Nicole Muniz, CEO Yuga Labs, spoke center stage at the annual WebSummit Lisbon tech conference on Thursday, discussing the importance of security and safety of digital assets, the potential of intellectual property rights and the origins of the Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) .
Asked about the distinction between an NFT and a typical JPEG image perpetually shared on the Internet, Muniz said that the NFT conveys “the rights and the fact that you have true ownership of this asset”.
Yuga Labs’ BAYC, CryptoPunks, and Meebits collections are prime examples of creators licensing full commercial intellectual property to licensees, she noted.
“This exclusive ownership is something that’s really happening in the space and allowing consumers to actually become owners,” Muniz said. “And it’s a paradigm shift overall.”
Muniz pointed out that a number of projects within the Bored Ape ecosystem were founded and thrived on these innate principles of commercial sovereignty.
“Jenkins the Valet – who is a Bored Ape in the collection – has created a media company based on the creativity, intrigue and expansion of the Bored Ape universe. Additionally, Bored and Hungry is a fast food chain awesome in LA, and I think they’re expanding into other markets.
The other side
Speaking about Yuga’s plans for their interoperable metaverse platform The Otherside, Muniz emphasized a democratic ethos of inclusivity, stating that “we believe that in Web3 you should be able to have true ownership not just over your assets, but also on your identity. ”
As such, she revealed that Yuga was developing an “Otherside Development Kit” to allow builders to build features and abilities for the Otherside and transport those features to other metaverses in space.
A landmark $450 million seed round led by Andreessen Horowitz took Yuga Labs’ market valuation to over $4 billion. The team has since focused on building an organization to maximize the company’s hard-earned advantages within the NFT space.
“If you want to build some of the craziest things on the internet, wrapped in creativity, storytelling, board mythology and fun, then you should come to work at Yuga, because we try to hire the best and the brightest to build the next phase of the internet,” Muniz said.
“Web1 was fun and silly, but we all got so serious [in Web2],” she said. “So we want to bring the fun back to the internet. And that’s a big part of the spirit and the DNA of our culture.