Ishan Pandey: Hi Alexander Klus, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind Creaton?
Alexander Klus: Hey! My name is Alexander and I’m the CEO and creator of a Web3 Patreon called Creaton, where fans can subscribe to their favourite creators and fully own their own content through NFTs and decentralized protocols.
I first came up with the idea for Creaton in 2018, when NFTs experienced their first wave of hype via Crypto Kitties.
Traditional social media platforms had started to censor their creators, some for not even breaking their Terms of Service. For me, any and every piece of content should be an NFT, and the creator should own that content, not the platform it’s hosted on.
Ishan Pandey: Tell us about your views on Web 3 and how it differs from Web 2?
Alexander Klus: While Web3 is about ownership and self-sovereignty, it’s also about community and giving equity to the participants. In other words, you are the one getting paid for participating in the network, not the platform.
We have already seen the kind of wealth it can generate, the ENS and Uniswap airdrops being prime examples.
Another example is the Uniswap Foundation blacklisting security tokens. Although a few tokens had been removed from the Uniswap website due to regulatory pressure, one can still always directly interact with the protocol without relying on a front-end UI, as regulators can’t shut down or force someone to stop running code on the blockchain. That is a key difference.
Ishan Pandey: According to you, how can creators leverage the social economy and NFTs to market and sell their products?
Alexander Klus: NFTs are an excellent way for creators to help their fanbases plug into the creator community directly via the creation of relatable content. NFTs can also have great perks associated with them, giving holders access to exclusive benefits like meet-and-greets, merchandise, or access to a private Discord!
I’m very excited about “phygital goods” (physical goods that issue an associated NFT when you buy them). You will be able to show it off in IRL and URL!
This enables creators to make a closer connection to their fans, which in turn creates more buzz around the artist and their work, resulting in their work appreciating in value. It’s a win-win situation.
I would advise all creators to try out new and unique ways of creating content and reaching their audience instead of doing what every other NFT project is does
Ishan Pandey: Although much of the recent buzz surrounding NFTs has been centred on the digital art area, their added value stretches far beyond their ability to represent a digital image. Do you think NFTs can bring about significant changes across other sectors such as the social media industry?
Alexander Klus: All NFTs are a unique pointer to something. Anything put online that will benefit from ownership can be an NFT. A simple social media post can be an NFT.
For example, on Creaton, every exclusive subscriber post is an NFT. Getting awards can be an NFT, and even getting an NFT from buying a concert ticket which gives you access to more content from that artist, can be an NFT.
Musicians can also truly own their work while also leveraging smart contracts to pay the artist and middlemen (the only necessary parties) - automatically, with each listening on a Web3 Spotify platform.
Social media platforms can also sponsor ads like NFTs, where viewers are paid each time they view it, just like Brave Browser is currently doing.
While all of these concepts are still in their infantile stage, we still have yet to reach the full potential of blockchain as it becomes cheaper and faster.
Ishan Pandey: Despite fears of it being a fad, NFT sales volume increased by about 200 percent in the first half of 2021 especially compared to the first half of 2020. What has led to this sudden boom?
Alexander Klus: Regardless of what you think of NFTs, at their most fundamental level, they are fun to trade and collect, just like Pokemon or Baseball cards. NFTs surged in popularity due to actual ownership now being possible via the web, taking advantage of and further expanding the internet network effect!
As long as the NFT community keeps producing new and unique projects and focuses on the community instead of speculation, there is no doubt that NFTs will keep Expanding and evolving.
Being part of a community can now never be undervalued, as it has been in the past for so long. This is all thanks to NFTs
Ishan Pandey: What are your views on the rising gas fees on Ethereum? Further, what problems are projects facing due to it?
Alexander Klus: Although high gas fees are not optimal, they do allow the biggest chains to prioritize security, which we all know is very important. However, high fees also inhibit mainstream adoption. They only let people who got in early or with enough wealth participate.
Fortunately, we have seen scaling solutions like Polygon coming successful and now zero-knowledge proof based blockchains are rolling out as well, which can have thousands of TPS while still inheriting the security of Ethereum.
Soon, the only problems projects will face are ensuring their information is digestible for new crypto users and dealing with government regulations that currently make it harder to onboard and purchase crypto.
Ishan Pandey: What are your views on Solana as an alternative to Ethereum for launching NFTs?
Alexander Klus: Any chain that has lower gas fees is a good option to go for at the moment. I’m excited about ZkSync 2.0 and Polygon Miden, which will dramatically lower gas costs while keeping the security of Ethereum Mainnet!
Although, any chain which is based on the Ethereum Virtual Machine still has better developer tools than Solana, so for complex projects, I would not recommend Solana.
Ishan Pandey: According to you, what trends are we going to see in the NFT industry next?
Alexander Klus: Web3 Social will take off without a doubt, and we are already seeing NFT gaming take off. Many applications have yet to be discovered as well. With scaling solutions starting to mature, large amounts of capital are also beginning to enter the space, forcing all kinds of creators to start taking notice and wonder whether they should join this space. All I know is that we will see many middlemen being cut out.
Music will be the first industry being taken over by projects like
Musicians are already able to sell their “master record” (or master music video) on Glass as an NFT.
Artists will soon realize that they don’t need to sign their work away but instead can keep ownership of it or sell royalties through programmable smart contracts (No more large amounts of paperwork!) For example, Lil Pump has already done this: https://musically.com/2021/11/05/lil-pump-soulja-boy-music-nft-populous/.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence, asking the right questions and equipping readers with better opinions to make informed decisions.
The material does not constitute any investment, financial, or legal advice. Please do your research before investing in any digital assets or tokens, etc. The writer does not have any vested interest in the company.