Before we drump into the fisrt question, would you give us a brief intro and how you get into this bussiness?
My name is Joshua and I work as a Founding Engineer of OpenSea. Previously I was a tech lead at Facebook, but I was excited about the NFT space, so I joined OpenSea.
Devin, the CEO of OpenSea, had reached out to me about the opportunity. He explained that the NFT space is opening up a new world of possibilities in the digital world, and after looking into it myself I came to agree that it is an exciting new space.
We all know that OpenSea is now the largest market for NFT, What reasons you believe keep OpenSea remaining competitive?
Our motto is to go where the users go. We believe we stay competitive by making sure that the majority of applications/the most popular applications can take advantage of our marketplace.
问：截至目前，OpenSea累计用户数量和交易额各是多少？有人以OpenSea的钱包数量为基准，推测出 NFT 用户数量目前处在 2012 年 8 月的加密货币水平，关于这点，您怎么看？您认为NFT市场目前处在其生命周期中的什么位置？
What are the cumulative number of users and transaction volume of OpenSea so far? Based on the volume of OpenSea wallets, people conjects that the number of NFT users is currently at cryptocurrency levels as of August 2012, what do you think of that? Which state do you think the NFT market is now in its life cycle?
I don’t have the number of total unique users with me right now, but we currently average about 5,000 unique core users per month. Core users are users who perform “core actions” such as buying/selling items. In terms of volume, so far we’ve had about $15M USD go through our marketplace.
I think more people are seeing the value of NFTs, more so than how people viewed bitcoin back in 2012. I think it will soar as some point but not as much as the cryptocurrency bubble did. And I don’t think it will be in 2020.
Well, we haven’t yet seen an exponential increase in interest of NFTs. Most people have heard of bitcoin, but most people haven’t heard of NFTs. I think adoption will take at least another 2-3 years.
In terms of trading volume, crypto art like Superare and virtual space like DCL/CV are the two most popular categories on OpenSea at present. What do you think are the reasons?What other categories are showing a significant upward trend? Do they have anything in common?
Crypto art and virtual worlds are two of the most direct and simple applications of NFTs. Crypto art provides a way for fans of artists to get enjoy greater meaning in buying digital works from and supporting their favorite artists. In virtual worlds, people can trade land—it’s a simple concept that anyone can understand. And games like Minecraft, Second Life, or World of Warcraft may have already made people more comfortable with the concept.
We’re also seeing more interest in card games like Gods Unchained. A new card game called SkyWeaver is coming out soon.
Which type of NFT project/work you prefer better ? What is your advice to retail investors who may want to profit from NFT?
I like projects that let other projects interact with their NFTs. My advice to retail investors is to look for projects that offer true added value to its users and are not just trying to profit easily off its users. Projects that are based on speculation are bad investments.
In terms of scarcity, NFT seems to have an unlimited supply to the market (compared with Bitcoin), that’s the main reason that stop me to invest in NFT, how do you understand the scarcity in NFT?
The value is each NFT is defined by all the applications that interact with it. Unlike bitcoin, the value of NFTs isn’t just scarcity. This is a common myth and we have written about it before.
Instead, we think demand is driven by more traditional forces: utility and provenance. Utility is the obvious one: I’m willing to buy an NFT ticket because it lets me into a conference, I’m more willing to buy a piece of art if I can show it off in a virtual world, and I’m willing to buy an item if it gives me special abilities in a game. The concept of provenance encapsulates the story behind an NFT. Where did it come from? Who’s owned it in the past? As the space matures, the stories of interesting NFTs grow more complex and start to meaningfully impact a token’s value.
Even for me, I can also produce unlimited “unique” NFTs without cost. Plus there is no code to force the big-name artists to have a limited supply. Retail speculators may only focus on their price rather than NFT’s history.
At present, the liquidity of NFT is still insufficient, do you think it’s problem and how could we solve that?
That is a problem we are very interested in. We are planning on building solutions to add liquidity, including thinking about becoming a market maker for NFTs.Of course, increased adoption will help solve this problem.
The transactions about NFT are all on blockchain right? If we involve in with market maker, could it make transactions offchian?
Of course. All the transactions would be on-chain.
OpenSea has made great achievements in the past two or three years. What space does the team think remains for improvement? Can you tell us a little bit about the next few steps for OpenSea? And also the fundrasing plan?
We are actively making OpenSea an easier user experience. You can expect a revamped asset browsing page soon this year. We are also making big improvements to our servers to make sure everything can run quickly without problems at peak user volume. On our roadmap is multi-chain, where we are looking to support blockchains other than Ethereum. We are also adding better support for semi-fungibles and providing similarly treatment to NFTs that behave like semi-fungibles.
We aren’t actively looking for another round of investment, but we may consider some grants from other blockchains who want us to support them soon.
Compared with overseas, The development of NFT in China is somewhat slow. In your opinion, what is the reason for the differentiation? What is OpenSea’s next move in China?
Development for China is usually slower because some of the services we use for our platform are not available in China. We also have receive various report of things not working on the website as expected when the user is from China. We are actively addressing these issues by building different or separate infrastructure specifically for China.