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This new protocol is pushing the boundaries of what an NFT can do [INTERVIEW]


CryptoSlate recently had the opportunity to chat with Ben Lakoff, the co-founder of Charged Particles, a blockchain-agnostic NFT protocol that allows users to deposit any ERC tokens into any Non-Fungible Token (NFT).

What is the professional background of the Charged Particles founders and what is their previous experience in crypto?

Rob is the founder and really the visionary behind the revolutionary concept that is Charged Particles. He has over 20 years of experience as a full-stack engineer, 5 years in FIntech. His primary focus has centered around Ethereum and solidity for smart contracts and DApp development, utilizing various token standards such as ERC20, ERC721, and ERC1155, among others. Previously, he was a senior developer bringing PoolTogether (v3 – the current version) to life!

I’m Ben Lakoff, a Co-Founder and Business Lead at Charged Particles. I am an entrepreneur at heart with a background in Finance (M&A, PE, Angel Investing) before going full-time into the blockchain space in 2017. I met Rob at the Gitcoin Kernel Web3 accelerator last summer,  and instantly got hooked on the amazing vision behind Charged Particles.

What problem is Charged Particles solving?

With Charged Particles, you can create a truly unique NFT, and it’s important to note that NFTs created via Charged Particles are still standard non-custodial NFTs (ERC-721s) that can be sold on popular marketplaces like Rarible or Opensea, but you’re enabling them to easily hold other tokens and have programmable principal & interest.

How many people are working on Charged Particles and where is the team located?

We’re completely remote, and span quite a few time zones with people in USA, Canada, Romania, India and Morocco.

We are very fortunate to have put together a really rockstar team for Charged Particles. I joined Rob in July-2020, and we hired Vlad (blockchain dev), Eric (full stack dev) in October. 

We started adding additional team members more quickly after completing our pre-seed fundraising in 4Q20. Mango – Community & Events Manager, Sam – Full Stack Dev, Andrew – Full Stack Dev, Sumit – Front End Dev, Jon – Growth,  Pri – Social Media Manager and Steve – Marketing have joined since then, all full time. We’re always looking for experienced web3 developers if anyone is interested!

Our community (shout-out Photons) is very strong and excited – too many true amazing members to list them all here as “team” but they should be included too – you know who you are!

Also important to note that we’re also super grateful to have amazing mentors, advisors and investors involved. Advisors include Leighton Cusak (Founder, CEO of PoolTogether) and DeFi Dad (CDO of Zapper). We’ll actually be announcing another advisor later in the month as well!

Which types of crypto users would benefit from using the Charged Particles platform?

Someone who wants to push the boundaries of what’s possible with NFTs – ANY NFT. 

We have a marketplace and a minting station — both of which are pretty cool and charge absolutely 0 fees. So far we’ve had about $2M in NFT sales there with some really unique offerings (provided by our tech). Important to also note that our platform is also completely server-less so we’re never collecting any data on you as you interact with our DApp.

At the protocol level, this is where things get exciting. Eventually, our protocol will blend into the background of these other NFT platforms, and the ability to “Charge” or “Energize” your NFT is the aspect we really care about. ANY NFT can have a “charge” and hold other assets. When thinking about NFTs beyond art, there’s a lot of possibilities. 

What is the biggest misconception about NFTs?

That they’re just art. CryptoArt as a NFT is just the very tip of the iceberg of the potential of NFTs. People are starting to figure this out, but it’s still a very common misconception.

Where do you see the NFT ecosystem over the next few years? What will be the major milestones?

The NFT Ecosystem is just getting started and I think a key milestone will be changing the framing around “NFT” itself. It’s such a broad category and that needs to change.

What is the utility of the IONX token?

Sure, here’s the whole scoop on IONX here.

The Cliff notes: $IONX is the native governance token for the Charged Particles Protocol. Any changes to the Protocol will be proposed and voted on by $IONX token holders.

These proposals can include things like adjusting contract configuration values to adjust the protocol deposit fee, implementing scaling solutions, adjusting 3rd party integration fees, registering, adjusting or disabling DeFi protocols as yield sources, and controlling the future distribution of $IONX to protocol contributors.

What can you tell us about the Charged Particles product roadmap?

Sure, our roadmap can be found on our site here.

Some big ones coming up in the next month include:

  • Layer 2 (Polygon)
  • Whitelisting of other NFT platforms – favorite NFT from Rarible, you can ‘charge’ up on CP

Longer-term, we’re implementing CP Protocol into numerous NFT platforms and working VERY closely with a number of upcoming DApps built on our Protocol

What is the best way for those interested to learn more about Charged Particles?

Here are some helpful links!

Connect with Ben Lakoff

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