The Web3 Experience podcast – exploring the future of the internet

The internet has inarguably shaped our lives over the last couple decades. 

And now there’s this thing called “blockchain” that has promised to change the internet in even greater ways than most people can probably imagine today.

The Web3 Experience is here to bridge that gap.

Why we started the The Web3 Experience podcast

On the podcast, our goal is to explore topics at the forefront of crypto, NFTs, and blockchain.

we have conversations with the early settlers of the cryptocurrency space.

This includes people building products and experiences, to those running communities, to creators building beautiful artwork, and beyond.

On the other side of every PFP, there’s a human to engage with. Listen to our most recent episode below.

Jump in!

Listen Now: The Web3 Experience‘s most recent episode:

The podcast is available on Spotify, Apple, Stitcher, and wherever else you get your podcasts.

Bonus – Jump into The Web3 Experience “DEGEN MODE”

In addition to the conversational / interview style recorded podcasts, we also host a special LIVE show, featuring UNRECORDED, UNFILTERED, free-for-all, aka “Degen Mode” which happens every single week, on Mondays.

Jump in every Monday at 4pm PST / 7pm EST on Twitter Spaces – twitter.com/espressoinsight

How to Delegate $OP on Optimism Blockchain

The Optimism Layer 2 cryptocurrency ($OP token) carries voting power, helping the community make decisions within the ecosystem.

Key Takeaways:

  • Summary of $OP delegation
  • Why you should delegate
  • How to delegate $OP step by step
  • How to select your delegate
  • Changing delegates

What is OP delegation?

OP is a governance token, meaning each token carries a small amount of voting power for different things within the Optimism Network. 

Delegating your tokens assigns the voting power of those tokens to another individual that is specifically focused on reviewing proposals for the Optimism network.

This includes responding to comments and providing feedback, recommendations for improvement, and advice.

When you delegate your tokens – you are NOT giving them away or getting rid of them in any way.

They will remain in your wallet — you still own them and can transact, send, or sell them anytime you want.

What happens when I delegate $OP tokens?

When you delegate $OP, it means you are giving the voting power (not the financial value of your tokens) to a community member who has explicitly volunteered to play an active role in Optimism Network governance.

When you delegate your voting power, you retain 100% ownership of your tokens, and can use them however you want. 

You may change your delegate selection at any time.

Why should you delegate your $OP tokens?

Participating in governance – especially within a fast growing blockchain network like Optimism – is time consuming and costly.

Delegates spend their time and energy as volunteers, participating in this governance process for the benefit of the entire $OP ecosystem.

Being an active participant in governance is not an easy job, and you can see the careful thought that goes into proposal responses from active delegates within the OP governance forum.

How to delegate your $OP tokens (video walk-through)

Using the Optimism Network’s delegation website, any user that owns any amount of $OP tokens can choose to delegate them to someone to vote on their behalf.

The video below will walk you through the process to successfully delegate your $OP:

Who should I choose as my OP delegate?

It is in each OP token holder’s best interest to select a delegate who you feel will do a good job representing your OP voting power and doing so on your behalf.

Read and learn about some of the delegates, like Jrocki, on Optimism’s website.

The bottom line is this: you can choose to delegate to anyone you want.

However, it is advisable to choose someone who you believe will participate in Optimism governance and can represent what you want this ecosystem to become.

Can you change who your $OP tokens are delegated to?

YES – As an $OP holder, delegation is your decision. You can switch your delegation selection to anyone you want (even your own wallet address!), whenever you want, as often as you want.

What is ENS? (Ethereum Name Service)

  • What is Ethereum Name Service?
  • Why is ENS important?
  • How can you setup your own ENS address?

When you use an Ethereum wallet, you’ll receive an arbitrary 42 character set of characters (starting with 0x) that corresponds to your Ethereum address, or PUBLIC key.

(note: this is different from your private key.)

For example, this is what a sample 42 character Ethereum address might look like:

0xb9c2C22et19Q8307cb9255e1Cu9CbDE883A267o1

Many apps and browsers already support ENS names.

What is an ENS domain and why are they valuable?
some ENS supported applications. via ens.domains

Your .eth address is your web3 identity

Ultimately, this many characters is difficult to remember… and, it would be easy to make a type-o or mistake if you had to type it in every time you make a transaction.

To solve this problem, the Ethereum Name Service (or ENS) was created to build a sort of “address book” for the decentralized internet.

The ENS name allows people to associate their 42 character address with a short word or set of characters that is easy to remember, followed by “.eth” at the end.

Similarly to how you type in Google.com (rather than their server’s IP address) and it takes you to Google’s home page, an ENS address does this for web3.

Google DOES, by the way, have a public IP address, but isn’t it way easier to simply type in Google.com?

Your ENS address is tied to your Ethereum wallet

Your ENS name corresponds to your wallet and you can pick whatever name you want, as long as it is not already registered.

In many ways, your ENS is your username for web3 — ENS really is your Web3 identity.

Every ENS domain name is one of a kind… thus, non-fungible. 

ENS addresses are NFTs

Each ENS name you register is an NFT that you own, and can be purchased / sold on secondary via Opensea, or X2Y2.

ENS names use the ERC-721 token standard on Ethereum. Read more about ENS as NFTs here.

ENS offers decentralized naming for wallets, websites, & more.

You can signup for an ENS name at ENS.DOMAINS, and connect to the app using your Metamask wallet.

via ens.domains

Registering an address shorter than 5 characters will incur an additional fee.

ENS names can only be registered by 1 wallet at a time, this has created a sort of competition or marketplace for some of the most sought after names.

For certain special and rare ENS names, some people pay BIG money.

Read more: The MOST EXPENSIVE .eth ENS SALES OF ALL TIME

Combining NFTs in the Metaverse: EIP-4883

This post will dig into EIP 4883, the ethereum improvement proposal for the .SVG NFT standard.

Why is EIP 4883 relevant?

EIP-4883 defines an NFT standard that enables items to be combined in unique ways.

This ability to combine various NFT items / objects is a small step forward for having an interoperable internet, a critical feature of the future of the web3-enabled internet.

fellowship of ethereum magicians EIP 4883 for SVG NFTs
ethereum-magicians.org

To understand what this means, let’s start with video games.

Think about some of the classic / favorite video games….

  • Halo
  • Super Mario 64
  • Super Smash Bros
  • Tony hawk 
  • Call of duty

As loved as all these characters are, why can’t all these characters play together in one game?

if video games were interoperable

Isn’t it unfortunate that these games are not able to be combined in some way where you could use a weapon from Super Smash Bros in Fortnite and vice versa?

Today’s video games were not built to be interoperable.

Fortnite, for example, is closed off to users without Epic Games accounts. 

Similarly, Nintendo games were not built to be played on Playstation or Xbox and vice-versa.

Also, IP rights need to be taken into account as not all games would want to participate in bridged gaming or open metaverse.

What would be possible if video games were interoperable?

Imagine a metaverse where all items in the game exist as unique NFTs, however, all of these items are modularized, where any given item can be combined with any other item.

Imagine playing a tony-hawk pro skater type game in the metaverse…

Imagine if you could bring Bowser from Super Mario 64 over to Tony Hawk’s pro skater game and ride around and do skate tricks as bowser.

Or, sell a skateboard from Tony Hawk as an NFT that can be used in any other game.

SVG-like items such as skateboards would allow users to play with specific NFTs of different characters.

So, I could move a skateboard NFT that I own over to a Mario game for example, and ride around on a tony hawk pro skater 4 skateboard inside super mario 64.

This would be so much fun, if only video games were interoperable.

Interoperability – Why is it important for the internet?

As we think about future of the internet, specifically the 3D version of the internet or the metaverse, making sure everything is interoperable will become more important.

Interoperability is extremely important for the internet, and valuable across a number of apps and use case. 

For example, imagine if EMAIL (electronic mail) was not interoperable, the way video games today are not.

This would mean that you couldn’t send an email from Outlook to someone with a @Gmail.com or @yahoo.com email address.

This would make electronic communication on the internet extremely inconvenient, and we wouldn’t easily be able to communicate with people from different organizations, or companies.

Fortunately, the internet mail standards such as SMTP or communication protocols like TCP/IP are open and cross-compatible with everything else.

EIP 4883 helps enable interoperability between NFTs

So, in the spirit of enabling interoperability, composability, compatibility in web3 and NFTs, which is central to the web3 Ethos, let’s dive into EIP 4883, for Scalable Vector Graphics NFTs.

EIP 4883 is for the composable SVG (file format) NFTs which will make any NFT asset able to be combined with others.

According to the description from the EIPs website, the goal of EIP-4883 is to allow you to:

“compose an SVG NFT by concatenating the SVG with the rendered SVG of another NFT.”

  • Concatenate means to link (things) together in a chain or series. For example:
    • combining one item or object with another.
    • adding / removing sunglasses from a profile pic NFT
  • What is SVG? → SVG stands for “scalable vector graphics”, referring to a .svg file.
    • the .svg file format is an XML-based vector image format for defining two-dimensional graphics, supporting interactivity and animation.
    • this enables resolution independent images and items.
    • Its important to note that at some point, it will be important that we will be able concatenate 3D file formats as well.
      • I could certainly see a future EIP for concatenating rendered .obj or .fbx files, which are supported by the Unity game engine for example.
future EIP proposal should include 3d images.
fileinfo.com

EIP 4883 seeks to apply the SVG file format to NFTs… allowing SVG NFTs to be rendered in the foreground or a background of an image or metaverse type experience as required. 

This NFT standard would mean all NFTs that use it are composable, so on-chain SVG NFTs can be combined with others.

The SVG NFT is able to be re-sized and scale to the right size as needed. e.g. adding glasses & hat NFTs to a profile pic NFT or a fish NFT to a fish tank NFT.

What does EIP-4883 enable NFT owners?

NFT owners of specific rare traits and accessories could then sell these types of accessories to NFT owners from other collections. 

optipunk items could be broken down into separate NFTs

What if I could split each accessory or attribute apart, and then list just the glasses or the hat while keeping my Punk? 

For example, an Optipunk’s glasses + hat could be split apart from the main NFT, and stored on-chain as associated but distinctly separate NFTs on their own.

These glasses and hat NFTs could then be sold or transferred to someone else, or another profile picture NFT, for example, to a Optichad. 

Essentially, then that other NFT PFP can wear the glasses and the hat:

items could be worn by any other profile pic NFT.

This would mean accessories within web3 could be composable / transferred to someone that owns any other type of NFT even outside the collection.

The SVG allows the item to be seamlessly re-sized in order to form-fit whatever type of character wants to wear it , or object that it needs to be combined with.

Extrapolating forward, it would be awesome if, for example, Fortnite skins that you own could be transferred to other games.

Optimism NFT project with transferrable items

One example of an NFT project that can help us think about the importance of transferability and interoperability is the Loogies, on the Optimism layer 2 network…

Optimistic Loogies or the Fancy Loogies on Quix, accessories can be added to your Loogie. Those accessories are essentially combinatorial, those are composable traits.

optimistic loogies NFT project.

It almost seems like this NFT project was built as a conceptual idea to illustrate the need for something like EIP – 4883. 

However, as of right now, you can’t leverage these assets in any other collection. Ideally we’d be able to trade these assets across any other given collection. 

EIP 4883 would enable you to combine these assets with other collections.

Listen to the podcast

If you want to learn more about crypto, NFTs, dapps, DAOs and more, please check out the latest episode of The Web3 Experience podcast:

How to save gas trading NFTs

If you have ever traded NFTs on Ethereum before, you know that gas fees can be quite expensive, often costing users $20-30 per transaction… and in some cases, much, much more.

THE GOOD NEWS is that once you know how send ETH or buy/sell an NFT on Eth Mainnet, switching over to Optimism is incredibly easy.

Save gas by using Optimism Layer 2 instead of Ethereum Mainnet

In this post, we’re going to compare typical transaction fees on the Ethereum Blockchain, and compare it to the Optimism Layer 2 network.

How Much are Ethereum main-net fees?

Most of us on Mainnet use Opensea or like X2Y2.io

Ethereum Mainnet fees are an order of magnitude (if not more) higher than on Optimism.

As you can see from the summary chart below, in these seven transactions alone, I would have saved over $257 if all of the transactions had occurred on Optimism instead of Mainnet ethereum.

summary of 7 transactions from each network where I paid the most gas. On optimism, I had 114 transactions. On Ethereum mainnet, 56.

Why are people paying such high gas fees when they don’t have to?

There are a few reasons people spend a lot of money on gas fees to use Ethereum Mainnet.

For one, Mainnet Ethereum is where the largest number of users live. Network effects incentivize users to stay on Layer 1 Eth, despite the high gas fees.

SOLUTION: What are the best alternatives to Ethereum Mainnet?

When you decide to purchase an NFT from a collection that leverages a layer 2 network like Optimism or Arbitrum, gas fees are going to be lower.

If you’re a developer / founder, you can even launch your own NFT collection on one of these networks.

My friend Fractal Visions has launched a different NFT project across a variety of networks — its great to see a founder like Fractal with a presence across so many different blockchains!

Fractal calls this “Omni Chain NFTs”, which I think is a great term for it.

What is Optimism Layer 2?

Optimism is a network runs on top of Ethereum, but compresses data so that smart contracts and transactions are cheaper and more efficient.

This means means you will end up paying lower gas fees, while your transactions are still secured by Ethereum.

Vitalik Buterin, who is the founder of Ethereum, has discussed Optimism and Optimistic rollups. in his blog post, from which an excerpt is below.

Vitalik, let me remind you, dropped out of college after receiving the Thiel Fellowship to build Ethereum, went on to successfully found Ethereum, was recently on the cover of Time Magazine, among many other impressive achievements.

source: time.com

The fact that he received the Thiel Fellowship is a big deal… in getting the Thiel Fellowship, he’s basically backed by Peter Thiel who founded Paypal… and given the Paypal Mafia, Vitalik has OG internet entrepreneurs behind him.

In his blog post, Vitalik goes on to say that “in the short term, optimistic rollups are likely to win out for general-purpose EVM computation”.

source: Vitalik.ca

More reasons that the Optimism Network deserves credit

OpenSea has listed the Optimism Goerli Testnet on their testnets website, which is certainly exciting to see.

Its hard to say what exactly this means for the network, however, it looks like OpenSea could be exploring some sort of future functionality with Optimism.

Getting Started on Optimism

If you’ve been using Ethereum Mainnet to buy and sell NFTs for a while, getting started with Optimism will be extremely easy.

The best part? You don’t need to switch wallets!

Optimism Network is embedded within Metamask already. 

Unlike moving over to Solana or Tezos where you need to use a different wallet provider, with OP, its already built on top of Ethereum, so any Ethereum wallet is usually compatible.

How to move funds from Layer 1 Ethereum to Layer 2

Moving funds from Eth Mainnet to Optimism is easy and you can bridge with HOP protocol for less than a dollar.

HOP provides an extremely easy and intuitive user experience to move ETH from Layer 1 to Layer 2.

app.hop.exchange

Top NFT Marketplace on Optimism – Quix

Let’s dig into the NFT marketplace on Optimism where you can buy NFTs. Now called Quix, the company formerly called Quixotic recently changed its name to shorter, more elegant, “Quix”.

Mark, the founder of Quix, joined the Web3 Experience podcast for episode 2. Listen here.

Of every NFT Marktplace I’ve used, I have to say, I think Quix provides the most intuitive and user friendly user experience.

According to DappRadar, Quix is the number 1 marketplace app on the Optimism network.

DappRadar has a few charts about Quix that are helpful to understand the growth of the platform and how usage, volume, and transactions have changed over the last few weeks / months.

Quix usage data from early 2022 through early September. Source: DappRadar

To use Quix, simply connect wallet the same way you would for any other dapp, and make sure you’re on the Optimism Network.

To learn how I use Quix to browse, search, and filter NFT collections and dig into statistics, please find the video below.

Overview of Quix starts at timestamp 11:28.

I really like how easy Quix makes it to stack filters within an NFT collection. This enables users to search for exactly what they want.

The ability to have multiple filter criteria selected at the same time helps you get super specific when shopping for NFTs.

Quix Launchpad

Quix enables people to create and launch their own NFTs on Optimism via the Quix Launchpad.

This can be done by non-technical users that don’t know how to code or write smart contracts.

The launchpad currently supports free to mint NFTs.

Seaport Protocol

Quix uses the Seaport Protocol, which is OpenSea’s back-end for NFT transactions.

The good news is that Seaport is an open-source and decentralized protocol to make buying and selling NFTs easier.

It certainly makes sense to re-use infrastructure components to avoid reinventing the wheel. I think its a great strategy for Quix to leverage Seaport.

L1 to L2 NFT Bridge

There have been talks about an NFT bridge that will enable anyone to bridge an NFT from Ethereum mainnet over to Optimism Layer 2.

Given that interoperability and composability are inherent to the web3 ethos, its certainly exciting to think about an NFT bridge across L1 to L2.

Making NFTs “Omni Chain” would not only mean that the ecosystem would be more inviting to new users, but also that it would expand to users that would never come over to it in the first place, because everything seamlessly works with other networks.

According to Dre in the Quix Discord, it looks like as of 8/17 the L1 – L2 NFT bridge is still in development.

source: Quix Discord server.

How would an L1 to L2 NFT bridge work?

Bridging NFTs from a layer 1 to a layer 2 would have a bit of an interesting architecture.

According the my friend FourPoops, “you lock up value on L1 in a random contract address and create a copy of that value on L2”.

Essentially, the blockchain would lock the contract on L1, and create a transferrable contract on L2, the owner of which would be the only one who has the ability to unlock the Layer 1 NFT.

FourPoops goes on to say that, “if we think about the real world art scene, people lock up the real assets in a vault and only display/transfer copies”…

This is a great comparison between blockchain based art and real-world art. And FourPoops is right.

In traditional art, there are these areas called “freeports”, which enable art collectors to place artworks in tax-free holdings vaults where the contractual ownership of the art can be transferred, while the piece of art itself remains in this tax-free zone.

According to Artsy, freeports provide collectors with “the temporary exemption of taxes for an unlimited quantity of time”.

GitHub post on L1 to Optimism NFT bridge

According to the link below, some people from the Optimism community have been discussing the idea of an NFT bridge from layer 1 to optimism since as early as April of 2022.

https://github.com/ethereum-optimism/optimism/pull/2424

However, it appears as thought this particular Github repository was closed out. My theory is that it was closed by the Optimism ecosystem because they were aware of the work that Quix was doing to build their own NFT bridge, and the two teams did not want to duplicate efforts.

Ultimately, it seems like a great time to launch a bridge. Layer 1 transactions are still quite low, so users can bridge over their assets before gas gets high again. 

This would enable us to move our assets from L1 over during a time when mainnet fees are low, and then house them on Layer 2 where they can later be transferred as needed for much much lower gas fees.

Listen to the podcast

If you want to learn more about crypto, NFTs, dapps, DAOs and more, please check out the latest episode of The Web3 Experience podcast:

How Ethereum proposals work (short)

How do new ideas come to Ethereum ecosystem?

Virtually every protocol and systematic change to the Ethereum ecosystem – from ERC-20 to NFTs and beyond – has emerged from the community.

Step 1: Forum discussion

The forum used by the Ethereum development community is called Fellowship of Ethereum Magicians.

With less than 5,000 active users, this is a website that enables forum-based discussions about ideas for the Ethereum ecosystem, enabling anyone to submit posts and post replies.

The About section of the website is no more than one sentence long, reading: A self-organized Fellowship within the Ethereum community to maximize technical opportunities, share ideas, and work together effectively across national, organizational and other boundaries.

This includes technical standards improvements to token standards and anything else that can benefit the overall Ethereum ecosystem.

Step 2: Good ideas float to the top: official proposals

Ideas and comments with a lot of traction on Fellowship of a Ethereum Magicians end up being converted into what’s known as an Ethereum improvement proposal, posted on a separate website.

These EIP’s end up being pushed to Github where actual development can finally begin.

It is with this process that the Ethereum ecosystem is able to change and improve over time.

This process is very much a community oriented and community developer-based process.

Noteworthy Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs)

EIP-2: Hard Fork

EIP-20: Defining the ERC-20 token standard

EIP-137: Ethereum Name Service (ENS)

EIP-721: Defined the NFT token standard (ERC-721)

EIP-2981: NFT Royalty Standard

EIP-3156: Flash Loans 

EIP-4671: Non-Tradable Tokens Standard

EIP-4973: Account-bound Tokens

Further Reading:

Ethereum Request for Comments (ERCs) Process – https://etherworld.co/ethereum-request-for-comments-ercs-process/

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What to say about when friends ask about crypto

We’ve all been there…

Maybe over the holidays with the family, college homecoming, or at lunch with your coworkers.

The question comes in a variety of forms, with varying levels of authenticity and skepticism.

“So why are you into crypto?”

As crypto enthusiasts, its important to really simplify your response.

Non-crypto people are going to have no idea what words like “decentralization” or “blockchain” refer to.

They’ve usually only heard about Bitcoin and, in some cases, vaguely Ethereum.

I can’t tell you exactly what to say, but here’s a version of how i usually try to respond:

I could talk about crypto and blockchains until everyone else’s eyes glaze over but here’s what I believe:

the future of the internet is happening now, and its going to be massive.

I didn’t want to sit on the sidelines and watch it happen – i wanted to be a part of it.

I chose a podcast as my entryway into meet the important players and build a network in this new game called web3.

Every single one of my podcast episodes gets minted as an NFT or non-fungible token that you can buy and own.

In 5-10 years everyone in the world is going to be using cryptocurrency daily, and we won’t even know it.

What’s special – you can send someone value over the internet – aka money – just like you send them an email or a text message. It just uses a new kind of internet protocol.

And sure, you may say well, venmo or cashapp already do this.

But its different – its more secure – you don’t have to wait 3 days for settlement or bank transfers for example.

So you might say well, how does it work?

It uses super complicated computer science and encryption…

It works because of this magical word called blockchain – and for people like you and me, we don’t even need to know what that is.

To us it doesnt matter, we’re just users.

Think of blockchain as a new kind of database, using an innovative way of securing the data that was never before possible.

But on the back end, we can trust that the security is there. We can just use it and be assured that our money is safe.

The Double spend problem (comp sci problem) was solved in 2008, enabling digital currency.

It was in 2008 that any of this even became technically possible.

I’d also recommend checking out the Simplified Explainer episode from the Web3 Experience Podcast:

Twitter Spaces: the future of audio content

Audio based content on the internet like podcasts are episode based series that a users can listen to at a time of their choosing.

The structure of audio content may have a number of variations, the most common being interviews, storytelling, memoir and more.

At their best, podcast conversations tend to flow more naturally than old school news or television interviews, giving people the time (normally an hour or more) to discuss topics in-depth without interruption.

This format enables people to have lengthy, thought-out conversations, exploring nuances on all sides of a given topic.

Audio consumable content is growing in popularity

According to Oberlo, over 500 million people listen to podcasts in 2022, close to double that of 2019.

Similarly, search traffic on Google for the word “podcast” has slowly trended upwards since pre-2009.

chart showing the growth in number of people searching for the word "podcast" from 2009 to 2022
Growth in interest over time, “podcast” search results via Google Trends.

While the popularity of podcasting and audio content in general is increasing, there’s a new format on the scene that is slowly grabbing large numbers of users attention.

Specifically, Twitter Spaces is the internet’s next iteration of audio consumable contact.

Twitter Spaces improves upon podcasting’s content model

Similar to podcasting, Twitter Spaces facilitates conversations, interviews, and discussions to happen and flow naturally.

However, in traditional podcasting, the conversation happens behind closed doors where a group of people record a conversation and then publish it to an audience afterwards for later listening.

On Twitter Spaces, this audio model is improved in two critical ways:

Twitter Spaces enable live, real-time conversations

Podcasts normally don’t happen live.

Twitter Spaces happen real-time, in the moment.

The candid, off the cuff, and unedited nature of Twitter Spaces makes them feel more authentic.

While Twitter spaces can also be recorded and released for future listening on Spotify or even just re-listened to on Twitter for a few days,

The fact that Twitter Spaces happens live in an open format allows for that live stream style discussion to happen between the audience and the speakers.

This includes real time feedback from the audience via Tweets, emojis, and replies.

Twitter Spaces enables open discussion where new speakers can jump in and leave freely

Podcast conversations happen between a smaller number of guests, where new individuals are not able to freely join the conversation.

However, the format of Twitter Spaces allows new members to join into the conversation in real time.

If someone in the audience has a unique perspective or hot-take on an idea being discussed, that person can request to get on stage and share their thoughts.

As new guests are invited up to the stage, this can add new insights and diverse perspectives into the conversation.