Interview with Jason Wong, COO UOL Unique One Network
We caught up with Jason Wong, the COO of Unique One Love for Unique One Network. Unique One Network is a Substrate-based, next-generation, decentralized NFT application-specific blockchain leveraging Web3.0 interoperability to augment the NFT Evolution.
We’ve read that the Unique One Team didn’t accept any venture capital or corporate support when you launched in 2020 — Why is that?
Yes, this is true. In fact, it was a significant part of our initial ethos when bootstrapping. While it was difficult to turn down the offers from VCs when we decided to launch, to accept would have been diametrically opposed to our reasons for creating Unique.One in the first place. When the Unique One team came together, we really only had one goal in mind — To find out if we could build a truly decentralized, non-profit, zero-net fee NFT art marketplace.
Community is the most essential thing for Unique One because, well, the Unique One Founding Team is really just a community of artists, developers, designers, programmers, engineers, marketers, and project managers from around the world — all with extensive interest and experience in the crypto space. So, when we bootstrapped Unique One ourselves, we looked at the team as merely the first Community of a community-run art marketplace. And it was then that we adopted our motto — By the Community, for the Community.
What was it that prompted you to want to create a community-run NFT art marketplace?
I guess you could say that the catalyst was Covid. Unique One was born in the middle of the darkest hours of the pandemic when lockdowns and quarantines were commonplace. It was actually during a late-night discussion in a global blockchain channel that the idea for Unique One came about. The topic was how much artists and musicians were struggling because of the fallout from covid. We discussed how digital art was continuing to accelerate and how NFTs could help creatives reach new audiences and earn new revenue streams to provide relief from the economic restrictions imposed by the fallout from the pandemic.
But it seemed that the array of popular NFT platforms available at the time overcharged minting fees, or subjected artists to censorship and centralized policies. We couldn’t understand how certain platforms could call themselves “decentralized” when it was apparent that they were designed to take profits from their users and follow the directives of corporate backers and VCs for increasing those profits. It seemed to us that calling themselves “decentralized” was a disservice to their communities.
We wanted to create a decentralized non-fungible token project committed to lowering barriers to entry for artists, creators, and photographers — making it easier and more accessible for creators from all economic strata to mint their own NFTs. So, we got to work creating the first Unique One Art Marketplace on Ethereum.
What have been some of your most significant challenges and accomplishments?
I can speak for my team by saying that we have certainly learned a great deal about building marketplaces and been challenged by the classic trilemma of decentralization, scalability, and security. But even though we sometimes laugh a bit at our idealism when we look back at our roots, we are proud that our protocol started out with pure intentions.
Because of our focus on the welfare of artists, we pursued collaborations to sponsor and support physical artists and events, especially where we could help elevate those from marginalized areas or empower those who are struggling.
We’ve had the opportunity to sponsor and support some incredible collaborations with amazing artists from The Black Love Mural Festival, IRL Art, Black Love Art and Crypto, The End Game Association, and the Cyber Panther Party in America, and with deNFT #ArtSapotRakyat Covid-19 Relief Campaign for Artists and Communities in Malaysia.
We have even developed our own decentralized philanthropic startup, Unique One Love, which is currently internally bootstrapped and active with Love Agents on the ground to empower individuals in Indonesia and Malaysia with goals to expand globally.
In less than a year, we’ve built seven NFT marketplaces on four different blockchains in various artistic niches and are now building our Substrate-based NFT marketplace and NFT as services application-specific blockchain on the Octopus Network.
Why did Unique One choose to build its substrate blockchain on the Octopus Network?
Building on the Octopus Network is in line with our goal of further challenging Web3.0 interoperability to augment an NFT Evolution. Unique One Network has evolved well beyond its dApp roots and welcomes the colossal design space Substrate offers. As a community-run volunteer team that advocates decentralization, we are already well aware of the challenges of bootstrapping security or winning a Parachain slot on Polkadot. Octopus Network’s Leased Proof of Stake (LPoS) is currently an excellent fit for us to bring our style of cross-chain interoperable NFT innovation to Web3.0.
What’s really exciting about Octopus Network, and why we feel that it is aligned with Unique One Network’sethos, is its baked-in focus on meta-community. In addition to multichain interoperability, leased security, and infrastructure support, there is a growing relationship between the multichain ecosystems of the diverse protocols becoming Appchains in the Octopus Network. Appchains in the Octopus Network can support each other through shared communities and network effects across platforms — in addition to those in the vastly expanding NEAR protocol ecosystem.
As a decentralized Appchain in the Octopus Network, we share interoperability with NEAR protocol and Ethereum via the Rainbow Bridge. Additionally, we’re able to connect with any IBC enabled blockchains directly using the IBC pallet.
What new features will Unique One Network incorporate into its new marketplace?
Unlike other emerging Substrate-based NFT blockchain protocols, Unique One Network has already built successful marketplaces in several niches on Ethereum, BSC, xDai, and Polygon, offering users the ability to grow diverse communities around a variety of favored technologies and art styles.
We believe that non-fungible token technology will eventually become a ubiquitous and a standard feature across many mainstream industries — from tech, financial and legal, to music, entertainment, marketing, and of course, the arts. So, extending from our multichain marketplace, we’re also developing Unique One modular builds for B2B marketplaces.
In addition, we’re offering a variety of NFT-as-service modules to enfranchise Web3.0 teams with the support, Community, and NFT network effects they need to scale with flexible startup options that eliminate financial risk by staking $UNET — our native token in exchange for services.
In addition to our existing marketplace, our new Unique One Network Multichain NFT Marketplace fully supports several types of auction mechanisms, including English and Dutch, as well as philanthropic fundraising through Unique One Love — our charity incubator for individuals, crypto projects, and real-world charity organizations to empower those in need.
We will also integrate DeFi mechanisms that allow users to make their NFTs liquid, tradable, and earn ROI. Users can unlock the DeFi capabilities of their NFTs via NFT Vaults, Fractionalisation, Index funds, Swaps, and more… and even create funds based on collectibles such as RLE, CryptoPunks, Gangsta Geckos, Axies, and BAYC.
You mention new modular builds and NFT-as-service features. Can you explain them in more detail?
We foresee a future where Web3.0 teams and projects might wish to deploy native NFT marketplaces, NFT collectibles, community token drops through NFT sales, or even their own metaverse to complement their product and marketing strategy. But bootstrapping any of these projects is labor and capital intensive. Unique One Network NFT Galaxy’s Modular Service packages allow any protocol, team, or business to launch their own NFT Marketplace, NFT collection, or even their own metaverse without financial risk by staking $UNET- our native token.
Our Marketplace Launchpad can deploy NFT marketplaces with out-of-the-box theme options, infrastructure, and support. You can choose from a variety of themes with a set of NFT-related API and SDK tools for the theme framework of the NFT marketplace. Or level up for customized premium themes and features.
The NFT Collectibles Launchpad allows anyone to launch their meme, character, or other generative collectibles easily, such as BAYC, Cryptopunks, or Gangsta Geckos, etc., without having to host their product, build a website, or learn how to use algorithmic generators. Furthermore, by staking $UNET tokens, protocols can start earning revenue immediately with minimal capital output.
Our partnership with Realitychain.io, a multichain, multi-engine, Metaverse-as-a-Service protocol, and recent NEAR Metabuidl Hackathon winner, offers a novel means to secure Metaverse lands in a flexible and scalable manner via an exciting and innovative staking mechanism for Metaverse land leases. Users can stake $UNET tokens to acquire land leases without having to purchase lands. Multi-length lease slots allow all users, event protocols, teams, and companies, the flexibility to build for fun or professional projects, or even temporary events and promotions.
Our Initial Platform Launchpad Offering (IPLO) is a proprietary service to add marketing, Community, and auction support to teams who wish to release their native tokens to their Community via unlockable avenues attached to NFT sales or auction events. IPLOs are popular crowdfunding events that can be customized to each individual protocol depending on their goals.
Projects that choose to hold IPLOs on the Unique One Network Marketplace can benefit from the network effects of the UON Marketing funnel throughout the entire Unique One Network, Octopus Network, and NEAR Protocol Meta-Communities.
With our extensive experience building NFT Marketplaces on diverse blockchains, we look forward to extending cross-chain modular builds to B2B marketplaces by offering a variety of NFT-as-service modules to enfranchise Web3.0 teams, companies, projects, and influencers with the support, Community, and NFT network effects they need to scale.
Originally published at https://www.techtimes.com on October 14, 2021.