By: Stephanie Shehan An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a type of digital data stored in a blockchain where both the NFT and the owner’s information is recorded. It can then be transferred by the owner, allowing for the sale and trade of NFTs. In the past, NFTs have typically contained digital versions of […]
By: Stephanie Shehan
An NFT, or non-fungible token, is a type of digital data stored in a blockchain where both the NFT and the owner’s information is recorded. It can then be transferred by the owner, allowing for the sale and trade of NFTs. In the past, NFTs have typically contained digital versions of art, music, collectibles, sports memorabilia and video games.
I recently came across one of the most brilliant versions of NFT technology to date. Bringing the allure of underground smuggling together with digital cannabis, art and music, a team of award-winning entertainment, cannabis, tech, and music executives have created a one-of-a-kind platform known as the SMUGGLEVERSE.
I had the opportunity to sit down with SMUGGLEVERSE creators and co-founders, Billy “BCAP” Frank, Todd “Too Dank” Denkin, and the elusive Big Wheel to find out more about their platform and proprietary technology, which makes this such a unique and genius project.
STEPHANIE SHEHAN: Tell me a little about this project and the inspiration behind it.
TODD DENKIN: Billy and I had been developing a movie based on the billion-dollar cannabis smuggler known as ‘The King of Pot’, Bruce Perlowin. We pitched it to Big Wheel, an Entertainment exec who was helping studios bridge their content into Web3, and he thought that we could take this idea and turn it into something phenomenal if we started with an NFT Metaverse as a backdoor to the Feature Film. As the President of Digipath Labs, a publicly traded cannabis testing company, I knew that this approach would provide a major opportunity to bridge the cannabis community to the world of Web3, and with Big Wheel’s technical and creative background, we knew that we were being led in the right direction. Hence, SMUGGLEVERSE was born.
SS: OK, this sounds fun… tell me more.
TD: So essentially, the star of our platform is SMUGGLEBOT who has joined forces with some of the most infamous smugglers in the real-world to launch the first underground marketplace in the Metaverse – the SMUGGLEVERSE. Within the SMUGGLEVERSE are limited supplies of digital cannabis NFTS that can be cut and stacked, bought, and sold, just like a real-world smuggling operation. CRYPTONYTE™ is the first digital strain released into the SMUGGLEVERSE.
SS: Interesting. So basically, buyers are able to purchase digital cannabis strains as NFTs and then sell them. What makes these unique? And, will there be limited amounts available?
TD: Exactly! What makes these unique is that each strain will be sold just like real cannabis in the form of a kilo, a pound, a half-pound, a quarter-pound, an ounce and so forth all the way down to a joint. Using our proprietary technology, NFT holders have the ability to cut a single NFT into multiple NFTs of equal weight. And just like in the real world, buying a larger quantity comes at a steep discount, which can then be cut down and sold in smaller quantities. This allows you to continue to hold some NFTs while cashing out a percentage of your stash. To build upon our proprietary technology, our virtual smugglers also have the ability to purchase smaller amounts of each strain and then stack them into larger, rarer, quantities. A limited supply of strains will be released each year and only 20 pounds of each strain will ever exist, which reduces the supply and increases the demand. As a bonus, anyone who purchased a quarter-pound NFT or higher of our first strain also received a limited-edition seed which can be used to unlock future utilities and create hybrid strains.
SS: I love the concept of buying a large quantity and being able to cut it down. Tell me a little more about NFTs and how they work. They need to be minted on a certain blockchain right?
BIG WHEEL: Our NFTs are minted on the Polygon blockchain. NFTs are essentially a product that you build intellectual property around. Just as if we took a concept for a movie and built IP around it, we are doing the same thing except we are doing it using Web3 technologies on the blockchain. To sum it up, we are using this new technology as a form of interactive storytelling. We have a unique story and compelling characters, and when we integrate our proprietary technology, it creates a first-of-its kind NFT game that is very exciting to be a part of. For us, gamifying NFTs was the next big step since in the past, NFTs have held little value beyond being collectible. The gaming element of cutting and stacking is what allows the virtual smuggling to happen, and new digital kingpins to be minted.
SS: This really sets you apart from the NFTs we’ve seen from other cannabis companies and brands.
BW: Yes, and I really want to stress that these are not the typical “coupon NFTs” like most cannabis companies have released. Most cannabis NFTs we’ve seen thus far have been sold without much of a value other than some sort of coupon that can be used towards the purchase of cannabis within a real-world dispensary. I have a hard time understanding why anyone would pay for a coupon as the main utility.
BILLY FRANK: Our platform not only sets us apart from other cannabis companies, it also sets us apart from all other NFTs. SMUGGLEVERSE has been created as an evergreen brand. We are continuously adding new features, partners, products, and story elements as we build out our underground Metaverse.
SS: What a cool new concept. Knowing you guys, I am sure there is more to the SMUGGLEVERSE than just buying and selling. What else can be done on this platform?
BW: In addition to smuggling cannabis, we have also created a virtual record label for avatars, and SMUGGLEBOT’S “CRYPTONYTE SMUGGLERS ANTHEM” is the first track for sale in our marketplace.
SS: Music seems to be an integral part of the SMUGGLEVERSE.
BW: It is! SMUGGLEVERSE MUSIC GROUP is a full-service music production company which was created to produce collaborations between Avatars in the Metaverse and some of the biggest stars in the real-world. A limited supply of new tracks will be released with each strain, providing additional utility for NFT holders. The music production company that we’re collaborating with have worked with Dr. Dre, Bruno Mars, Diplo, David Guetta, E-40 and TYGA, to name a few. SMUGGLEBOT is our first featured artist.
SS: Very cool. How can interested readers find out more about the SMUGGLEVERSE?
BW: Readers can visit our site at smuggleverse.com, which also has links to our official social media accounts.