In this episode of Web3TV, we speak with Nifemi Aluko, founder of Toffy’s Domes, about all things NFT and how to build value into them. Nifemi explains that NFTs are digital collectibles that act as a store of value, potentially giving access to exclusive experiences, digital identity, and a financial gain. He also shares the story of an NFT he bought for his 6-year-old nephew to explain the concept, as well as how he created his own NFT project based on his award-winning science fiction novel, Toffy’s Divide.
Nifemi, you recently minted an NFT collection at Toffy’s Domes. Can you just explain for the viewers before we get into that, what are Nfts, what is Toffy’s Domes, what’s the collection, and obviously, what was its inspiration?
Definitely. So Toffy’s Domes is an NFT project based on my Sci-Fi novel Toffy’s Divide, in which the main character, Toffy, pushes through self doubts and societal constructor, writes about a story that liberates himself and begins to mend his divided city. Our goal is to use our tokens to empower our collectors to liberate themselves through community and storytelling. Toffy’s Domes is a collection of 405 unique tokens which match the 405 pages within the book. And it gives you access to my book, also gives you access to my next book coming in 2023, and also gives you access to a storytellers lounge, which is a community that allows us to tell our stories and live more purposeful lives.
Wow. Great summation, mate. So to me, it sounds well, I guess the question is, what is an NFT? For starters, but you’ve already sort of articulated that it seems a lot more than what people think it is. So what is it? And then tell us more about how that you can build value to NFTs.
Yeah, so NFT non fungible tokens are digital collectibles that act as a store of value. That’s how easy I can explain it. That value could be a sense of digital identity. It could be being connected to a community of like minded people. It could be access to exclusive experiences, and it could also be a sense of, oh, I’m trying to gain financially and get some reward. I tried a few months ago, I bought an NFT for my nephew that is about six years old, and I pushed myself to try to explain what an NFT was or is to him.
And after explaining for a few minutes, my niece, who was two years older, was like, just show us the toy already. Right? It could be a toy to people, and toys do bring value. I think what it is for me is this signal that you own something that shows your identity, right? So when people ask me, why should I get an NFT? I’m like, why do you have art in your house? Why do you have a painting in your house?
It is a form of self-expression. And I think the biggest thing, the biggest value is the token provides a way to easily authenticate provenance, where you can always go back and say, this was the original, I can trace this thing to the original place it came from. And that original place could be directly from the artist, it could be directly from an entrepreneur, it could be directly from someone that you’re just trying to support. I think that’s the biggest use case.
And then in terms of value, the last 20 years has seen the rise of digital sharing. I can tell you an example of when I first just moved to the US in 2003. That was the era of Lime Wire and Kaza and all that kind of stuff, where you could literally download your favorite music from just because you’re connected to the internet. And we then went down this era of just digital assets and just excess. You can just keep replicating, replicating. I think the biggest value for the NFTs is, yes, we still have digital assets, but now the owner or the person that creates these digital assets can now bake in some scarcity and say, we’re only providing x number of tokens.
And now that person can then continue to add value to this limited supply of tokens. So when I tie that back to Toffy’s divide and Toffy’s Domes, we created a collection that is very unique because 405 is actually the number of pages in the book. So as we continue to build a project, the more value we bring to our community, the more value that we bring where this token acts as the access point to be able to capture that value. I believe we will be adding more, I say value to the token itself.
And it can be replicated. People can’t find our token and replicate it because you could go look at the wallet and figure out whether it was minted from my wallet. So I think those are the big things in terms of the space of origin, where it comes from, and then being able to have this digital asset, but a scarce value or scarce amount of digital assets that is controlled by the person that created the collection.
Yeah. So that’s what I’m hearing. I’m hearing you own an actual digital certificate, I guess, of ownership. That means it’s only you that owns that specific piece, whatever that is, whether that’s an event or an experience or a piece of art or music or whatever. But also from building value. Like, if you’re looking at Toffy’s Domes, you’ve got many ways of building an extra value, haven’t you? So if you’re a member or you’re an NFT holder of one of those 405 Nfts, you then get access to many other benefits, don’t you?
Yes. So all members of the community get access to my books, signed copies of my books. And if I was going to project into the future and believe that I’m going to be one of the most successful authors ever, right? Just imagine if you get exclusive access to signed copies of my book, you could probably resell that in 15 years, right? Saying, I got this because I was a Toffy’s Domes owner. So I look at it like if George Lucas decided, like, back then to just create 405 unique Star Wars, whatever it is, reels, right? And you just own that. And being able to say, I’m one of the first supporters of this project that has really impacted the entire world.
That’s how I look at what I’m doing. A big part of my publishing process in Web 2.0 was crowdfunded. And so when I stop and look at what is happening in Web 3.0, NFTs are also a way to crowdfund my process, right, so that I can write my next book. But also, not only does crowdfunding, where a company like Indiegogo is the owner of the relationship, you’re now coming directly to me and now you can now show the certificates and say, I was there from day one supporting this artist. And I’m using that as an example for myself. But that’s also why I support a bunch of projects, because I want to see the artists be more self-empowered, more independent, and also want to be part of their journey as they’re going along. So those are some of the little values that tokens that can be authenticated provide.
So if you look at Toffy’s Domes and you look at other businesses or even creators, artists, musicians, et cetera, what are other ways they could build value into their NFT? And I guess let’s do this as in a storytelling sense. Let’s just let your subconscious mind run wild here. If you’re just doing an ideation or a brain dump, let’s call it for a musician, what could they do to raise value for their NFT?
Yeah, different things. They could release exclusive music to their community. They could drop merch in terms of clothes, in terms of vinyls that is exclusive to their community. They could show a behind the scenes process of how they make their music that is exclusive to their community. What else? They could ask the community to collaborate with them on choosing the next person that’s going to be on their album.
They could do a contest where one person from the community who might be an aspiring musician also could be featured on their next song. I follow a musician where after we got her NFT, she sent a mixtape, like an actual tape to each person that bought the NFT and a crew neck T shirt. Also, there are also a lot of these digital products in terms of physical plus digital. So one of the crew necks, you can literally tap your phone on the crew neck to get new music from the artist.
Just throwing different things out there. You could do a one on one with one of your truest fans and have access to them and will, I say, build more brand personal brand awareness and some true meaningful relationships directly with your fans with nobody in between just because they own one token or they own a certain tier of tokens. So, yeah, one on one discussions, group meetings, in person meetings, a musician can decide and say, hey, the next time I’m in Sydney, everybody that is in Sydney that has my token can get access to this event that I’m hosting for this night’s show up.
So I just think once you have that and you can build a community about that around that, you can just keep giving access to unique experiences, because that is one thing I believe is not going to be commoditized, is the human experience. So the more we can do things around unique human experiences, the more value we can add. Absolutely.
And that’s what I’m hearing. So the key word to me is value. We’re trying to build value. So you’re saying what do people value in between their connection to each other? And if I’m a famous artist or a budding artist even, it’s just a great way. NFTs are a great way to store value. But then obviously in that store of value is a description of all the forms of value that are allowing me to connect with that specific artist or musician or business or whatever. And literally, like I asked you to do an ideation and brain dump, we could do it for hours, right. Literally, you could create anything. As long as they value it, they’re going to pay for it in return.
So I know we’re jumping around a bit here, but I want to go back to a little bit more left brain stuff. They talk about minting when it comes to NFTs. What is minting?
Minting, I just think is a process of creating the digital assets and putting it in your wallet. Right. So I almost look at it like from a very physical perspective. It’s like mining, right? That’s where you find a mine site and whatever you’re trying to extract, you pull it out of the ground. Minting is you go to a smart contract and then whatever value you’re trying to do, you grab it and put it in your wallet. So that’s like the analogy I use from actual technical perspective.
Minting is the process of getting your digital token into your wallet by you exchanging your cryptocurrency to get that token.
When you created your collection of 405 NFTs, is that minting them, or is that just creating them? Then the person on the flip side mints them to put them into their wallet?
Yeah, I think for me, the way I looked at it was I’ve created a contract, and the mint happens when someone comes to actually buy it the first time. Right. The primary buyer of that NFT. Now when that person goes on and sells it again, I don’t consider that the mint. I consider it the moment you actually get the token. So you can also look at it like the Federal Reserve or Central Bank, like a minting process. When you actually get the actual paper notes currency, that’s the process of minting. But in this case, it’s a digital asset token.
And what is reveal?
Yeah, so reveal is very interesting. Not a lot of people do it. Not that not a lot of people do it. Not all projects have to do it. But a reveal is when setting up your initial collection, you actually set within the smart contract to point to something that’s kind of a placeholder, right, a placeholder image, and you mint and everybody within the collection gets a placeholder image. And then whenever I say contract writer is ready to reveal the unique token, they go in there and hit review or type it up and it then reveals each person’s unique token. So when different projects have different ways that my first NFT project that I say collected V Friends, there was no reveal. You saw directly like what you were getting.
I got a tenacious termite. I was looking there are all these different traits and everything. You could go ahead and choose which you want. For my project, we did a review because I find the review is easier in terms of you don’t have to have a marketplace that shows all the different traits, all the different tokens. You don’t burden the person that purchases with all the decision making in terms of which one do I want?
You just have to mint one, you get a placeholder and it’s almost like part of the review is almost like, oh, let me see what I got. That’s why I find in other projects and you click review and everybody gets what they get. I’ve seen projects recently after the review, some people are happy with what they got, some people not so happy. So they start within discord, they start doing some trading. I give you this if you give me that. So for us with Toffy’s Domes, we still haven’t actually revealed yet.
We’re going to be revealing in mid February because we just hit our roadmap to reveal. And once we reveal, there are seven cities as traits, and there are all these different traits in terms of what I mentioned before, self-awareness, curiosity, empathy, and digital narrative and economic divide. So once we hit review, everybody then sees the unique token that it gets in their wallets.
From my understanding, you could either buy one NFT and you know what you’re going to get, or you could buy in a collection. Can you choose like for your one, you got 405 Nfts based on the 405 pages of the book. Can you choose the page you want? Or is it revealed that everyone gets at the same time and they may not know which page they get.
Yes. So since we are 405 tokens for 405 pages, the number of the page goes sequentially based on when you mint, right. So if I mint one now and I get number one, if you mint right after me, you get number two. If Peter mints after you, he gets number three. So there’s more of that sequential. Will I say number that comes with the mint, but the reveal, once we reveal you will get an artwork completely different from mine, completely different from Peter, and that is not as sequential. That is more likely randomly generated.
So the number is sequential based on when you mint, the artwork is more randomly generated. That makes more sense. And we’ll talk about that. And we’re doing another interview, guys, around creating an NFT and then building a community around it. So we’ll talk about that more in that interview. Rarity, obviously to me, it’s quite self explanatory, but in the terms of NFT, tell us about rarity.
Yeah, so rarity is more the unique traits within each token. For us, I believe we have four rarities, if I remember correctly. So there’s the rarity in terms of seven cities, right? Seven different cities that are, will I say, important to my storytelling journey. There’s a background color that’s another rarity. There’s a frame color, that’s a third rarity. And then there are the two rarities, where one of them is more of the divide.
So that’s three different types economic, digital, and narrative. And then the bridging elements, which we call self-awareness, curiosity, and empathy. So based on these five rarities, you can come up with so many different combinations. Right. And those combinations is what allows us, from a mathematical perspective, allow us to create different unique tokens. When I did the calculation, I think with the amount of unique rarities that we have, I think it came up to like 560 something, right? And then from there, we could cut it back to 405 to match the number of pages in the book. And that’s why every person will get a unique token and it won’t be one that is more you’ll never get two people that have exactly the same token. Now, there are different projects where they put weights on different type of rarity. So they can say, if you have a gold background, you are in a higher tier.
If you have music as empathy, then maybe you can join a music community. So people then use their rarities as a way to kind of even make smaller groups or subgroups within the community. So an example for us is we want to get to a place where the storytelling if you identify fully with what you get after the review, then maybe you want to write about self-awareness, maybe you want to write about empathy based on the token you get being a prompt for your storytelling.
So rarities are just more of a way to kind of create all these unique combinations for your collection.
Wow. As a creator myself, I just get even more excited. Right. Because it’s just another way of creating value, isn’t it? And scarcity and feeling of belonging or not belonging within a community like subcommunities. Just fantastic. Where do we store these NFTs? And how do we do that? So if someone buys one, what do they do with it after that?
Yeah, so you buy one first, to buy one, you need a digital wallet. The digital wallet I use is Metamask. Just recently, I’ve gotten a more secure wallet by getting a hardware wallet ledger. So you store your digital assets on these wallets. So that digital asset could either be cryptocurrency or NFT. So you use your cryptocurrency to go buy the NFT. As for us, on Toffy’s Domes, you buy it directly from our website, or you could go to a marketplace to actually go buy other tokens on the secondary market and you store it within your wallet. So the token is stored in your wallet. Now, if we want to go into the back scenes of where these things are stored, it’s mainly the smart contract pointing to these tokens.
That’s what I understand from actually writing the smart contract myself. It’s more of the smart contract has the metadata for each of these tokens and it points directly to those tokens. So the fact that you have that token within your wallet and it’s linked to the contract address that created the token, then it can link to the different points to the different tokens and where they are actually stored on a decentralized server.
Interesting. And I guess we’re just hearing that it sounds a little confusing for a newbie right. And I guess that’s why some web three developers and we interviewed Kazi Hussein from Thred Wallet, which again, I’ll put that link here as well, he’s simplifying that process right. To allow people to be able to buy NFTs, store their apps, et cetera, in a wallet with no problem. And it leads me to the other question, Nifemi is it appears to me that you can do things with Nfts that you can’t do with traditional web two assets. Would that be true? And if so, how?
Yeah, that’s a good question. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for the past five months. What value is here that you can’t get anywhere else? I think the biggest one is just easily authenticate the provenance of the origin of where the digital asset is from that’s first one, you can duplicate it and link it to another contract. That’s number two. So whoever creates this, you can maintain the scarcity of your intellectual property, and then it’s more not needing a centralized intermediary for me and you to interact. I think that’s the biggest thing. So a lot of the web two applications, there’s a big company in between.
When I was explaining NFTs to a friend and all the things they can get, and they came back and said, oh, that sounds like my American Express card. I can get access to things because I have this American Express card. And I sat back, I was like, oh, that’s very true. And I thought about it for a long time and I was like, yeah, but American Express is a company that can decide to give you a new credit card or not. You understand what I’m saying? Or you can lose that credit card or you can lose your credit history or deplete your credit history.
So NFT as a token that gives you access to things, right? And that token was created by the person that is creating the community as opposed to this giant in between. They’re saying, I’m going to give you this token for you to go get access to this thing. So I think a big part of the space is the disintermediation of a centralized entity that stands between the creator and the people that want to connect with what the creator has put together, which is the community and the experiences around that.
Absolutely. And ultimately the digital assets versus Web Three assets, it’s more about sole ownership, isn’t it? And as you say, no centralized intermediary who’s got their got their hands all over it and can pull it at any moment. I really appreciate your time, mate. It’s a really interesting take on NFTs. It’s a great way how we’ve combined a bit of storytelling and with your explanation with Toffy’s Domes and how you’ve done it. It’s just a great way to showcase to our audience in a better way, I guess, and a more creative way to be able to simulate what they can do with NFTs.
You got any ideas or you want to put something by him, or you just want to join his community https://toffysdomes.com, absolutely, go for it. He’s happy to support because obviously he’s trying to build that community as well of like-minded people. So, yeah, by all means, put your comments below or questions.
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