Elrond News Now S1 EP8 — On Chain Smokers Interview — 02 Oct 2022

In this program we interviewed Lukas from On Chain Smokers which is a membership program leveraging blockchain technology and the opportunities of Web3 to deliver unique benefits to the global cannabis community.

On Chain Smokers has 3 main goals, and they are:

Goal 1. Provide a blockchain use case to members of the traditional customer base of cannabis businesses and introduce a new audience to the benefits and opportunities of blockchain technology and Web3.

Goal 2: Create tangible value by connecting real businesses with the crypto community and provide benefits both online and in physical locations worldwide.

Goal 3: Bring together the cannabis community through a variety of educational programs, events, and connect likeminded people around the globe.

In this interview, we covered topics such as:
* What Is On Chain Smokers & What Do They Do?
* Idea To Reward Loyal Customers For Businesses
* On Chain Smokers Using Maiar App
* On Chain Smokers Used Maiar App For In-Store Mints
* On Chain Smokers Differentiation In The Cannabis Industry
* Main Difference With Using Elrond In The Cannabis Industry
* On Chain Smokers Target Market
* How Regulations Are An Advantage To On Chain Smokers
* Benefits Of Connecting Cannbis & Blockchain Together
* Challenges That On Chain Smokers Found
* Vision Of On Chain Smokers Project & Vision For The Utility Of Their NFT’s
* Path Of On Chain Smokers Onboarding From Local To Worldwide
* On Chain Smokers Enthusiasm & Invitation To Feedback For Further Development
* Best Way To Find Out More About On Chain Smokers

This interview is also available in video and audio format at:
YouTube: https://youtu.be/hybsZCw4XuI
Anchor: https://anchor.fm/elrond-news/episodes/Elrond-News-Now-S1-EP8---On-Chain-Smokers-Interview---02-Oct-2022-e1olnc3
#blockchain #crypto #digitalassets #elrond #elrondnetwork #cryptocurrency #cryptonews #cryptocurrencies #cryptocurrencynews #blockchainnews #nfts #nft #elrondcommunity #digitaltechnology #digitalassets #cannabis #cannabisnews #thc #businesses

Here is the interview transcript below:

Armand: Alright guys, it’s Armand here from Elrond News Now and I’ve got here Lukas from On Chain Smokers and it’s a privilege to have him here with us to find out about what On Chain Smokers do. We’ll find out. Let’s get started. Can you tell us about your background and what you do at On Chain Smokers?

Lukas: Thanks for having me, Armand. It’s a pleasure speaking with you and being able to speak about the project. So I’m one of three co-founders of On Chain Smokers. We are a membership program leveraging blockchain technology.

I think we’ll get into what that means specifically a little bit later, but basically what we were seeing was that there was no particular use cases for membership programs in particular. Also in general, like tying real life businesses to blockchain technology and connecting businesses with the community using that technology.

That was something we saw missing in the space and because we had all these great connections in the Cannabis industry, my co-founders are both in the cannabis industry. Willem has owned a coffee shop for 30 years. So, it seemed kind of a natural way of trying to forge a new path of doing things and connecting people with businesses.

That’s how we kind of came up with the idea for a membership program first for one coffee shop, more as a loyalty program, and then expanded the idea from there , to really include coffee shops and dispensaries and clubs and the community at large worldwide. Yeah, it’s been exciting so far.

Armand: That’s great. Thank you and was that the main reason that prompted you and your team to create On Chain Smokers is the membership side or was there something more to that?

Lukas: I think we saw a need, well the initial idea really came from connecting businesses that don’t really have access sometimes to bank accounts and stuff like that. That was an issue, that was seen, but it was really, more about finding a way to reward loyal customers that was at the core of it, establishing something at a coffee shop was really the intention. Having a different relationship with customers that enables businesses to work closely together with their community, to create something with them and not just for them in order to really improve the quality of services and products at different shops.

We started, because that’s kind of where our connections were in the cannabis industry, but we really want to show a new way forward for any business, in any industry to connect and relate with their customers.

Armand: Thank you for that, and what made you guys choose Elrond as the blockchain of choice for On Chain Smokers?

Lukas: I think one of the main reasons was that we found the Maiar app to be extremely intuitive and easy to use. So when you compare it with some of the other wallets that are out there, even phone applications, they require quite a long time to set up and they’re very unintuitive to use sometimes for inexperienced users.

With the Maiar app, it really, makes things easy, makes onboarding easy, and that’s the main thing that we believe stands between mass adoption and being reached is making it easy for people, lowering the threshold, making it less scary and we saw the Meyer app as a great tool for that.

Of course we also all discovered Elrond in summer of 2020, and have been active in the community for a long time and so we also wanted to give back, to the community that kind of taught us about NFTs and what you can do with them.

The whole project really started as a way of giving back first to loyal customers of businesses in the cannabis industry, but then also we want to give back to Elrond and really kind of create something on a chain that is fast, cheap, reliable and user friendly. That’s kind of how we ended up really going for it with Elrond as well, to start at least.

Armand: I see and you know, it’s funny ’cause pretty much all the people that I’ve interviewed in different projects, they’re saying Maiar is one of the easiest apps to use, mainly even from onboarding part, all the way to the process of starting to finish just makes it so easy.

And the transition from them to being a user is seamless which is, what we would like for people to do for user adoption and to scale, I guess.

Lukas: For sure, what our experience with it. So, we did two in store mints so far and we were using the Maiar app and it’s very interesting because we dealt with 95 plus percent of people that had never, that don’t own any crypto assets that are sometimes, kind of scared of, what that might mean for them.

We were able to have them create a wallet and receive our membership pass within five to 10 minutes. Most people can do it by themselves just with a little manual that we created for this. Some people, especially non-digital natives, of course, need a little bit longer to figure it out and sometimes some help, but, even that group you know, it took maybe 10 to 15 minutes maximum to get that all sorted.

And that’s, I think something that’s really special about the app and can really help. You know, show people that blockchain is not something super abstract and complicated, but you can actually bring stuff to their wallet. You can onboard people within 10 to 15 minutes maximum and I think that is something that’s really rare. It’s really special and it makes Elrond kind of stand out when it comes to ease of use and onboarding and that process.

Armand: Yeah. That’s great and what is it that makes On Chain Smokers different from other projects and also other businesses involved in the cannabis industry?

Lukas: Well, I think the main difference the Elrond space, of course, is that we don’t have a very kind of like abstract roadmap. We’re not a game project. We’re not building something just online. We’re really connecting the blockchain with real users, with real businesses, and that’s, I think, very unique.

I think membership programs and a lot of these things going forward will actually look a lot like what we’re doing now. It’s just not being done for whatever reason. Honestly, I was brought in as the nexus between the cannabis business and then the blockchain.

And I was like let’s expand this idea of the membership program and not just do one loyalty pass for a specific shop, but do the whole thing. But then I was like, well, I’m sure that exists already. Then I learned it doesn’t exist because a lot of these membership programs do exist, in different businesses, not in this particular niche. But I think in the long run, a lot of membership programs, regardless of the industry, will actually look a lot like what we’re doing because it’s just more practical. You can do cool stuff, you can do more stuff, you can do it cheaper, faster. You can connect directly with your audience and customers, and you can involve them in a more meaningful way.

So I think that is the way forward. The main difference both on Elrond and in the Cannabis industries is that we are thinking bigger on a global scale, connecting different communities around the world with one another and then also bringing real life utility to a space that’s often a little, let’s say speculative in its goals. So to be able to bring your NFT to a shop and get great benefits from it, that is rare. It’s even rare. Although I think, people are starting to rethink their approaches a little bit. And there’s been some new projects on Elrond that connect with customers with subscriptions or those kind of things in a way that enables them to access tools, et cetera.

So I think that would be the main difference that we’re really thinking about, Okay, how can we change people’s lives, not just by owning nice pictures or great artwork, which is amazing as well but, giving them a real life utility. Be it learning stuff online or be it going to a place, getting perks at a physical location.

Armand: Yeah. That’s great and so who is your target market on On Chain Smokers?

Lukas: We have two pretty distinct ones. I think. We have the people who know very little about blockchain technology usually coming from the local shops that we’ll partner with, bringing them into the blockchain space, showing them the opportunities and everything that they can do with a membership program that’s not like a physical card, but actually something that connects them with a whole new world of opportunities.

That would be one and the other one is going the other way around, going to a community, that might be, smokers and all of that, but they’re in the crypto space and they’re used to buying JPEG’s and maybe trying to flip them and do that. So, offering them a new way to think about what an NFT can be and what utility that can have, and that it can really connect them with something physical as well.

So those are the main two groups and then bringing those groups together and building new stuff and fun new utilities, connecting people around the world or, you know, these kind of distinct communities with one another is another target as well.

Armand: You know, I haven’t seen any Cannabis business that’s actually involved themselves in blockchain and are doing something with NFT and from what I know is you guys are probably the only one or the first one who’s ever done anything with it, where you introduce the NFT and the membership and using the blockchain as well.

Now, Cannabis has had a bit of a stigma in the previous years and all that seemed to have changed in the last few years with Cannabis businesses that have sprung up everywhere and were publicly listed at insane valuations, listed in the share market. However, the industry is still being highly regulated in different parts of the world, especially in the US.

How are you finding these regulations affecting or not affecting On Chain Smokers?

Lukas: Well, actually the regulations are mostly, advantageous because it enables us to operate in a regulated market, sometimes, you know, all the uncertainties that come with not so regulated markets can be a hindrance or at least an obstacle when it comes to incorporating or establishing a business and paying taxes and all this stuff that any business will have to do at some point, in some way.

So for us, we actually welcome a more clear legislation in order to be able to navigate that in a more clear way and what I think one of the benefits of connecting particularly Cannabis and particularly the blockchain, is that both are very dynamic at the moment.

There is still this uncertainty about certain things and the EU is figuring out the laws leading to legalization. You know, Germany will legalize in the near future. Holland has new programs to actually take the industry to a fully legal status, which it doesn’t have at the moment.

So for us, that’s a good development, being able to operate in a fully transparent way with businesses that can operate in a fully transparent way as well. In the US particularly, we haven’t finalized any partnerships with dispensaries there. So we’ll see, how that is different.

Since we are aiming for transparency and all of that, it can be an advantage, of having these regulations be in place and being able to, fully operate above board and in compliance, with all relevant laws. The problem really occurs more so that when you’re not aware of these laws because they don’t exist.

And that’s more, I think what the problem could be. Of course, the membership program does not involve any businesses that are not fully compliant with the relevant laws. So for us legislation being established and cannabis being legalized around the world, which I think is a trend and we expect that, many countries will follow suit, in all continents. That will enable us to expand our membership program to all of these new countries. And we see that as a positive development.

Armand: That’s great. Did you encounter any problems or challenges whilst building On Chain Smokers? And how did you and the team overcome them?

Lukas: Yeah, I mean, lots of challenges. Most of them pretty fun. I think one of the biggest ones talking to customers directly is the stigma of blockchain. I mean, we are talking to a population that Is comfortable with cannabis use, but they still have all the same kind of misconceptions about what blockchain is or what crypto is or what NFTs are.

So I think educating people on that and really inviting them into a new space and teaching them and being able to also develop new ideas and have them bring in new thoughts that people who are used to the way things are working in the crypto sphere, I would not have. So that’s been really enriching, I think.

Yeah, of course. On the other hand of the of the coin, there’s you know, the suspicion that if you work in Cannabis, there’s something illegal going on or something like that. That’s more from banks and those kind of entities. So, I highlight that issue when we were talking about the legislation part.

I think both of these fields are super dynamic and it’s really interesting and we’re really glad to be able to kind of shape the way that people think about these things and as challenging as it might be at the moment will also help figure out a productive way of dealing with these problems.

Hopefully you get to shape, in some little way that people deal with both the blockchain technology that’s coming and the new legislations in the cannabis world.

Armand: Like you said, you guys are pretty much paving the way through the cannabis industry that’s been using a legacy technology. So you’re pretty much right there at the front and eventually, everyone will hopefully follow your path. So it’s a good thing that you guys are doing that. So, what is the vision of On Chain Smokers and the utility for On Chain Smokers NFT’s?

Lukas: The vision for the NFTs or the vision for the project?

Armand: I guess both. We’ll start with the vision for the project first and then with the utility for the NFT’s.

Lukas: I think the vision for the project, the kind of grandeur vision that goes beyond or transcends any industry really is to change the way that customers and businesses interact. We think that the future of the way they will interact will go towards a way of a partnership rather than a buyer or seller relationship. We think that the way that you create the most compelling product is not by just throwing something against someone and see what people buy.

We think that creating it with the people that are supposed to benefit from it, that you’re supposed to serve with your product will be an instrumental part of creating the most meaningful product. So it’s changing the way that customers interact with businesses and that businesses create communities.

Will is basically the, the grand vision of it. We’re doing it in the cannabis industry because I think , you have a strong community, you have strong businesses, you have growing businesses, and new dynamics, that, enable us to work. Be more nimble than you would be in industry that are very set in their ways.

Think of finance for example. We’ll have this huge clash when blockchain technology meets the traditional way that things are done because there isn’t really a traditional way of doing things in the cannabis industry, or it’s quite dynamic since everything’s been constantly changing.

Same with blockchain technology. We think that it’s really a great field to trial, a new way of doing business and creating community. As far as the utility for the NFTs go. So the first collection is a 10,000 limited lifetime membership. So this membership will give you exclusive access to events.

It will give you exclusive access to educational content on both cannabis and blockchain technology. It will give you great in-store perks. Some shops might do discounts, give you access to a limited selection that will sell out within the day anyway. We’re talking to some businesses about even having a special line where you can basically skip the line and think of it as the business class line at the airport or something.

So yeah, like great in-store and strong in-store benefits, connecting different communities, enabling partnerships to also create their own collections and their own vision for their local communities. So the lifetime membership NFT will give you access to a host of different benefits from in-store perks to online utilities ranging from education to events, to giveaways, you know, all the good stuff.

Armand: Wow! It seems very grandeur. I didn’t realize, I mean is there a lot of businesses in the cannabis industry and I didn’t realize how massive it is yeah?

Lukas: So right now we started in Holland, in a relatively small city called Tilburg. That’s where we onboarded. I think it’s over a thousand members at this point that we onboarded in that city alone. Then going to Barcelona. Barcelona has a system with private clubs and there’s over a hundred Cannabis clubs in Barcelona.

Obviously Amsterdam has, I think a few hundred coffee shops. And so those are the two countries where we can work with THC businesses.

There’s a lot of C B D businesses that we’re aiming to onboard all over Europe. And then going to the United States, North America, Canada where things are legal in the many states in the US at this point and all over Canada.

So yeah, there is a lot of businesses working in the cannabis industry and we’re connecting them with their communities, but we’re also connecting them with each other.

When we did our first in-store mint in Barcelona, the day before we did that mint, there were a group of four people who had bought their membership pass in Tiblurg and they happened to be in Barcelona. So they were like, Okay, well this is your new partner and we’re gonna go to this particular club and enjoy all of our perks at that club.

So we’re also physically bringing communities together from the Tilburg community with the Barcelona community. Of course, if some Barcelona residents are traveling to Tilburg, they might make that trip or go to Amsterdam or, next time you’re in LA you might, wanna visit our partner shop there. So really bringing all these communities and businesses together and connecting them

Armand: Wow! That’s like a network of all the CBD businesses and stuff. That’s awesome.

Lukas: This is THC. CBD there’s more options at the moment cuz it’s more regulated and it’s legal across, the world essentially. So that is certainly the next step. Right now the foundation of all of these things, I think comes from the shops and the communities and really being there and connecting with people in real life and that is kind of the foundation and I hinted at the way.

You just said it too that the scope of the project escalated drastically. From being like, Hey, let’s do something nice for our shop in Tilburg to, Oh, let’s have a huge membership program and connect all these people across the globe. But it’s really the fun thing. And I think it’s a meaningful way of bringing people together both physically and online.

Armand: It’s such a very niche market too. So that’s really good. That’s awesome. Was there anything else that you think you could mention, to the viewers and listeners of this program? Is there anything else you’d like to share to them?

Lukas: Well, first of all, our enthusiasm to be here in the space and being early and being able to build something and come up with new ideas and new concepts and trialing them. I think that’s been a huge privilege and a great joy to do.

Also what I, and the co-founders always want to invite is, getting feedback and. building this together, it’s a huge part of what drives us and what motivates us. It’s also a big thing that we believe will make the project better. So any kind of ideas bring them to us cuz we’re really here to build something with people and not just be here, have our own fancy ideas, and then like try some of them.

There’s so many people with so many great ideas and we really want to invite them into the space to tell us what we’re doing well, but also tell us what we should do better and what we haven’t thought of. There’s so much room to grow together and that’s something that is so important to us.

So important I think, to the way the ethos of Web 3 and, collaboration across different communities and nations and all of that. Bringing that together and really creating something with people that means a lot to people.

That’s what we’re here for and that’s one of the big things that drives us. And that’s what I would like. Invite people to contribute to On Chain Smokers and also, just the, the Web 3 and blockchain space in general.

Armand: That’s brilliant. How would people find out more about On Chain Smokers and yourself and the team?

Lukas: We’re all over the internet. We have OnChainSmokers.com. Twitter is the best way to get all the updates, I think,. Then connecting with us and contributing ideas and all of that. Email, of course, but also Discord. We have a server there. Hanging out with us there we read all the messages while we still can and we’re on Instagram.

Just check out the website. We even have a fun Metaverse gallery where you can check out the kind of inspiration that led to the design of the website and some of the NFT stuff. All of our partners are featured there as well. So, I think start on the website, click on all the links.

Tell us what you think. Tell us what we should do better. Tell us what we’re doing well. Just come hang out with us on Discord and all the other socials.

Armand: So I just wanna repeat anyone wanna find out about you guys, go to OnChainSmokers.com or you can go to the Twitter and Discord, so you converse with the team. I noticed you also have a LinkTree account with all the different links in there as well. So LinkTr.ee/OnChainSmokers and you’ll be able to find out more about On Chain Smokers.

So once again, thank you Lukas for the opportunity to interview you today and I really appreciate your time and I hope people will find out more about your project and I really want to say thank you for everything and you guys are doing a wonderful job in bringing On Chain Smokers to the world and paving the path forward for all the other businesses out there. Thank you.

Lukas: Thank you. Armand. Was a pleasure to talk to you.

Armand: Likewise. You have a good day now.

Lukas: Thanks Armand.

On Chain Smokers interview on YouTube
On Chain Smokers interview podcast on Anchor

#blockchain #crypto #digitalassets #elrond #elrondnetwork #cryptocurrency #cryptonews #cryptocurrencies #cryptocurrencynews #blockchainnews #nfts #nft #elrondcommunity #digitaltechnology #digitalassets #cannabis #cannabisnews #thc #businesses



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At Meta Chain TV, our aim is to show you the interviews with people involved in the Metaverse, Web3, NFT's, blockchain projects & other blockchains in general.