NFT Industry Must Transform Hype to Real-World Benefits, Says OnChain Studios CEO (Podcast)

The NFT industry must transform its hype to real-world benefits to reach success, says Will Weinraub, CEO and co-founder of OnChain Studios.

“We need to keep it as underlying technology, and really talk more about the benefits and the use cases and the avenues that these things open up versus just shouting into the echo chamber about how great NFTs are,” Weinraub said on TheWrap’s “Tech vs Media” podcast with host Richard Wolpert, noting NFTs have begun to have a negative connotation after their initial hype. “Consumers aren’t going to care unless you translate technology into real-world use cases that solve their problems or delight them in a number of ways.”

Weinraub, whose fascination with digital collectables was kickstarted by CryptoKitties in 2008, has put this goal into practice through his companies OnChain Studios and Cryptoys, a futuristic toy company that incorporates digital collectables into world of toys. Whereas other toy companies have physical limitations, Cryptoys has the infrastructure to build original digital content through apps and games that expand storytelling beyond a material item.

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While the CEO has evolved his company to meet longstanding needs, he has observed a handful of companies in the NFT and web3 space falter by failing to provide solutions to real problems and instead “throwing the word ‘NFT’ and ‘blockchain’ at these companies and hoping that’s enough to get this done.”

“Some deals were able to get done by just the sheer momentum of the hype,” Weinraub said. “But now it’s what is the use case? What is the application? What is the value?”

Due to the lack of follow through, Weinraub estimates that 95% of NFT projects will “fade away over time,” adding that “we’re already starting to see a lack of liquidity and activity around those projects.”

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The next cycle of NFTs leaders will emerge in their place, according to Weinraub, who notes that entrepreneurs will have their heads down building several year projects.

“Now for a while you’ve seen these cycles come and go, you see what happened in the late 90s, and the whole mobile boom, and the app boom, and then all this different stuff,” the CEO said. “We see these markets, and we see them as opportunities to build and get ready for the next wave of innovation and consumer adoption.”

Listen to the full episode below.

Episode highlights:

  • Will Weinraub tells the story of his first Bitcoin purchase in 2014, which he considered “homework” for his company at the time, Live Ninja

  • Will Weinraub explains how CryptoKitties kickstarted his fascination with NFTs and digital collectables in 2008

  • Will Weinraub praises NBA Top Shot which made waves in the digital collectables space as first big licensing partner with a worldwide brand to introduce them into the web3 space

  • Will Weinraub gives a simple explanation of NFTs for newcomers, saying that they “make the internet ownable”

  • Will Weinraub compares NFTs to trading cards and notes the possibility of reopening iconic trade companies in the digital sphere

About “Tech vs Media”

On each episode of “Tech vs Media,” host Richard Wolpert — who has decades of technology and media experience as an executive, founder of tech companies, venture capitalist and philanthropist — and one his esteemed guests will divulge enlightening lessons and give their insightful perspective on the movers, creators, disruptors and innovations that are shaping the future of media and technology and how these industries will intertwine with one another.

New episodes of “Tech vs Media” drop weekly. Click here for all the episodes.

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