Gary Vaynerchuk: NFTs will go beyond being just collectibles


Welcome back to chain reactiona podcast that dives deep into the latest trends, drama and news, breaking down block by block some of the biggest names in crypto for the crypto curious.

For this week Consequence, jacquelyn interviewed Gary Vaynerchuk, better known as Gary Vee. He is Chairman of VaynerX and CEO of VaynerMedia and the NFT series VeeFriends.

Inspiration for VeeFriends began between 2018 and 2019, when Vaynerchuk originally wanted to launch a line of “positive reinforcement” desktop toys. The idea grew out of the thousands of direct messages he receives each month from people telling him they don’t like their job.

“One day, after reading about five or six of them and going into the lab in my office, I walked by about ten desks,” Vaynerchuk said. “Every one of the desks I walked by — my clerk had little Simpsons characters, little Marvel characters, little Marvel characters, little anime characters.”

He originally wanted to launch a line of toys, but COVID-19 hit and the NFT boom began, prompting Vaynerchuk to merge his plan into digital assets. “I did have a big audience…but I was focused on real-life utility,” Vaynerchuk said. “First I thought I’d build Disney, now I think I’ll build Sesame Street… I want to create a universe, and I thought the technology of NFTs would be an incredibly fun way to get started.”

The future of NFTs and IP

While some large NFT collections like Pudgy Penguins and Bored Ape Yacht Club are expanding their intellectual property beyond the digital world into areas like toys, apparel and more, Vaynerchuk doesn’t think this is the right move for every project. “I don’t think everyone is capable of that. You have to be clear about what you’re good at and what you’re not good at, but that’s something everyone should consider because it gives a lot more opportunities.”

In terms of more mainstream adoption, Vaynerchuk doesn’t believe that digital collectibles will be the biggest avenue for NFT growth. “I think it’s going to be ticket sales, contracts, title insurance and things like that.”

30 years ago, the internet was dubbed the “information superhighway” because it was viewed as a place, like a library, where people could do research, Vaynerchuk said. “Today we know the internet for much more.”

In a similar wave, Vaynerchuk sees NFT collectibles as part of the ecosystem, but believes that 20 years from now, when people hear the term NFT, “they’re not going to default to thinking it’s a collectible, they’re going to see it in.” broader sense.”

We also covered some topics related to the NFT ecosystem today and its future, mainstream adoption, and Vaynerchuk’s advice for other projects.

For additional context, Vaynerchuk is a five-time New York Times bestselling author and founded Wine Library, one of the first alcohol e-commerce platforms, in the early 2000s. In 2009 he co-founded VaynerMedia with his younger brother AJ and today the company serves clients such as PepsiCo, GE, Johnson & Johnson, Chase and others.

He’s a “die-hard” New York Jets fan (and plans to buy the team one day) as well as an investor in a handful of big companies like Twitter, Venmo, and Facebook – which we also talk about in the episode.

Chain Reaction comes out every other Thursday, so be sure to subscribe to us Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favorite pod platform to keep up to date with the latest developments in Web3 and crypto.

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