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CryptoGenies? Digital Avatars Are Coming to Dapper's Flow Blockchain


After finding a fit for digital collectibles outside the blockchain realm, Genies is bringing its customizable 3D avatars to a partnership with Dapper Labs.

The collabo with the team behind CryptoKitties and now NBA Top Shot is seen by Genies as a way to introduce Gen Z-ers to the blockchain.

“Dapper Labs was a braindead fit for us to be able to further educate our young users,” Genies founder Akash Nigam told CoinDesk in an interview.

Genies has established itself as an avatar company bringing celebs closer to their fan bases, one digital representation at a time. With the pandemic, Nigam said there are now more incentives for influencers to interact virtually with their fans. Think of it as a way to make up for all those cancelled concerts, sporting events and meetups. 

Last week, for instance, singer Justin Bieber announced his Christmas album on Twitter through his Genie. 

Nigam said once Genies are up and running on Flow – the new blockchain built by Dapper Labs to flee the scaling constraints of Ethereum – Bieber could, for example, issue a certain number of signed Santa hats with his Christmas album announcement. The non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are digitally unique and can be sold and traded among users. 

“Justin Bieber already sells vintage collectibles to his fans,” Nigam said. “We’re just extrapolating what they already do in the physical world and bringing it to the digital world.” 

Roham Gharegozlou, CEO of Dapper Labs, added that users do not need to know the specifics of blockchain technology to understand true ownership. 

“If something is on the blockchain, you own it and you can sell it. If not, you don’t f***ing control anything,” Gharegozlou told CoinDesk on a call.  

The mechanisms of how to bring digital goods or existing users onto the blockchain is still in the works. But what will be different is that users, not only celebrities, will be able to create their own avatars and therefore own a piece of their online personas. (It’s a direction Genies also recently took in issuing a software development kit used by the likes of Giphy and Gucci.)

“Today we let you personalize your username. In the future we want to let you personalize your own digital identity,” Gharegozlou said.



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