Web 3.0 : The Willingness To Learn – CLEAVES Q&A
We are back with our Questions and Answer series where we interview some of our friends, whether they’re part of the dynamic No Standing team or just people of influence in the wider world of media and technology. We pick their brains, exploring the highs and lows, their greatest successes, and most importantly the knowledge and advice they’ve learned along the way.
Head of Web3 for No Standing, Cleaves, breaks down the question many have asked of “what is Web3” with relevance to his personal journey in the space. Cleaves shares how he got himself from NFT trading to producing a career consulting on Web3 crypto projects, uniting his history in gaming and digital marketing. Uncover his list of favourite educators in the community and the projects within the NFT marketplace to keep an eye on, from the likes of Salty Pirate Crew and more. He flags the manipulation of NFT and crypto scams and the suitable security advice to dodge them. To wrap up, Cleaves shares his insights into predictions of the future of Web3, including the advantage of how our everyday documents will live on the blockchain.
Tell us a bit about your background – what’s your story?
My story is an interesting one that has many tangents, but I’ll aim to keep it tight… I’am Cleaves, I’m a 28-year-old marketer, musician, gamer, investor and entrepreneur from Sydney, and I’m currently the Head of Web3 at No Standing.
I have always enjoyed establishing, developing and being a part of communities, whether it be through nightclubs, Universities or music festivals and tours.
Atop of this, I spent a lot of my childhood playing games such as Runescape, Habbo Hotel, Call of Duty, and World of Warcraft, which all ultimately prepared me for the wild world of Web3.
Whether it be making music, running events or playing games, I’ve always been extremely passionate and driven.
When COVID emerged and the impacts began to take effect in 2020, the music festival I was involved in was no longer able to operate and I was eager to stay busy. I love a challenge and wanted to establish my own business, so I decided a relevant path was to make my own ethanol distribution and hand sanitiser manufacturing companies based in Aus & USA.
During this journey I discovered Web3 and NFTs, and although my companies were rewarding, albeit challenging, I personally aligned so much more to the Web3 space and found so much more fulfilment from being a part of this new world.
When did you become passionate about all things Web3?
It all started in January 2021. I was in the process of establishing a US entity for my business endeavours and learnt about the Web3 space through a close friend. It instantly made sense to me at a high level, due to my history in gaming and marketing, but I lacked the technical understanding. I could identify so many use cases and areas that could benefit from the space, and once I got the ball rolling, there was no stopping – I would wake up at 3:30am and finish at 11pm, researching NFTs/crypto projects while also trying to build a business.
After a month or so, the value of the collection had drastically increased, so I decided to take significant profits and realise the gains. This was enough proof of concept for me and after this moment, I decided to listen to intuition and take the plunge – closing my businesses and going full-time into Web3 and the NFT marketplace.
Can you tell us more about Web3 for those new to the term?
Web3 is essentially the new generation of the internet. Web3 aims to create a decentralised, yet secure, internet where people can securely exchange money and information without the need for middlemen or big corporations.
To explain it in a nutshell:
Web 2 – you are the product
Web 3 – you own the product
Besides you, who else do you suggest following to learn more about the space?
Firstly, I suggest everyone create a Twitter account. Most of the valuable information I have learnt has been from there, Discord or YouTube. My number 1 recommendation for an in-depth and unbiased perspective of the space is a guy named GianCarlo, who covers a range of topics for people at all stages of their Web3 journey:
How did you start building your community?
I’m extremely passionate about supporting people who have shown interest in learning. There is a phrase “fear of the unknown vs. the willingness to learn” that really resonates with me and the space as a whole.
I love gamifying everything, so my community is the result of a long, subtle process of casually identifying and assessing interest in my networks and onboarding them into an engaged community such as my Discord server.
What are some of your favourite NFTs?
Ethlizards, RTFKT Clone-X, Adam Bomb Squad, Salty Sharks, World of Women, Salty Pirate Crew, Neo Tokyo and the Altered State Machine ecosystem (ASM Brains, Fluf World, Party Bear to name a few).
What should you be cautious about in the world of Web3?
The most important things to be cautious about in this space are to do with security and manipulation such as avoiding crypto scams. Never share your seed phrase with anyone (that’s your “password” to your digital wallet), never click on random links sent to you from strangers and always triple-check the website address if you are engaging with any type of wallet interaction (such as minting an NFT).
Social engineering and “phishing” scams are prevalent in this space, so it’s important that you do your due diligence before engaging in anything that might compromise your cryptocurrency holdings or NFT portfolio.
Tell us why you think brands should seize the opportunity by entering the Metaverse or creating an NFT?
I believe it all comes down to community. The Web3 space allows brands, businesses and individuals to create additional value for their community in a way that has not been possible in the past.
This may be achieved through creating an exclusive membership represented by NFTs, virtual activations in the metaverse that attract a global audience, it could be through physical fashion that’s paired with digital wearables… the opportunities are endless. The real key is to tap into human behaviour and ask the question; “How can I use this new technology to provide more value”.
Although I encourage all brands to seize the opportunity, I can’t stress the importance of patience and having a measured, strategic approach to entering the market.
There are too many instances where brands/companies have jumped straight into NFT collections or creating their own metaverse, only to receive backlash from not only their community, but the Web3 community as a whole.
What does the future of Web3 look like to you?
I believe the initial catalyst for mainstream adoption will be through Play to Earn games. Players earning money and rewards in exchange for their time, with ownership over their social identity and in-game assets.
Following from this, once the concept of “Social Tokens” becomes more accessible and easier to execute, I see a future where almost all brands, artists and creators alike have a coin that is tied to their ecosystem. Want to go to your favourite artist’s show? You’ll likely buy their ticket (which will exist as an NFT) using their own currency (social token). Think merch + digital wearables, rewards from streaming your favourite artist’s song.
I’ve actually believed in the concept of social tokens since 2015, when I did a University assignment on the concept before I had any proper technical understanding of how it could work.
Play to earn (P2E) games and social tokens will drive mass mainstream adoption, but ultimately I see a future where your digital identity is just as important as your real-world identity. AI technology will become a part of everyday life and an important part of Web3. Verifiable documents such as passports and licensees will live on the blockchain (potentially as NFTs). Properties can and will be represented as NFTs and then fractionalised to reduce the barrier of entry for investors, and formal business entities are more commonly established as DAOs that are governed by their community.