NEST Roundtable 12: GenZ and Web3 | Impact of FTX
Woody: Head of Marketing of NEST
Cohost: LinkZ DAO
Media Partner: Coincu
Guests: 10 web3 builders from universities worldwide
Will: Tsinghua University & Cofounder of Cosmo
Turing: Peking University
Percy: Fudan University
Yuri: Chinese University of HongKong
Jerry Li: Founder of Positive Venture DAO & NYU Violet Venture Club
Chirs: LinkZDAO & Blockchain@Columbia
Arnaud: LBS & LinkZDAO
Derrick: Northwestern University & LinkZDAO
KevinZ: HKUST & Investment Manager of Merdian Capital
Russell: The University of Hong Kong
Would you please introduce yourself and your project?
Coincu: We are a crypto media company under Coincu financial group, so except for media, we also have a Coincu lab and Coincu venture. We crypto blockchain project to develop a marketing plan strategy to promote the product to everyone in the crypto space at the same time we also help the project distribute PR articles. So for today’s show, we will also write an article about GenZ and Web3.
Woody: NEST is a crypto native and we’re trying to build a total-decentralized world. Currently, we provide web3 infrastructure to the GameFi and NFT developers, and we call this infrastructure PVM (probabilistic virtual machine). By using this virtual machine, you can simply call functions in this PVM to generate on-chain assets, bonds, futures, options, structure products, GameFi, and NFT.
Will: I’m from Tsinghua University and I’m the founder of the Tsinghua University metaverse association, as well I’m doing a web 3 project called Cosmo. Cosmo is a web3 space that focused on empowering creators and users through great creator utility tools for content creation, content management, spreading monetization, value exchange, etc.
Turing: I’m from Peking University and co-founder of legalDAO. LegalDAO is a DAO dedicated to establishing and maintaining NATIVE Justice and Order in the Crypto World.
Percy: I’m from Fudan University. I’m a member of the blockchain association of Fudan University we’re at the earliest stage of development, and we’re trying to connect more students, researchers, and professors. I’ve been an intern at IDG capital.
Yuri: I’m from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and my major is finance. I’m one of the founders of web3 women Union, which is a community that includes only web3 women. We hope to support more female friends to start their exploration in web3 and strive to build a more inclusive web3 space and formulate an open understanding of the female power in a wave of web3. And I’m also the core of OxUClub and SisphusProt.
Chirs: I’m a master student at Columbia University. and also, I’m a member of blockchain Columbia in the governance and external relationship team. For our project LinkZ DAO, we are focusing on building a community with Generation Z and industry OG together and finding a way to offer them help regarding human resources capital and public promotion, etc.
Arnaud: I’m learning at London Business School & LinkZDAO. In my gap year, I worked for metaverse startup for a year as operations lead responsible for fundraising operations, BD sales, and so on.
Derrick: I’m from Northwestern University. I’m a coordinator at Northwestern blockchain club, and I’m an intern at Huobi Live. I am also a member of LinkZDAO which is a DAO that gathers basically a lot of legacy builders from all over the world.
KevinZ: I’m from HKUST majoring in finance and international management. I’m the co-founder of 0xUClub initiated by students from different Hong Kong universities. I’m also a Web3 Researcher in OpenOceanGlobal. Currently, I am an investment manager at Merdian Capital.
Russell: I’m studying the Master of Business Analytics at HKU and a core member of 0xUClub. I’m doing an internship at web 3 venture capital called AC capital for investment analysis and incubation.
What do you think is the most popular Web3 segment in Gen Z?
Will: I think we are past the DeFi only a short time and a lot of people are thinking about you know where there is mass adoption comes from. Therefore, I would say it’s SocialFi or GameFi as they are closely examined.
Turing: many GameFi and SocialFi projects in this market, the theory in economics mentions that humans are more unable to accept the loss of 1 unit. On this basis, projects at the application layer are more likely to win the fever of users. So many people feel that Stepn’s economic model will eventually collapse, but we can’t deny that it is still one of the most profitable projects in this market.
Percy: I think it’s definitely NFT because that’s how most of those around me that concepts of web3, digital autonomy, and about truly owning your creation. I think it brings a sense of ownership and participation in the blockchain and socially speaking, you are more easily to connect with those using the profile picture from the same collection as you.
Yuri: From the user base, maybe it’s NFT because all my friends have NFTs in various GameFi projects. And also, in mainland China, people are playing with digital collectibles. Recently I followed some luxury brands in web3 so the fashion NFTs are very hot, especially in shopping malls.
Chirs: NFT. We’re building based on a solid community so that the community can generate consensus within the public. Gen Z loves to join the community.
Arnaud: From my perspective, NFT to me it’s only a vehicle, not a destination. For me, the most popular sector in the crypto industry is the most attractive and interesting sector. And I always believe that games, GameFi can be a gateway for Genz and also the general public to enter the web3 industry to have fun and social in a crypto way.
Derrick: I would say it’s investing. Many of my friends are speculators, so they poured their pocket money into the exchange to do some investing, not only NFT, but also in tokens. In addition, a lot of gen z web3 builders’ first step is mining. Many of them write bots.
Russell: DeFi could be the most popular one as there are many opportunities for speculation if you could write code or do quantitative trading. But my favorite is NFT. Owing NFTs could represent your personality.
How does FTX impact you or young builders?
Will: Obviously, what happened there had a huge impact, but ultimately, it’s going to be a good thing because everyone got to rip the FTT as fast as they can, and the system is mature. I’m just going to take a step on it from a builder's side. It’s going to promote more regulation and bring a lot more attention. And we could build things that are truly valuable to consumers and not just from the short term. Binance is building its industry recovery fund. So, we should start to look at the companies with a more serious connotation. It will rebound and it’s time to rebuild.
Yuri: I have a friend who lost 1,000,000 in FTX and he cannot withdraw his assets in FTX. I think it’s really sad. The collapse of FTX impacts the industry. I think new forms and narratives of crypto exchange will appear as the competitive landscape will be reshaped. FTX brings anti-monopoly regulation opportunities for big exchanges to develop themselves.
Arnaud: I invested like 100 USD. Yesterday I withdrew all my Bitcoin from crypto.com to my own wallet. Now it’s like an era of trustlessness. We can’t trust Cex and Dex, which is very bad, tremendous influence in the whole crypto market because the second largest exchange has just fallen. In four days. This really reminds us to rebuild and support more decentralized infrastructure like Uniswap and X2Y2, because they are not centralized and are more regulated by the code itself.
Turing: Order is the next-generation foundation of the decentralized society. We have realized that we have to unite the entire crypto world to jointly develop the code of product of privacy protection in the crypto world.
Derrick: I’d like to share my things from a trader and researcher perspective. I personally use FTX exchange, like heavily, heavily involved. I personally withdraw my money like on Monday, which is one day before the collapse. I saw there was a huge crash down on Twitter right before the things Alameda was saying. We didn’t do that, but they actually like withdrawal by bybit token and other tokens, I was alerted like, OK maybe this is not the case. I withdraw all my assets and fortunately avoided this. But people in the US specifically, have no other choice but to use Dex.
Kevinz: I use FTX and Binance. I will definitely miss FTX functions in their product design aspect. FTX is really easy to use and has so many good functions. Hope other exchanges could look at it and copy its design.
DEX (Crypto native) and CEX (traditional financial institutions), which one do you think will win the future of the crypto world?
Percy: I’m going to go with the centralized option because I think the crypto economy is like traditional finance a lot. I actually think projects like a virtual country and their token is like the fiat currency of that virtual country and use the tokens to exchange for the means of production. You contribute your labor, and in this term, you devote your time to the project, and you receive payments for your labor and capital in return. I think that centralized exchanges are acting as banks now because they attract deposits and provide interest. Like FTX, they issue loans and they’re obligated to react to users' withdrawal requests. So I don’t think it is like the 2008 financial crisis because that was about the default of the mortgage-backed securities and the overconfident banks that offer insurance to some traders that wanted to short against the housing market in the US. I think that the focus on crypto's next stage would definitely be on compliance.
Kevinz: We need more users to come into the web3 and the blockchain industry, we definitely need more capital and traditional sectors to join us. But how to define the crypto native? I think there is a problem in our current industry that all of those projects are capitalized and affected by traditional money too much.
Coincu: Since we are working for the crypto media and we also do our own survey about what is going to be the next market trend, what can I say now in my point of view is when you mentioned blockchain, it’s actually you have seen blockchain since a while ago. Now Microsoft and Amazon have already implemented blockchain as a service. Right now we can focus in how we can be able to bridge web2 and web3.
Turing: Web2 has no more development and the most important thing is there is no fault tolerance, especially for young people. For generation Z, the most important thing is you don’t have to be afraid of making mistakes, so web3 is a new direction and is at a very early stage. There’s one thing worth it to pay attention to web3 has made more progress in productivity but has reduced a lot of efficiencies.
How does web3 offer greater opportunities for gen Z?
Arnaud: I think everyone is a beginner in web3 and he or she can gain expertise in crypto, especially for the senior and junior talents. And we evaluate people not completely on their talents and passion, but on seniority. It’s not suitable for the younger generation to enter the traditional market.
Chris: There is an opportunity in the traditional industry, but you will have to pay like 10 times or 100 times the effort to be able to make it. Web3 has a massive opportunity and there’s no limit on age or education background. So never stop learning.
Yuri: Why does web3 give more opportunities to the young generation? Web3 does not require one to work full time, which is great for the younger generation as they can go and get involved in this web3 wave while going to university.
Turing: I don’t think most people are suitable for dropping out of school because if you see someone drop out of school and it may be his special uh family background and his parents may give him a lot of support, money, friends, knowledge, or something else. And he may actually study in a university of society not just simply drop out of school. My suggestion is to complete your studies as much as possible and on this basis, you can do your favorite business so whatever part-time or full time
Will: Web3 is a decentralized structure also from its incentivized reward system. And I’m a big fan of Twitter, so I suggest reading a lot. Lastly, do some part-time work in communities.
A lot of the Genz is looking to make quick money by investing in crypto without knowing about the details of different projects and losing money. How can they be more educated to identify good projects from bad ones?
Derrick: They have to learn the basic knowledge in order to avoid being a fraud. Actually, it is so hard to identify good projects from bad ones as the impact of FTX. Just keep learning and don’t put too much money into the project that you’re invested in.
Chris: We have to recognize this phenomenon that people come here for quick money. The only way they can be more educated to identify good projects from that one is to know the paradigm. When you read through a white paper, you will see if this is making sense or not. This ability is what enables us to keep learning in this industry.