At the time when ChampsOnly launched on January 21st, this year, ETH alpha groups revolved around a person with a large following. “The meta at the time, essentially started like a paid crew centered supremely and only around themselves,” shares Champ. One may argue that Champ is an influencer with 164,000+ Twitter followers. But his objective was to launch a protocol, with his namesake but with a “collection of really smart people and a team dedicated to making valuable contributions as opposed to an echo chamber of myself.”
As all the best ideas do, the name ‘Champ’ originated as a shower thought when he was thinking of an artist name for his music. The moniker existed before his venture to web3, and it’s distinct enough to be a brand in its own right. “No one could know who Champ is. It’s almost like a country club or a sports club.”
Driven by his own successes of NFT trading and curiosity of potential (heck, he even explored Cardano NFTs), he launched an alpha group to fill a gap that was lacking in the space: “a sense of professionalism, standardization and consistency”. Beyond exclusive information and whitelist spots, ChampsOnly offers connections, consulting sessions with Champ, free access to leading tools, an intricate weekly newsletter (open to public subscription here), and things that go beyond a Discord server.
What ChampsOnly continues to establish is an experience that empowers traders to reach a level of success in the NFT market, that in many cases morphed into success in general. Rev joined the ChampsOnly alpha group and said that it “gave meaning to what was a rather mundane life.” He learned numerous things from managing a team properly, to going through the ups and downs of the bull market, and connections that became IRL bonds. “ChampsOnly is something that will never leave me and that is what I am extremely grateful for,” he shares. Whether you want to build something, just trade or go and get Web3 jobs, ChampsOnly has your back.
Champs set out to launch a service-based product that honed in on curated, positive-impact experiences, evolving the primitive mode of ‘just alpha’.
ME: The value proposition that ChampsOnly offers goes beyond financial gains. What makes your community different?
I think our community is a reflection of the values that myself and the people with whom I've surrounded myself embody. By interacting daily with our community, we impress these values on them. At our core as a group, we designed a community to help people trade this market as efficiently as possible. We’re going to continue to iterate on and optimize that aspect of our experience.
We’re also a really tightly knit community that's become tighter throughout the bear market. Sort of by proxy, right? By coexisting in the web3 space, our community has become sort of synergistic and invested in each other's success.
"An alpha call does not outweigh the need to be supportive and to look out for each other."
I think that alpha groups have a tendency to get really, really cold or sharp and lack sort of a degree of passion. I mean, I'm not Mother Teresa, but we care about people.
All that aside, I think we just produce content more consistently and accurately than anyone else in the space, because we take it really seriously and do it consistently every day in a very transparent manner. I try not to play into silly narratives or ever mislead holders. What you see is what you get.
ME: Reading your Medium post, you talk about making alpha proprietary. How are you going about doing that?
C: We're rolling out what I would call a tiered solution that is intended to address what I see as probably the fairest complaint about alpha groups. When you think about an alpha group, exclusivity is the key value proposition. Of course, there are a number of things outside of verbal and in sort of written information being shared outside of calls.
I believe, one of the fairest criticisms of alpha groups is in the way data has become democratized or rather, diluted across the space. When certain collections came out whose sole purpose was to literally copy things said on Discord servers and publish them with booths while charging people for it, it became obvious, right?
What I can tell you is that we’re working on a new product which empowers the holder experience in a way that’s intended to address the delivery of information. It’s an effort to reclaim ownership of the means of delivery on our end. This doesn't mean that we are abandoning Discord. It means that we are rolling out synergistic solutions that will get information in front of our holders’ faces in a way that is more controlled on our end.
Additionally, It allows us to streamline and improve the holder experience based upon what we know about how people want to receive ‘alpha’. And how people want to be able to customize their experience, filter their experience, and tailor it to themselves in a way that I'd say, that does not exist across most alpha groups for the current holder experience.
ME: With the ETH community looking into Solana NFTs seriously, and now our recent launch of our ETH Aggregator in beta. We’re moving beyond maxis. How do Solana NFTs compare against ETH NFTs?
C: In my opinion, we’re seeing one of two things — either a really early point of a bell curve of development of Solana NFTs and their relevance, or we’re seeing the peak of it. Given the fact that we’re having this conversation, you probably know which one I find more likely. I think the best candidate to one day rival Bored Ape Yacht Club is DeGods. I also just see this wild twitter culture.
I love ETH NFTs but there’s a level of elitism and close-mindedness. I think back to what Frank (of DeGods) told me when I interviewed him on the (NGMI) podcast of the Solana community being different because there are lower barriers to entry. For that reason, it’s almost like a more casual, less filtered experience. I’ve never joined a space and heard somebody talking about the provenance of the art of the blockchain. It’s just a different vibe.
And, I’ve always thought that the Aggregator is the next logical step for Magic Eden. The winning NFT marketplace is going to be compatible with as many blockchains that are relevant right? I think that maximalism of any blockchain makes no sense, and maybe it’s because of the lens through which I view these entities. Traders are just trying to capitalize on opportunities where they exist. So, Ethereum is the most obvious play for you guys.
ME: What do you think of a cross-chain future for NFTs?
C: I hope that's the direction in which we move, because if that's the case, then we'll finally end up seeing sort of like dual integration uses that actually makes the NFT experience more streamlined. That’s already happening on the marketplace front when you can connect multiple wallets on Magic Eden.
But, the back-end experience of interfacing with both of these things is still pretty siloed and annoying. I would be happy for a future where NFT volume is evenly distributed between blockchains. As long as interoperability and a good user experience is there, I don’t have to pick and choose because the user experience is siloed. I’m all for it.
I just like non-fungible digital items, you know?