Episode 10: Around the Block with William Entriken & Sydney Xiong #BUIDLing on-chain projects & protocols!


Welcome to another recap of Around the Block, TRON DAO’s way of staying in touch with the community by bringing you expert opinions and conversations about blockchain topics that matter. In episode 10, host Frank Caruso, Associate Director of Ecosystem Development at TRON, spoke with Sydney Xiong, Director of APENFT Marketplace, and William Entriken, Lead Author of the ERC-721 Standard, about the TRON Grand Hackathon 2022 and BUIDLing on-chain projects and protocols.

TRON DAO and BitTorrent Chain (BTTC) have seen nearly 1700 project submissions during the second season of the TRON Grand Hackathon 2022 so far, with registration beginning Monday, May 16 and running until Monday, July 25 at 5 p.m. Eastern. Sydney and William join the discussion about what makes a blockchain team and project stand out from the crowd.

In this episode streamed on June 3, 2022, Frank started the discussion by asking Sydney about her career at APENFT and what got her excited about NFTs and blockchain technology. She began by saying she is honored to be a judge for the Hackathon and to have the opportunity to see so many amazing projects. As the largest NFT marketplace at TRON, APENFT fully supports the Hackathon, as well as Sydney, said they will particularly pay extra close attention to the NFT and the GameFi projects.

“We will provide resources to the best and all the NFT lovers are welcome to participate in our Hackathon and jointly build the TRON ecosystem with us and make it stronger together,” Sydney said. “Ever since I entered the crypto industry, I have initiated a lot of programs, however nothing compares to the founding of the NFT marketplace. It really means a lot to me.”

Frank then asked Sydney how her background and experience guide her judging ability. She explained her background in studying art history and art markets in Paris, as well as working in digital art for some time now has helped give her a keen eye for NFT projects. Sydney also wanted to share some news with the viewers, one is APENFT’s announcement of the release of their first launchpad projects, the next is the launch of their 101 projects, and lastly, APENFT is preparing their second Dream Fund and will announce more details in the coming weeks. 

Switching gears, Frank then asked William about his career and to expand on what he does. Willam has a background in engineering and finance and has worked for big companies such as Google and Open Source. In his first project within blockchain technology, he found an opportunity to work with a NFT project inspired by Crypto Kitties. William said he has experience developing these kinds of communities, standardizing developer relations, and teaching, so he decided to apply it there. 

“It was just a great time because my vision was everything we have now and more,” William said. “Our work was kind of a phrase we’re in, I think we’re going to do a lot more with NFTs, so that’s why I’m excited to be a part of TRON because TRON has a long visionhere in terms of this Hackathon and this series.”

William went on to explain that he’s been studying two different use cases for NFTs, one is pharma and supply chain, a large industry that produces trillions of dollars in revenue each year. The other revolves around IP. With the supply chain, when moving things, he said we want to make sure they’re secure, which is what blockchain already does very easily but with pictures. We want to make sure the pictures are authentic, scarce, and have true and provable ownership. William said it’s much easier to do this with pictures than with pharmaceutical drugs overseas. 

The second use case William is studying is licensed intellectual property – as in movies that you would pay to watch. Popular movies sell a lot of merchandise, which are valuable branding assets. This is something William wants to understand and apply for NFTs.

William also touched on his expectations for the winners of the Hackathon Season 2. He said he wants to pick winners that are going to deliver and be successful beyond the Hackathon. The Hackthon gives you resources, it is not the end he expressed. There are clear judging guidelines when it comes to choosing a project, but this is something that William always keeps in mind as it is important to him.

Frank agreed that the Hackathon is so much more than just notoriety and winning a prize, you also gain important feedback, team building, and forming strong connections within the community. William agreed that these things, along with the valuable networking, introductions and the feedback loop your project can receive, are worth more than the prize money alone. 

Thank you for reading this recap of another great episode of Around the Block. We look forward to bringing you another episode soon with our team, bringing web3 experts together for engaging conversations.