Zima Red ep 102: Noah & Ian - Parcel: Building The Platform For Experiences In The Metaverse
Primer: Join Noah and Ian as they share about Parcel — the first marketplace and platform built for virtual real estate users. Get the inside scoop on why they only focus on virtual real estate here.
Background in traditional finance as a proprietary trader
Went on to become an internal consultant in the brokerage industry
Came across Bitcoin in 2013
Fell into the crypto rabbit hole in 2017
Started crypto in 2017
Graduated from college and just started out as a frontend engineer
Put money into crypto and left it there
Met Noah this year and learned that there was an NFT boom
Created 15 art pieces and sold some of them
How Did Noah Get Started With Trading?
During college, he started exploring and trading the financial markets
A proprietary trader is different from being a trader at a bank/financial institution
“It's a very different role from trading at a bank or large financial institution. It's very much a meritocracy, like pure meritocracy, you eat what you kill.”
- Noah Gaynor
The discretionary trading he was doing was starting to get out-muscled by algorithms in 2011
Was in that role for a year before he had to find a more stable position
How Did Noah Learn About Bitcoin?
Read about Bitcoin on TechCrunch
Did not understand it
What Attracted Ian To Cryptocurrencies?
Was attracted by the community of people pushing the ideology forward
Have grown up through the 2008 financial crisis. Saw the wealth gap caused by it
Was a frontend engineer and wanted to go deep into the tech
Was working at a fashion tech startup and they had international payment problems. Saw Ethereum as a solution
“I told my parents about it. I told my family about it, everyone, and we all went in together. My mom actually made a Coinbase account before me in 2017 and started buying Ethereum with me.”
How Did They Meet Each Other?
Both of them did an accelerated 12-month MBA at Cornell Tech
They bonded over VC investments
Cornell Tech had a startup studio program. Each created their own startup but they kept in contact with one another
The NFT boom happened and Ian observed this emergent virtual earning layer and brought it to Noah’s attention
The first marketplace and platform built for virtual real estate users
Before Parcel, other existing NFT marketplaces were just generalist platforms
Virtual real estate users start from buyers and sellers to property managers, architects, agents, and brokers
Valuations for virtual real estate are fragmented across different platforms
Generalist marketplaces don’t have maps to see where a virtual real estate parcel is located
Why Did They Choose To Focus On Virtual Real Estate?
Saw the emergent digital life
Virtual real estate is the basis for the experiences that they will partake in
How Do They Explain To People What They Are Building
Uses a gaming analogy to help people understand
Making it more relatable helps people to understand it (e.g. attending music festivals, hanging out with friends, going to an art gallery)
Why Is Parcel Better?
Provides better contextualization for virtual real estate
Provides better browsing and purchasing
They have real-time price estimates
New features will include information/education:
Info about neighbourhood
What significant landmarks are around it
What events are going on around it
Is there a community or culture in that specific district
Will be offering financial services
Will help service providers and participants in the Metaverse to make the most out of the Metaverse
How Does Their Appraisal System Work?
Partnered with NFTBank for providing appraisals for the top 4 Metaverses
Internally, they don’t foresee creating their own appraisal algorithm because of the shallow price history
Will be paying attention to the community for feature sets in virtual real estate they look out for
Could also come from sentiment analysis on Twitter
Could also use a discounted cash flow model
How Could People Monetize Their Virtual Land?
Billboards and ad space
Renting/leasing it out
Thinks that it will develop like physical real estate over time
The biggest contributors to value in virtual worlds are probably things that we haven't thought of yet
Spoke to an architect who moved from the physical world to the Metaverse. Laws of physics don’t apply in the Metaverse and he could come up with entirely new models/structures
Teleporting In The Metaverse And How It Affects Property Prices
Kyle Samani from Multicoin Capital tweeted about how virtual real estate is going to be worth more than Times Square
As there’s no physical limitations, you need to become the place where people want to go
This is how value is brought to virtual real estate
How Do They Integrate A New Virtual World Into Parcel?
Started off with Decentraland, Sandbox, Cryptovoxels, and Somnium Space because they had the most data
Looking into Treeverse and Star Atlas
Creating the custom map experience is difficult:
Each world has its own way they map out their land
Some worlds are 3D and have XYZ coordinates
Communicated with the different platforms to try and understand how they structure their data
In the near future, they will create custom forms for people to upload the information or provide a link to their smart contracts
What Is The Purpose Of Virtual Worlds?
The Metaverse is just the evolution of the internet
We already live in a digitally native world
“So I actually don't see it [Metaverse] as this revolutionary new thing. It's just an extension of, an iteration of what we are already doing in just a more immersive application.”
- Noah Gaynor
Is Today’s Metaverse A Necessary Step To Get Us To The Next Level Of The Metaverse?
Blockchains creates incentives for people to develop these worlds
What Is Parcel’s Moat?
Have first mover advantage
Have great UX and design
Have an engaged community
What Are Some Ways To Build A Thriving Community?
Engaging with them individually and helping them to understand their product
Get people curious about your product
Giveaways are important to some extent
What Are The Most Difficult Things About Building In Web3?
From a technical perspective, we are constantly learning
Have to make some solutions manually because there’s no tooling for it
Information overload from sifting through everything on Twitter
Difficulty in scaling a team
Grand 5-10 Year Vision
Going to do a lot of education, information, and onboarding
Parcel having a huge presence within the virtual worlds
Single Favourite NFT
An NFT named Harvey
Ian created it and gifted it to him
His Decentraland plot
Previous owner was the Tara Digital Collective
They were an early Metaverse NFT art collective
Most Controversial Thought On NFTs
Don’t think that CryptoPunks and Bored Apes are that great
NFTs will become the most valuable asset class in the world
Traditional assets will become encapsulated within NFTs
There will be a premium on culturally relevant NFTs
If You Could Improve Something In The Space
Doing away with seed phrases
Want people to be able to go on their phones, open an app, and play-to-earn on their way to work
NFT Ecosystem In 3 Years
Exiting the era of non-utility NFTs
Emergence of music NFTs
Chainlink bridging off-chain data to on-chain
People realizing that NFTs can be used to generate income streams
Keen to see how NFTs interact with each other
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