Gator Talk Episode 17: NFTs

Welcome to Gator Talk, a collaborative CalState podcast that brings city and statewide perspectives to SF State news. Guest host Dan DeJesus puts the spotlight on one of the newest trends to hit the cryptocurrency market this year, NFTs. But what is a NFT?

Stick around for this episode that explains the new “digital collectibles” that have gain popularity this year.

 

TRANSCRIPT:

Intro   

 

Seb: This is Sebastian Mino-Bucheli, I’m your multimedia editor and your host for Gator Talk, a Golden Gate Xpress podcast that brings news to SF State students.

For more information/coverage, check out goldengatexpress.org OR @GatorTalkPod on all social media platforms.

 

Preview of the show


Seb: Here’s a quick preview of the show.

I’ll be updating the audience with a quick news brief with news that happened this week that matters to SF State students.

City news reporter Dan DeJesus will be joining us for the main story!

News brief

– Last week of classes! 

– The final Gator Talk episode of this season will premiere Friday, May 14.
Good luck on your finals! 

– Two-thirds of Californians are expected to receive $600 stimulus checks under Gov. Newsom’s new proposed plan. 

– Here’s one more Californian news update, 41 more counties are now under drought emergency. In a press release from the office of Gov. Newsom, the drought emergency plan include: Del Norte, Humboldt, Trinity, Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, to name a few.
Those counties will be joining Sonoma and Mendocino who were under the drought emergency plan since April 21. This all stems from a dry winter which meant the snowpack sat on dry ground instead of making its way into a river 

That’s it for the news brief! Here’s Dan DeJesus.

 

Main Story 

Dan: Hello, Dan DeJesus, city news reporter, here and I’ll be going over one of the newest trends to hit the crypto market this year, NFTs. But what is a NFT?

Think of the like digital collectibles that you can get online. The trend has been gaining popularity in the last couple of months with musical artists such as Grimes and Kings of Leon along with Tom Brady joining in on the trend.

A form of NFTs that have been gaining popularity has been the NBA Top Shot, NFTs containing highlights of NBA moments. Joseph Abehsera, a student at Santa Monica College, runs NBA Top Shot News, a media company that specializes in delivering the latest news and info on NBA Top Shot.

I got into contact with Abehsera on Instagram after hearing about NBA Top Shot on social media and finding the concept of owning highlights from some of my favorite NBA players interesting. The added bonus of potentially making money was also another aspect that drew me in to NFT’s and NBA Top Shot in particular. This interview was originally recorded on March 19th.

 

Joseph: Yeah, so my name is Joseph Abehsera. I’m 19 years old. I know I look a little older, but I’m 19 currently. I’m a student in college. But on the side, what I do is I trade on NBA Top Shot and I also run NBA Top Shot News, which is a media company which essentially gives you, it’s like a one-stop-shop for all things NBA top shot. I’m also looking right now to launch a Discord group chat involving all NFT, which is going to offer financial advice and support.

So a lot of people sell NFT art, that’s probably one of the most popular things right now is the art, and it’ll be an artwork of pretty much anything that an artist made on the computer and then they’ll sell it. And then that digital photo will be attached to a blockchain network. So whether it’s Ethereum or Flow, which is dapper’s coin, it will attach to that block network and that blockchain will serve as security to make sure that no one can ever, ever steal, ever steal that NFT.

 

Dan: What makes an NFT so valuable that buyers are bidding thousands of dollars to own an NBA highlight or a piece of digital art? NFTs like the one by graphic designer, Beeple, have sold for over $6 million. But why such a high price for an art piece like this? Why would someone pay to own a Lebron highlight when I can just watch the same one on YouTube. Abehsera explains to us what gives NFT that monetary value to be sold for the high prices they are currently selling for on the market. 

 

Joseph: So why does it give it value? The reason why it gives a value is because it’s rare, it makes it rare. And it’s almost like an artist’s signature at that point because you can never copy. You can forge it. You can never change it. So that’s what makes NFT valuable. Why are they worth a lot when you can get this photo online? Well, think about it like this. I actually heard Gary Vee say this, you know how in Fortnite you could buy a skin like a Fortnite skin and these kids are buying it for money and it virtually has no value. 


Dan: For those unfamiliar with Gary Vee or Gary Vaynerchuck, he’s an entrepreneur and internet personality who’s known both for his early investments and videos, where he gives both advice financially and just for skills on how to become a successful entrepreneur. He’s the chairman and CEO of VaynerX, a communications company based in New York and its subsidiary VaynerMedia.

 

Joseph: It’s just a gaming skin. It’s the same thing essentially with NFTs. It’s almost like showing off your virtual assets on the internet, what you own internet wise.

So that’s the best way to explain NFTs. NBA Top Shot, on the other hand, is an NFT, although the actual NFT is an NBA highlight. So NBA Top Shot sells individual highlights of players. So, for example, the LeBron dunk, which was in, I believe it was last year’s game where after Kobe had died, it was like the Kobe tribute game.

Kobe tribute dunk. He went up like, he went up, replicated the Kobe dunk. And he so that moment actually sold like three days ago for $180,000. And the reason for that is, is because it’s very singular, like you owned that moment. And this is only the beginning of a huge, large network of where this is going to be like the new artwork of the world. 

It’s so you could walk into somebody’s house and they’re going to have it framed on the wall, the video of that Kobe dunk. And they’re going to be owning well, they own that moment, which is why NBA top shot, in my opinion, is just one of the most outstanding NFTS  has a lot of potential. 

 

Seb: We’re gonna take a quick break… 

 

Break

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*break ends * 


Main Story, Cont.

Dan: I asked Abehsera what he would say is the general audience for not just NBA Top Shot but NFTs in general. Are the majority in it because it’s a new way to get money or are there some that genuinely believe in the future of NFTs as the newest innovation? 

 

Joseph: So I think that the audience that’s there right now, the vast majority of them is there because they are NBA fans, but also a vast majority are there just because they well, they just want to make money, so this is a truth that a lot of people have to face right now, although I don’t believe that’s how it’s going to be going long term. It’s the same thing with stocks. Some people are just into it because they want to make money.

Some people are in it because they believe in the stock. Same thing with cryptos, for example. Some people genuinely believe in crypto and they think it’s the future of currencies. Some people just want to make money in quick cash. So, yes, as a fan, as a fan base like, as a fan of NBA top shot and the NBA, there are many people like me who love the NBA and love the highlights and would love to own moments forever. 

There are some moments that I’m holding forever, and I plan on not really selling for a long time because I just really enjoy the platform and how fun it is. But I think that that’s only going to grow with time, with the fan base being mostly just NBA fans and really enjoying this like the platform. [05:32] 

And because a lot of people are still in the stage of, oh, I don’t understand why I would buy this. I can just get the video clip on YouTube and they don’t quite understand it yet 

But as this thing evolves, the more NBA fans are going to join. 

So I’d say it’s an even 50-50 or maybe a little bit more 60-40, leading more on just trying to make money. But there’s a lot of people who are definitely into this and love it long term and would definitely hold for the long haul.

 

Dan: In the last few months, NFT’s and NBA Top Shot have both risen in popularity. I asked Abehsera how it has been seeing the popularity of both NFTs and NBA Top Shot skyrocket along with what the platform was like when he first joined.

Joseph: Well, I joined NBA Top Shot, I knew about torture in December, I kind of had a brush over my head, which is a little it’s a little surprising. 

I joined around December time, I mean, I knew about it in December time, but I only joined in early January. At that time, moments were selling for eighty dollars or like a couple hundred bucks that are now selling for thousands. So the growth, the growth in top shot over the past, like two or three months has been like, well, they’ve grown 50 times since then, I think. So it’s just it almost is 

It’s just the beginning of a crazy, crazy, like, futuristic concept. NFTs as a whole I could tell you this, I’ve noticed that the past I think it’s been like the past week and a half or two weeks. I’ve seen NFTs being mentioned in the papers every single morning. It really just shows you how much potential it has and how much it’s growing in such a short lifespan, like a short story short span. Its lifespan, though, is going to be very long and it’s only going to have these growths, these spurs of growth in, I believe it’s going to have them in chapters and sections and different wavelengths.

So, for example, NFT have been here for a while. And when they first came about, like in the crypto world, they were huge. They were very popular. I don’t know if you know crypto punks, but that’s really –  also crypto kitties also. These are very early adaptations like NFT. That didn’t make a lot of noise in the newspaper, although they’ve been here and they made a lot of noise in the crypto world. 

But with NBA Top Shot in the and SoRare, which is the soccer one, it kind of expanded its horizons and it exposed it to the world. And that’s what made it explode in the past two months. It just made it easier, a whole new topic. But as time goes on, we’re going to see way more of these waves and you’re going to see it’s going to

 

Dan: For those interested in joining the world of NFTs, I asked Abehsera what he would consider the best possible approaches for a beginner to start if they wanted to get into space.

 

Joseph: OK, so well, like all things, probably 98 percent of all NFT’s or 99 maybe are going to fail. So you’re going to see a lot of people making it. It’s already happening where people are making NFT pretty much out of everything. They’re artwork’s NFTs being posted left and right, but they’re not going to be successful because of how large the market is now. So when you’re going to buy, make sure that you’re buying from, I would say a company or a person, an individual who has a lot of influence so NBA Top Shot is backed by the NBA. It’s pretty, it’s a pretty safe bet to say that the NBA and as NFTs grow, the NBA is just going to grow with it because it’s the NBA. There are artists like Beeple who just made a huge name for himself. He sold the paint NFT painting for $69 million. And he’s made a name for himself.

There are also artists who are making NFT, such as I think Grau like a bunch of artists, like singular artists, like either musicians or whatever it is. Those people, they have a name, they’re influencers. It’s good to buy those NFTs, they’ll be a safer bet, if you’re going to buy from a random artist just because you think the art is cool, it’s going to be a little riskier if you would like to just own it because you think the art is cool and you would want to frame it in your home or whatever it is and you own the NFT, then by all means, that’s what it’s this NFT system is for your enjoyment.

It’s not it’s not just to make money, but if you want to have if you want to create a good investment, I’d say think about will people want this in a couple of years? Will this, is this person that I’m buying this NFT off of, like, does he have influence? Is he backed by, well, fans? How well-liked is he? And I’d probably say you have to like it. Like the NFT you’re buying, enjoy it.

Or if you don’t like it, then why would others why would somebody else like it, you know?

 

Dan: On a final note, I asked Abehsera what type of NFTs he would like to see made in the future such as NFL or UFC highlight centric NFTs or maybe iconic movie clips. Abehsera told me the following on what he would like to see become an NFT platform next.

 

Joseph: I would love to see soccer highlights come into play. I would love to see concert moments come into play. That would be awesome. Just general like concert moments, crazy things that happen on stage rocker breaking guitars. Another thing I would love to see come into play is I don’t know if you noticed this, but there are a lot of YouTube boxing matches that are going on these days, and although I would love to see boxing in general coming about as NFs, I really am interested in seeing those YouTube boxing matches going to NFTs as well because entities are very big within the Internet community. So those boxing matches from Jake Paul or Logan Paul or whatever it is, I think they could sell a lot as an NFTs. And I was thinking about that recently and I would definitely want to see that come into play.

That, that could be interesting. NFL as well, NFL moments, those are awesome.

 

End

Seb: And that was the episode. This is Sebastian Mino-Bucheli, I’m your multimedia editor and your host for Gator Talk, a Golden Gate Xpress podcast that brings news to SF State students.

The last episode of the season premieres Friday morning, but stick around for some episodes this summer.

And with that, I’m signing off.