One Confirmation with Jefferson Nunn featuring Oh Tepmongkol – The Future of NFTs
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Podcast Transcript below:
Jefferson: Welcome to another edition of One Confirmation, and I’m your host, Jefferson Nunn. And I’m here today with Oh, a leader of 3D Real Magic, and NFT runway.
How’re you doing today?
Oh: Hi, I’m doing great.
Thank you for having me on your podcast. It’s great to be here.
So not a lot of people are getting into-well, I should say, more and more people are getting into NFTs and things like that. And what attracted you to the whole NFT space to begin with?
Oh: Well, you know everyone is always fascinated with, you know, it’s an age of obsession that fashion and technology. And now we have NFT. So what attracted me to this particular project, which is NFT runway, which I’m an Executive Director of is the charity angle, how do we explore fashion, cutting edge technology, fashion and philanthropy. How do we create an NFT endowment that would last a lifetime where the charity would be able to get the residual and benefit from the sales of the NFT.
So, I know there’s a lot of people that don’t really get what NFTs are all about. Can you perhaps just give a little brief overview of what NF T’s mean to you and what you’re doing with the NFTs?
Oh: Well, in a very simple term, NFT t is just a digital item in a ledger that is being recorded on the blockchain. Basically, it’s a stand for a non-fungible mean one is recorded, Non-Fungible Token, once it’s being recorded, nothing can be changed. So it’s kind of like registering your record within, or a government like a marriage certificate or but is it just a digital item that is being recorded. So, it’s been used in so many different ways, and one way that we are using it for NFT runway was to record the portion of who owns this who gets the residual which are the benefits, which is one code, and total flies two. They are the two national organizations that we have benefited from this time and one warm coat donates, coats to homeless families and children. For every dollar, they are able to donate one coat and total flies to the organization that rescues endangered species. This is a group of volunteer pilots that flies, totals from the naughties because of Colston that they can swim fast enough to for their coasts to mate. So they are being flown by a group of volunteers.
So, these are the two worthy causes that we thought that we want to start at our endowment.
Jefferson: I think that’s a really great cause and everything. And I think one of the things that, at least for me, most attracted me to this whole genre and industry. There’s a very famous case a little while back. And it’s the priciest art forgery ever sold. A $450 million forgery of Leonardo da Vinci’s Salvator Mundi was actually in the Saudi Crown Prince is, Mohammed Bin Salman Yacht, it was held there until most recently, but it was a fake. So somebody, a group of billionaires were bidding on it, but somebody made it and sold it at an auction. But it was a complete fake. And that’s the thing, I mean, imagine if I mean, if you have enough money, you could probably fake anything today. That’s physical.
But do you think this whole NFT thing that it will protect us from this type of forgery?
Oh: Yes, you’re talking about what we call a phygital item, which means it’s an NFT that is being digitally recorded along with their digital item, as well as they have the physical counterpart. And that’s what our NFT runway is. It’s a phygital fashion show, meaning that we have a dress or a garment that is physical and we have a digital wearable version of that. There is a new technology that is coming online, that addresses this particular issue. And to a company that’s worth mentioning, I would say is one company that does our nano-particle, where they weave in the nanoparticle directly onto for example, a fabric or a canvas, where they can image that nanoparticle and determine, the unique signature of that particular painting or art. Another company that also does the same thing, similar things are they do diamond dust, very interesting application, they spray the diamond dust onto a surface of an object, and then they take a photograph, because the dust particle is unique, right. So, they reflect light differently. And they recorded that unique signature into part of the NFT.
So you can always tell you know, which physical object goes with the NFT that is part of the NFT as a creator create this item.
Oh: So, I think would show some of the forgeries.
If you want to get around the work, around a lot, you can. I can’t say this is 100% proof, but we are taking the step where you no longer need an appraiser or Christie to say these are the real items. Now, you can know for certain that these are the items that the Creator said it was authentic. And some people actually go as far as, I’m not sure whether you heard of this, that they would paint a painting, take a photo or create a digital version of it, which is a photo or a 3D version of that rendering a painting. And they would actually the artists themselves once they sold the NFT they would cut the painting, destroy the painting so that there’s no physical copy. That’s another way that people deal with that. I’m like, “wow.”
Jefferson: I know, right.
But, I think NFTs and proof of ownership, I think will be very important things as we enter this. You know, more heavily involved with this digital age. And so along those lines, if you’re a designer of clothes, what are some of the things to think about in creating NFTs, I mean, would an NFT version of a dress be exactly identical, or could there be a slight difference between the digital dress and the physical dress?
Oh: If I were a designer, and recently you heard that Nike has bought a company called Artifact for a lot of money, right. And they do only digital sneakers. So, Nike has now made a move into the metaverse and an NFT. NFTs now are aligned closely with Metaverse. Because in a Metaverse, the only way that they can determine whether you own that digital item or not is to check your wallet, which is it shows what did you buy and that’s NFT in your wallet.
So, in that case, what you want to view NF T and the metaverse is kind of like another advertising channel. So, you could create, one physical dress. And that could be one of a kind of sample. And then what you do in the metaverse is or in the digital version of it, you should create variations of that dress in a different color different, different patterns, different things. So that, it would lower the barrier of ownership of that NFT. But in the meantime, people in the metaverse would be wearing your item. And would basically advertise your brand that would basically tie you back into the physical world. That would be in my opinion, that’s a good use case of the NFT. And the metaverse can do.
Jefferson: Very cool.
Well, tell me more about even how you got into the IT industry. Because I know, just changing gears a little bit, STEM is really important for everybody. So can you tell me more about how you got into it, and how others can get into it?
Oh: Well, this is a cause very near and dear to my heart. I have been an engineer and have been in computer graphics for the past 30 plus years. And I’m probably still a woman of the very few women that I have my boots on the ground, so to speak, meaning we still coding we still doing the dirty work, maybe not so dirty. [laughs]
But, doing basically the nitty-gritty of the algorithm work. And I view that, to be honest, that now looking back, I thought that being in STEM is one of these things that is actually helped me build confidence. And I think that is very important for girls to be involved, to be part of STEM. Because, right now the field, especially in 3D computer graphics is dominated by mostly men. So, I think that they’re missing the other half of the creativity, the other half of the population. And the diversity that has ideas of how we would approach and how we solve the same problem that we are facing. So, I think that I encourage more girls and also low-income families and to consider STEM. It’s one way for us to build confidence. Because, I understand that math is hard, but if you work hard, however, it will pay off. That’s what I believe.
So, it’s different from humanities, humanity sometimes needs a little bit of luck and hard work. So there’s no definite. But now, more than ever especially with this crypto and blockchain, having technical skills, STEM is really important even if you’re not in STEM to be able to grasp the concept. And quickly to be able to understand how things are developing, would be an advantage for anyone.
Jefferson: Yes, I would definitely encourage anybody that’s in high school, or even just starting out in college to really strongly consider just anything within the IT computer industry, technology industry. There’s a shortage of 1.4 Million Software Developer Jobs that are unfilled right now, right now this year, 1.5 Million is basically the demand for software developers. And then even in the security industry, there are 600,000 jobs unfilled, just in our high-tech security industry. And by the way, you don’t have to be like a super uber, math whiz, or whatever, to really get some of these top jobs, there are plenty of jobs that are just necessary, maintaining software, writing documentation, and things like that, that are very important, even project management.
So, just think of all the affiliated jobs within that exact industry. So, it’s just so amazing that I think, you know, it’s not as highly advertised, as some of these other industries, things like sports, right, It’s so highly advertised and yet, you have a better chance of winning the lottery than getting into somewhere like the NFL league or whatever.
Oh: Jefferson, you must have been maybe your pot Asian, “No, I’m just kidding” I was like learn math, right.
Oh: The other, I guess, a statistic that is concerning for me as a woman in technology is the fact that girls even though we do a good job at trying to entice girls into studying in the STEM field, but not doing a good job at keeping them there. 40% of girls who finish with a bachelor degree in STEM, basically move on to another field within 40%, within 5 years. So, that that is I think that is a number that is very actually alarming. I can understand that we’re not preparing the women into the field and minorities into the fields into the workforce. They didn’t feel that there were advancements there.
And just let alone like cryptocurrency, which is a subset of the overall IT industry, which is also a combination of, actually, it’s a combination of a lot of different fields into one. And with a lot of misinformation that’s out there about anything new, everybody’s going, “Oh, my God AI is going to take over”. But no, it’s not going to take over, it’s actually AI, it’s just kind of a boring kind of science if you get down to it, I boring in the sense that it is nothing bad, exciting, compared to what they make it out to be in the movies, right.
Oh: I would joke with you on this one. When I did my Master at Stanford, I did a project and now they call it AI.
Oh: Back then we call it autocorrelation or neural network, which is very intense, the field hasn’t honestly hasn’t changed much since 30 years ago. It’s just that we have now more data. So what happened, the difference between the burgeoning on the AI, the new term AI and it used to be called Big Data, right Jefferson?
Jefferson: Yes, Big Data. That was the other one.
Oh: Big Data, now AI.
It’s similar to when I first started off on this journey with 3D Real Magic. We were doing 3D graphics, 3D modeling, or 3D capture, or I call it 3D fashion, 3D garment. And then, later on, it’s switched to digital fashion. And now it’s switched to virtual fashion. And now it’s called digital fashion. And eCommerce is not even a term at that time, we just say, “Are you selling online?” The thing has changed so much recently, and the acceleration of COVID accelerates a lot of these developments. And I think that with Facebook, move into the Meta, they try to own the word, Meta. And, and Nike making a move, that it really makes it important for actually for small and medium-sized businesses to try to have a roadmap or think about, what’s ahead.
And just to plan accordingly that, that in the future in the next few years, instead of having Facebook ads, you’re going to have to have Metaverse ad.
Jefferson: Yes. I was just about to lead to that.
I was just thinking, we were talking with Adam Draper a couple of weeks ago, he has been heavily involved in all of that, virtual reality and NFTs, and actually, he invested in Oculus, he was one of the original investors in Oculus before Meta bought them. And so along those lines with Meta’s move into VR, and that whole landscape, what do you think is next for VR, NFTs all that. Where do you think we’re headed?
Oh: Well, I think there’s a lot of hype going on. But, if you really look at the retail landscape, 85% of what’s being sold is still brick and mortar. So, 15% is eCommerce. So, you have to keep your eye on the ball, meaning that look ahead, but don’t abandon the shop and run off to catch the next wave. In some sense to be honest, I fear as a person that always supports small business, and I’m a small business person myself. The gap between people with money and people without money in the digital domain is really huge. What I mean is that it’s just like NFTs. It’s really hard to discern, who’s the real customer, who are the real followers, and all of that.
So, there’s a lot of hype going on at this point. And the money goes a long way. So, I have spoken so many times with the Metaverse community themselves in Clubhouse and several plays several social media groups on Discord. And they felt that they had been on the fringe and building all this technology, including crypto, and be centralized, this work is basically a grassroots effort. But now the big boys, they saw that there’s big money. So, they coming in, right, just like Amazon. So, I sense the concern and they are banding together. And, I think that one thing to be I guess to be aware of is that everybody has the same piece of the pie in the blockchain or in the interplanetary, as you call it. But this pie is cut differently. So, there won’t be a Metaverse that is a one-size-fits-all. So, I think there are rooms for different purposes. And now you can rent a metaverse. There are people who are renting Metaverse, you can have your own Metaverse, you can buy one. So, for your own purposes. So don’t think that your limit is just you know, joining a decentral and or the top Metaverse or crypto voxel. If you build your own community and create things that bind you together as a community, then that’s definitely an opportunity. And it’s an opportunity for everyone to figure out what is available to them. It’s kind of like when Tik Tok came online, there’s a new wave of influencers, that wasn’t part of the YouTube wave, right. Same thing.
So, it will be interesting to see whether Meta or Nike at this point, they move fast enough. Because I think crypto space is a very innovative space, and you have to be able to react very quickly. If there’s something that is caught on then can be a company with a different culture be able to capitalize.
Jefferson: Yes, exactly.
I think there’s a lot of opportunities there for just everybody to get involved with the NFT space. I think one of the things about blockchain and even NFTs is that it’s democratized. I mean, anybody can make an NFT, anybody can design a brand new dress, register it on the blockchain, and essentially on that, you don’t have to rely on you know, for example, the copyright office to fight your claim that this is your address, you can design something new and prove that as your design.
Oh: You are yourself Jefferson, is an influencer in this space.
Oh: What do you think about different countries or governments is making a move against crypto, they seem to be restricting.
Jefferson: Well some of them are like, China banned everything, and then a bird now they’re getting back into it. But, I think it’s just the initial knee jerk, they’re scared of it. They don’t know what’s going on. And so they’re just, I feel that people are just gonna fire everything at it. They’re there a few congressmen that just have no idea what they’re even talking about when they open their mouths, and people like Charlie Munger, are completely threatened by anything and everything that has to do with cryptocurrency because it impacts all their existing investments. So, I think that’s just that initial knee-jerk reaction. But no matter what, there isn’t that much that any of these people can do to stop what’s happening and what’s coming.
Oh: I wonder whether there is an application to NFT and voting.
Jefferson: And that’s already happening, there’s already a project out there that allows you to do that very thing. That’s what I’m saying, and things like proving homeownership. Recently, there was a bank that actually took somebody’s house and they did it all incorrectly. They meant to take the guy next door, and they literally the guy had to go to court and spend two years fighting this bank to get his money back. He came back from a holiday and everything was gone. But if this was done on the blockchain that wouldn’t have happened.
Oh: My interest in particularly just to come back to NFT runaway was that, how could a layman person, a person like me be able to endow, a charity because endowment donating money in a way where it gives the dividend over and over, that only belong to the rich. People endow university, it’s a large sum of money. But with crypto and NFT, you can buy an NFT, and when the art get resell over and over a portion of it will go to the charity. And I thought it would be an interesting thing for the charity to say, “Hey, instead of donating money this holiday season why don’t you sell your crypto art?”
Oh: And make money, you make money, we make money.
Jefferson: Yes, that’s already happening.
Donations using crypto is at an all time high this year. There’s a lot of opportunity. And so I’m excited to see what 2022 will bring. So, what’s the number one thing that you’re going to be most excited about to see in 2022?
Oh: Wow, that’s hard.
I think that I wanted to see more of a proof of concept for commerce in the Metaverse, that’s what I’m excited to see how this would be materialized. Because right now, people are just hawking land. And they don’t know what to do with it, it’s all speculation. It’s like the Wild West, a homestead. But, I want to see what is being developed and how interoperability between, and that’s what I’m working on between, wearables in different Metaverses, how can we make that work, and how could we figure out a way a channel for small and medium sized businesses to have a way to get there without having to you know, invest a huge money in at this point. Just to figure out a way to have a present. So that’s what I’m excited to find out about standardization and things that are coming, especially with NFT, and space, and the wallet.
Well, I’m excited to see that as well.
Well, it was really great to have you on this show. And if you don’t mind, I’d love to follow up with you sometime next year, just to see how things are going.
Oh: Yes, excellent.
I will be happy to and thank you for having me here. Next year, we hope to have another NFT runway event, and it will be for a different charity, for different benefit different charity, so that we could support different causes. That is the cause that the fashion community and also the NFT community would be interested in.
And if people want to check you out, your services, how can they do it?
Oh: We have, digitization services that we convert, physical items into digital twin versions, and help we NFT creation, and that’s at, 3drealmagic.com. And if you want to check out all NFT, and are interested in supporting one warm code and total size to check us out at NFTrunway.io.
Oh: Thank you.
Jefferson: It was great to have you, and thanks again for your time.
Oh: Thank you, Jefferson.
Thank you for having me. And happy holidays.
Jefferson: Happy holidays.