Turtles | Exclusive Insights & NFT Strategies In 2023

Video Transcript:

Alduin: Hi, Noto.

Noto: What’s up guys?

Alduin: Is that how we call you, Noto?

Noto: Oh yeah yeah, that’s good, man. How are you?

Alduin: Okay, good, good. We’re just waiting for some more people to come in, and then we can start for the NFT Strategies Talk. So, for those who are at the end, for sure, we’re gonna have an exciting talk today for NFT strategies talk with turtles. We have their CEO here, Noto, and before we start, we invite you to share this talk for everyone or all your friends who might be interested in this. We can start at about 8:11. All right, hello everyone. This is the NFT strategies talk where we have different guests every week. We are TokenMinds, a creative engineering agency that handles marketing and development for NFTs, crypto, blockchain, and everything under the Web3 space. And I am your host, Alduin. I am a marketing executive here at Token Minds, and I am here with my co-host. For my co-host, why don’t you introduce yourself first?

Julian: Hi everyone, this is Julian, and also with TokenMinds. Hi, everyone!

Alduin: So, this is a recorded NFT strategies talk. As mentioned, we do this every week, so you can check out the other ones where we have other guests from before. But this week, we do have a special guest. And as you can see from the title, it is from Turtles. So, first off, to our guests, welcome to TokenMind Twitter space. Can you quickly introduce yourself to our audience?

Noto: Hey, how you doing, guys? So, I’m the CEO of Turtles, and we’re one of the oldest Solana NFT projects, and we’re about to have a new mint in the next few weeks here. So, we’re going to be introducing a lot more people to our community, and you’ll be hearing a lot more about us.

Alduin: Great, now let’s go a little bit on your journey from the past and up to now. So, what do you do in your Web3 life? How did you encounter Web3 and NFTs, and what was that?

Noto: I have audio issues. I will come back because I can’t hear you guys anymore.

Alduin: Okay, all right, so while we’re waiting for our guests to come back, maybe we can share a little bit about what’s happening in the space. Meanwhile, last week we saw the SVB bank crashing. So what happened was, reading this from the world news, at first glance, the Silicon Valley Bank debacle seems to be cut and dried. Financial paper, the executives running the 16th largest bank in the U.S. made the wrong charges in handling what seemed like an effort to reduce the situation, a roster of clients flush with Venture Capital funding handling over billions of dollars of cash for storage in the institution’s coffers. But the banks either misjudged the risks of higher interest rates and inflation, fearing a mini Tech downturn, and the bank spreadsheets began turning colors. When we’re in the Fitzgerald, the situation got out. Panicky depositors pulled their money after a government takeover. Everyone’s money was safe, so that suggests what happened for the SVB bank. There’s a little bit of sharing while we get our guests back here.

Noto: There, hello, hey, okay, yeah, so sorry. I got rugged. There, just that air, that bar, that bug happened sometimes. It’s just like I couldn’t hear you, so.

Alduin: Yeah, you understand it happens in spaces, right? So, I’ll go and back to my question before the technical difficulties. We would like to ask you a little bit about your journey. So, what do you do in your web2 life? How did you encounter web3 and NFTs? And what was that trigger that made you jump into the world of NFTs?

Noto: Yeah, it’s a good question. Not really like a short story, but I’m gonna try and just make it short. If I’d be in a web2 entrepreneur since you know the late 1990s/early 2000s, so quite a while now. And as crypto started to become more mainstream in 2017, I got into that through some of my friends who were and still are, you know, Bitcoin Maxes. And then that led me down a path of just looking into different things and eventually found NFTs on Ethereum, and then NFTs on Solana. And then I just kind of migrated over to Solana in the early days. I just found it more interesting for me. My background is more in the transactional space where, you know, you have a lot of customers doing a lot of things, and Solana made a lot more sense to me for that. So, I kind of found a home there, and yeah, now it’s been over a year.

Alduin: Great, so before I hand this over to my co-host, I still have one more question. And I would like to invite our guests again to share this talk before we get deeper into it, as well as get your questions ready for Noto. Since after all our questions, me and my co-host, we do have a Q&A ready for you guys, so you can chat on over—I mean, tweet on over on this space. Or you could actually like request as a speaker later, so we can get you up on the stage and ask your questions personally to Noto. So my next question would be, Noto, what do you do? Noto’s role for Turtles NFT now. Can you help us imagine? And before anything else, why Turtles? I mean, I’ve looked into it. I’m not sure if it’s, you know, Ninja Turtles inspired, which I really love. But I really do appreciate it. Can you explain a little bit more about the project as a whole?

Noto: Yeah, I mean, it’s gone through a lot of changes, right? Because it is such an old project, and Solana has been through a lot of changes. So, you know, basically what we’re trying to do now is look forward with a more focused plan in place and build out a product that will help support Solana, but also something that’s bringing a lot of valuable utility to holders. I think like every project wants to do something like that. Ours is a little bit different. I’ve been investing in companies in the tech space for over a decade, and it’s something I still do. And you know, that’s kind of my skill I can bring to the table, right? Or something that other people can’t necessarily do easily. You know, sometimes that’s a project founder who’s a really good Dev, sometimes it’s you know, a project founder that just has incredible art. You know, for me, that’s the value I can bring to the project: long-term strategic vision. So we started to make investments as a project into specific Solana companies that are either already well-established or ones that we believe in that are up and coming. And then we’ve created a platform, a software that basically tokenizes those, fractionalizes them, and lets regular people get invested into those companies at a VC level. So it’s a pretty interesting way to, you know, actually invest in a company you like that’s building something in Solana and be a shareholder of that company, which you wouldn’t normally be able to do without a lot of money and relationships with other VC at a high level, right? So it’s a high barrier to entry, so we’re trying to make that more accessible, and that’s the way we’re going to do it.

Alduin: Yes, and I’m sure everybody is looking forward to it. But before anything else, I do that, and my co-host here, Julian, has the next question for you.

Julian: Alright, those are interesting things that you mentioned: Noto and Turtle NFT utility benefits explained. Yeah, the question here is, what exactly are the benefits? Although you may have already mentioned a few, what are the benefits of the utility of turtles?

Noto: Yeah, Turtles has always been a utility project, and it went through a lot of different changes. But the current benefits of the project, the basic utilities, are staking. Our staking platform lets you earn Turtle’s token, which you know, it’s pretty straightforward how that works. Nothing too special about that, but that token can also be staked for USDC revenue. And that revenue comes from a treasury. A treasury is put into stable pools, and it generates yield, so all the holders get to share in that. It also gives you access to the Turtle Ventures platform, right? So when you have the NFT, you can log into the Turtle Ventures platform and look at various deals that are available. So if you want to invest in, like Tensor, which is getting really popular now and you want to be a shareholder that comp, you can do that through our portal. Some other opportunities that are available now include Entire Robotics Graphite Protocol, so you can get in a pre-ido pricing on that. And you know, those are the types of things. Everything really is based around financial opportunities, so that’s kind of the core utility the project is, financial opportunity, various investing opportunities.

Julian: Well, that’s amazing! That’s like giving a lot of value to the community that utilities that you have, and I just do this on the white paper. There is about tiering of the NFTs, so can you talk more about this and what are the various benefits of all the different tier NFTs? 

Noto: Sure, yeah, so depending on how many NFTs you have, states you’re gonna rank in one of ten tiers. And the first thing you get is just a little bit of a flex in our Discord, right? You get a special role, and that’s fun for people. You can kind of see how many turtles people have. But secondarily, you get benefits on our Venture platform. So, the platform itself is gamified. What that means is once you choose to participate in a deal, like I’ll just use an example, let’s say you want to buy into the seed round of Tensor and become a Tensor shareholder, okay? So you do that, you unlock that deal, and then you’re able to actually, depending on what tier you are, invite other people to that same investment. So whether they’re holders or not, you can whitelist them, and each whitelist spot goes on-chain. And then that person can come and also participate in the deal. But when they do that, you actually get a reward for that, right? So you also have a financial incentive to get as many people involved in the same deals. Dollars, they can invest a thousand dollars, it doesn’t matter. So you get a nice reward for that in that room once it gets bigger with the more NFTs you have staked. So there’s a lot of incentive to, you know, work on kind of climbing that ladder, and at the top tiers, you can actually make quite a bit of money just getting people involved in deals. So you know, in a way, at that point, you’re actually making real yields from work that you do within the platform.

Julian: That’s good to hear! So, this is based on how many NFTs they have staked, right? If I got it right?

Noto: I’m sorry, could you say that again?

Julian: Yeah, I was just asking if this is based on how many NFTs they staked on the platform. 

Noto: Yeah, that’s right. That’s it.

Julian: So, the more that they stick, the more they benefit from the platform itself. 

Noto: Yeah, that’s right, and we also do occasional airdrops. Like we just did an airdrop yesterday, actually, where we draw on the new NFT to our community based on the number of NFTs you have staked. And you know that that NFT will have additional value; it can be kind of plugged into our platform. It’s going to offer some additional value in the future with some features that we’re going to be releasing, so we try to have fun with it, right? Investing can be kind of boring if you do it right, but there are ways to utilize NFTs and tokens that are on-chain to do some pretty cool things.

Julian: Yeah, I like the idea of picking it like a game for others to be excited to also have that enjoyment of taking and investing in it. 

Noto: Yeah, I mean, I think like a lot of what makes NFTs exciting for people is the process of minting, and you know, it’s kind of combines elements of gambling with like elements of art and creativity, a lot of other things too like community. And, you know, King, it’s it can be really addicting, so you know, the problem with investing is the addicting kind of Investments are usually not the best ones. So like, you know, a lot of people can lose a lot of money doing things that at the moment feel fun, but then later, you know, they have consequences. So we’re trying to find a combination where you can have a relatively safe investment in a real company that isn’t just like some, you know, NFT project somebody made up yesterday. Like, you know, it’s a company, you know, it exists, so at least you have that fundamental in place. And then also offering this way to kind of bring a gamified aspect to that as much as possible. So you know, you’re really pumped and excited about doing that investment and watching where it goes.

Julian: Yeah, I agree. Just to change your topic somehow, what? What? How was it like to write or to be part of the Solana boom? Was this the opportunity something that the project teams specifically saw as a catalyst to escalate the project at that time? If so, okay, can you give us tips on how to grab opportunities like this?

Noto: Well, I mean, there’s… There was a lot of boom, and then there was a Solona buzz, right? So now we’re at the bottom of that, and you know what? I would say that now is the time to actually make investments because money is scarce, and that means a lot of things are, you know, scrambling to try and compete for the same customer or the same investor. So I think, personally, like the best time to be investing, to be building, is right now. So if you’ve got a project you want to do or you’ve been waiting to do something, I would, you know, be really careful about saying, “Oh, I’m going to wait till we start turning bullish again,” because by then, it might actually be too late. Somebody else comes in and grabs all that attention that you could have gotten more easily when things were quieter, harder to make relationships with the top people because their phones are going to be ringing off the hook, and you know, now is the time when you know you can talk to somebody that you need to talk to and much higher likelihood they’re going to listen to what you have to say.

Alduin: Yeah, I agree, and connected to that, I mean we saw that you’re also expanding your collection, 3,330 collections into 10,001. Actually, this month, so have you already done this? And you’d want to ask if you can give us why Turtles chose to basically expand the collection.

Noto: Yeah, so you know community size is important when it comes to NFTs, and you know we started in a time when there was a really tiny community, so you didn’t need many NFTs to be in circulation. Now, you know, if you want four thousand community members, you’ve got to have a lot of NFTs or more NFTs, at least a 10,000-size collection. So that’s the first kind of impact of it. The second is, you know, we’re building a software platform, and software needs users. So you know, you can get users in a number of ways, but we want to get them through our native NFT and then have them utilize that to activate the software and use the software, right? Use our platform to do their investing, and we’ll expand it out from there. But you know, NFT community is a really nice way to concentrate people and get them focused on your mission and what you’re doing. So you know, the primary goals are to increase that community size and then fuel our software that we’ve already developed with new users.

Alduin: Can you actually talk to us more about this software? Like, what is the use of this software you’re building? If it’s okay, of course.

Noto: Yeah, I mean, it’s a little bit like esoteric, or you know, specific to the venture capital world. But if you’ve ever heard of AngelList, that’s basically a website you can go to, and you know, it’s basically a SaaS product with a web front end. And you can manage your cap table there, manage your shareholders, you can raise money there. They provide integrated, you know, banking services, so it tracks who’s investing what, who’s on your cap table, and you know, putting all your project docs. It’s kind of like, you know, how NFT projects will do their project docs on GitHub or something like that or GitBook. So that’s what they do. What it’s missing is, well, there’s a lot of opportunity for improvement on that, right? So, you know, we’re looking at them and saying, “Well, you know, we can do a better version of that that’s on chain.” And Solana is the perfect chain for it because we can do so much more, right? We can have a lot more real-time transactions and data happening, which is essential if you’ve got an investing platform, right? So, I think that there’s a new thing that can be done here, which bridges a world that was really just for rich people, right? Tech entrepreneurs and people that get a big payout from selling their company and then they go invest in a bunch of other smaller companies and make them big. I think that we can do something like that on chain, make Solana the hub for that, but also, you know, be able to go to other trades too. So, you could think of it like almost like a marketplace, but instead of NFTs, you’re buying shares of Solana companies or ETH companies or, you know, even other companies that want to raise money on chain. They could use us for that. So, our MVP, our, you know, minimum viable product, is already built, and that’s what we’re going to be launching ahead of our mid, right? So, that’s going to be working and people will be using that, and, you know, from there, we’re going to continue to build that and develop it. So, it’s going to start in Turtles, but the long-term vision is this is a product that you may not even realize is backed by an NFT project because you go there to get all the information about companies doing very cool things. You want to make a small investment, you can do that.

Alduin: Great! That’s thank you for sharing that. And so, for everyone who’s listening, you’ve heard it here. I’m sure more is going to come out from turtles. There’s so much more to look forward to. And so, I’m giving back the sword to Nino Jules or Julian for the next question.

Julian: Yeah, hey sorry guys. I would also say hello. Scarlett is here. She’s actually the artist of turtles for the last 19 months, almost two years. She’s been doing this art and she’s also on the leadership team. So if you can bring her up, I’m sure she’s got some interesting things to add to this too. 

Scarlett: Hi guys, sure! Can you hear me? Hello.

Alduin: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay.

Julian: Yeah, so you know, Scarlett’s been like really working on the same NFT for two years, I guess, which is pretty amazing. But the strategy, the projects, as we go forward, like we’re making the art more relatable and focused as a profile picture, right? We want to be really good profile picture art. And actually, we’ve got, you can see, our pfps are these versions of the new NFT rights, so they don’t look like current Turtles. We’re just kind of test driving these. But I don’t know, Scarlett, you want to talk a little bit about it, how it is to work on it? 

Scarlett: Yeah, I mean, it changed a lot from the first art. And we just wanted to do more clean and more, maybe, fashion-forward Turtles. And since Nota and I were like working on merge stuff as well, we know like how to form stuff. Like right now, we have a trade sheet and we’re just discussing what to put into the traits or what to not include. And I think that’s why it’s going pretty smooth. Like, also, traits make sense, yeah, unlike the generation two. 

Noto: I think people choose their profile pictures (pfp) based on something they have or something that represents them in real life. So, I think it’s a lot easier to do that if you have recognizable traits or even own something like that. We’re trying to go for that kind of thing.

Scarlett: But also, like, we have a couple, like, I don’t know, Ray legendary-looking stuff, I think, and also, we’re gonna do one-on-ones this time. We had like three or four on the original collection, so it was in the focus, but this time we want to do more fun stuff, I think. One-on-ones are really fun to do, also, like, the idea of you can have one-on-one by minting, I think that’s really fun as well, so we’re gonna include that.”

Noto: Yeah, I mean there’s a lot of fun stuff you can do with art and so,

you know, it’s really more like eliminating ideas than, like,

because you have too many. And I think we’ve really, like, thought a lot about

art strategy too, not just utility, so I just wanted to make sure we touched on

that a little bit.

Julian: Yeah, that’s amazing! Yeah, one is the one. It’s also something that collectors are looking forward to, like a personalized or a customized PFD that would really represent them, not just in the metaverse or in the blockchain, but also in real life. That would be a good one too. And I think the question that I was supposed to tell you guys was somehow discussed, but just to reiterate it, so for the NFTs, what are the additional benefits for the original holders, and how does it set apart from the original holders and the new ones?

Noto: Sorry, could you ask that maybe a different way? I just didn’t understand the question.

Julian: Oh, okay, let me just… So, how do you set apart the original holders and the 667 new holders because you made a new one, right? And are there additional benefits for original holders?

Noto: Oh, I see what you’re saying. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, yeah, we have a few, you know, those people that have the current NFT will get a better, much better chance to get a rare or one-of-one from the new collection. You know, at the end of the day, we decided that we had to, for a lot of reasons, mostly to do with all the different technical aspects of the project for the last year, just migrate everybody to a singular clean collection with a single mint authority. It’s going to make a lot of things that we want to do in the future easier. So, yeah, I mean, it’s a good question that you’re asking, but yeah, they get some benefits as well with regard to what their NFTs actually end up looking like on the other side when they do that migration. So, yeah, I mean, I think that overall everybody’s looking forward to it.

Julian: Alright, thank you for that answer. Can you talk to us more about Drip? Maybe you’d like to let our listeners know about this.

Noto: Yeah, yeah, for sure. So our fashion line for our project is something that Scarlett and I started to think about maybe like six months ago, and we wanted to make something that was kind of like merch but that would be actually like something you would wear. So it’s not just like an ad for an NFT project, which nobody really wants to wear out. So we started going to work, designing and making some things in Turkey, and we came up with a first kind of capsule collection. We’re about to release the second one, probably in the next month, which will be three pieces, and the first one was three pieces as well. So really, really high-quality stuff, things that look good to wear, and you know you can mix and match. You’re also supporting the project that’s all done through Solana pay, so you can just pay in Solana. We offer worldwide shipping, and you can check that out at the drip.io, and it’s dripp with two ‘p’s.

Scarlett: I actually added the Tweet.

Noto: Oh yeah, nice.

Scarlett: So, you got, yeah.

Noto: Yeah, we did it! We got a full photo shoot for it and everything, so we’re going professional.

Scarlett: Yeah, it was really fun! As well, about professional, of course.

Alduin: That’s great to hear, and I’m sure everybody’s so everybody, you heard here, you can look at it. You can check it out over there at drip.io. Thank you for Scarlett for tying it up there. So before throwing like the last question, right? As mentioned a while ago, we’d like to give some of the time to our audiences as well. So we’ll be giving them some Q&A time. So for our listeners right now, as mentioned, you can tweet over here, and we can read the questions for you. Or after this question, you can actually request to speak so you can have your questions for Noto in a while. So I’ll get your questions ready. But last but not least, Noto, we see that turtles have a lot planned ahead. Can you help us imagine the future for Turtles? What’s up ahead in the roadmap for holders and the community, of course? 

Noto: Yeah, I mean, I think that the things we’re looking forward to now in the next week or so are launching our Turtle Ventures platform, and then from there moving into the mint. After that, we’re going to continue to develop that platform. We’ll have a lot of fun new utilities coming for holders. You know, there’ll be something hitting pretty much every month for the next year or so. It’ll be something very cool everybody gets to participate in as a holder, and you know, there will be some really good value generated there as well. I don’t know if that’ll translate to a super high floor price. I hope it will, but all we can do is keep pushing.

Alduin: We hope so too. And yeah, as mentioned for our audiences, right now the floor is open for the Q&A. So, if ever you have your questions ready for Noto, please request to speak so you can speak up. I guess if there are no questions from the audience, well, that’s all for it for now.

Noto: Yeah, that’s all right. I mean, I’m looking at our Discord as well if anybody wants to ask questions there. But, I think we’re good. 

Alduin: Okay, if there are no questions, thank you, Noto, for being with us here today. Thank you, Scarlett, and thank you, of course, for the whole Turtles team. Thank you to our audience for listening in on our NFT strategy stock. So before we end, do you have anything else to say or plug before we end this talk?

Noto: No, we’re good. I mean, we spent the whole time talking about us. We got all our stuff in there, so yeah, go buy a turtle, I guess. That’s all I said.

Alduin: Yes, definitely. And for my co-hosts, you know, Jules, do you have anything else to say?

Julian: Yeah, well, thank you Noto and Scarlet for joining us tonight. It’s a good discussion about the project, and I’m also amazed by the journey of turtles. Two years is like 20 years already, so I think there’s a lot of learnings and development that has been done in the project itself.

Noto: Feels like 200 years, man. Yeah, it’s a lot of things for sure. Thank you, thanks for hosting, great questions, and yeah, we’ll do one again sometime soon.

Scarlet: Yeah, thank you. Yes.

Alduin: Yes, definitely, I see that, of course. We’ve mentioned some of your plans ahead, so maybe we can have another talk for that. And again, thank you for being with us today and for everyone who’s listening. Again, this is TokenMinds. We are a creative engineering agency where we handle marketing and development of different things, and on their web, which are, for example, crypto, NFTs, blockchain development, AI, VR, and anything else under that umbrella. And again, we have this NFT strategies talk every week with different guests. And to end, again, thank you for being with us here today, Noto and Sarlet, and other people from Turtles. And with that, bye.

Scarlet: Bye, guys!

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