Nonfungible tokens (NFTs) experienced a record-breaking year throughout 2021 in which sales volumes surpassed $14 billion, avatar collectibles permeated the mainstream market to become cultural status symbols, and avant-garde utility sparked innovative Web3 opportunities for a panoply of industries.
Despite a retracement in financial and emotional fortunes in the opening quarter of 2022, expectations within the NFT community are reigniting for the impending schedule of calendar events such as the launch of Coinbase’s public NFT platform, and the potential for OpenSea and MetaMask tokens.
In an exclusive interview with Jordan Fried, the CEO of Immutable Holdings and Founder of NFT.com, Cointelegraph learned Fried’s perspective on Buffett's impact on Web3 ideologies, the imminent release of NFT.com, as well as the usage of Hedera’s consensus service to track the minting of profiles.
Fried has been active in the cryptocurrency space since 2012, utilizing Bitcoin as a payment method in a VPN business, and later as a core member of the founding team at distributed ledger technology Hedera Hashgraph, personally recruiting Google, IBM, Boeing, LG Electronics to join the Hedera Governing Council.
Just over a year ago, he founded Immutable Holdings, a blockchain management company which now operates with over $80 million in assets under management (AUM) and holds the ambition of “democratizing access to blockchain technology.”
Citing the prohibitive access of many traditional markets whereby accredited investors operate in walled-garden capital raises, Fried defined that his vision for Immutable Holdings is to facilitate greater accessibility for retail participants, coupled with an aspiration to scale the business into the Berkshire Hathaway of the blockchain industry.
On Sept. 28, Immutable Holdings became publicly tradable on the NEO Canadian stock exchange under the ticker HOLD, and currently registers a value of CAD$1.35.
Early in the conversation, Fried expressed a bold prediction — which echoed Coinbase CEO Brian Armstrong’s comment in a recent conversation regarding the platform’s NFT marketplace launch — that NFT’s have demonstrated the financial potential to eclipse the value of crypto assets in the coming years.
“Everything that we own in the physical verse and metaverse is going to be represented in the form of an NFT. So, if you were to sum that aggregate value, it will likely be much more than the $1.9 trillion worth of coins that are circulating on CMC today.”
Consistently publicising his avidity to emulate the successes of Warren Buffett, Fried recognized his legacy investment prowess, but candidly criticized his lack of receptiveness towards technological evolution, stating:
“No disrespect to the oracle of Omaha, but that man has missed every single technological wave of his lifetime. He is one of the best investors of our generation, but when it comes to Bitcoin and blockchain, he just hasn’t spent enough time with it.”
Fried’s latest venture, NFT.com is a decentralized platform for creators, artists and collectors to trade and distribute value of NFTs, engage in digital discourse, as well as operate and participate in a community-governed ecosystem – Fried even thinks of himself not as NFT.com’s CEO but as its ‘chief decentralization officer’.
Commencing with an inaugural NFT release, the platform will include: profile name NFTs and a web3 social network, a cross-chain data hub consisting of rankings, leaderboards and data statistics on a litany of NFT collections — akin to a CoinMarketCap of NFTs — and a peer-to-peer marketplace.
Collectively, these services will seek to support the overarching ambition of becoming a fully comprehensive headquarters for all-things nonfungible.
As an entrepreneur who has thrived during the previous two iterations of the web, Fried places significant emphasis on the potential for Web3 to “rearchitect the internet” through the concerted formation of blockchain-powered DAOs, which he believes are two-to-three years behind the curve of NFTs in terms of consumer recognition and engagement.
“We want to decentralize NFT.com over time by inviting the community to become leaders – where it’s the community of creators, artists and users who will help shape the future of the platform.”
A flurry of recent appointments, including Jeanna Liu as Chief Operating Officer to Immutable Holdings, and Balaji Srinivasan as a Strategic Advisor to NFT.com, were sought to strengthen the team’s expertise.
Pre-existing partners of NFT.com include Shark Tank tycoon, Kevin O'Leary and Snoop Dog under his NFT pseudonym, Cozomo de’ Medici, and Logan and Jake Paul, among others.
When questioned whether the platform will be built upon Hedera, as many community participants have rumoured due to his contiguous relation to the network, Fried declared that while his vision is for a multi-protocol world, he exclusively revealed that “we are launching first and foremost on the Ethereum network because there’s over 200 million accounts, and that’s where users are.”
“The way that we’ll govern NFT.com is through genesis key holders, so if you have a favourite NFT protocol, the best way to ensure that it gets integrated is to [acquire] a genesis key and vote on which protocols we should consider integrating with.”
Despite the user profiles and genesis keys existing on Ethereum, the Hedera consensus service was implemented to ensure fairness and enhance traceability of the profile minting process.
Asserting the importance of supporting NFTs wherever they exist in Web3, he speculated that Hedera, Solana, and Polkadot could be destined for future integrations based upon their popularity, as well as disclosing his own intentions to deploy his single vote for the inclusion of Hedera in democratic snapshot proposals.
“I really want your NFT.com profile to be your address in a digital world where people can come and visit you. It’s a destination, your web3 homeplace, a metaphysical experience where the physical verse and metaverse collide.”