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Pontem Weekly Livestream Recap October 21, 2022


Table of Contents

This week we have Paul and Cooper joining us from Notifi!

Alejo: So, what brings you to Chicago?

Cooper: So I’m here for XHack. We’re building cross-chain functionality for a premiere yield-aggregator on Aptos that we conditionally could be first mover on suite as well.  

Paul: I’m building tooling for Web3. We do mostly messaging infrastructure. Initially we did it for notifications, and now people are using it for other things like sending a message about buying an NFT and other stuff.

Alejo: How’s Chicago been?

Paul: Pretty cold! I just flew in from San Francisco where it was like 75, which is cold for SF. I got to Chicago and was shocked.

Cooper: You can say that again. I came in from Vegas where there’s beautiful weather, I was wearing shorts, to this frozen wasteland.  

Alejo: I came from Florida too and I was staying at what I thought was a nice AirBnB, but it’s like the heat doesn’t even work.    

Paul: I’m actually pretty excited to leave Chicago and head back home. Cooper, where are you based out of?

Cooper: We’re based in Nashville, so I’m excited to get back. It’s only a little bit warmer than here, but I have working heat at my apartment. I might end up attending some other blockchain events this year but if not, I’ll just be locked in on product. The marathon begins Monday. Yeah, we’re gonna kick back to raising. We’ve been sprinting on product here, as well as revitalizing all of the resources that we’ve built like our white paper. We made those in August and we’ve come so far since then. We’re really excited to be representing that information in the resources, and then I’m gonna get back to raise.

Alejo: Once you have a working product, the fund raising comes a lot easier. People can actually get an idea of where you’re heading.

Paul: It’s really weird.I think there’s an exponential difference between a thesis and a wireframe. I feel like most investors will need to see even the Figma, which is just mockups, to feel like they can trust a product.      

Alejo: There’s also certain funds that have fund mandates that only invest in working products.

Cooper: It’s also given us time to apply to certain grants through Aptos and other foundations. Ideally, we’ll get a cosign from XHack on what we’re doing and that’s going to make the raise a whole lot easier.

Alejo: I came here to talk about NFTs. I was on a panel that was moderated by an NFT marketplace and it was interesting. NFTs and DeFi are not that dissimilar. NFTs are just primitives that have value. They're just non-fungible. Even this idea of a semi-fungible coin like a movie ticket. Imagine AMC was going to give out a million tickets and they were going to launch them as coins, semi-fungible coins. That coin is worth say $20 at AMC, so you can use it at any AMC, but it’s not worth $20 anywhere else.    

Cooper: You could do digital exclusives with the NFTs. Like what if the tickets could come with pre-promotional exclusives? Then you have somewhat of a collector’s item.

Alejo: I think it’s coming. We’re seeing more companies starting to sell NFTs. Like Adidas is doing some. A lot of big brands are doing it and I think the next step now is utility. They make a lot of money, but don’t know what to do with the NFTs. The design space is endless, especially with digital goods, because you can create something out of nothing. Imagine Adidas created some NFTs and collabed with a metaverse like Roblox, and now your Roblox character can have shoes. You can technically mint as many shoes as you want and then you start to have utility. And then you can add layers to it, like adding a game element where the shoes allow you to run faster. It might shock people how much people would be willing to pay. But the issue becomes that sometimes a high price will make people play to earn, and not just for fun. The earn should be secondary to the fun.    

Paul: I agree, and this is the concept of gaming the last twenty years anyways. You play games because you like to play games. You don’t do it from an economic perspective. And once you have that, people only come for that reason. As soon as that economy gets destroyed, people are like, “I don’t want this game anyways.”  

Alejo: So a question I always ask every AMA is: what do you think of aliens? It’s possible that aliens don’t exist, but it’s also possible that they already do and live among us, or that we could even be the first aliens. Think about the flying objects that the US government now acknowledges exist that our technology is able to detect. If there are aliens, it’s likely that they aren’t biologically here, but they could be sending us signs or communicating with us.

Paul: I’ve seen some flying objects. It was just some really bright lights that just went vertically and left the sky.  

Alejo: That’s a common occurrence now!

Paul: I haven’t said anything about this until recently. People have been coming out and talking about them.

Alejo: I think that’s the problem. We’ve made it so taboo to think that there are aliens or some other thing that we can’t understand or explain, that we’ve kind of deluded ourselves into thinking it’s impossible.

Cooper: I think after the Ancient Aliens show on the History Channel, that was when it became a little taboo. But now we’re seeing a lot more validation. I think when we think of aliens, we tend to think of them as being far away, but events are happening on our planet.

Alejo: If you think of evolution, there may be something before the big bang. Maybe there was something else that is like us that is starting to wake up. And even if they’re 1000 years ahead, then maybe that is them coming to visit us, or maybe it’s us coming to visit ourselves. I think we have this bias of thinking we’re smart. We think we’re at the top of this small pyramid and know everything. But when you zoom out and look at history, we didn’t know how rain and the sun worked, so we prayed to the gods. We have science now, which we hope will explain it. But we’re only now just starting to understand black holes and that they don’t just go to another dimension when you go through it. We understand there are limits like the speed of light, but potentially through wormholes you can travel beyond the speed of light. We didn’t know electricity and we didn’t know iPhones.  

Paul: Do you guys remember when the iPhone first came out? It wasn’t that long ago. And since then, there’s been this epoch of crazy amounts of innovation on top of it. We always think that we know best and we’re on the forefront of everything, and then something revolutionary happens. To go with the theme of weather, weather manipulation didn’t even happen until the 1950s. People thought you had to pray to a god, and now we can actually manipulate the weather.

Alejo: As civilizations evolve, we can start to manipulate our own environment. Like global warming and hurricanes, what if you could actually cool the ocean so that the hurricanes aren’t as bad?

Paul: It blows my mind that we have an iPhone and we know how to build blockchain, but we don’t know certain things like how the pyramids were built.  

Alejo: It’s crazy the amount of knowledge we’ve lost over the years and how much we have gained, especially in the technology and social media age.

Thise livestream had some technical issues with the audio, but we want to thank Paul and Cooper for coming on and having a great discussion with us! We’ll see you next week!

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