YGA 228 | Venusverse

 

Through the years, women have been tried and tested and have proven that we can excel in any chosen field including the digital world. In this episode of Goddess of Crypto, Janelle Chalouhi, CEO and founder of Venusverse talks about NFTs and how they revolutionize the way we do business, and build and protect our assets. She also shares their initiatives as the first Canadian female-founded, female-focused Web3 platform for art and education. Plus, she talks about how we should invest in educating ourselves about Web3, and how we can apply our skills to contribute, if not dominate, and make money in this next-generation wealth economy.

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This Revolution Is Female With Janelle Chalouhi

I am excited to have with me, Janelle Chalouhi. She is the CEO and Founder of the Venusverse, which is a Web3 startup from Waterloo Region in Canada. That’s got some cool history to it. We’re going to jump right into that. Janelle, I’m happy to have you on the show. 

I’m so happy to be here. Thank you so much. I’m excited about the segment.

It’s going to be fun. We were pre talking and we have some juicy stuff to talk about. Let’s start off with the fabulous area of Waterloo, Canada. You’re going to tell us why it’s famous.

Whenever I’m on panel discussions or on podcasts and someone asks me to introduce myself and where I’m from, I love saying Waterloo, Ontario, because we’re a small but mighty city, region. It’s the birthplace of Ethereum. A lot of people don’t know that Ethereum was born in Canada at the University of Waterloo. Vitalik created it here. It’s literally down the road from my house. I used to work at the university. I know quite a bit about the history of it and the entrepreneurship and the magic that happens there.

It’s a Canadian tech. The security upon which Ethereum was built on is also Canadian tech. The late Scott Vanstone had worked with Vitalik on this. His wife, Sherry, is the Founder of a startup called Profound Impact too, which is one of our partners. A lot of magic happens here. One more thing about Waterloo, Ontario that I’d like to plug is that we have the largest startup density on the planet outside of Silicon Valley. A lot of people don’t know this about us. Lots of magic happens here.

That’s a surprise. I’ve never heard of Waterloo, but I also learned that Vitalik is Canadian. I’m all good. I feel like I’ve caught up now. Largest startup density is a big deal. I was in Seattle back in the early ‘90s when the internet was this nascent thing and I got to be in that intense startup. I don’t even know. I was going to say container, but it was either a Petri dish or like a mad scientist lab. Everywhere you went, we were all into the same thing.

Soul-bound NFT is going to revolutionize the world and the way we live. Click To Tweet

You go to a coffee shop and it would be like everybody would be having the same conversation, but a different version of it. That’s what I feel like is going on in crypto. I would have said that Miami had one of the biggest startup densities outside of Silicon Valley. I don’t know who tests those waters and does that temperature gauge, but congratulations, because it must be super exciting to be in that space. That’s cool.

It is exciting. If you think about the startup ecosystems, we have a much more condensed because it’s a smaller city. We’re running into each other and working with each other all the time. Where I used to work at Communitech is one of the oldest incubators accelerators on the planet, too. They’ve been around for many years. It all started here, the spirit of entrepreneurship with Blackberry and OpenText and a few other entrepreneurs. It all started here. That’s how it was birthed. It’s in our DNA. We just don’t talk about it enough.

We’re talking about it. Talk about your own inspiration. What inspired you to be a woman in this crazy space? I was at the Bitcoin conference. I’m looking around and I’m like, “About 15% of what I’m seeing here is female.” Later, they came out with a statistic that said we can use our women’s intuition to figure stuff out. What caused you to get all excited about being a woman in a space that’s so minority women?

It all started early 2021 with my husband who was reading up about NFTs. He turned to me, he’s like, “You have to read about this. You have to look into this. It’s tech. It’s art. It’s you.” I have an art background, one of my undergraduate degrees. I went to university in the US, College of the Holy Cross in Western, Massachusetts is my undergraduate alma mater. I had a Political Science and Studio Art degree there and then I ended up going for my Master’s at Hofstra University with Business Journalism. There’s a lot of mishmash in there, but I’ve always gravitated towards my art. I’ve always loved art. When he had suggested I look into it, I started reading up about NFTs and I’m like, “This is me. This is exactly me.”

Not only because of the art, but because an NFT to me was an authentication process. I feel that the world needs more authenticity in many ways. It’s a digital asset that’s on the blockchain. As I started going down the rabbit hole and reading more about Web3, I started having conversations with women in my network, with women that are my friends that I know about crypto, Web3 to gauge their interests. Quite honestly, there were few, if any, at the time, and I’ll tell you about the one that I met, who wasn’t into crypto. That’s how we birthed this idea. There was not a lot of women in this space at all. None of them were in crypto.

YGA 228 | Venusverse

Venusverse: People are starting to play with all kinds of codes within the smart contract and they’re building new and exciting and interesting things.

 

None of them knew what NFTs were or Web3. It’s not because they didn’t want to. It’s just there wasn’t any exposure to this information. As I started looking into it more, I came across a statistic in The Globe and Mail from 2018. I’m sure it’s morphed and changed. There’s not enough statistics out there around this, but that’s another thing I’m trying to change, too. There was only 5% of women in Canada in the crypto, NFT, and Web3 space, and 95% of men in Canada were in the crypto, NFT, and Web3 space. When I saw that statistic, I was like, “There a fundamental issue here.” There’s a fundamental issue. Somebody has to solve for this problem. I was at a juncture in my life where I was ready to solve all kinds of problems and I was ready to make a move.

I figured it makes sense for me to jump in, given my background, given my love for entrepreneurship, and given the fact that I have no problem being one of the first in the space and hopefully getting more women to think more about this. That’s how I decided I wanted to do something different and start my own startup. I came across Natalie Dumont, who is a cofounder and now my facilitator who facilitates the Web3 sessions that we have. Her and I were talking. She was the only other woman that I met that was into NFTs. We’re like, “We got to do something about this. This statistic is not a good one. It’s not a good one for Canadian women. We have to make some change.” Through that, we decided that we’re going to be actively making some changes.

I’m glad because I get to play in the Miami space physically a lot. There are a lot of women here that are into Web3 that are into NFTs. I want to make a distinction in case this is the first episode you’re reading, please be aware that we’ve done other episodes around NFTs. This is not just NFTs as art. NFTS are smart contracts. They’re applicable in every business. There’s an episode a couple back that I did by myself that was like, “This is the trajectory that I see for NFTs over the next twenty years.” That episode was all about smart contracts in every single business industry.” It’s going to be everywhere. 

I have the perspective of being able to have seen, because I was growing up cutting my teeth of my first company back in the CD rom and dot-com days. I got to see a whole industry get birthed the way that this industry is being birthed. I get to see that this is how it looks when something is struggling to emerge. There’s a lot of like, “This thing is dead. There was this big NFT bubble.” All of those things are true, but they’re on their way to something being ubiquitous. That’s what we’re going to see with NFT. I want to take that aside to make sure everybody’s on the same page about that. I feel like NFTs, as art came out first may often because artists haven’t had a voice in the past. I have a friend who’s a pretty famous artist. The last time we saw each other, she told me a story about being completely robbed by her famous dealer. 

These are people with a reputation and in the top cities of the planet and yet they stole from her. You’re like, “You’re making all the money in the first place.” I feel like women have come into the NFT space because it’s like, “We can stamp ownership on this thing and know that it belongs to us.” Talk a little bit about those aspects of what drew you to the space. 

With NFT, you get a unique crypto asset that's yours and you can do whatever you want with it. Click To Tweet

I’ll tell you more about my collection and how I’ve consciously made a decision to do it differently. I haven’t gone down the whole route that a lot of the other collections have gone down deliberately. I’ll tell you a little bit about that, but I also want to touch on the vision for NFTs too, because I completely agree with you. It is early adopter stage. A lot of people are starting to play with all kinds of codes within the smart contract. They’re building new and exciting and interesting things. There’s been a lot of press around this, but then we have the soulbound NFTs. I’m happy to talk a little bit about that. That is to me going to be revolutionary and will change the face of digital ID.

There’s a lot around NFTs that that to me personally will change and revolutionize the world. It’s not just about the art. To your point, a lot of revolutions in history have started with artists in some way, or artists have been a big part of it. If you think about cubism, romanticism, a lot of these different genres of art, there’s been some serious revolutions that have come about with it. It’s not any different now in my personal opinion. This is an industrial revolution starting with the artists as it should because it is a creator economy. It is a decentralized creator economy. Artists should be the first in the door. Quite honestly, it’s the reason why I double majored because of the starving artist thing. I’m like, “There’s no chance I’m going to make any money in art. I’m going to do poly side as well and go down that path.”

There is that whole starving artist thing. Now what NFTs do is remove all the other individuals that surround the artists and allows for the artists, whether it’s a singer, songwriter, a traditional artist in the sense of painter, a photographer, any of the artists, allows them to interact directly with their fan base and constituents who they want to engage. It removes all the others around it. They no longer have to go to a gallery. They can save costs there. For me, what NFTs are it is enough authentication process, but it’s also a membership card. You can make it a membership card. A lot of different entities are starting to think about it this way.

They could be tickets to a concert or to a game. There’s so much revolution that’s happening with NFTs. To the soulbound NFTs, which I do want to touch on for a second, this is the latest thing that Vitalik had talked about. When I first started talking about NFTs, I thought to myself, “It would be amazing to have a university diploma as an NFT because I’ve traveled the world. I’ve lived in a lot of different countries. I’ve had to lug these university diplomas with me, folding them up and they’re gold crumbled.”

How cool is it if you have an actual digital asset that proves you’re an alma mater of a university or your university diploma is a digital asset? What soulbound NFTs are supposed to be are NFTs that are not going to leave your wallet. They don’t leave your wallet. If you think about it from a passport perspective, from a health card perspective here in Canada, driver’s license, Social Security cards, all of these can be soulbound NFTs. It’s interesting because the name is soulbound, bound to your soul NFTs. From a digital ID perspective, it’s going to revolutionize the world and the way we live. I would love never to have to carry a physical hard copy of my passport again and show.

YGA 228 | Venusverse

Venusverse: There is no better time to start learning new things than during the Great Resignation because there’s going to be an upcycle very soon.

 

One of the things that I talked about in that episode that I did about NFTs was the idea that you would be able to share your health information as opposed to asking for it from your doctor. We’re recording this episode after the new Supreme Court decision reversing Roe v. Wade. I’ll say this with my tongue firmly in my cheek, there are a few things that maybe we should look at fundamentally doing differently. Healthcare and our access to our own health information is one of the things that we’re going to start being able to see. The digital revolution, this phase of it is going to help fix that. I hope that real estate will also be revolutionized. I’m already seeing Proppy, the company that’s already done some NFTs as real estate. 

I am in the real estate space peripherally. I get to see the front lines of that. It’s cool to see what’s happening. I’m hoping that the records themselves will become NFTs because that’s important. It’s always going to be a matter of how humans are willing to interact with the system or with the laws or the rules. For example, if you look at either health or real estate, when you’re thinking in terms of an NFT, there’s a chain of title, for example, with real estate, or there’s a chain of your health and your medical records. What happens is if you wanted to, you simply wouldn’t put something on chain. If something were illegal or something that you wanted to emit, you could by not putting it on chain.

I don’t exactly know how that is going to function when the human part of it can be interruptive to the way that the system is supposed to work. There was an expression that I heard about now that Roe v. Wade has been reversed, malicious compliance I believe was the phrase that was used. I was like, “That’s interesting that women are going to be in malicious compliance.” For that, it’s going to include, and this I’m sure will warm your cockles because we were talking about how upset this decision has made you. For example, the IRS says that before birth, you’re not a person, therefore you can’t be deducted from taxes.

Now they’re saying you are a person, so we can expect some lawsuits for the IRS. Bette Midler famously said, “If pregnancy is God’s will, so is your limp dick.” Bette Midler pulls no punches. She’s like, “Now we need to outlaw Viagra.” Insurance and like all of these things that have not been handled in a congruent way. This is Roe v. Wade reversing the tip of the iceberg. Malicious compliance is going to be interesting to see what happens.

I want to touch on this for sure, it is a decision that all women should be paying attention to. I’ll tell you why in a second. I also want to talk about the real estate piece, because there was an interesting, and I use this example as to how NFTS are going to create a ton of efficiencies through real estate too, to your point. I’d love to talk a little bit more about how I’ve been able to do things a little bit differently with our collection, why I’m doing it that way. It’s important for women to also know that this is still nascent. This is early adopter stage. There’s so much room to grow and room for innovation.

Marry the traditional artwork with the tech and actually grow your collection to something pretty big and beautiful. Click To Tweet

I do want to plant that seed for a lot of women to start thinking in that way, too. With regards to Roe v. Wade, I’m born Canadian, but have lived quite a long time in my life in the US between Boston, New York, and Washington DC. I grew up in Boston, went to university in Worcester. I also went to university in New York when I was working there on Long Island. A lot of my close family and friends are American women. The revolution for women started with American women. The fact that this Roe v. Wade was reversed almost 50 years later, it has a much bigger ripple effect than a lot of us are talking about.

It is obviously the leader of the free world. America is perceived to be the leader of the free world. When America makes a decision to reverse a Roe v. Wade, it has an incredible amount of ripple effects across the world. It sets a precedence and the tone for the rest of the world. To me, it’s something we should all be paying attention to, because who knows where this is going to go? First and foremost, it broke my heart because American women are the pioneers and the leaders behind the freedom that women have had over the last several years, quite honestly. It is completely unjust that we’re back here.

What I’ve been saying is that women need to start paying attention to Web3 personally. This is where there can be a lot of women jumping into the space, starting to think about creating their own businesses in the space. In Canada right now, we’re going through a great resignation. I’m pretty sure it’s the same in the US. There’s no better time to start learning new things and how to jump into new things than during a great resignation, because with great resignations, there’s going to be an upcycle soon.

You want to start thinking about that. Women all across the world, women in America should start thinking about, “How can we get ahead? How can we start to change that narrative? How can we start to make decisions for ourselves and be at the forefront of things, whether it’s getting more into politics, whether it’s becoming entrepreneurs and taking over certain spaces?” We need to start thinking about getting ahead so that we don’t have to succumb to a lot of these decisions that are made for us unjustly, in my personal opinion. This is all my personal opinion.

My personal opinion is sharing your personal opinion. Women reading, we’re not talking about pregnancy and abortion. That is not the biggest concern. The biggest concern is that this creates an unequal right between men and women. It says that women’s bodies can be regulated in any way. Most of the women that I know, whether they support abortion or not, are feeling the ripple of discomfort of this law being regulating women. We’re the leader of the free world. The word that’s operative here is free. How is there freedom from America that’s the land of the free and the home of the brave, when women are being told, “You can do this. You can’t do this?” 

YGA 228 | Venusverse

Venusverse: As women, we need to start thinking about getting ahead so that we don’t have to succumb to decisions that are made for us unjustly.

 

They say that they’re going to go after gay rights in this country next. It’s weird because I don’t identify as being a gay woman, but I’ve been living in with my female partner happily for many years. It’s bizarre to be like, “Let’s not get into my own personal brain,” but rather it’s who we love and who we choose to love and how we accidentally fall in love with that person who also has boobs and whatever. It’s been an interesting ride for me. It puts me on a different side of the coin than I was on my whole life. I was always concerned with gay rights. I was concerned about that back in the ‘80s when AIDS was a thing.

It’s about our freedom. If we’re patriots, and that’s what I hear from the far right all the time, and we want freedom, we have to want freedom for every person, not just White guys. As you’ve been sharing, there’s such freedom in being revolutionary and in creating. That’s what draws women as artists to that space. Anyway, I didn’t mean to interrupt you. I know you have other stuff to share. 

Thank you for sharing that. To be completely honest with you, unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any limits to what can happen next. That’s how I see it. When you go back many years in a Supreme Court decision, who knows what’s coming next? I totally empathize and agree with you. Everybody needs to have their eyes wide open and following what’s happening and trying to get in front of it. How we get in front of it is to become more independent financially, to be honest with you, and also to become more active and vocal. To your point about Midler and some of the things that she was saying too, I read something about how a woman was in the fast lane and she was given a ticket and she was like, “I’m pregnant. Technically, this is another person. I’m in the fast lane for all the right reasons.”

You have to keep doing this because this is the decision. The decision has been made by the Supreme Court. Unfortunately, all we can do now is act on those decisions in all the right ways and make sure that we are countering it as much as we can. I will stop there with that. I totally agree with you. This is something that we should all be aware of and all be looking out for. With regards to the NFT that was listed as a deed, in St. Petersburg, Florida, I don’t know if you’ve heard about this story, a home was sold on the blockchain as an NFT with the deed as an NFT. I love to use this example.

When you think about it, all the loopholes we have to jump through now in order to buy a home. You go through a bank, you have to have a credit score, go to a lawyer, go to a real estate agent. There’s a lot of different entities that surround this purchase. You may or may not get the approval based on your credit score. What they did was they listed the deed to the home as an NFT and they were able to make that sale peer-to-peer, which is the whole idea behind the blockchain, is peer to peer interaction, creating a lot of efficiencies.

We need women artists in Web3 because we need cognitive diversity. Click To Tweet

It was Propy that did that. There are layers to this that are interesting. I’m going to have Natalia as a guest on the show, the owner of the company, one of these days. She’s also here in Miami. We know each other. I’m excited about what they’re doing. It’s interesting because now the NFT is partly usable, partly not usable. It has to be put in an LLC. It seems like it’s peer-to-peer, but there are nuances that they haven’t figured out yet. What’s fascinating, and this goes back to ownership, the first NFT that Propy did was in Kiev City, Ukraine. Irony of irony. 

This was like last October 2021 before Russia invaded. I don’t know if the mortgage company still exist or has been bombed out of existence. I don’t know if the condos still exist or has been bombed out of existence, but normally when those two things happen, it’s hard to prove ownership. This is the first time in recorded history that no one will have any trouble proving, “Yes, I own that condo.” When they go to rebuild or give restitution or pay the building owner or whatever, that person can be at the head of the line because their ownership is incontrovertible. I’ve studied a lot about World War II Nazi, Germany. I finished reading this amazing book called The Hare with Amber Eyes, which traces the origin of this collection of Japanese netsuke across from the impressionists when it was originally purchased all the way through modern times.

It’s an incredibly wealthy Jewish family. They talk about how everything is taken from them. The art is taken from them. There’s no way to prove ownership, or it was assigned over under duress that’s supposedly was gladly given, but not really. I feel like when it comes to the idea of an NFT being owned, that’s got so much value because it crosses time, space, and history. It’s going to change ownership. Women are at the forefront of that. That’s incredible. I know you mentioned before we started the session about giving merchandise rights and things like that to the NFTs. Talk a little bit more about that, because that also has such an important ripple effect.

With regards to Our Women of Venus first collection, I want this to be different than all the other collections that are out there. The one I first jumped in when we first jumped in, the way collections were done is you list your collection. Usually, it was around 10,000 pieces of generative art. For those who aren’t aware of the term, it’s AI art. Properties are all put together by AI, by a code, and mixed together in order to ensure that not no two properties are the same. When you have 10,000-piece collection, the whole idea behind an NFT, it’s a non-fungible token. It’s a unique crypto asset.

There’s not supposed to be another one out there. Even though let’s say you have one ETH and I have one ETH, the value of those two ETHs are the same. It’s not the same with NFTs. If you have an NFT and I have an NFT, the idea is that those two NFTs are supposed to be unique and different and there shouldn’t be another one on the blockchain like that.

YGA 228 | Venusverse

Venusverse: NFTs are now JPEGs smart contracts that give owners of the art, not just artists, the ownership that they’re entitled to with this art because at the end of the day, art is an investment and you can sell it.

 

Crypto 101 here. What Janelle has described is a fungible token. Something that could be exchanged like for like, and that would be to ETHs. Ether is the coin for Ethereum blockchain. ETH is the code that you use when you buy it. ETH to ETH is fungible, exchanged like for like. NFT to NFT, like house to house, or car to car, not exchangeable because they are not identical. That’s probably not true about cars, for example. You could have something that was 100% but there would be some nuance differences like mileage or some little problem that the car had. NFTs are designed with those differences built in to be unique. That is what makes them non-fungible, like non-exchangeable Why they had to use a word that sounds like mushrooms? I don’t know. Anyway, go ahead. I just wanted to make sure everybody’s on the same page with you.

Thank you for that. Always interject and walk it back when you need to. Anyways, the whole idea behind having an NFT to me was you have a unique crypto asset that’s yours. You can do whatever you want with. When I first launched this, there’s a little bit of a story behind our collection too, which is a pretty interesting one. It’s 2022 pieces. The whole idea is that this is the year that we launched Venusverse 2022, but also, 222 is a number 6, which is the number for unconditional love and selflessness. It’s also the number for the planet Venus in terms of size and mass. I thought to myself, “This is where it’s all coming together, Venus the goddess, Venus the planet, 222 makes sense.” There’s a little bit of a backstory behind it.

The whole idea was to bring concepts of 2,022 women from across the world. It’s a diverse collection. There’s a lot of beautiful, phenomenal collections out there, but it was meant to keep it real. I wanted it to be real for women. We have completely transparent, all kinds of skin tones across the planet. That’s the whole idea. We wanted diversity in our collection. There are different headpieces, properties when it comes to jewelry and glasses, tattoos. There’s a lot of different elements to it, but it’s supposed to represent 2,022 women from across the world.

What we did was I hired a digital artist at first. I had a vision in my head and I thought to myself, “I can do this, try to learn digital art, but there’s a lot of talented digital artists out there right now. This is an opportunity to bring digital artists into the NFT fold.” I hired a digital artist who started taking my concepts and working through it. She designed the first 104 pieces of the collection.

She drew them out, hand drawn. They’re animated. That’s a beautiful part. We’ve animated part of our collection, which a lot of the big female collections out there don’t have this element to it. You have flowers blooming in the background, or you have their eyes shuttering. She drew those out and then we drew another ten for the team and then we took properties and we drew out all the personal properties that we want to see that I loved and wanted to see included in the collection. I hired a generative artist, because after we were done with the 114, we’re like, “There’s a long way to go to fill out the rest of it.”

Art is in the eye of the beholder. Whether it's a yacht club or another collection, it ultimately comes back to the person who's purchased it, the person who's interested in it. Click To Tweet

The other 1,908 has been put together by generative art and it was done by design. The whole idea was I wanted to show how you can marry the traditional artwork with the tech, with the AI piece, and grow your collection to something pretty big and beautiful. All that to say is it’s a unique collection that’s out there. It’s the first of its kind. When I first put the collection out there to the public, and right now it’s being exhibited at a local museum, the whole idea was that it would be pure art because quite honestly, we need not only women in Web3 because we need that cognitive diversity, we need artists in Web3 because we also need that cognitive diversity.

It’s a little bit of an artist movement as well. It was supposed to be art, but then as I started speaking with our community, they’re like, “I want to print this and put this up in my home. I want to be able to use this on merch. I want to print it on a t-shirt.” I listened and we heard our community. We revised our licensing agreement to allow for any of our token holders to be able to use their crypto asset, their NFTs, however they’d like, as long as it’s for good. The idea is that you want to create merch, you can go create your own merch shop on Etsy. You want to print something out and give it as a gift, you can do that.

It’s your digital asset to do whatever you want with at that time. It’s allowing for more freedom. Also, there’s a lot of AI that’s coming out now, that’s creating characters out of these NFTs that you can use in movies and animation film. There’s so much you can do. You have proven on the blockchain that this is your digital asset. There’s so much you can do with these NFTs now.

I was in the Hard Rock Guitar hotel. It’s near me. I go all the time. They have a gallery. I usually walk around the gallery. It tends to have rock and roll artists in, art from rock and roll artists. I don’t know why, but they seem to like creating it. All of a sudden, I saw a Bored Ape on the wall. I was like, “What the heck is this?” It was a print of somebody’s Board Ape Yacht Club NFT ape, but it had no NFT attached to it. It was just a print. It was $5,000. They had a picture of it on the wall. I found that to be totally uninteresting. Why would I want that? Why would that be important to me? I talked about this in a previous episode, why would I want to own a digital print of somebody else’s Bored Ape? The Bored Ape Yach Club specifically to me has such a bro culture to it. Honestly, if something was going to become the biggest hit of the NFT art world, why did it have to be so ugly?

Don’t get me started on that one either. Honestly, I will refrain from commenting on that collection.

YGA 228 | Venusverse

Venusverse: Let’s figure out how we can either become an entrepreneur or contribute to this next-generation wealth economy because this is our chance for that reset that we’ve been looking for.

 

I hear that there’s going to be a cartoon. I could see the personalities of these guys being super fun. I’m thinking like the raccoon from Guardians of the Galaxy, for example, that kind of character. That would be fun. Right now, as individual pieces of visual art, God bless the people who made millions of dollars buying twenty of them upfront. I’m afraid I would have missed the boat thinking, “This is so ugly.” What I am drawn to and love is the type of art that you’re talking about. I have seen a couple of other NFT collections that have some of the design elements that you’re talking about. There’s one, for example, where they encode intentions into each NFT. 

It’s a soul-based NFT collection. The Crypto Chicks is one of the most famous ones, where they’ve got the different elements and such. Crypto Coven is another one. All women artists developing something that’s beautiful. To me, the idea of turning that into art or merchandise or whatever is awesome. I was thinking how prejudiced am I being exactly ragging on the BAYC print for $5,000. If your NFT collection was valued at the value that theirs was, let’s say it costs $1 million own a single one of your NFTs, your art, the digital print of that probably would go for $5,000, $10,000. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

To your point, art is in the eye of the beholder. Whether it’s BAYC, Bored Ape Yacht Club, or another collection, ultimately it comes back to the person who purchased it, the person who’s interested in it. It’s a collectible the way any other art is. I have art hanging around my house that might not appeal to other people. I’m big into collecting art, but at the same time, to me, it’s beautiful and I won’t change it for anything. I would love to have it recorded on the blockchain. That is the beauty. I have art in my home, but I technically can’t prove it to anybody that doesn’t come to my home. On the blockchain, you prove that. It’s proven. It’s out there in a public network, on the most secure, in my personal opinion, system the web ever. It’s recorded in a way that it ties it back to you as the owner.

I love the fact that JPEG smart contracts are giving owners, too. Not just artists, but owners of the art at the ownership that they they’re entitled to with this art, because art is an investment at the end of the day. You can sell it. World of Women sold I believe at Sotheby’s or Christie’s, if I’m not mistaken, one of those two big auction houses. It is digital art, which is awesome. I’m happy that happened because it is a new art revolution. It is a digital revolution.

We need to start thinking about it that way. When you have this asset, if you can use it however you want, if there’s a licensing agreement or terms that allows you to do it, you should. You don’t have to go out and commission somebody to do it yourself. Now you have a crypto asset that’s yours that’s been already done for you that you can use however you want. That’s the beauty of being able to use and appreciate your art in this world.

Women as a whole are biologically conditioned to think for collectives. That's what separates us. Click To Tweet

I like your generosity. If a woman comes to you and says, “I want to create an Etsy store to do merchandise of an art piece that you created as part of your NFT collection,” you have empowered another woman to build her own economy. For us women, creating our own economy is the key to those freedoms that we were talking about earlier. That’s beautiful. Again, generous of you as well. That speaks to women tending to be more collaborative and community-oriented than competitive. We can be in competition with each other. There are other women-led NFT collections, but they would be much more likely I’ve seen this inside of parties and stuff, rival NFT community women leaders are going to come together and then they’re like, “Yey,” for each other. It’s a beautiful thing.

I don’t think there could be any controversy behind this. Women as a whole, we are biologically, by nature conditioned to think for collectives. That’s what separates us. When we make decisions, we make decisions more for the collective. Not that others don’t, but it’s innate within us to be able to do that. That’s the beauty of having women lead, because we’re always going to be thinking about others. We’re always going to be thinking about how can we help others in the space. If you think of white-collar crimes, how many of them have been done by women? I would love to see a statistic. I would challenge anybody out there to show me a statistic of white-collar crimes done by others, as opposed to women. I would love to see that statistic because I’m pretty sure that number is low for women.

I have the same issue. I love shooting guns. It’s fun. You can’t even imagine. I also recognize that women are not responsible for any of the mass shootings that have gone on in the United States or elsewhere. I was playing Halo with my girlfriend before the movie started. I was like, “This is fun to shoot this assault rifle and to shoot this other rifle.” We switched ammunition every five seconds. Yet there’s no part of me that wants to go out and shoot human beings. Women, as you pointed out, we’re responsible for the collective. We’re also responsible for creating life.

I’m sure there are exceptions to what I’m saying, but not statistically. There are no exceptions statistically. I always end up coming back to this quote that the Dalai Lama said, “The world will be saved by the Western woman.” He didn’t mean some other women. He meant actual you, actual me, actual you who are reading. This is important that you understand that we are all getting this call at the same time.

The time is now to be looking into what Web3 is. As we’re winding down the episode, I’d love to put in a plug for how women should take some time to look into Web3, understand more about it. If there’s any opportunity to learn or sign up for any sessions, our sessions right now are for Canadian women. I’m hoping to branch out more internationally, but we do have sessions that are 75 minutes that help give women a high-level tutorial of what Web3 is. By the end of it, they walk away thinking about how they can apply their skills in Web2 to the world of Web3.

The time is now to be looking into what Web3 is. Click To Tweet

We should all be starting to think like that. We should be jumping in. We should be trying to figure out how can we either become an entrepreneur or how can we contribute to this next generation wealth economy, or how can we make money in this next generation of the economy. We should all be thinking about this as women, because this is our chance for that reset that we’ve been looking for. Let’s do it. Let’s make it happen. 

Thank you so much for being here. I’m impressed. If you’re a woman and you’re thinking about, “How can I get started? How can I get in?” 5%, those numbers need to change. The statistics are a little bit different in the US. It’s slightly higher, but still, 15%. For it to get to be 50%, you have to participate. You have to say yes, even though it’s scary, even though it feels hard, and recognize that like Janelle and I are having this great conversation and we’re already talking about working together, there’s always so much opportunity. Recognize that there are going to be other women that are going to support you and buoy you and hold you up when you’re feeling like you need it. We want to be that resource for you. Dive in with both feet. Thank you so much, Janelle. It’s been great. 

Thank you so much for having me. It’s been a pleasure.

If you have enjoyed this episode, please like, comment, review, and share. Share it with every single woman that you know. In that way, all the women in the world can get into this opportunity that is unprecedented, and we can start changing our world for the better.

 

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About Janelle Chalouhi

YGA 228 | VenusverseCEO and Founder of Canada’s first female founded, female focused Web3 educational program, incubator and NFT collection