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How Justin Blau became a successful NFT pioneer

November 30, 2021 00:00 AM UTC
- Updated December 08, 2021 16:06 PM UTC

A conversation with Justin Blau of royal.io and Katie Haun of Andreessen Horowitz.

Transcript
you had sold N F T s worth millions of dollars. Um, you're successful DJ a producer. But how did you become a N. F. T pioneer? What what got you into that? Yeah. So we started experimenting with N. F. T. S in a live music setting, as kind of proof of attendance in 2017 2018, I three festival, actually here at Berkeley Theater, um with Zed and Big Sean. And we had QR codes around the festival where you could scan and claim N F T s in a live environment. And that was kind of my first NFC experiment 17, 18. But last year I started seeing LFTs emerge as this new way to create authenticity of ownership of art specifically. And so last summer I started to organizing some of the first music in it. Great, so you're innovative experimentation did not go unnoticed because as we were talking about backstage, Katie Hahn, who's one of the people who has been driving the crypto boom herself, heard about you and vice versa. Tell us about that, kidding. Sure. So actually I heard about Blau um, I guess was at least last year, around this time talking to several of our other portfolio founders, including when, you know, um, I let the series a round of open sea back then, a small little company that kind of grew very quickly and I remember one when we were talking about strategic who they would want to be in the round influencers. Um, and, and by the way, not just from open sea but from other portfolio founders. Blau is always at the top of the list. And why is that? That's because he's one of the most successful independent artists. Music artists of all time. I mean, you know, I don't know if people in this room, nobody has millions of followers worldwide plays out to sold out stadiums. And he was one of the first, actually the first who recognize that N. F. T. S. When most people think about N. F. T. S, they think about digital art. They think about collectible things like top shots and dapper labs, um, crypto punks, even crypto kitties for those of you who are crypto Gs in the room. Um, but you know, Blau, um, who I call Justin Justin, it was one of the first people to realize, wow, this applies this technology can apply also to other kinds of media music in particular. Um, and I think he realized that early because, you know, he had minted one of the first, the first music entities. Um, but also just going to his career in music, he saw how the current system in his opinion was broken. So that's how I first started hearing about Justin. And when I met up with Justin and his co founder J. D. Ross, who is the co founder of royal, you know, JD was also the co founder of open door and hymns. Um, kind of dream operations and execution background. And the two of them together were really the dream team for any venture capitalist.