(This article was first published on April 27, 2022)
Although the excitement around non-fungible tokens (NFTs) was growing high, Shivek Khurana (27) and his younger brother Sarthak (20) couldn’t figure out why this hype.
As they watched this space more closely, the siblings realized that NFTs are rigid, and most projects presented virtually zero utility.
The youngsters wanted to change this.
“We believe NFTs are more than just valuable JPEGs; they are a token belonging to a particular community of like-minded individuals. But what’s the point of being part of a community without self-expression? This is why we created 3moji stickers,” Shivek says.
3moji offers an upgradable and composable NFT avatar system, which Shivek says will transform how NFTs are used in games and across the metaverse. (NFT avatar is a digitally generated image made in a cartoonish or pixelated fashion)
“3moji is all about expression. This DApp (decentralised application) — a P2P app that operates autonomously on the blockchain — allows Web3 users to customise their avatars over time and purchase and combine different NFT accessories,” explains Shivek. The 3moji avatars can also be used as stickers on Web2 apps like Discord and Telegram, bringing the NFTs to your day-to-day communication.
“In a nutshell, we bridge the gap between Web2 and Web3 cultures, and profile pictures are just the tip of the iceberg,” Shivek claims.
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3moji is owned by a decentralised autonomous organisation (DAO) with a globally distributed team across India, Singapore, Australia, Spain and Ireland. Shivek is the tech brain behind 3moji, who previously built Meta Blocks, which helps users build immersive NFT apps. In the past, he also worked at Status, a messenger, crypto-wallet, and Web3 browser. Sarthak earlier worked at prePO, a speculation platform for pre-IPO stocks and pre-IDO tokens.
How 3moji works
To get started with 3moji, users start by minting a “base” layer, an empty face on which all other NFT accessories are stacked. Once they have a base layer, they can buy NFT accessories and augment their avatar.
3moji is built on the Meta Blocks Protocol, which allows users to customise avatars without burning or modifying the metadata. The original NFTs are never touched and can be sold on secondary marketplaces.
“Our go-to-market audience is the Solana NFT community, who we hope will welcome and see the value of this new concept of upgradeable and composable NFTs,” Shivek adds.
The company earns money by making and selling base layers and accessories. It is also working with other NFT projects, including Famous Fox Federation, Piggy Sol Gang, and Dapper Ducks. All these projects are creating their own 3moji compatible NFT accessories.
3moji also has utilities in other domains, such as fashion. “It offers fashion brands a fool-proof and effortless way to create their NFT collections that can be worn in metaverses without building any expensive proprietary tech. It is a simple way for luxury brands to release their NFT collection with an inherent utility,” he elaborates.
“3moji brings the vanity of luxury goods to the digital world. People buy a Gucci Bag or an expensive NFT for the same reason: social vanity,” he says, adding the company’s ultimate goal is to be the expression engine across all social channels and metaverses.
The 3moji Dapp explores new possibilities for NFTs to allow users, brands and influencers to change the look of their avatars in the metaverse and across Web2 applications.
“There are unlimited opportunities for Web3, NFTs and the metaverse. While we are starting with stickers and avatars, we believe there is scope for creating AR functionality to enable you to use your avatars to stream online, video call with friends and create content,” Shivek tells e27.
3moji recently raised US$750,000 in seed funding, led by Collab + Currency, Big Brain Holdings, Definitive Capital, and NFT influencer Gmoney.
According to Binance, the growth of NFT avatars will likely skyrocket, driven by private collector capital and institutional investment. The obsession with individuality on various social networks will also catalyse the demand. 3moji is betting big on these new trends.
However, the market is already dominated by the likes of CryptoPunks, Avastars, Bored Ape Kennel Club, and Hashmasks? Can 3moji compete with these popular NFT avatars?
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