain it at least on ethereum and just a mint a token cost us a couple 100 bucks. Now with flow blockchain adapters using it's a little different. But the other thing that is going to be interesting is how they will transfer that stuff to where it can be more decentralized. Because right now, if you want to buy Top Shot, you go on TopShot website and do it. It's not a decentralized entity. So if you can't list that on open seat, you can't take that to eBay tomorrow. And I think that's a problem that that and I'm sure they probably have a solution for that. I mean, that those those guys were there. And I think the reason that Top Shot took off the way that it did, compared to how some of the other stuff is maybe struggled. The NBA partnered with somebody who had done it before. I mean, people forget what a smash hit CryptoKeys what upper labs, they had been there, they were legit, and they they had been through scaling something in the NFT space and when they got the licensing for Top Shot, I mean they just knocked it out of the absolute Park and before Recently, I think a lot of people are going to kind of regret some of the stuff they bought it kind of peak Top Shot, but it'll settle in over time. I think it will be a viable collectible. And I think there will be other variations of that there will be MLB because the IP is what's the value and so is you know, Fernando tatties, Junior's first ever NFTs, his rookie, NFT's Do I think that those can have value in 30 years when he's going into the Hall of Fame? Absolutely. I do. 100% i It's i I very much believe in the the provenance of the blockchain. But it's in what you can get with digitized NFT's. I mean, I believe in crypto punks, I believe those are established, I think that they're going to be there, I think that they're they're going to be desired. I think the same thing with you know, the board API Club, which is a purely digital NFT. There's one that I'm another one that I've gotten into that's a lot cheaper, called crypto mores. And, you know, you see these things that are starting to gain momentum and rise, and you see these communities build around them. And I start to see, I I've been in this long enough now that I can look and see how were the apes went from A to Z to get where they are. And then if you can find as new people on board, they can't afford things like board a yacht clubs, for those who are listening that may not know right now, the entry price for board a yacht club is about $200,000. It's a picture of a monkey that you use as your avatar on Twitter. It sounds it sounds obscene. But there is an incredibly liquid market for this stuff. You could if I could go list a board ate. And if I listed it for $180,000 Right now, it would sell in 15 minutes. I mean, it's just that liquid.
PETER HANS 31:43
JEFF FRENCH 31:44
And so you know, finding other pockets of things that are going to grow and become kind of blue chip like that. Because, again, all of this stuff right now is still fishing out of a very small barrel of people. And when we onboard tons and tons more people, and they want to participate in these things, and what the listeners may not understand is that it's not just the pictures, it's the these little communities form around these things and and then they start having real life events or other things that they're doing. I mean, it's a it's a it's a it's a it, there's more to it than just the the JPEG itself. And in that space, you really can't quite wrap your brain around it. But But I do believe in the long term value of these blue chip projects. And I also believe that 98% of the stuff that's out there will go to zero. It's been over produced just like heart, there's too much. Every day of the week, there's a new 10,000 unit drop of some NFT that's coming out and some of it is in the in the collectible side. It's Top Shot dropping too many too many bills. I mean, how many dunks? Do we need of You know, some mid level NBA player? We don't. Right. And there won't be a market for those. And right now those you sell them for eight or $10. And I think fast forward a few years and they're they're they're they're not even liquid, probably pennies just like common cards are like what can you get right for your? What can you get right now for your 1992 Topps cards that aren't Derek Jeter? Right? Not a whole
PETER HANS 33:12
My cousin, my son has a shoe box.
JEFF FRENCH 33:15
JEFF FRENCH 33:15
Yeah, and these NFT's will be the same way and it'll just be in the proverbial shoe box have no value, but there will be winners that will come out of it. And in identifying those winners, you know, finding the finding the Jeter SP's, that'll be $500,000 versus the junk that nobody's gonna want. That's where the winners will come out of these collectibles. And I think that's a human behavior thing. And we've seen it with physical collectibles. And I think we'll see it with these digital collectibles as well. So it's just I think it's a matter of to go back to the core of your question. I think the key is to find the right things. So what I advise anybody to just go out and start buying up stuff that MLB drops are your NFL drops, NFL NFL has got theirs coming, which we assume is gonna be similar to Top Shot
PETER HANS 33:59
Rght, but that bring also in.
JEFF FRENCH 34:00
Yeah, yeah. And, you know, again, it depends on how much hysteria there is there whether I'll participate in that market or not, or whether I'll wait it out and see, most likely probably wait and see because I don't tend to buy into markets where they're super overhyped, because that type tends to die down, but then then the widow separate from chaff and you can find the winners.
PETER HANS 34:20
Yep. Yeah. Interesting. So, one of the things that that that I find interesting about the the conversation as far as So, when we, you know, putting my kind of ARCA had on now, when we look at the NFT space, and what is an investable asset, I mean, we are separating, you know, collectibles from something that has economic value, right, because you can, you can look at NFT's especially in the you know, there's there's tokens tied to projects, right, there's, there's, you know, and even moving downstream, there's, you know, digital land that you could have in Metaverse that you can earn a yield on right. There's NFT's that you can, you know, stake or collect royalty payments on and those have true kind of economic value, and then there's collectibles where you could hit absolute home run. Right. And, and that could make a lot of sense. You know, for individuals, obviously, for, you know, like us professionally, it's not what we're targeting to do, just because it is, you know, not something that we're going to, it's not in the mandate of the fund on what we do. But you know, but one thing that, you know, I think about and take, you know, take BlokPax, so I've come full circle, obviously, it's, it's, you know, kind of the sports world, you know, a lot of the a lot of the utility, and an economic utility or yields on some of these NFT's are based on what you can earn the community and what someone else is willing to pay for it. So if you know, you're playing xe infinity, and you build up this character, and that character is really strong, and someone wants to play the game, and just buy the character off you, you know, one of our, one of my colleagues sold a piece of land and xe for an godly amount of money last week. And, you know, it's because, you know, there's some sort of economic benefit that that other person so, you know, there are obviously, tons of sports related games, you know, from, from fantasy to, you know, you know, mobile, you know, type games where they even have like a card collecting element. Have you ever thought about? Or I mean, you know, and this is this is much in the future, but how do you see this world trance, you know, evolving where potentially collectibles do have more of those, you know, real yields, and it could be whether that's through games, or through or anything else?
JEFF FRENCH 36:41
Yep, so we've definitely looked into a lot of that. And, um, you know, I'm, I'm pretty big in protecting IP and that sort of thing. So we've actually filed some patents off of various ideas that we had to take this stuff over to the world of fantasy sports, we've actually filed, we've actually filed some suite of gambling patents as well, to kind of see how the space will will merge and evolve. But no, we definitely, we definitely look at all that. I mean, I would love to have, I'd love to have a token that has utility, a lot of that still being shaped from a regulatory standpoint. So we want to make sure that we tread lightly on all that and be real smart with what we do. But there's, there's certainly a lot of opportunities there. And those are certainly they're all on the radar, for sure, for sure. But right now, I just want to get the core product, just really want to get that hitting some big goals for us, and grow the ecosystem. You know, we've added about 5000 new new members, we're promoting that free Pax drop that we're doing here in December the first that and we're gonna have another one, we're gonna have several of those before we do the next big major patch just to help build demand, we've had about 5000 people sign up for that. So we're definitely building some good demand here in the last couple of weeks. And I want to focus on demand build, and I want to focus on getting the vault product really nice and efficient, we need to have a layer two vault for the lower price cards along with the main vault for the higher price cars because a gas and using how all that stuff works. Get all that get all that under our belt. And then we have the onboarding of the the crowd slash product where you actually that one is where you'll actually invest in some of the big cars. That's our that's our version of rally road masterworks and collectible that type of setup, the big thing that we are doing differently there is to, to make it fail the Howey Test from a securitization standpoint, there's no there's no voting on your exit strategies, and everything comes down with preset strike prices. So if we like the the honest card that we released as a test card in the crowd slabs, you may have seen that the so we released that it's got a 20 eath strike price on it. And if it doesn't sell by the all star break, it'll go up for all. And so everyone that's holding that card, holding the shares of that, they'll get a percentage of that payout. Either it'll hit the 28th strike, or it'll, it'll go to auction and it's worth right around that strike price. Like it's one of those things where I'm just almost like any day I wake up and see that it's sold, I won't be surprised. It's kind of it just it just depends on where eath is that day versus where the card is. And so if he were to, I thought when he was going down a little bit the other day and got down below 3900, I was like, oh, somebody, if this gets much lower, someone's gonna buy that yagnas Because you can immediately swap fiyat in for eath. And you can buy that card for 20 eath. Now you just paid 65 grand for a card that's worth 85 grand. So I knew there was something and I know there's people that are watching it, like I know a few people that are that have their eye on it. So I don't know if it'll actually get to the auction or not a lot of it'll depend on what happens with it. But it's a really interesting thing to follow. And then all the people that are that are that are that are holding that, you know, they're going to get a nice exit from that one way or the other. They're either going to get it, it's gonna hit the strike price or Ford's gonna go to auction and it'll get a good fair market price for it at auction. And so, and we're gonna be releasing a lot more cards in that platform as well. And so then that's going to let people participate. In a lot of cards that they otherwise wouldn't be able to touch and, and then the other thing that we're doing is because of our core product with the Pax, every share, you buy in crowd slabs, it's going to actually get you Pax in, in some drops as well. So it's good. We're tying it all together, kind of making it where you get your value buying this unit. Oh, by the way, you still have chances to win over here, we just think it's going to create a really vibrant marketplace for us.
PETER HANS 40:26
Yeah, absolutely. You know, just as a as a, as a member of the community. You know, one of the things I do I do really value is, is that, you know, community and the thing is that you guys are giving back all the time, have you? And I'm sure you've thought about it, you consider issuing a like a BlokPax token to community members.
JEFF FRENCH 40:47
Yes. That's what I was just saying a few minutes ago, we I'd love to have a token for sure. Yeah. And we just got to figure out what the right utility is for it. And but no, you know, that's the thing that all of these activities that people are doing, every bit of it, we know, we know, when they participate in things we know when they buy on secondary, we know all these actions they take. And those are the things that typically drive those airdrops like when you when they did the big ENS AirDrop it was how many ENS domains did you have? Right? How much of you participate in the block based ecosystem, if we get to where we can have our own token, that would be the driving factor for it. And so it's definitely on the radar, it's one that is we got to be really careful with it from a regulatory standpoint, we have to make sure we build the right type of utility around the token. So we don't want to foul that. But we have some ideas on how we can do that. And we think that our that we, frankly, I think there would be a I think that I think that it's I don't wanna spill the beans too much on that. But there's, I've got some really good ideas around how we could create a token for sure.
PETER HANS 41:50
That's exciting, very exciting. And, you know, you mentioned regulatory considerations a lot, you know, which I think is very smart. I mean, it is something that, you know, I focus on a lot both, you know, in my day job, as well, as, you know, on the podcast, because we a lot of the audience, you don't look regulatory, especially in the US headlines, you know, move markets and create create a lot of concern. Just curious, you know, what, what are your What are your views on? You know, the, the climate right now, really, you know, even beyond NFT's across the asset class.
JEFF FRENCH 42:32
yeah, they're coming, I mean, the SEC is coming, I think we're gonna see some I mean, so there's, there's some stuff that probably is getting into the commodities room that's gonna face some regulate regulatory scrutiny. I'm not to get political on the podcast, but just, I mean, it's, it's pretty clear that, you know, the, the Democratic Party right now is taking a very hardline stance against crypto. And so I think that that's, which is really kind of weird you did, the more progressive party would be the one to be against it, but they are. And so you know, it's coming, and we're gonna have to, we're gonna have to face all that. And, and it's, you know, it's, it's something that the space has to be prepared for. I mean, I've seen it in vast emergence spaces before I saw it in web one, around data privacy was a was a big thing. I was there for the for the can spam act on how you can and can't send commercial emails and what you had as far as permission to send those. There were a lot of businesses that you had bad actors that were doing spam, and then you had people that were trying to do it the right way. And they all had to be merged into one set of regulatory framework. And we all had to, we all had to live with that. And I think you're gonna have the same thing that it's the bad actors that are going to cause they're going to cause the most regulation. And there's a lot of pumping up in this space. And there are a lot of people that are coming into it, and they, they don't know what they're doing, and they get harmed. And when they do, that's the type of stuff that sparks regulatory scrutiny. Everyday we see these projects that will moon up, and then the bottom falls out of them because you have people on Twitter that are pushing them telling people to buy them. And the next thing you know, poof, they're worthless. You know, if I was pumping and dumping that stuff, I would have a hard time laying my head on the pillow at night because I think they're, I think they're coming for some of that stuff. And and we're just all going to have to kind of kind of get through through that regulatory storm now. So what we've done to prepare, what we're doing is we just we want to make sure that in everything that we're doing that we are not running afoul of securities laws, that we're our data privacy stuff is all buttoned up nice and tight that we're sweepstakes, compliance. It's all buttoned up nice and tight. And so we're we're a US company fully Doc's meaning everybody knows who we are a lot of stuff in the crypto space, you don't even know who's running these projects. Right. And you also don't know necessarily where they are. They may not be in the United States, but we are so it's something that we have to keep it the very forefront of everything that we're doing. We're trying to stay really focused on it. And in there's still some gray areas where I talked to lawyers, and they're like, We don't know the answer to that, because the law wasn't written for that. And we just, we just have to kind of take the best, take the best approach we can in good faith and hope that that'll work out for some long runs come out, we have to deal with some of that stuff. But it's just the nature of the beast, you can't operate in these new fast moving environments like this. And users, there's no blueprint for it all, but it's all brand new.
PETER HANS 45:28
Yeah, I think I think you're dead. Right. You know, it certainly the stance I have, you know, regulation in this in this areas is definitely coming. Personally, I think it's, it's quite necessary. You know, and I think once once we do have it, it'll, it'll, you know, greenlight a lot of certainly institutional capital and, you know, new projects coming to market and, you know, even, you know, your Starbucks last Starbucks quarterly call, they talked about tokenizing, their, their rewards program, you know, which is really interesting application, and will bring more and more people to the ecosystem. You know, in terms of where we are in the cycle, you'd mentioned at the beginning, you know, kind of how early we are, you also have, you know, a ton of relevant experience. And in terms of, you know, web one startup web two, startup, you know, I've always talked about analogies I see between kind of this asset class and growth and where we are in the cycle and maybe, you know, early 90s, in terms of internet adoption and evolution. So, you know, where do you see that we are in kind of the cycle? And do you see parallels in terms of, you know, Blockchain as a technology being analogous to, to the internet as a technology?
JEFF FRENCH 46:47
Absolutely. I use that example, all the time, I tell people that, you know, we got the Mosaic browser, right around, I guess, I'm not 100% Sure what date it dropped. But I remember I remember the first time I was using it was in early college, which had been like, 93/94. And so I feel like that's about where we are, like, we're at that, you know, it's that transition from Gopher to mosaic, visual, somewhere in that realm is about where we are right now. We're that early. And I mean, the technology is amazing, we've just really begun to scratch the surface of what smart contracts are capable of doing. I think there's a ton of different applications that are going to come out of this. And yeah, I think it's going to be, I think it's going to get there. I think we're, I think we're really, really early on the ride. And now, if you think back on that, though, also, back in those cycles, when we were very early in the internet, all there was too much money chasing too few good businesses. I think that's what's also happening here, but a lot of the money is coming out from because it's decentralized is coming from the people, not so much the VC,s. And so a lot of money is getting pumped into a lot of these projects. On the NFT side, also, on the currency side, these all coins, you know, it's in. And again, I do believe that a massive percentage of them will fail and fail spectacularly. And, and then the ones that have good business fundamentals under them will be the survivors. And so you know that that's one of the things that I don't wake up on any given day and worry about, like, I don't necessarily want to see any of the markets that we're doing. I don't really like waking up and seeing parabolic growth, because generally it's not healthy. And because I want to be there for the long term, and when I look at projects, and I see parabolic growth, if I'm holding those projects, that's generally when I sell them, I sell them when they go parabolic because it just at the first sign of weakness, that's when people are going to get out and then the liquidity is not there. So anyway, I think we're I think we're, I think we're still super early. I think for any of your listeners that want to participate in this space, clearly not financial advice. I'm sure you guys have a disclosure on that as well. But I do think it's early, I think that there's some really good projects that you can come participate in where you have really good odds of long term success, but being able to have an eye to know which ones are the good ones and which ones are the bad ones. That's that's where it kind of gets that's where it gets interesting.
PETER HANS 49:14
Yeah, absolutely. Well, this was great. Really, really interesting conversation and, and I'm glad that I you know, I had you on Jeff is kind of the first Founder CEO that I've talked to and really, I guess over a year now of doing of doing this podcast so you know just you know, you haven't said anything about where people can find you or where people can find BlokPax and website escort anything. So Twitter, maybe just share a little bit of that too.
JEFF FRENCH 49:44
Yep. So just go to BlokPax.com and you can sign up there the main thing that you need to if we spell it BlokPax but you can actually spell it the regular way and you'll still find your way there so we grabbed all the IP to protect that to make sure we get the misspellings but, but hop on there, create a free account and then The main thing to do is get in our Discord. And for those that may not know what Discord is, Discord is born out of video gaming, so the kids could connect when they're playing games with each other. And these they're referred to as servers. So in my generation, we should call these things chat rooms now their Discord server. And if we don't move forward, that's where the action is. That's where you meet others in the community. That's how you all this stuff that we've talked about. I'm sure there's, people have heard some of the nuggets be thrown out here, like What the hell's he talking about, but it'll get pretty clear. If you get in there. Read the materials interact with the community, it's something you can pick up pretty quick. So blog packs calm, you can follow me on Twitter, I'm EthFrenchy, eth, and then Frenchy, and you can follow at BlokPax on Twitter. Those would be good, good places for you as well. But then just the main thing would be to just to get signed up and then you'll find you'll see the discord link there and hop in the discord. And that'd be the main place to really get into the action.
PETER HANS 50:51
Yeah, absolutely. And, again, audience I can't I can't recommend it enough if you have any interest in. Well, if you've listened this long, you probably do have some interest in in sports cards and collectibles. But it's a it's a lot of fun. It's a it's a great business. It's a great group of people. It's a great community. So with no economic skin in the game whatsoever. I'm a huge fan. And Jeff, thanks for joining me today.
JEFF FRENCH 51:14
Yes sure thing, thanks a lot.
PETER HANS 51:16
REAL VISION 51:21
If you enjoyed this episode, we hope you subscribe to the podcast, share with others post about it on social media or leave a rating and review. To catch all the latest realvision. You can follow us on Instagram at Real Vision TV and on Twitter at Real Vision. That's all for this episode. See you next time.
We'll be tweeting new episodes, polls, questions, and show updates. Follow us and say hi!@Realvision
Our core membership, Real Vision ESSENTIAL, unlocks our most popular shows, introducing the key market themes we focus on and featuring hard-to-access guests like Kyle Bass, Jim Chanos, Jim Grant, Stan Druckenmiller and many more.
Become a member now and get analysis you won’t find anywhere else.