4 Reasons Why NFTs Will Change Africa Forever

Erikan Obotetukudo of Audacity Fund shares her passion for funding black and African founders and why she believes NFTs will disrupt Africa's tech landscape.

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Listen on: Spotify | Apple Podcast | Google Podcast

Background

Mint Season 2 episode 10 welcomes Erikan Obotetukudo, Founding and Managing Partner at Audacity Fund, who’s investing in Black and African-led crypto startups targeting trillion dollar markets ssworldwide. I wanted to bring her on because she’s extremely vocal about how NFTs will change Africa forever – a new perspective that sparked my attention.

In this episode, we talk about:

  • Audacity Fund’s investment thesis
  • Understanding JPEG Summer
  • Erikan’s love for the intersection of DeFi and NFTs
  • How NFTs will Revolutionize Africa
  • What will eat Web 3?

…and so much more.

Links: How NFTs will Revolutionize Africa –– Forever (pt 1)


Thank you to Season 2’s NFT sponsors!

1. Coinvise – https://coinvise.co/

2. POAP – https://poap.xyz/

3. Socialstack – https://socialstack.co/

4. Celo – https://celo.org/

5. PrimeDAO – https://www.prime.xyz/

Interested in becoming an NFT sponsor? Get in touch here!


Erikan, welcome to Mint. How are you doing? 

What’s up? We’re good. We got the sunlight. 

Give me a brief about yourself. Who are you? What were you doing before crypto and where are you now?

So I’m Erikan, I’m from Rancho Cucamonga, California. Shout out to Etiwanda high school. Prior to crypto, I was doing a lot. 

I’m bringing myself back on the screen. Shout out to your high school. Oh my God. No, this is my favorite interview by far. I was in the green room and I was dying of laughter. Like, no one’s ever shouted out there. High school before. 

No, I mean, it’s an important part of the story. I grew up watching the internet, take my high school by school. And I went to a very multicultural high school. And so I saw like YouTube and Twitter and vine really started to like go through young black kids. And I would start to see like all the viral things that they would do. And this was before I think the word viral was a thing before influencer was a thing before being a creator on the internet was a thing. Like I just was a part of culture at my high school, that was so swagged out. So culturally relevant that we made the internet hot. And so, I shout at my school because that really put me on to like powerful market makers and demographics in the tech industry that don’t get their shine, but that actually drive a lot of what becomes popular in consumer technology and in what becomes the norm for creators. So you think about Tik TOK, you think about clubhouse, cash app, Twitter. These are a lot of companies that are obviously technology sensations, but in the United States in particular for their markets they were actually popularized by what young black kids were doing on them, that then everybody else wanted to adopt and internalize. So what was I doing before crypto? I frankly, was on a journey around the world. I eventually did 24 countries in a pretty long stretch of time, observing economic and cultural trends in different parts of the world that I knew one day would be strategically important for today, which is having an investment firm that really needs to be aware of cultural and economic trends to understand how crypto as technology can really disrupt, expand, and capture all the value.

24 different countries. Where did you start and where did you end? 

Yeah, so it wasn’t all in one batch. So I technically started in The Bahamas. So I was assigned to do history research. I was a biology student in college, but I got connected on a whim with a history professor who was like, I need somebody to go to Jamaica. No, I need somebody who’s going to Trinidad. No, I need somebody to go to The Bahamas. Literally on a Friday I was going to Trinidad Sunday morning, I had a ticket to The Bahamas and a hotel booked like it was so on a whim. She was just like, I need somebody to go to the slave archives and research and find letters that plantation owners would send to their wives back in Europe when they would land in The Bahamas. And they would have their cargo, slaves. I want you to capture the love letters that these plantation owners would send to their wives back home and old country or whatever, the UK and all that was called at the time. So my job was to literally sit in an ice cold archival historical building in The Bahamas in Nassau Bahamas and read through slave records. 

And create romanticized stories about the letters?

 I mean, I did that in my imagination when I would go to sleep. What was the communication channel between essentially a white slave master and his wife in a different continent as they’re sort of like voyaging to this part of the world where they’re going to build business and build commerce and builds like economies. So I was a biologist at the time, doing a history funded project, but looking at economics and culture at its most uncomfortable intersection. You know? So it was like, okay, these cargo are slaves from Africa, which is where I’m from proudly. And I’m seeing their names are called Bobo. Jo Joe Fu Fu, do do, Bo bo like these weird things, but I’m African as hell. So I know their name is not Bobo. It’s probably Olu-. I was like, okay, there’s something happening here. And so then the way that the records really showed the economics of creating like cotton fields and all these sorts of other sorts of things in the, in The Bahamas, it let me know and helped me understand the psychology of frankly colonizers and how 400 years ago our value is so low that like it’s, it makes sense that frankly, the value of black people is not in my opinion, fully realized, given that that was the power dynamic for so long. And all of those things influenced me to where I think there are pockets of rich economic potential that people don’t see because they don’t know that deeper history. So it kind of informs my clients. 

Hence the audacity. And we’ll get there in a moment, but I wanna kinda touch upon the 24 countries. Okay. I know you said it was over a period of time, but how long was that entire, that journey? Because that’s no joke. People don’t really travel that much right. For their entire life. So what was that timeframe?

 And then the person has done like 46 walks in the room. It’s like once you pass, like the 10 country mark, I think it’s like, okay. You’re part of a certain club. Now, so that way, I mean officially 2006 was my first time, but 2011 I’ve kind of been nonstop since 2011. I live in Brazil, proper. Like Portuguese-speaking all of that. I was up in that culture heavy 2012, and then lived in Nigeria 2013. Did a repeat, leveled up on my living experience in Nigeria in 2015, lived in Thailand 2018, and you know Latin America, Africa, and Asia. And I was doing different things each time I was living in those places. But at the end of the day, like my experience in Brazil actually ended up being one where my job was men’s health. I was focused on men’s health. Men’s health research, really understanding what are the experiences men have with their own health, their body, their care, and what are the challenges that they have in accessing care. And how does that connect to their job prospects, their mental health, their drug use, alcohol use, et cetera. So I just got in the brains of men in Brazil, in Nigeria and in South Africa. And that helped me really learn people’s challenges with accessing economic opportunities related to cultural expectations, resource limitations, et cetera. So this again helps inform my understanding of, how do you market something like crypto or other products to communities who’ve never been properly spoken to? And in this case, like Portuguese speaking, predominantly black men in Brazil.

If you could sum it up your time traveling, give me one thing you learned that you’re applying right now. 

Totally. Well, I used to work at LinkedIn. I worked there for two years. I also, while I was working at LinkedIn, I would go to Nigeria a lot and I would be very involved in the early tech ecosystem and particularly the FinTech ecosystem. And I remember sending an email to the CEO of LinkedIn at the time and also the senior vice president of sales. So like the head CRO being like, there’s this company out of Nigeria, it’s undeniably going to unlock the African continent for you. It’s payments infrastructure, and enables you to accept any kind of currency tied to USD. We need to move with them ASAP because you’ll literally be able to accept every currency across Africa, and now expand LinkedIn across Africa because people can pay for LinkedIn stuff like subscriptions and other things. And that conversation went nowhere. And so respectfully, I just was like, okay, so I can bring a lot of stats and facts. But certain people just won’t get it. We might have to edit that part out. Certain people won’t get it, and as a result, I got to just go build it. I think that was the biggest thing. I’m like, okay, there’s a demographic of people that are influencing technology and finance and just what we’re all excited about today that literally can’t even place. 

Like certain parts of Africa or certain demographics that I see billions, like walking in the streets. It’s hard to invest in those things. If you’ve never seen it, you’ve never been to those places. So two things came out of that. I knew we ,as a fund, we’d want to invest a lot in media, visual video, like going on ground and getting you the immersion in Brazil, The Bahamas, Lagos, Nigeria. So you can feel it and almost get a connection with it and be excited about it. But also I knew. We’d have to storytell the investments that we’re making and why, so you can really see that beyond what we’re used to in the United States, there are so many other layers of socioeconomic operations where money flows, trillions and billions of dollars flow that most people of a sort of developed economy mindset, don’t know to solve for. And so it just essentially said all these travels, just let me know there’s something most people can’t see and I have to believe and what I see that most people don’t and say, we’re going to make that group, the investment thesis.

How long have you been running Audacity so far? 

In terms of audacity? So went public with an announcement in June, so it’s been a few months since I decided to raise an initial fund. End of March, top of April. So it’s been a speedy process. As it would with crypto, it is naturally very fast moving. 

What’s the current state of the crypto market? 

Wow. So. Whew, that’s its own podcast, for sure. There’s a lot to say. I think the expansion of decentralized finance and open finance to me is always going to be the unsexy interesting thing. But I think what we’re starting to see is, NFTs, one regain in popularity. So that’s cool. That increases the belief that this is here to stay. Visa just acquired their first crypto punk. So all of these things are helpful in the greater narrative. Shout out to Cuy Sheffield, holding it down. So anyway, those moments are important. So I think now with that visa integration on the crypto punk side, it shows that like old money really, blends with cultural money and there’s something interesting happening there. And I think that’s really important. What I would love almost is if I could actually say the state of the market in terms of what people aren’t looking at. And that’s probably the most anyway. I think there’s still a lot to be done and thinking about how, and NFTs can be used or just your crypto assets, whether you have an NFT, maybe you have a piece of an NFT. So my Twitter profile right now is currently a crypto punk. Named Howie and I have a fractional ownership stake in that. So I think it went for like, I don’t know, 232 or something like that, 200 or 300, maybe 400 ETH. I have a piece of that, you know, I don’t own it all, but I still get to get excited about having a piece. And if you were to have your own whole NFT at a varying price point, that same asset can be leveraged for access to loans. It could be leveraged for creating new financial identities on the blockchain that allow you to kind of leap frog the limitations of your real-world environment and credit scores, and like all these other things that could get very systemic and challenging and difficult to navigate, because you participated in an aspect of culture that you really like. You can now leverage that to like level up in your sort of access to financial tools and resources and capital, which is really cool and important. And I think that’s an area that I would like to see more attention drawn to because it’s now culture is now leveraged for economic opportunity, which is like important for a regular Joe, who would one of my investors said today, you know, getting a culture crypto punk is like getting a Jordan, you know, in the sense of like, you know, there’s only one of a hundred, you know, like they go up ,they’re scarce and all those other things. So what does it look like for all the Jordan lovers out there to now add onto their sort of pandemonium access to a crypto punk, but they could leverage that for a loan to pay for their school. 

Can you give me some examples of what’s happening either in the black tech landscape or the African landscape as to, who’s moving mountains in that sector? 

Wow. There’s a lot to say there. So first of all, I just want to give a shout out to everybody who’s ever felt like this moment in the internet, this moment in history, and the moment of life is like the cumulation of all the random things we’ve ever done throughout our lives. Because I personally feel like someone who was a big AOL chat gal, you know, out here with these aliases and stuff, I feel like this is like my moment to come back and build cool things. So you want to shout out to everybody who’s using this moment to create really cool, gnarly things, especially the amazing black people that I’m inspired by every day. So first and foremost, there’s a community called crypto for black economic empowerment, which I happen to be the president of. That is a pretty good collection of a lot of amazing black people in crypto. So I mentioned Cuy as one individual who is head of cryptocurrency at visa, and very much influential in crypto acquiring a crypto punk. So that’s like at the executive level at a franchise institution, that’s trying to figure out a crypto strategy. That’s like one really cool thing in terms of like black crypto tech. And then there are companies that are tackling more of the traditional finance arena. A company called on-ramp led by a gentleman named Tyrone, Tyrone Ross. They’re essentially enabling people to provide sort of Bitcoin and other crypto assets as wealth advisors. So they deal with RIA. So people who are essentially dealing with, you know, clients that want to increase their wealth and are thinking about how should my portfolio now include Bitcoin or other assets. They’re enabling that integration to happen with that type of provider within finance. That’s really cool. 

On the NFT side, there’s a lot of amazing NFT artists from across the world that I think are going to increasingly make it cool and viral to buy an NFT as a person that isn’t typically centered in technology. So Latabo is an amazing NFT artist out of South Africa. She’s such a huge inspiration. Eyeshelles Is actually from Panama. She’s the highest grossing woman for NFT sales, she did $2 million I think in a day, or maybe a few hours. Yeah. Highest grossing. I think that was March, April. No, may. It was the first week of may. So I think highest grossing like one instance, black NFT artist as well, and then also highest grossing digital artist for Panama as a country. So, I mean, just like breaking all the records. That’s pretty cool. And beyond just the sales of NFTs, I think people that are really leading culture are certainly Firms like Andreessen Horowitz, for sure. They launched their $2.2 billion fund, which there’s people there that are really instrumental in driving culture, like Chris Lyons and Megan over at the cultural leadership fund. So those people are really cool. In terms of the Africa side, I’ll give you just some strategic market insights. Right now we’re seeing a bit of a rush to crypto exchange. So who’s going to be that Coinbase? Who’s going to be, I don’t know that people are really thinking about being the next FTX , but like who’s going to be that exchange that really the entire continent mobilizes around. And my thesis is that like, there won’t be one. 

There will be many that sort of meet the different socioeconomic classes and categories of people across Africa. So you have your elites, you have your institutions, you have your banks, you have your central banks, you have those sort of regulatory government entities, and you have like a social elite who, you know, disposable income probably want access to crypto as a part of a traditional portfolio. And then you have like the masses broken up by age ,swagger, ways that they need to be spoken to language, culture, et cetera. So crypto exchanges is one category that’s starting to formalize more and we’ll see who wins. But next is DeFi. There’s a lot more education to still happen around the DeFi side to getting increasingly more entrepreneurs and founders building there. But truthfully, I think leverage in gaming. We’re seeing gaming as an interface, or music and sports, and film as just like Dapp. A decentralized app that is the interface for consuming those very things. Sports, film, any creator related entity and having DeFi on the backend to me is like the secret sauce for building a culturally relevant business that has the potential to multiply its capital reserves and treasuries just by using DeFi tools. Yeah. So I’ll pause there. 

Do creators need to start rethinking how they create NFTs, because there’s going to be new forms of finance that allow people to monetize their art, or should they stick to the craft? What do you think? 

That’s a good question. I like the way you asked it dramatically. So I think creating an NFT inherently is creating money for yourself. So understanding how an NFT works is definitely helpful. Because you’re creating something that even if somebody just buys it for a dollar, if 300 years from now, your stuff goes up and it’s now worth a thousand dollars, that person, or that estate that holds that asset, which is kind of crazy to think. If you own crypto today, you need to think about estate planning because a lot of this stuff is going to be held into perpetuity long after you’re here. So that’s for artists, but that’s also for holders, people who are part owners with you and your assets. All in all. I think artists are naturally already starting to think about money and finance more because they not only see one NFT as a way to capitalize and make money instantly without any intermediaries on the art they would have already created and put up for free on social media. But now it’s a new way of revenue. So you can say. Hm. I think I have the potential to make 10 K on this one, NFT or a thousand dollars or $750,000 on this one NFT. But what does it look like if I did that? What does it look like if I did that weekly, what does that look like if I decide, I want to donate a portion of it to high school because it was my high school that taught me more classes? Like, you know, there’s all these new ways I think artists are now being emboldened to kind of act like banks, frankly. 

And act like financial institutions because they’re getting an influx of cash, or excuse me crypto in a short period of time that would have been hard to access before, and now it can make decisions with their money that they never had a chance to. So that means people are paying down their loans. So they’re naturally interfacing with money in ways that overcome the fear that they originally might’ve had with loans. You’re able to now help your family members. You’re able to think about donating a certain lump sum that you just got over a weekend, because there was a fire auction. You like a community that you care about. You’re thinking about maybe leveraging that asset for more loans. Like there’s all these different things that I think is inherent that people should just be smart and build supportive, helpful tools around to enable artists to just feel more confident and emboldened to do right for themselves and their community around their money.

What’s happening in Africa’s tech landscape, and more specifically, with NFTs?

So with NFTs, you can have one of one. Meaning there’s only one, there could be one of a particular number that you set, or there could be one of, you know, sort of any amount that is purchased within a period of time. And so there could be one of one, there could be one of 100 and then there could be one of 720. Also with each of those NFTs, it could be that one NFT is purchased by multiple people. So multiple people own one NFT, or as I’ve just mentioned earlier, it could be that multiple people own an NFT of a particular collection with a fixed amount. The reason why I say that is because. However it is you participate, whether you own a piece of one, or you own one of a limited few, you now have an ownership stake in the creativity of whoever it is that you love, that you’re supporting. So it’s now your money that you would have spent on a VIP at a concert or the money you would’ve spent on Donda’s new ear listening thing to get the Kanye album. They could attach the NFT to that. And now you would not only have the hardware that Donda and Kanye just released, but you’d have an NFT associated with it that could increase in value as Kanye’s legacy continues to grow. And now, you’re not just a consumer, but you’re an investor that has an asset that appreciates that you would have put your money towards anything. So you would have bought the Donda thing or you would have bought Yeezys or whatever it is. But now that same money, that 200, 300, a thousand dollars you would have put towards is actually an asset that can go to $10,000 in six years. And now you can flip it. You can hold, you can do so many different things, but you never know longterm how that asset will be valuable to you, and in this case, the consumer turns into the investor. And that consumer turns into an owner. And that is an identity change. That is super important for people. And then like economically, it’s like, you’re an asset owner. You not only are a fan of Kanye or a fan of Burna boy, you’re a fan of Adam, but you like kind of a piece of ownership of it, and you can do a few things with that. That means that everybody gets a chance to win generationally because all of it’s into perpetuity.

How do you go by educating others that there’s a value to owning a digital asset? People haven’t wrapped their heads around that yet. 

Yeah. I think it’s the same as like, wouldn’t it be nice to own a piece of Twitter, especially if you avidly tweet every day? Like your data is contributing to Twitter, making money off of that. And so like, wouldn’t it be cool if day one things that could become a Twitter, AKA really successful business, you had an ownership stake in early? And your stake was liquid in the sense that you can do things with it without having to get the approval of that same entity that allows you to have access to that ownership. So I think that we really just have to understand that traditional finance is just being made available to regular people and people have been owning things for forever. Some of the legacy American families don’t own the United States. They just said that they have a business that owns a particular industry, and now they own that industry. Meaning like the largest railroad manufacturing company, they own the largest bank in wall street. They just decide. They just decided that they were going to build something that said they’d either own it partially or wholly. And over time, we’ll allow certain people to come into that ownership by going public, et cetera.

You can think about an NFT as a micro-business saying we’re going to make ownership of this thing available to multiple people. And we’re all going to benefit from the long term growth of this revenue or micro business over time. And that is ownership. Like it’s the same concept. It doesn’t change because there are JPEGs or MP3s involved. And I think it’s crazy that people are even confused about why you would want to own a piece of the internet. When you think about how much we’re consumed and addicted to the internet.

Adam: Yeah, fair. I just think, you know, like when you tell someone yeah, but you’re buying an image. Like why would I buy that image? I could just go on Google and like, have that image. So I think with time, people are going to realize, because the way all these networks, these crypto networks are set up, they’re set to validate, they’re set to prove they’re set to be transparent. That’s just their innate nature, right? That’s just how they’re set up. That’s how they’re designed. And once more of the world kind of gets ingrained with crypto by default, with everything, everyday things that they do, they’ll realize the power they’ll realize the potential whether they like it or not. It’s coming guys, whether you like it or not we’re coming.

If it doesn’t make sense to you know, follow that discomfort and, what the hell, because what you don’t see is probably what needs to be created because it’s so early and it’s time for you to get in. Like if you get everything you’re probably too deep in your rabbit hole. You’re too Deep in your rabbit hole, cause you haven’t come up with, well, where’s this and where’s that, oh, it doesn’t exist yet. You got to go build, are you investing in it? Are you sharing that idea? And then the other part that I would tell people is NFTs are a tool. They’re not equal to JPEGs. So, an NFT is a digital certificate of ownership of anything. So if you have land, you can have an NFT that represents your digital ownership of your land and in the smart contract, AKA the code, and like instructions, it can say that you own it, here’s the terms, here’s the size kilometers, et cetera, and being like, so only when this asset changes hands does someone else on your land. So that is just literally a tool that every DMV, every registry, archives. And so it’s at that point in time, that’s great for a library. That’s great for an entity that has to keep records of hospitals, your medical records being an NFT, which is not like flashy NFT. It’s just like, oh God, thank goodness I have ready access on my phone, the last time I got my COVID vaccination, you know? So like it’s a tool. That it is popularized in art, but it’s a digital way to capture information and in most cases ownership. So how would you then want to use something like that in the worlds that you’re operating in? 

Amazing. So the number two is revenue and royalties, which you already kind of touched upon behind number one. Either owning something right in the money that comes from that and the generational wealth you can build. Anything else you would add to the revenue and royalty section?

Generational revenues, like who is mad at a royalty check 50 years after the person that’s inspired the royalties have unfortunately transitioned and a family can benefit from a check every month. Because your dad made a cool NFT four years ago, and we’re still collecting the money. And mind you to be clear the royalties come from secondary sales. So I do think it’s worth acknowledging, again, these things that have always happened in traditional finance, but now regular Joes, like you and I get to recognize that like, there’s that initial opportunity to buy something and buying means you actually have a piece of ownership, but then there’s that second chance then there’s that opportunity of like, dang, I missed it, but what’s the resell. So, and that resells that opportunity for you to jump in and still get active, it might be 3x on the money. It might be 10 X, but at least it’s still an opportunity to ride the wave as the value grows up over time. So it’s like buying Bitcoin today when you could have bought it at 5,000, but you still bought it. And if it goes to 1 million, then you’re still up. And then the other part of that is Reselling and speculating. So that’s a whole nother category that’s going to mushroom because people want access to royalties and access to revenue. So you could say I’m an NFT flipper, and that’s my part-time job and that’s my full-time job. I’m just trying to get 5X on NFTs. That’s new revenue for you. And any time it’s bought or sold, you’re getting a piece, just like the artist is getting it. 

Revenues and royalties checks, self-driving money, liquidity, collateral, and financial freedom. I feel like this also ties into DeFi a little bit. 

Yes, it does. So there’s three ways to think about having a crypto asset at minimum. One is the value of it goes up, or it goes down, two, that asset can be staked, AKA, you can get interest for just lending your crypto asset to the crypto world, and then also, three, is that that asset can go into a decentralized finance vehicle, which really just means you could leverage that asset for loans or for other financial instruments. So the self-driving money piece is like you made one action. You bought something that you loved, you bought art, you bought a NFT sneaker line. You bought whatever it is. And that one activity with maybe a complimentary gesture of a button or two can now make you more money without really doing much more work. You know what I mean? So that’s the element of, like I bought one Bitcoin, it’s now 10 X the value. And I only bought it once, but it still continues to make me money because it grows in value and I staked it. And I’m now adding it to a liquidity pool where I’m getting, you know, 300% APY. Those are three different, amazing things that could happen off of one activity of buying a Bitcoin.

And the last one, which is my personal favorite and the theme of this entire show, right, is a, they create our economy and how youth transforms global perceptions. There’s a lot to unpack here. So take it from any direction.

 Well, I think it’s kind of the same concept of diminishing the JPEG. It’s just like, you don’t take us seriously. It’s just like, what do we have to do? Like we built billion dollar business. People’s pensions are now getting invested into startups. Like we have to really understand how the world of money works and it’s just like, there’s noise. And then there’s how money works. And money goes to what people perceive as valuable. And if there are certain demographics or industries or regions of the world that are perceived more valuable, money will go there. Insert the United States of America. So people perceive the United States of America to be the creme de la creme, the top country in the entire world, economically, culturally, enterprise, Hollywood, all these things, right? Because the US has done a great job of PR and by owning one huge creator economy, AKA Hollywood, and entertainment, we can produce films and movies that broadcast to the world, whatever story you want to. Which is not always true, but it benefits us because we control the narrative because we control LA and the entertainment industry. So if you have regular Joes releasing viral art, viral films, viral fashion lines, viral music that people all over the world have ownership in. They’re going to be broadcasting their love of their thing that they captured from you in every village, hood boardroom, you know, water cooler moment, zoom call, et cetera, you know, a display profile picture on Twitter, all of these different moments or instances to evangelize . Your love of a cultural moment, an NFT artist or creator, whoever. And by being able to get more pandemonium and fandemonium because your fans are actually your investors, they’re your co-owners. You immediately have more people talking about you. And the more people that are talking about one piece of African content and another African creator and another African creator. It means like, whoa, something’s happening about Africa, because I keep hearing about these different types of African creators and all of those things help evolve and expand people’s perception of Africa. Why isn’t evolved perception of Africa important? Well, you talk to most Joes on the street and they think Africa is lions, tigers, bears, hyenas, war famine, HIV, and aids. Save the children from commercials and national geographic. I think that was a very thoughtful and comprehensive spectrum of what most people think about for Africa. Oh, black Panther, which was super important for activating a possible different narrative around Africa, which to me, I think black Panther is more accurate than it is fictional. And so all in all, imagine if Black Panther itself as a film was an NFT and imagine Black Panther made like almost $2 billion three years ago. Imagine every single person that bought a ticket now actually owns a piece of black Panther too. You know what I mean? That not only means you watch the movie, but you own that, you own a piece of that. That is not going to change the way people think about Africa, because they’re seeing the value of their NFT connected to Black Panther, triple as the movie launches, and then continue to go up as Marvel continues to integrate characters from the sequel into more Marvel pictures. All of this is raising the value of something people associate with Africa, which is important for us to challenge those narratives that kind of keep our value hidden to the masses. 

You know, it’s interesting you brought that up and I don’t know if that number is specifically true and you tell me if it’s true that they made $2 billion off that franchise? Is that number correct?

Definitely well over a billion. 

Adam: Okay. Well over a billion, whatever it may be. I would argue that if they applied web three primitives to their marketing and launch strategy, and every single movie ticket would actually be a form of ownership, a small fraction, but a form of ownership, right. Not enough to give everybody control over the movie because the director and the producers still need to bring this thing to life. I would argue that the value would be 10 X maybe only because everybody’s incentives are aligned beyond just a ticket in popcorn. Now it’s like, fuck, like I have ownership, you know, like, I can control collectively with this community what the value of this franchise may be. I got to talk about it more. I got to tell more people about it. I gotta promote it more. I got to do all this or, you know, Just the power dynamics shift. 

It shifts, and imagine like the makeup artists and like fashion designers who were seaming away right before the big scene. Like what does it look like for those people to also benefit from the upside of their craftsmanship and their work? You know what I mean? Not only just the big ticket director, executive producer, et cetera, but everybody along the value chain in the creation chain of such a big body of work like that, being able to have a stake, which is hard to do now just given the way payment structures and business models work in most industries. You kind of pay the most of the person you perceive to have the most influence and value, which isn’t always representative of who actually put in the most work or like representative work. And so you’ll say that maybe a part-time person who did seamstress work on Lupita’s outfit, may not warrant getting as much upside as like the producers. Oh, okay. Maybe, but does she just get paid for those three hours or 10 hours or a hundred hours she was on set, but not benefit from the stock potential of the success of this film? Because she made Lupita’s outfits fire in every scene. So like, I think the impact is there. So it just gives people a chance to say, if I touch this in some way, AKA, if I contributed to this success in some way, I can get a piece of that. So that’s an example. I mean, Hey, I’m working my way up to Marvel and all of them to make sure we can get this done. 

Adam: Yeah, I got you. We gotta brainstorm after this. You know, one thing that actually, as you were, as you were talking and you’re answering my last question kind of popped up into my head. There’s always been an issue of financial literacy. Of people kind of like not understanding what one money is, what credit is. Right. And what ownership is. NFTs are changing that. NFTs, their foundation is understanding the value of ownership. And you’re seeing all these creative individuals that maybe I could be wrong, I could possibly be wrong, but I would argue that focus on the creative side of things, you don’t really focus on the financial side of things they just create to create are now understanding financial primitives that are core to their success and their future representation as an artist. So it’s cool to see this happening live and it’s cool to be a part of it.

Adam: I want to wrap up with a couple of questions here. Okay. And I wanted to talk to you about creators and DAOs and the inequality and disparity of how intellectual property works with black people and Africa. There’s so many things we can talk about. So I’m going to let you pick, we got the topic of creators. We got the topic of DAOs or we have the economic and inequality disparity that comes from the intellectual property of black culture and African culture. Which one do you want to do? Cause I know this is something you’re very vocal about, right? Because I think it’s pretty evident that black culture is a core component to a lot of music, sports and so much more. And we talked about this a little bit, but you argue that they don’t see the value of that intellectual property to its fullest. And crypto can fix that. So talk to me about that. Share with me your point of view on that. 

So you could pick a lot of industries, but one of them we can think about is wall street. Wall Street was literally built off of colonizing bodies, going to West Africa, getting gold and slaves to then come to the United States to build enterprise and build commerce and build financial institutions that we now helm as the American sort of, like we regard them heavily. So that’s like labor and intelligence to build economies off of the strength of your own DNA to then build a nation that is considered the best nation in the world. Like that’s already a huge rip off in terms of like the black community not benefiting from the upside of the success of the US. That’s one example. Another example is jazz music. So jazz music predominantly comes from southern artists, Louis Armstrong and various others who eventually migrated up north and really took over Harlem and the New York scene by storm and got signed by a lot of record labels that never paid them. But the same people were sort of broadcast outside of the United States as like the beacons of American culture, Louis Armstrong was made into an ambassador and literally traveled all over Europe to promote the United States, but was like poorly treated when he came back to the United States and didn’t benefit and economically from expanding the jazz genre all over the world. But what then inspired jazz? Jazz then spawned blues. Blues then started to spawn rock and roll. Rock and roll then spawned hip hop in certain ways. All of those were driven by black characters. And oftentimes it was the business people that interacted with these black creators that benefited financially because they built the business model to benefit them, and not actually the creators of IP, which were the musicians. Every genre, same case. And so sports is a similar example. You see a lot of the trouble with what LeBron advocates for, and you see it in the NFL as well. So these are the real instances in which you’re driving a lot of the momentum, the dabbing like all of these things. You’re driving all this momentum Tik Tokers in 2020, literally from the Savage dance to all of these things, became the blueprint for what was viral during COVID around the world and respectfully, white young people kind of leverage that to create dances as well and became more popular of the creators on Tik Tok which then leads our people to get sponsorship deals, endorsements. I saw one of the top influencers, she’s now an angel investor in startups. So like you are taking dance moves from young black kids and just dancing to them, no big deal, but like that’s creating economic opportunity for you that allows you to now be an investor in an ownership of companies that can change your life and your whole legacy. Whereas that same person who created that dance gets a pat on the back and a few likes or for creating a dance that changes the world. Why is that important from an IP standpoint? It’s to say that if, for example, every Tik Tok video was instead attached to an NFT and instead of you liking it and commenting, you put a dollar towards how much you love it, and it’s automated, it’s simple, connected to a wallet. You don’t even have to think about it. Now, every single initial viral creator online gets a dollar per the equivalent of a like, and now it gets to see immediately the economic gain from that. And because they’re first to market with their respective NFT or creation, that’s connected to a dance or whatever it is that a lot of black creators create that really forms the internet. They’re able to benefit us as a first mover, have tens of thousands, if not millions of people who’ve bought into their love of that same viral moment on the internet, and everyone will be able to be proud that they have ownership of that meme that was created by X person from X place. And that meme can take on a similar sort of pandemonium as a crypto because it’s widely used in group chats and all these other things. So now this is an opportunity for someone who influences internet culture, who’s historically known for being a meme. AKA, a lot of creators, especially a lot of young black people to have an asset attached to that cultural moment, and it be something where you can only use that meme or NFT, if you are a part owner in it, which you had the opportunity to do so at the onset of launching that NFT. So these are different ways that people can capture their IP. 

Adam: You just inspired a train of thought right now where let’s say Tik TOK were to go more web three native, and these audio files that people consistently, you know, create new files, those were NFTs essentially, right? And every time they would get used, there would be a way to measure the virality and the amount of attention that’s captured through that specific trend and the ad revenue that would be captured through Tik TOK would then get equally or not equally, but proportionally redistributed to the person who initially uploaded that MP3 file. And then that got streamed and recreated thousands upon millions of times. And that’s powerful. Right? That’s powerful. Realigning incentives, realigning the distribution of wealth, realigning and rewarding those who create virality, those who bring the attention, a stake and ownership in the platform that they help make a reality.

And another way that it could work is Tik TOK launches a token. I recommend that they use roll tryroll.com. And they can launch a Tik Tok token, $TikTok ,and gift some of the founding like most viral content creators of 2020 proportionate tokens to their viral impact. And now those people have essentially a stock connected to Tik Tok, that is not exactly stock, but kinda.. And now you have an asset for all of the, like things that you did. 

What’s going to eat Web 3.0? 

Listen. I think we’re going to be eating with web three for a long time. It’s just the beginning. But I think what will eat web three is tribes, communities of people. So that goes into DAOs, but like communities of people creating their own economies. Like to me, that’s like you and the homies and a group chat should have your own economic system. Like, I just don’t even understand why, like there isn’t a wallet connected to every group chat that organizes for brunch. Just like, come on. If all of you are gearing up to go to burning man, there should be like a very simple way to economically just figure that out. And I think people walking around as financial institutions is the future. 

That’s a perfect place to end Erica. And where can we find you? Where can we learn more about Audacity Fund.

Audacity.fund, that’s the website. That’s it. @HeyErikan on Twitter, and yeah, I’m pretty active and just find me there.

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