An Interview with Juan Paniagua, Founder of NeftyBlocks and Alpaca Worlds
Ahead of the Alpaca Worlds Italy Alpacks drop tomorrow at 18 UTC, we sat down with their founder to discuss some exciting new features coming to Nefty, the plans they have in the works, and what Tupaca has been up to!
Solid, reliable tools will form the backbone of WAX’s future success, and what better way to demonstrate these than through a collection that has quickly become a favourite of many in the community!
Founder of NeftyBlocks and Alpaca Worlds, Juan is one busy individual. When he’s taking a break from creating the tools that have made the lives of artists so much easier over the past few months, he presides over the community-led Alpaca Worlds project, helping to guide Tupaca in his quest to find Apu’s daughter.
Tomorrow (01/06) at 18 UTC, this quest leads Tupaca to Italy, where I’m sure he’ll get up to all sorts of mischief! We’ll be able to follow his journey through the Italy Alpacks drop, which you can find here!
On a personal note, Alpaca Worlds was one of the very first collections I bought into on WAX, so this interview has been an absolute pleasure. The insights ramonster provides are huge for both artists and collectors, and I’m sure you’ll come away full of excitement for what lies ahead.
Hydro: Hi Juan! Could you tell me a bit about yourself, your background and how you got into NFTs?
Juan: Hi! I am one of the founders of AlpacaWorlds and NeftyBlocks. I’ve been a blockchain enthusiast for a few years and an entrepreneur in the IT world since the beginning of my professional life.
Around November 2020 I got started with NFTs on the WAX blockchain thanks to José, my co-founder, and his enthusiasm for the CryptomonKeys. I immediately fell in love with the WAX ecosystem and started thinking about how we could get involved – now, a few months later, I’m spending 100% of my time on this.
NeftyBlocks has quickly become the go-to platform for many artists on WAX – we’ve just had our first drop on there! What gave you the idea for NeftyDrops, and what benefits does dropping on Nefty provide over dropping on AtomicHub?
When we started NeftyBlocks we wanted to give collections the ability to easily configure drops, create packs and arrange blends. It was thought of as an easy-to-use user interface for existing smart contracts, and that gave us a lot of traction. Everybody loves easy, or at least easier.
We soon realized that people wanted more, and to give them more, we needed our own smart contracts to be able to add functionality.
One known problem with Atomic Drops is bots and mint assignment. You can add keys, whitelists, and CAPTCHA, but there is still a clear disadvantage on who can get the lowest mints.
Therein lies the first difference between Nefty and Atomic – we provide pre-minted drops. Users receive a random mint when they claim a drop, which we think is a better approach for collectors, giving everybody an equal chance to get a low mint.
Pre-minted is certainly the way forward for fairer drops for the community, and Nefty’s ease-of-use has won it a lot of fans. NeftyBlocks has developed at a rapid pace, with your new homepage going live just a few days ago, helping to further highlight a wealth of wonderful artists. What can we expect to see from NeftyBlocks going forwards?
There are many things that we plan to deliver soon.
The first one, which will be released in the upcoming days, is drops with “proof of ownership”. Collections will be able to create drops only for holders of a certain NFT for example, or, for owners of an NFT minted using a certain template, or for wallets who own NFTs from a certain collection.
Collections owners have also been asking for more powerful blending mechanisms. We’re looking to provide more flexibility in the ingredients and the results of a blend, and we’re planning to release an initial version of this new blender very soon.
We already offer pre-minted and hybrid packs, but artists have to configure everything for the collections themselves. We’re building an easy-to-use user interface to help with this.
We also want to provide analytics to collection owners, so that they know how their sales have evolved as well as other useful information.
There’s a lot more in the roadmap. If you don’t stop me, I could continue talking about the things we want to deliver for hours!
That all sounds fantastic! Many artists currently have to run whitelists manually – it sounds like this proof-of-ownership system is akin to an auto-whitelisting tool, would that be correct?
Indeed – the “proof of ownership” whitelisting system will make life much easier for artists. By running whitelists using this system, artists can also introduce some gamification dynamics to their collections and move the market a little bit.
I hear that some of these new tools will be showcased though your next AlpacaWorlds pack drop on June 1st! Is there anything you can tell us about this drop?
With the upcoming drop of AlpacaWorlds Alpacks, we will be using many of the NeftyBlocks tools. For instance, we will use hybrid pre-minted / minted on-demand packs. Low mints will be pre-minted and buyers will have a random chance at getting one of the pre-minted cards, or a mint on-demand card.
We will also be using more advanced blending features through the proof of ownership system, with the results determined by the rarity of the ingredients used. There will also be non-destructive blends, meaning not all of the ingredients will be burned.
Furthermore, we have a surprise activity based on one of the NFTs that will be included in the Alpacks, but I won’t say any more about that yet!
The regular blends will take place immediately after the pack opening, whilst the advanced blend and the surprise activity will take place a couple of weeks later. I’m pretty sure people will not want to miss it!
Tupaca is jetting off to Italy as part of this pack drop – any clues as to what we’ll find him doing over there?
We have a full tour of Italy planned! Landing in Milan, Tupaca is traveling to the lakes in the north of Italy, then slowly heading south, visiting many well-known landmarks and some small towns on the way down.
We’ve also introduced a new character, Tupaca’s girlfriend. She still doesn’t have a name, so we will arrange some competitions with the community to name her.
The packs will contain 8 sketches and 2 special blending cards: Michaelangelo and Da-Vinci. Blending a sketch and Michelangelo will result in a coloured card. Blending a coloured card and Da-Vinci will result in an animated card.
Don’t forget of course the surprise activities that we will announce after the pack opening!
Sounds like Tupaca is going to have a great time travelling across Italy, and I’m looking forward to the surprises you have in store too!
A quick word on WAX – the first half of 2021 has seen explosive growth. Where do you see WAX progressing in the second half of 2021, and what would you like your part to be in that?
It’s difficult to predict what will come next for WAX. All I can say is that if the ecosystem keeps on growing at this pace, the network will face some serious scaling challenges.
As for NeftyBlocks, our vision is to make it the easiest and most powerful platform that artists can use to make their collections successful. We will build whatever makes sense to help artists succeed.
Of course, for artists to succeed, collectors need an amazing experience, so we have to take good care of them too!
We want to give artists more power over what is happening at NeftyBlocks. Soon, we will introduce a token that will allow them to request new features and vote to prioritize their development. The token will also grant holders the access to premium features.
For AlpacaWorlds, we want Tupaca to keep on traveling around the world until he finds Apu’s daughter, so there’s still so much to see there! Of course, it will also be one of the first collections to use new NeftyBlocks features, both now and in future.
I’m sure Tupaca will continue to have a fantastic time travelling the world!
What would you like to say to those reading this?
I want to encourage artists and collection owners in general to try NeftyBlocks. We are still in the very early stages, and we need your feedback to build the tools that you need!
Also, follow Tupaca’s journey around the world! The Alpacks Italy Edition will be released on Tuesday 1st of June! Get ready!
How can we keep up-to-date with all things NeftyBlocks and Alpaca Worlds?
The best way to keep up to date is by joining our Telegram groups for Alpaca Worlds and NeftyBlocks.
The work that NeftyBlocks is doing is proving invaluable to the WAX community, and will certainly continue being so. I’m sure I can speak for everyone in saying a massive thank you to Juan and the rest of the team for everything that you do!
What better way to support them (and snag some cute alpacas!) than through the Alpaca Worlds Italy Alpacks drop at 18 UTC tomorrow (01/06), which you can find here!
No collab drops for now, but stay tuned, we might have something in the works…