‘Dana White buys Jake Paul’ is chapter 33 of Insights from the Future, a book I’m writing about technology, innovation, and people … from the perspective of the future. THIS IS NOT NEWS; IT IS A PROJECTION OF FUTURE NEWS. Subscribe to my newsletter to keep in touch and get notified when the book publishes.
UFC chief Dana White has bought every single one of the 25 available Jake Paul “Full Access” NFTs, each of which were available at an initial price of $400,000, or 102 ETH. While this seems like a win for Jake Paul at White’s expense, there’s actually a somewhat devious plan at work here.
Each Jake Paul NFT comes with 30 minutes of guaranteed one-on-one time every single month with the YouTube influencer and emerging boxing star. Paul has made of career out of defeating former UFC fighters, and his original intention was that super-fans could buy his NFTs to chat with him on a regular basis, even if they had to pool resources to be able to afford them.
Dana White, however, has other plans.
“I’m going to play opera for Jake Paul 12 and a half hours a month,” White said on his Twitter account. “I’m going to give them to five-year-olds and tell them Jake has candy. I’m going to find social justice warriors who don’t like the way Paul treats women. I’m going find his ex-girlfriend Violet and every other jilted lover he’s ever had and let them cuss him out for hours on end.”
Most of the time, NFTs are simply images or files on the blockchain that have a specific owner and a defined process for changing hands. Increasingly, however, NFT creators are taking advantage of the fact that they are essentially smart contracts and building in additional types of value, like tickets. That’s the idea behind the Full Access NFTs that Jake Paul recently created.
For every smart contract, however, there’s a hacker to find a loophole.
The loophole that Dana White found is that Jake Paul is contractually obligated to spend time with the buyers of his NFTs. That might be acceptable, even fun, if they’re adoring supporters. But few things are worse than being forced to spend time doing something you hate. Or being forced to listen to insults ad nauseum.
Unfortunately for Paul, there aren’t many options here, according to OpenSea VP Kristen Jones, or an easy way out.
“The NFT smart contract is very clear: Jake Paul must give whoever owns a Full Access NFT at least 30 minutes of his time, either remotely or in person, every single month,” she told me. “There’s actually no provision in the smart contract for Paul ducking those responsibilities.”
The entire NFT seems to have been cooked up on short order to generate some cash for Paul, who has notoriously expensive tastes. There isn’t even an out for death, Jones says, meaning that Paul is contractually obligated to appear for his NFT owners in perpetuity, even after death.
Paul, however, isn’t worried.
He has a plan, according his most recent YouTube upload. And the NFT is better-constructed, he alleges, than most give him credit for.
“If they’re going to put some stupid loser or audio on, I’ll just wear headphones and play a game on my phone,” he said with a smirk. “The NFT contract states I have to connect with the owner of the NFT, but it doesn’t say anything about me having to actually actively listen, pay attention, or even respond.”
In other words, as long as Paul is on the Zoom or phone call in some capacity, he’s fulfilling his contractual obligations. And, according to a lawyer who has reviewed the smart contract and is familiar with web3 and blockchain law, that could even be a recording or video.
Which means Paul, who is still hounding Dana White over UFC fighter salaries, appears to have had the last laugh.
“White has just put $10 million into my pocket,” he said on his YouTube video. “I only wish he would pay his UFC stars half as well.”
“Maybe I’ll get a new Lambo and do a burnout on White’s driveway.”
Again, this is a chapter of Insights from the Future, a book I’m writing about technology, innovation, and people … from the perspective of the future. Subscribe to my newsletter to keep in touch and get notified when the book publishes.