This post will recap the AMA with NFTY Labs CEO James Lawrence and NFTY Labs COO, Ty Blackard, that took place on the Mogul Official Discord Server on Monday, October 12th.
Question: I’d like to welcome @digitallawrence and @Tytan Inc to the channel. I know some of the community members have already met Ty in Mogul Live last Thursday, but for those who haven’t, it would be great if you could introduce yourselves and tell the community a bit about what you do at NFTY Labs.
Ty Blackard: Sure, I can touch on my background! I’ve been in the crypto industry for a few years now dating back to late 2017. I actually started in crypto by contributing experience in the field that I was familiar with, and that was YouTube. I grew my brand both on Twitter, and YouTube before deciding in 2018 that I wanted to pack up my bags and travel Asia for 9 months in 2019.
So, I quit my job in 2018 and traveled to Asia in 2019. I met @digitallawrence along the way in this journey, and we both started working on ideas and products we could work on to bring to market.
Through my travels in Asia, I was able to meet some huge names in the crypto industry and this has been a major contribution to my network to this day.
After traveling Asia, we decided to put our heads down and build. That’s when in late 2020 we came up with the idea for NFTY Labs. A chain interoperable digital asset authentication service. We knew what we had early on and we decided to put every bit of effort we had into making the project a success.
We are now well over 25 people in our company, and growing 😀
James Lawrence: Hello, my name is Digital Lawrence. I am the CEO and co-founder at NFTY. My background had been in traditional business development and marketing until the end of 2016 when I made the switch to crypto full time. From 2018 to 2020, I spent my time traveling abroad in 22+ countries (mainly Asia and Europe) working on blockchain projects; when I finished my adventure, Ty and I decided to work together to develop NFTYLabs. We believed that NFTs had the most untapped potential in the industry.
Question 2 (@Barcell1): How could NFTY ensure the privacy of the users using NFTs as login? Do you intend to expand this possibility outside the crypto world, serving as a login for popular internet services? If yes, how?
Ty Blackard: I’ll provide my answer on this and I know @digitallawrence has a fantastic answer as well.
James Lawrence: The simplest way to describe is, how might NFTY maintain the anonymity of users using NFTs as login, and how we propose to expand this potential outside of the crypto realm, functioning as a login for major online services? Is by emphasizing that blockchain transactions are inherently pseudonymous in nature, and thus using a Web3 sign-in with an NFT rather than a username, email, and password is far safer.
Second, we are opening up our API and SDKs to allow for the integration of NFTY’s sign-in across the web.
Ty Blackard: The best part about using digital assets as a form of login is that it doesn’t require private info from the user to make the authentication possible.
In traditional login methods, the user has to provide their name, their email, their password (which in most cases people use the same password creating an easy attack vector). In some cases when logging into new applications that require payment, the users will be required to provide their home address, and credit card info.
This is obviously not ideal for opsec related purposes, but that’s where using digital assets as login methods change the game.
When using a digital asset for login, the user simply needs to login with a web 3 compatible wallet like Metamask, or wallet connect enabled wallet.
Then once the user has logged in using their web 3 wallets, our token gates can scan for a balance of whichever digital asset is required to access the token gate. If the user does have the digital asset needed to log in, then they are granted access to the token gate. If the user does not have the digital asset needed to log in, the user is denied access.
This login process is as simple as signing a signature with your web 3 wallet. This signature does not access your private keys, it does not have permission to access any sending or receiving functions. It simply checks the balance of the wallet trying to gain access and then enables that user to gain access if the required asset is in their possession.
No exchange of personal data, no attack vectors, just proof that the user owns a digital asset that proves the user is vested in a certain ecosystem or not 😉
Question 3 (@juliab): What are the next steps that NFTY intends to do to provide a better conversation between web3 communities and the Web 2 communities?
James Lawrence: The next steps NFTY intends to take to promote communication across Web3 and Web2 groups are twofold. To begin, we can close the educational gap by conducting AMAs like this one, where we can meet and explain NFTY to wonderful Web3 communities, like Mogul 🙂
The second goal is to provide Web2 brands with straightforward NFTY products and technical solutions for implementing Web3 into their operations.
Ty Blackard: Great question! In order for NFTY to collaborate with Web 3 communities and Web 2 brands, the dialogue needs to flow along the lines of “here’s how we connect you guys together”. To further expand, the way our conversations have typically gone with web 2 brands is that they are interested in collaborating with these web 3 communities for co-marketing-related purposes, branding opportunities, or even to test the waters with their own NFT ecosystems they plan to bring to the market.
Web 2 brands want close collaboration with premium web 3 communities, but without middleware tools to help facilitate web 3 marketing, it’s extremely difficult.
So, we aim to be the premier web 3 marketing and authentication toolset that enables these big web 2 brands to interface with these massive web 3 communities.
Question 4 (@Pdx): How big companies could benefit from the utilities of NFTY and what are the next marketing strategies to attract the interest of them and users who could benefit from this project?
James Lawrence: We believe that large corporations can benefit from NFTY utilities by providing solutions to current Web2.0 authentication issues such as Personally-Identifying Information (PII) and Data Breaches, Unique Authentication, and Customer Incentive systems. We have a variety of strategies to pique their interest, including a combination of in-person events, such as NFTY’s presence at Art Basil in Miami this November, showcasing our mobile app, and traditional Business Development outbound (which we have a lot of), as well as partnering with great projects. We have a lot of activities that we want to get on people’s radars.
Ty Blackard: For big web 2 brands, marketing isn’t typically the attracting force for them, but strong business development outreach has worked very well for us personally in reaching them. That being said, our marketing has been ramping up tremendously. In fact, we intend to release a huge event we will be attending later this year. This will allow us to display our products in real life for users. We will be able to put our mobile app and its authentication services for mobile app ticket gating via NFTs, in the hands of crypto/non-crypto VIPs. We also use a one-to-many approach with our partnerships to acquire a large swath of users in one partnership. When we partner with communities, we immediately acquire the users from the communities who end up using our product for VIP gated groups, exclusive content, and of course even IRL event gating.
So in overview: we have a strategy for Web 2 brand partnerships, web 3 community partnerships, and beyond.
Question 5 (@juliab): What infrastructure does NFTY have or how does NFTY intend to be able to add/connect NFTY to any NFT market out there and the ones to come?
James Lawrence: We are currently developing our open API and SDK toolkits to enable anyone to integrate NFTY into their product suite or marketplace; the best part about NFTY is that it is cross-chain and interoperable.
Ty Blackard: We actually are in the middle of migrating to AWS (Amazon Web Services). This will allow us to add any layer 1, or layer 2 chain in a very modular fashion. Of course, the way our tech is built allows us to currently add any chain albeit a little slower. We have already added ETH + most EVM compatible chains. We also added a popular layer 1 chain in WAX Chain, and Solana is on the way!
Question 6 (@Pdx): How does NFTY see NFTs in the long term, what are the challenges of building a company that is focused on a specific blockchain niche, and what steps will NFTY take if NFTs lose momentum?
James Lawrence: That is an excellent question. NFTs have only grown in size since we began building NFTY, which is very encouraging. But, even if NFTs completely die, which I doubt will happen, the NFTY authentication layer also works for Fungible Tokens aka ERC-20s, so NFTY is not going away 🙂
Ty Blackard: The long term for NFTs is gradually building the infrastructure of toolsets around layer 1 and layer 2 chains.
Currently, if you look around, NFTs are much more advanced on ETH than they are on BSC or Polygon for example.
In order for this to change, there is much-needed infrastructure development for NFT ecosystems as a whole. Currently, the market is highly saturated with PFP projects that are speculative in nature, and don’t offer much in terms of a roadmap.
We want to offer our services to these communities to enable more functional use of NFTs instead of the typical speculation on PFP NFT projects.
The biggest challenge of building an NFT company focused on any specific chain is the assumption that only the single-chain should be supported and others excluded. The other challenge is putting enough time and effort into the development of the NFT ecosystem. You can just imagine the fallout if Subway restaurants decided to roll back their loyalty rewards ecosystem. Now imagine any company rolling back their NFT ecosystem…
Question 7 (@Barcell1): How will the partnership between Mogul and NFTY, how each one will benefit from it, and how can this partnership be translated into value for users of both platforms?
James Lawrence: I believe Mogul and NFTY’s collaboration will be fruitful because both companies are building and growing in the NFT space, so there are numerous opportunities to share value across each project’s ecosystem, and today is just a small glimpse of what is to come 🙂
Ty Blackard: The best way we can work together is to provide NFTY Token gating services to Mogul for both physical and digital experiences.
We actually have a really cool campaign coming up with Mogul to offer rewards to community members, and exclusive VIP membership to Mogul NFT/Stars hodlers.
We’re also very confident that Mogul will be able to utilize our mobile app ticket gating service for their events in the future 😉
Question 8 (@hungvy): What major partnerships do you plan to use or how do you get your product out to the average consumer – especially those who don’t use crypto?
Ty Blackard: We have many major partnerships coming up with names you’ve definitely heard of. We utilize our amazing BD team to reach out to these massive brands and communities through the one-to-many approach. One partnership = a lot of users in crypto.
Question 9 (@SchariacA): Currently, technology is changing every second. Are you afraid in the future your project will lag behind new projects with newer technology? Do you have a plan for this?
James Lawrence: No, we are not worried NFTY will fall behind – in fact, we’re building faster in our sector than the industry is growing.
Question 10 (@bengss): Sorry, I’m just a newbie at NFT, can you explain easily what is Web2 and Web3? and what are the advantages of Web3?
James Lawrence: Here’s a great guide to Web2 & Web3 https://ethereum.org/en/developers/docs/web2-vs-web3/
Question 11 (@thoian): Security & User Interface is the Most Important Aspect Users See on a Platform. How did you do this? Is the platform suitable for newbies in the crypto space?
Ty Blackard: We’re actually focused on making the UI/UX a seamless experience not only for crypto native users but also non-crypto native users. We believe NFTs open the flood gates to mainstream adoption and we want to make sure our products can be used by everyone.
Question 12 (@Abukaruba): Many new projects initially developed well but were suddenly abandoned. How will you manage the project to maintain your position in the market and become a good project in the blockchain world?
James Lawrence: We’ve been in crypto for 5 years, and are not going to abandon NFTY 🙂
Question 13 (@thanhnguye): Can you talk about NFTYLabs’ future plans? and how can I contribute to the development of NFTY Labs?
James Lawrence: We are always hiring – if you want to work with us, please visit our careers page at NFTYLabs.org
Question 14 (@Linhlola): Currently, the covid epidemic is booming again, very complicated, and affecting the whole world. So what effect does it have on the economy of the project? And how do you generate income and profits to sustain the project?
James Lawrence: Covid has forced a more digital and remote economy, and NFTY works perfectly with this new remote world of blockchain, crypto, and NFTs
Question 15 (@shibobb): Good projects always have an experienced team behind them. Can you tell us something about the team and their experience in the market?
Ty Blackard: @digitallawrence and I have between us 7-8 years of experience in the crypto industry. We’ve seen it all. We know many of the biggest names in the industry. It definitely makes navigating pitfalls in the market when you’ve been here as long as we have.
Question 16 (@bengss): 4 networks in Q4 2021, and the addition of 3 networks in 2022. Does it not rule out the possibility of additional networks in the future?
Ty Blackard: Oh yeah we plan on adding as many networks as the populous demands. We can do that due to our modular tech buildout. We already support over 50 EVM compatible chains, plus WAX, and adding Solana!
Question 17 (@Liacori): Does the project currently support a staking program? How does the project’s staking program work and what do users need to do if they want to participate?
Ty Blackard: Single asset staking is coming, but we just pushed our NFTY/BNB staking pools live! https://twitter.com/NFTYLab/status/1447650786167590916?s=20
Question 18 (@shibobb): What are the long-term goals and vision of the project? In order to achieve the highest efficiency of the set goals, what is the project’s roadmap in the coming time, what are the goals that you will focus on developing this year?
Ty Blackard: Here’s our roadmap!
Question 19 (@shibobb): Good projects always have an experienced team behind them. Can you tell us something about the team and their experience in the market?
James Lawrence: https://nftylabs.org/team.html
Question 20 (@OTEE): Hey NFTYLABS team nice to have you in our community, I’m curious if there’s a timeline on your end to implement the Gating service. If you don’t have, can we have an estimate, something like Q4?
Ty Blackard: We will be opening up token gates for Mogul very soon: https://discord.com/channels/880427937042690099/887025699368599553/897225338885664768
Question 21 (@Nathan): One of the other communities I’m in uses (what I believe) is a pretty close competitor of yours, Grape. What’s NFTYs plan to differentiate itself in the NFT utilization space, and do you think there’s enough room for multiple players to exist in the same space?
James Lawrence: Yes, currently Grape is only on Solana, NFTY will work across all Layer 1s and 2s.
Ty Blackard: Great question! We’ve seen GRAPE around and I think they are doing great for Solana communities. Although one drawback to most of the current token gating services is that they rely on the assumption that most users know how to work with the bot commands. The other differentiator for us is that we have a web app that users can access. We believe this makes it easier for non-crypto native users to utilize. This will also work perfectly when we allow users to receive notifications of which NFTs they hold that currently offer promotional gate access.
On top of all of that, we are cross-chain interoperable, and we have a mobile app in IOS, and android beta.