Interview With Daniel (NFTs Collector) – Crypto Business Show Episode 23
Rob: Hello everybody welcome to the crypto business podcast. I’m your host Rob Eijgenraam, the director at TokenMinds, a full-service crypto, and nft agency. In this podcast, we’re discussing any topic that’s relevant for entrepreneurs and founders. Today we’re talking to Daniel who’s an entrepreneur and a crypto nft investor as well and he’s also utilizing nfts for his current business. Hi, Daniel thank you for being here.
Daniel: It’s a pleasure.
Rob: Let’s move to the first question. Can you tell us a little bit about how you got into the crypto space okay?
Daniel: So I’m 32 years old now and like in my opinion most people that got into the crypto space early there’s a bit of a dark story to it. So I’ll tell you exactly how I got into crypto and I would say there are a lot of people out there listening that have the identical story to me when I was 22 so nearly a decade ago there was a way to buy medications on the dark web and the only means of exchange was Bitcoin. We would buy Valium or Xanax or these medications that were heavily regulated in the country that i was even though they’re legal in most countries in this country it was difficult to get them without a medical condition if you will and we would party obviously and do recreational things and at the end of the night to calm down we would need these benzodiazepines and so we would purchase these benzos if you will with bitcoin and back then i had no technical expertise how to do it and i still don’t know how people onboard it but we would buy 10 valium for i don’t know like 100 bitcoin you know so you can you can imagine how much wealth there was if i had kept it all, all right and i’ve got another story about that too and how i liquidated early and you know i probably wouldn’t even be here in Bali right now i’d be in Dubai in some palace if i kept all my bitcoins but that’s the origin story for me i didn’t do any of the purchasing I didn’t have the technical expertise because at the time if you think about 2012-13, how to buy bitcoin sell bitcoin this is you need it to be like code savvy if you will but a friend of mine like an I.T. nerd he did that and i was just amazed at the idea that you could buy something anonymously without a third party you know monitoring and verifying this right I thought this is going to be something down the track like it just has to be you know i had kept a few of them just as like a meme we would keep them like the origin story of dogecoin as a meme like oh I’ve got these bitcoins and you can trade them but there was no genuine thought that this would be worth anything one day so I kind of pocketed a few of them I won’t disclose how many there were just in case people think oh my god he’s got hundreds of billions of dollars because I definitely sold some you know regrettably I did sell some but I kept them there they must have been there for I don’t know two or three years and luckily I kept the seeds on a laptop which obviously you don’t do anymore and I was able to recover them when i had first seen this first bull market I’ll never forget i was driving home from a surf with a friend and he’s like man look at this bitcoin thing i was like yeah i’ve got a few of them and i hadn’t checked the price in God knows how long, it wasn’t a popular Google search in 2014-15 and i checked and i just remember at the time just I couldn’t believe my eyes i think the price was three and a half thousand Australian dollars and i obviously got them a lot cheaper than that and at that moment I had realized i was worth in excess of a million dollars you know so for someone that young being a tradesman at the time and studying it was like life changing right pure luck, back then there were some exchanges popping up in the country that i was living in but most of the time you had to purchase these things like the old school way you had to go to localbitcoins.com you texted someone you had to meet them give them cash and then you trust that they’d send you the bitcoin you know some people would just send money to a bank account and you’d have to trust that they would send a bitcoin obviously there was a lot of scams at the time but you know you do diligence see who’s got the best reputation and most of the time it worked out so that’s my origin story into crypto or at least bitcoin.
Rob: Right, yeah I remember those days as well it was actually it’s risky the other way around as well where you send your bitcoins you sell them, and then you’re getting a PayPal transaction or a bank transaction that can be reversed so that’s a bit tricky those days, and tell us a little bit about your entrepreneurial story as well like from a business perspective?
Daniel: Okay so the crypto thing is pure luck but that definitely plays a major role in having the initial capital okay? So we all have awesome business ideas but unfortunately there’s just a required amount of capital to start most things right fortunately for me that luck in crypto played a large role not all but obviously a large role I started my first tattoo shop in Indonesia also in 2015 and this crypto run and my tattoo shop had coincided not just that there was a guy in Australia who has passed now Rip to Ziz was a fitness influencer I don’t know if you remember this guy yeah, you remember this see.
Rob: Well I remember after this happened basically found this the story basically.
Daniel: Wow you see people that are not even Australian knew who this guy was. So before okay I’m going to date back to a pre-2010 or pre-Ziz era I used to call it. If you had tattoos you were seen as a gangster in Australia, Ziz was someone that made tattoos mainstream okay so when he got tattoos he made them aesthetic and it was part of that that bodybuilder aesthetic tanned tattoo look that we see commonly everywhere in Bali now i mean for someone to look like me here in Bali it’s like oh yeah whatever standard normal, 10 years ago no that was that was shocking to see someone like that and they were typically only associated with being a gangster or being super weird, you know you were looked at as a real weirdo but luckily for me i had actually been involved in tattoos in Thailand prior to this Ziz era and i must have opened my shop at just about the right time before tattoos went nuts like they just went absolutely nuts it got to the point where you would walk to a gym or a festival and one in two guys have got sleeves and tattoos so it turned out to be a business I just couldn’t even keep up with to be honest with you so that’s that’s my first piece of luck the bitcoin then the tattoo shop doing well from the initial capital from the bitcoin and then tattoos, the tattoo industry booming so a lot of luck I know a lot of entrepreneurs don’t want to talk about luck but there is a saying that stuck with me the poor people give too much credit to luck and rich people don’t give enough credit to luck, there’s that in between there right and I’m aware of that so good fortune definitely came my way as well as well as you can’t forget this having a family back home okay they’re not super wealthy but should my crazy entrepreneurial ideas go wrong I had a beautiful home to go to i would have been fed I have no children there was no risk what’s the worst thing that could happen to me i go back home and all of my studies are paid for from my father right so i had that as well, come from a really good family upper middle class nothing to lose basically yeah.
Rob: And let’s shift to nfts. Are you, can you disclose the kind of your collection?
Daniel: Yeah, yeah okay so first how i got into nfts because there’s this gap where i just did virtually nothing okay so being that early into bitcoin 2012-13 started i would say heavily allocating a portion of my profits to bitcoin in 2017 but nothing much more and to be honest with you i didn’t know much about Ethereum, it’s a smart contract it can, to be honest with you i would just regurgitate what everyone else said on the internet but i couldn’t thoroughly explain Ethereum it was only around early 2020 i would say that i just had enough money enough time that i was like okay what am i going to invest in here there was a few other projects that I’d allocated capital but to be honest i knew their 10-year plans so set forget there isn’t a lot i can do with the spare time in my hands i’m going to just research this crypto thing i thought when i understood Ethereum for the first time my mind was blown and the only thing I regret is not learning about it sooner should i have known what i knew in 2020 or should i have just read earlier I’d have invested way more in Ethereum way more, more than bitcoin undeniably for me not being code native and understanding things from a social aspect when i heard about nfts it was within 10 minutes i knew that they were going to be a big thing like literally within 10 minutes i knew i had to have one.
Rob: And why was that?
Daniel: Okay so for me being a young i don’t know how to say young and rich right you go shopping to purchase certain timepieces and shoe brands drive certain cars and this increases your status points and people don’t like to say it but if you do own these things and you represent that way it does make your life a lot easier the problem was is that on instagram you know fake watches were getting great fake designer clothing was getting great and everyone could kind of fake flex and it was ruining what i would spend all this money on and not getting the same result whereas with nfts you cannot fake the flex if you have a board ape or a crypto punk you cannot fake that because you may need to verify sig on the Ethereum chain and you might need to have that hexagon on Twitter that you can only verify by attaching your wallet to that smart contract so that was really cool to me I thought for the first time ever you cannot fake this flex this is an undeniable flex and the moment i i figured that out I was like okay well what’s the best one you know what’s going to give me the lambo flex and at the time me getting in into nfts there really only was crypto punks around there was nothing else around i could have picked up a crypto punk for a few hundred dollars but i like to arrive fashionably late i like to see something let it simmer slowly read over it and then i wait for a few other people to take that immediate risk regrettably if i had done that in March of 2020 i’d have i’d have got him way cheaper but I think i got into crypto punks which is my first nft at a reasonable time i think it was April or May of 2021 and i got my first crypto punk and i’m either super smart or super stupid because I bought more than one crypto punk after that time and then the second biggest pfp project that came out that is now the biggest the board ape yacht club i bought more than one of them too and aside from a few here and there that i traded up and down i kept most of them and i still have them and obviously as you know now in the market we’re down 80/90 percent in terms of US dollar value on those nft so my net worth has taken a big plunge within literally three months right.
Rob: Yeah let’s talk about your board ape because you have plans for at least one of them right?
Daniel: Yes, yes i do, my favorite board ape super aesthetic which is going to have to be inevitably released because it’s going to serve as part of the brand of my tattoo shop there are some people utilizing bored apes and the I.P that you’re allowed to use with them around the world there was a burger and chip shop in the states and that kind of sparked my interest with the tattoo shop not because the burger and chip shop was awesome or doing anything with nfts it’s just it’s the gimmick right the fact that it’s associated with his ape you have decrypt media, coindesk, everyone’s posting about it and I think that inevitably led to some immediate success like it’s it’s a meme like oh let’s go to the bored ape shop you know to be cool and to be honest that’s a similar idea with my tattoo shop at least immediately it was just to take advantage of the brand you know you can’t build a brand quick enough but if you have a bored ape, Justin Bieber’s got one, DJj Khaled’s got one, Jimmy Fallon you know you have that app on your store and your twitter your shop twitter is verified I mean overnight you’re gonna get several thousand followers several thousand of them are gonna share it, it’s gonna get known in the nft community overnight so you’re gonna see some downstream effects as far as sales at the shop immediately, just for holding the ape.
Rob: Do you think this is the future of or partial future of nfts like a utility in this way?
Daniel: For utility nfts yes the thing is one quarrel i have about people that don’t understand nfts is that when they when you think nfts you think profile pictures and then you think utility and people think that that is the way every nft should be i don’t see it that way when i invested in nfts at least towards the end i diversify my nft portfolio the crypto punk i hoped my wish is that Yuga labs do nothing with it just becomes a blockchain relic a piece of history that does nothing because should Yuga labs forge something with the board apes land sales or the game i mean that could tarnish the board ape club nft project whereas the crypto punks will always be the first they’ll always have a piece of history and so i think if you just leave it there that’s enough but that is also why i did not elect one of my crypto punks as the face of my shop i elected the board apes because they’re cool and hip right now you know anyone that’s a celebrity that wants to flex pfp they’ve got an ape, very rarely do they have punks sometimes they do because punks are punks but overall the people that hold the best punks are d-gens, tech nerds, you know right, OG guys from south west by south west in o7, these kind of web 2 innovators they’re the guys that have the punks.
Rob: Do you feel this is just a one-time opportunity or do you see this as a consistent thing where projects can be used as brands for businesses?
Daniel: Well you know to be announced I guess obviously I don’t know it’s a hard question to answer because I don’t want to be too absolute about something and then it goes horribly wrong I can actually see a lot of things going wrong and I could see a lot of things going right so I’ll give you an example of how I see things going wrong. Let’s say I open up a shop and then the shop becomes some sort of scam or there’s something dark about it do I then tarnish the board ape brand you know I’m holding a lot of weight here but there’s ten thousand of them so myself I have to worry about the other nine hundred and ninety-nine people that might do the same thing what happens if one of those guys that’s super popular ends up being some convicted child pedophile or something does that tarnish the brand do you see what I’m saying so I’m concerned about that for sure I hope it doesn’t happen but when you do not have a centralized project you don’t have Mark Zuckerberg’s vision you’ve got many visions and you just have to hope that you agree with them all right and I’m just not sure about that to be.
Rob: Honest you could potentially then like change your brand by getting another nft or something like that but let’s shift to the tattoo shop how do you see the relation between tattoos and nfts do you see any connection?
Daniel: Yeah not specific to tattoos but let’s say you have any retail business clothing tattoos you’re selling a service there’s always a use case for nfts the first thing is having the board ape is attracting nft culture so if there is someone that comes to Bali that is nft or crypto savvy the chances of someone coming to my shop purely because I’m into crypto and nfts and having that tribalism and that community is high you know and we do have a huge crypto culture here in Indonesia so i’m aware of that people might come to my shop instead of shop b and c purely because of me having the ape now it wouldn’t be right if i didn’t have an nft play too okay so you could simply give everyone that gets a tattoo an nft simply give them a community pass nft i’m more ivery cautious about making promises because then who knows what happens down the line of making promises and not fulfilling them but just giving a community nft and say access into a group where you can have a conversation or a meet and greet and just wing it from there if you will so that’s one way of doing it everyone that gets a tattoo gets an nft and you can send them out anything so for example it’s like a emailing list but without having that third party mailchimp in between going you can say this you can say that but you can’t say this I don’t have to worry about that if you have nfts and i want to airdrop everyone a 10 percent discount on their next tattoo i can go boom air drop it to everyone if I want to airdrop to everyone a ticket to some event in Bali that i’m sponsoring i can do that and i can also allocate different nfts depending on the size of the tattoo so if i have a repeat customer who connects his wallet and is getting two or three large pieces from me well maybe he gets the premium nft and he gets a reward from that there’s so many ways of going about it that we’d have to be here for hours in terms of the ways that i might utilize it but i definitely will be having an nft play I’m not certain and I almost never want to be certain aside from a few things because one thing I’ve seen in projects that are getting founders into some places they don’t want to be is that they’re promising the world and they’re not delivering and the SEC and other regulatory bodies they’re onto this these are scams whether they’re intentional or not you can’t tell someone I’m going to do this and not do it right you can’t do that.
Rob: So it’s your play initially more on the loyalty side?
Rob: And also because you’re in tattoos like art do you see anything on the art side as well where you can do something?
Daniel: Yeah so as menu discussed in person at the resort, you can have your tattoo in the metaverse if you will okay the technology isn’t quite there but let’s say I have this sleeve well I could then also give you a 3d version of that sleeve to wear on your avatar in the metaverse okay that’s something down the track I think that’s an obvious play you suggested it I was thinking it my brother is already on to it, but we just don’t have the technology to be able to make that a thing right now I mean I can give someone a 3d image of their nft but how that translates into what metaverse it can’t be done yet right.
Rob: Yeah well I guess at the moment you could have it in a kind of 2d version and then you can use it in your profile pic that’s technically possible but yeah.
Daniel: Yeah I mean, yeah that’s an idea but then I think to myself people that are representing with profile pics now there are so many options that someone really wants to represent a pfp with their new tattoo I don’t know, I don’t know, it’s something that I’ll see from customer feedback and you know suggestions like yourself and then I find that I’ll listen, I’ll listen, I’ll listen and something will be repeated enough from enough people yeah and I have that kind of market research and I think hey this is the one let’s focus on this one but for now I think just providing an nft for everyone that gets a tattoo different level tiers and then just having that wallet address from someone for my benefit and for this for mine because I can send them promotional information and for theirs because they get free airdrops and every now and then free airdrops become worth a lot of money one day just like the air drops I’ve had
Rob: And, and the airdrop is a new token, or what are you going to airdrop or another nft or yeah?
Daniel: You’d be you’d be giving them an nft, I’m not sure what token type that would be I don’t want to get into the semantics of what’s an nft versus a semi-nft as they call them a semi-fundable token but yeah a new nft on a new contract.
Rob: Right okay, and what do you think for let’s say for other businesses entrepreneurs if they want to move into or they have an existing business and they want to utilize nfts and crypto for their business what could you advise them okay well load a question because even myself I’m trying this out for the first time right and it’s more in the brainstorm stage still I haven’t launched my shop so I’m rebranding from an old franchise so I’m still in the brainstorm stage I don’t have anything concrete I just know that the play is there for example when Facebook came out it was just you’re gonna need to have some exposure on Facebook you know businesses that were early enough knew that they didn’t quite know exactly how they were going to do it and it transformed over time into what ads are best and do the best but they knew they had to be there and i know I just have to be there so the first thing i would say is you’re going to need a play you’re going to need an nft player just like TikTok you you need a TikTok play and people just kept saying nah man that’s for kids for kids and now everyone knows if you’re not on TikTok you’re not doing it right and soon it’s going to be if you don’t have an nft play you’re not doing it right and it’s that’s the first thing i could say the second thing i would say is going backward don’t promise the world on things that you might not be able to deliver whether that be intentional or unintentional you don’t want to be swamped with business or get sick and then all these people that have paid a premium for your nft are like hey we’re waiting on this date you said this on the road map where’s our benefit where’s our reward and that could then end up company owners in like legal strife too right so that’d be my two things thirdly just be aware if you want to be that early into something the upside’s there but the downside’s there too so if it doesn’t go right you could tarnish your whole business model so maybe stay on instagram and TikTok until someone else has done something you can replicate the reason i want to be early is because at this point in my like VC career I’m just kind of bored I’m just let’s try this you know if my shop doesn’t go well it doesn’t affect my life you know, it’s something that I can definitely lose its experimental for me but if you that’s your only business and it’s doing well please do not reinvent the wheel because there are so many things that could go wrong right.
Rob: All right well appreciate Daniel thank you so much. I’m sure we might have questions from our listeners and viewers so maybe who knows we can ever do a part two if needed and yeah see you all next time.