Exploring the Future Impact of Rentable NFTs on the Creator Economy

Discover the future of rentable NFTs and what's next for Decent.xyz with Charlie Durbin in the latest episode of Mint.

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Mint Season 7 Episode 12 welcomes Charlie Durbin, one of the Founders of Decent.xyz – the premier all-in-one web3 release builder. Charlie shares with us the concept of Rentable NFTs, a new and innovative approach to NFT ownership. He explains why this model is appealing to creators and the ideal audience for Rentable NFTs. We also discuss the exciting level of experimentation happening at Decent as we explore the concept of a decentralized Patreon and the potential of rentable NFTs as a new way for creators to build and monetize their community of collectors.

I hope you enjoy our conversation.

Time Stamps

  • 00:00 – Intro
  • 06:33 – Why Rentable NFTs?
  • 16:40 – The Ideal Creator for Rentable NFTs
  • 25:30 – What’s Next On the Decent Menu?
  • 27:26 – Outro

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Charlie Durbin, welcome. Late nights, coffered, strong deep conversations. This is a spontaneous episode. I know we were not expecting to do this today but we just got off a call and you really like dug a hole into my brain about rentable NFTs. So, like I feel selfish, not recording this conversation. So, you know what we’re doing today? We’re talking about rentable NFTs. How’re you doing, man? Welcome.

Charlie Durbin: Let’s do it. Yeah, thanks for having me. One thing turns to another and all sudden, I find myself on the mid podcast.

Let’s go. I think the only other time we’ve been on like, I guess more formal discussion was an SF for that conference. 

Charles Durbin: Yeah. Right. 

And I remember what every time you talked, everybody was just stayed super quiet. Just like everybody just turned in like looked at you. So, definitely, that’s what happens when you speak. So, I’m excited for you to be on and for us to run an episode on rentable NFT, something that decent actually just announced, right?

Charlie Durbin: Yeah, yeah, that’s right. So we announced, let’s see, it’s Philip filling this February 3, we announced rentables a week ago today. It’s actually something, so a little bit about decent really quick, TLDR recap for anyone not familiar, we have a SDK and NoCo tool that makes it really easy for creators, companies, you name it to stand up, we think are pretty innovative web three, releases a lot of them NFT based. So to that end, like spend a lot of time exploring new NFT mechanisms, and thinking through like, what’s possible for these folks trying to either get in the space or sort of push the boundaries if they’re already here. So, rentable  NFTs are pretty interesting. So, it’s something that we included in the original protocol, when we released it back in September of 2022. But we’ve never really added like an interface for them yet. And honestly, it was kind of something that we just slipped into beta tests, talk to some creators, talk to some users, figure out like, alright, this text seems promising, but like, how are we actually gonna use it? Like, what’s this gonna look like? And we finally got confidence, I’d say around December, January of this year as to, you know, some reasons why like, we were genuinely excited about rent tools, could see them becoming a really important piece of NFT psychology, we could see you know, a significant percentage of NFTs overall shifting to this format. So we recently released our interface to actually you know, list and read them and make that primitive useful on decent. So yeah, excited to dive into it.

I’m excited as well. For those who don’t know, decent epic company, mint Season six, we did the premier pin launch with decent and introduced the vault, as some of it, some of you may be already familiar with. For those who are new to the podcast, shout out welcome. But season six, we did this really cool campaign called the vault, where I curated 8 to 10 creators to share their exclusive thoughts locked in the vault. It’s only viewable if you had Season Six as NFT. And guess who powered that? Decent. So, Charlie, I know you’re the dev arm behind decent, right. I would love also to give us like a quick brief on yourself and your role at the company. 

Charlie Durbin: Yeah, absolutely. So I lead I’d say like product and development at decent. So I handle a lot of the obviously like product roadmapping, some of the modeling around our mechanism designs. And then I do a lot of the front end engineering. I do have a co founder named Wilkin terrorists who some of you may have come across in the past. 

He was on the podcast.

Charles Durbin: Yeah, he’s kind of the Giga brain behind our smart contracts. And then we have an awesome engineering team.

Oh, it’s the other Will , I’m getting the Wills confused. It’s two of them at decent.

Charlie Durbin: Yeah. we’re two Wills on the team. We like them in pairs. But yeah, so, my background, I graduated from Princeton and 2019, where I studied econ. Back in school, I’d say I got pretty into crypto during the last bull cycle. You know, it’s pointless, I’m sure. You were there, like 2017. The whole run up was nice and exciting. And I published a couple of papers on just like real academic sense, like, how Bitcoin is being used for capital flow to China looking at, you know, how crypto trading might impact like exchange rates, et cetera. And that sort of got me into the space originally, after school, spent a couple years working in investment banking, doing software m&a, which was a mixed bag of experiences. But during that time, I was covering the music sector. So, I worked a lot with like institutional royalty funds. And a lot of the companies that independent artists would use to sort of either distribute their music, market it, monetize it, you name it. So, for folks who might have been following decent for a few months now. You might know that our very first product is actually royalty backed NFTs, streaming royalty backed. So, in that sense, so I guess my train into crypto might be a little more linear, though it doesn’t feel like that all the time. But yeah, that’s sort of like a brief background, brief background on me. I was doing like, crypto nights and weekends until can make it work to go full time.

Wow. Let’s go. Okay, so I know decent has four co founders, right? 

Charles Durbin: That’s right.

There’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen. If you think about it.

Charlie Durbin: It is, but we each we each bring a very different perspective and skill sets the team at size. So, super fortunate to you know, pair with both the wills that we talked about. And then right, fourth co founder is a guy named Xander Carlson, who is a full time artist signed to palm tree records at Sony. And he goes by the name Forrester. So, as we dove into music NFTs over the last year or so, he was really the tip of the spear and helping us understand, you know, what the artists needed was, et cetera. So, pretty, pretty good distribution between like, the creator, Will, who handles all of our real biz dev marketing, and then Will can tell us on the Super exploratory technical side, and then, you know, then.

What kind of Chef Are you? What are you bringing in the kitchen?

Charlie Durbin: What am I? Yeah, I’d say I’m a good jack of all trades. 


Charles Durbin: Yeah, I’d say I’m pretty well split between a lot of the technical things we do at decent and then some of our bizdev opportunities, but okay. Yeah.

Why Rentable NFTs?

Okay. All right. So that’s a good primer, some good context going into this big brain discussion. As I mentioned in the beginning, decent recently announced rentable NFTs. And the reason why I wanted to kick off this episode is because something I try to consistently do on Mint is bringing new ideas, new new opportunities, new experiments to showcase and document, that’s the whole point of it, documenting the web three creator economy. And it’s no different when trying to explore new primitives, like rentable NFTs. Now, I don’t know how new it is, you’re here to tell me sort of how new it is. But I want to get into the trenches of why the hell should we even consider rentable NFTs when the whole thesis I want around web three is to own. You are the owner now. So, that’s like the prime question. That’s like, the pillar question. I want to dissect and find all the branches. So, let’s kick it off there. Why rentable NFTs?

Charlie Durbin: Yeah, let’s do it. So rentable NFTs were originally introduced by a team called Double protocol, sometime this summer, got the exact date, maybe July or August in an Ethereum improvement proposal and EIP called 4907. And basically, what EIP 4907 introduces is like this idea of a user of the NFT. So, you know, when you buy an NFT, like you’d become the owner of it, and like your addresses, map to the owner field of that, of that NFT and stored there. EIP 4907 also includes a user, so if someone can become the user of that NFT that is not the owner for a certain period of time. So, you know, if I buy a rentable NFT for example, I will make, I will remain the owner of it, but say I list it to be lease, you can now like say pay five bucks a day or something to become like the user, the user about NFT. And you know, in theory, have all of the like, attributes credentialing, you name it, that NFT like would endow to the owner otherwise. So, that’s just like a brief overview on you know, what a rentable NFT even is. So, like why do we care? Right? So, the, there’s a lot of like, individual feature unlocks that, you know, I think it’d be, might be interesting to dive into, that rentables, rentables facilitate. I think you’d like a super macro level, though, the analogy that I like to give is, a lot of people will refer to NFTs as digital property rights. So, I’m not sure if this is something that you’ve come across before Majan what most people have. 

Sure, sure. 

Charles Durbin: Yeah, so it’s like this idea that like, they provide provenance in like a digital native economy, you can attest, like, you own something. And it’s like, that’s a pretty powerful thing. When you think about, like, why property rights exist, it’s kind of like two fold, they have like two jobs to do in a society. One is to like, provide that ledger of ownership. And from that, like, you can get two types of efficiency. So like, there’s allocative efficiency and like investment efficiency, so allocative would be where you want every piece of property in society to like ends up in the hands of the person that values it most. So like, through pure Speculation bringing it back to NFTs. Like you might say that, like every NFT can end up via trading in the hands of the person that values it most by expressing it that way. But there’s this other like really important job of property rights, which is it incentivizes the person to, like, invest into the things that they own. And the person that like, is willing to invest the most sort of sweat equity into the property that they own, like robots value. That’s what we would call like, investment efficiency. And that’s like, that’s a pretty different notion. I think that that is ultimately the like the unlock of rentable NFTs. So like until now,  pricing a typical NFT that people think of, the only way that you can like really profit off of owning something, barring some, you know, NFT defi integrations is to like, sell that NFT. Right? So, I have to sort of lose my ownership of it to profit from having ever owned it. With rentable, it’s like you have this new set of incentives, where by nature of you like investing into that property that you own to grow its value, you can charge friends proportionate with the value that like you’re inputting. So, it introduces like significantly more incentives for, yeah, for the owner to invest into the asset and like, by extension, the communities that they’re a part of to grow their value and then jointly profit off that labor, in tandem with the greater. So, that’s like the super macro example, an analogy as to like, why rentable NFTs are interesting. And I think they’re like a very meaningful step forward, in like, what it really means to establish digital property rights, you know, on chain.

So, the most prevailing case study or used case that I see Charlie is, you want to be in the board ape community, you don’t have 300k to drop, you can borrow somebody else’s NFT, join the discord, be that crypto culture for a minute, like that’s like one of my simple mind and brain heads too. But I’m not sold just yet, I want you to sell me a little bit on it more, because we’ve been primed to think in web three that in this new world, you’re not renting, you’re owning, you’re owning your audience, you’re owning your data, you’re owning more of the value and the take rates, right? That kind of you’ve been, you’ve been stripped away from in web two, right? You, you are an active participant in a protocol based off the tokens that you hold. And because you hold those tokens, you can actively vote and have some form of say, on chain. Right? And that’s like the premise of what we’ve been been spoon fed so far. But I’m still trying to understand the value of of renting something digitally, I can see, I could see the opportunity of renting a room in someone’s meadow, you know, whenever we ended up getting to that stage and and if there’s a lot of foot traffic to that specific plot of land, right, what did they call a voxel or whatever. I could see people renting out advertisements on there, you know, and being able to kind of capitalize on the attention. Those are some of like, the very minimal used cases that come to mind. But help me understand it more as if I was like a fifth grader.

Charlie Durbin: Yeah, yeah, totally. So, I think like, let’s, we can look at it from like, each side of the markets perspective. So, like the creator who might be issuing NFT, and then like the collectors who might be renting it. So, from the perspective of the creator first. Like, right now, let’s take the board ape one is like, pretty good example. So, let’s say like the board ape community and creators, like they actually really want to expand, but the only way to expand right now like might be either to issue more NFTs, which like, could potentially dilute the value of those that are already existing, they could alternatively go with some staking mechanism in which they’re introducing a secondary token to like, it’s different than this first NFT. But like, we’ll still ascribe, like some rights, some membership opportunities to the secondary token. But the third, and like, maybe the most interesting now is like, you could start enabling rentals of those NFTs. So, this like preserves the ultimate scarcity, like you have your very tight knit community but like you want to start introducing some new members to it, for example. The people like renting out their NFTs, they’re basically providing like day passes, month passes into your community, and introducing a few more folks to it without like seriously jeopardizing the value of like the existing collection in any way at all. And it’s a really nice like, now shifting a little bit towards like the collector point of view. It’s a nice, like, incentive aligned mechanism to where you know, your earliest collectors, your earliest supporters that community, they can start to like profit by having been there early on. So, like, by, you know, they were likely meaningful contributors and why that community became so valuable at all in the first place. And by renting out like their NFT, now they can start to actually redeem some of the value without having to exit that same community. So, that’s like a, that’s like a few reasons. I think that one example we like to give that’s like, pretty concrete. And pretty relevant for you know, creators, too, would be something like ticketing. So let’s say like your NFT affords you access to some, you know, token gated virtual concert, like in your voxel, land your reference. And it’s only going to happen at like 8pm tonight, and like, maybe you can’t go. If you don’t go like that, that is just like one attendee that now won’t be there, like, no one’s really redeeming the value of that concert. But instead, like, they’re sure there’s like a lot of other people that might want to go see that. So like, they could rent their NFT before someone else as the ability to go into that concert, and then both like, the original token holder is gonna get some value out of it, the person going is going to get some value out of it. And like, creators able to earn royalties on rentals, same as they would on sales. So the original creator, like will earn or earn off of the two. So I think that like, it really just opens up different frameworks as to like, you know, what is possible with NFTs, that aren’t necessarily like, better or worse in like absolute terms, then, you know, strict ownership one, but they’re new. And I think like a lot of the NFT space right now is looking for that.

The Ideal Creator for Rentable NFTs

Who do you think is like the ideal creator type to experiment with rentable NFTs,m? Music, digital art, photographers? Like, is there a prime suspect that you imagine, kind of like reaping the most value from a used case like renting?

Charlie Durbin: It’s interesting. I think there’s, I wouldn’t necessarily break it down by like, by like, media type, or media genre sector or anything like that. I think like creators that already have a strong community that exists, are like pretty well suited to introduce rentals. The interesting thing I like about rentals as well as, like, the NFT itself, and I think this is probably what we’re most excited about. Excuse me. So, like leading with intrinsic utility, like it can be rented, like that is something that, you know, not not many other tokens can say that it opens up like, a lot of interesting used cases, beyond just like, even the token itself, or like trading it. So, like we could, we could see a future where, you know, every creator, you know, has their NFTs but say they want to like launch a subscription to their community, like rentable NFTs, like they can actually facilitate on chain subscriptions. So, instead of saying like, oh, I’m going to offer like this new NFT type to my collectors, they might just say like, oh, like, I’m going to start doing a subscription for certain parts of my community. And we could see, like rentable NFT is being branded in that type of way, where it’s like, we’re going to put for first and foremost, what this token actually does. And then the fact that it isn’t NFT at all is like, quite secondary. So, from that perspective, like I’d encourage traders to kind of think about it the same way where it’s like, try to think about like, why might this be like something that’s useful? And introduce it via that like, utility or like how it’s going to impact your day to day community? 

Got it? 

Charlie Durbin: Versus like, thinking of it as another NFT.

So rentable and please correct me from wrong. Renting anNFT is similar to subscribing to a software service, and it being and you’re getting charged automatically every month, a rentable NFT could emulate the same energy and the same action.

Charlie Durbin: It can, with a few differences.

But do you need the rentable NFT specifically, or can you do that with any NFT?

Charlie Durbin: You need. So, the difference is like the rental itself, like it’s time bounded, right, so if you did it with like, regular NFT, it would be like selling a lifetime subscription, I suppose. To say like you as the creator, like you mint all these rentables , maybe to your personal wallet and start leasing them, then it’s like someone’s pre paying based on you know, a specific time for access to like this good service or access. So, that I would say is the difference. Like, it’s not, it can be adapted into more of like, a pure play subscription type product. But at this point, I’d say like it’s a bit more like a prepayment.

Got it. So, creators are continuously, I guess pressure to innovate and release new campaigns and new NFT drops. But what they could do, they could start offering packages and treat their community like a Patreon of some sort like a decentralized Patreon, they can have a lifetime pass, right? Where you outright own the NFT. And you can flip it and trade it on the secondaries. Or if you want just like a quick primer, you know, and just test the waters, you can get a rentable NFT, for much less but with limited access.

Charlie Durbin: It’s totally, totally a valid used case.

Okay. I like it. That makes a lot of sense. It’s very, now it feels more comfortable to sort of what we know. And I can relate it now to what already exists. Because I’m trying to think like, scrape the token, what is the used case, right? Like is you’re gonna, like you build users, you build adoption through understanding the used case of something, how it applies to somebody’s life, I think that’s actually a very applicable use case. And again, I’m probably very simple minded, when it comes to it as my nimble brain tends to be, you know. So, I’m sure there’s a lot of other creative things that can come about from this, that maybe we’re not even touching upon just yet.

Charlie Durbin: Yeah, yeah. I mean, like, maybe just, first of all, like, I think that this is definitely an abstract concept that took a bit for us to get comfortable with to, which is why we waited months to actually build the interface for it. But a couple of the other like, sort of core utilitarian implementations for rentables that we think are kind of interesting would be, like delegated claiming, for example. So, you know, let’s say you want to claim an Airdrop that requires some token, to be in your wallet to prove you have access to it. But you don’t necessarily like trust the issuer, I don’t know, maybe have some other just general concerns, you could even just like lease the NFT for free to a separate one of your own wallets for a minute to get access to it. To this AirDrop claim it with like very little repercussions or exposure to one of your wallets. Then you can think about like sort of pure play defi type things where, you know, like uniswap, V3, every LP position is actually an NFT. So, you could wrap this NFT with friendsville rappers and all of a sudden, like, you can start to lease out like your LP position. So, say you’re like, you know, passively managing a position like it’s not really performing that well, like you might actually be losing money to impermanent loss and things, you could lease that out to someone who’s going to like, very actively manage it, and like they might be able to derive more value from that position than you would otherwise. And like that all starts to become possible due to retables. And yeah, like, think that it’s, I think that is like a pretty exciting, primitive in that way, where there’s just like some pretty concrete use cases, where it’s like, yes, like I don’t really have to debate like, you know, why it is worthwhile for me to be owning this NFT. It’s like the ability for me to like do something with, it is like. critical, and like inherent to the token itself. Starts to be like, pretty exciting when you think about, you know, a bunch of other used cases that I’m sure haven’t even crossed their mind yet but we’re excited to see.

Yeah, super exciting, man, I love the consistent level of experimentation that comes from decent. And I think if there’s one thing that, one thing of many things at decent, that sort of solidified itself, as is like the experimentation platform that welcomes all in any types of experiments. And I remember very early on, you guys, sort of were the first to, I want to say commercialize, quote unquote, even though we’re not at that scale yet. But like bonding curves for creators, right, and pegging their social token to their NFT. But doing it in a way where it’s like it’s scalable, to an extent, right, where it was very much like, in a way self serve, like any critic can come to you they could do or they can release that token on a bonding curve, and go all sheets to the fan. So, I feel like it’s like a progressive, sort of, like lineage into that level of experimentation that I love to see. And something that I talked about on the podcast, like the more you experiment, the more you put yourself out there. Even if you fail, there may be instances where you succeed, and then you’ll come out as like this, this innovator to the community of collectors, you know, and they will just boost your social capital in the space. So working with platforms that align with that, I think it’s very cool. So shout out to decent.

Charlie Durbin: Yeah. Thanks so much. Definitely, definitely appreciate it. It’s something that like we’ve we’ve worked hard on and you know, a persona that like we definitely like individually, I think even as a team all ascribed to, so it’s nice that that comes through. But yeah, I think like empowering creators to continue experimenting to push the limits of, you know, like what is possible today. I’m not sure that like anyone is super excited by like, the status quo, or at least like believes that the status quo like will be sort of what web three can be in the feature, like web three to its fullest extent. And only get there by, you know, trying, you know more experiments with increasing velocity and making all those accessible. So, they something for us to probably work on as a company is like the, you know, keep describing, like really compelling case studies to like some of these more abstract concepts that we’re throwing out there. But hopefully, like, you know, we have some great creators lined up for rentables, for example, and we’re super excited to see where they take it and, and push space for.

What’s Next On the Decent Menu?

Let’s go. That’s super cool. So, I want to know what’s next, what’s up next on the decent menu? Because we use the analogy of cooks in the kitchen earlier, so I gotta continue it.

Charlie Durbin: Yeah, let’s get it, I’m hungry. So ,I think that like, you know, right now rentables is, it’s definitely worth noting, like they’re only available as like 4907 NFTs, will very soon be releasing a rentable rapper as well. So, one of the probably aspects about decent that we’re most excited about would be these rapper contracts that we have. So, right now, let’s treasuries and staking that’ll soon include renting as well. I think that like we’re really eager to continue introducing, like these new utilities to existing NFT collections where, you know, someone like a doodles, awesome community, a lot going for it, that community is probably ready to like, try something new. And, you know, test out whether it be like a new revenue model, a new access mechanism, new mechanism for even like releasing content from the community itself. And they’re gonna need like contracts that are kind of like backwards compatible with what’s already there. So, that’s something that like, you know, we’re particularly excited about and then moving farther into the future. You know, we spend a lot of time thinking about what web three unlocks and for us, I think the answer we always come back to is like, interoperability between applications sort of this like self sovereignty of the Creator and collector to move seamlessly between them as well. And think that there’s still a decent amount of work to do in uniting all of the super exciting applications that exist today and giving new ones like the shared audiences to come in and do quite well. So, you’re spending a lot of time in that regard, too. It’s a bit more of a vague description, but yeah.


I like it. I’m excited for you guys. I’m keeping an eye out for sure. Charlie, before we wrap up this awesome conversation on rentable NFTs, where can we find you personally? And where can we find decent as a whole?

Charlie Durbin: Yeah, so you can find me personally probably on Twitter, it’d be the best place, that’s C Durbin XYZ. And then for decent, you find us a decent.XYZ on Twitter and decentxyz.mirror for our blog, then decentxyz on lens as well. 

Let’s go.

Charlie Durbin: Probably the three biggest platforms. 

This was great, Charlie. Well, we’ll do this again soon. But until then, appreciate you and have a good one.

Charlie Durbin: Awesome. Thanks, Adam.

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