Q&A with AirCatch Co-Founder Aaron Stein on Web3, NFT & Blockchain Technology Utility
We had the pleasure of working with AirCatch.io last year and, now, the opportunity to pick the brain of one of their Co-Founders, Aaron Stein. AirCatch is self-described as making sending and receiving NFTs (non-fungible tokens) as easy and useful as email, and we couldn't agree more. From a brand perspective, AirCatch believes that NFTs offer many untapped opportunities to delight audiences and their mission is to remove the technological barriers that limit wide-scale adoption, AirCatch releases the potential of Web3 technologies. With AirCatch's technology, brands can instantly reward fans, strengthen communities and give everyone a chance to own a piece of their favorite creations. Our CMO, Ben Plomion, marveled, "AirCatch developed a proprietary technology to remove some of the frictions associated with NFT distribution and ownership. We put their technology to work at a Web3 conference and AirCatch made it super easy to send NFTs to 300+ participants." Read on to hear about how Aaron views the Web3 space.
Dibbs: Can you describe who or what got you involved in the blockchain/NFT/Web3 space initially?
Aaron: I’m a software engineer by trade and I’ve always been interested in new technologies. I first heard about Bitcoin back in 2013 and have always been a fan of its mission in being a global, permissionless means of payment and money. I started getting more involved in crypto in 2018 as more use cases for crypto were being built, such as DeFi and prediction markets.
Dibbs: Can you please describe what AirCatch is?
Aaron: At a high level, AirCatch is a platform that sits on top of the blockchain and abstracts out the complexities of working with tokens, wallets, private keys and pass-phrases. Our goal is to make the user experience as frictionless as possible for both the end-user and creators who wish to distribute digital assets. We like to say AirCatch makes sending and receiving digital assets as easy as email.
Dibbs: What has been your experience with collecting NFTs?
Aaron: Early on, I was a fan of historic NFTs such as MoonCats. I saw value in NFTs being the future of collectibles and valued ones having a story and a role in the formation of this new medium. As time went on, I saw NFTs less as collectibles and more as a technology with real-world use cases such as ticketing, coupons, proof of authenticity, music, etc.
Dibbs: What has been your favorite blockchain/NFT project and why?
Aaron: My favorite blockchains are Ethereum, Polygon, and Solana. They each are different in how they address tradeoffs in terms of security, throughput and speed. What sets them apart from other blockchains is the vibrant and active developer communities. In terms of favorite projects, I’d have to choose Uniswap v3. It’s proven to be one of the most successful and best use cases for the blockchain.
Dibbs: How do you feel about Web3 and why do you think it will transform the future?
Aaron: I’m a big proponent of Web3 and I think we’re still very early in seeing what it unlocks in the future. Web3’s big advantages are in its interoperability, openness and global accessibility. This allows any developer, young and old, and from any country to build and iterate on the technology. This is in stark contrast to Web2 which is controlled by a few large corporations. We’ll see Web3 accelerate innovation and technology advancement, and build products we never imagined.
Dibbs: Blockchain technology acts as public and transparent authentication for transacting tokens. Why do you think people are skeptical of it? How can we mitigate the skepticism?
Aaron: I imagine people are skeptical of it because we’re so used to central authorities playing that role. It’s such a novel concept that code and algorithms can prove ownership of assets. It will just take time, but eventually blockchains will be more trusted for authentication than any individual, corporation or government.
Dibbs: What possibilities or opportunities does Web3 open up for you or your brand? For brands you love?
Aaron: I really like the concept of brand loyalty programs built on Web3 rails. I think blockchain is a superior technology for transacting and authenticating loyalty rewards. On top of that, Web3 opens things up for anyone to build or integrate new ideas, features and products that adds value to the program and ecosystem.
Dibbs: What do you consider is the importance of building communities in the future of Web3?
Aaron: I think it’s hugely important. Web3 and blockchain are dependent on trust, reputation and large-scale adoption, so the future of Web3 is very dependent on its ability to form and strengthen communities.
Dibbs: Knowing what you know now in this context, what advice would you tell your 18-year-old self?
Aaron: Buy more BTC and ETH :)
Nila Lê is the Senior Content Manager at Dibbs. Nila's PC is comprised of Pokémon TCG, NBA and WNBA cards, as well as pop culture NFTs.
Q&A with Evan Vandenberg (Dibbs) on the future of collectible-backed NFTs in Web3