S’pore-based Chain Debrief focuses on cryptocurrency education


In the past, crypto adoption has been spurred on by extraordinary headlines. From the US$69 million sale of Beeple’s NFT art to the meteoric rise of Dogecoin, new investors have often been guided to the space with unreasonable expectations. 

As it turns out, those who venture into crypto seeking free money tend to leave just as quickly. They find out that although every memecoin and NFT project shoots for the moon, very few actually make it there. It’s an important lesson, but perhaps better learnt from examples, rather than experience. 

“When people first come into the world of crypto, it can be daunting,” says Chain Debrief founder Jacky Yap. “There’s no one platform where you can find all the resources you need. That’s why we launched Chain Debrief a year ago.”

Raising awareness about Web3

Since its inception in 2021, Chain Debrief has served as a “helpdesk for the metaverse”. Unlike other crypto media platforms, its mission revolves purely around education. 

“We aren’t in the business of telling people which coin to buy,” Yap clarifies. “We’re focused on creating educational tools and resources, and letting people know how they can join the world of crypto and Web3.”

Through its articles, videos, and podcasts, Chain Debrief has become a go-to source of crypto knowledge for many in Singapore and across the world. The platform has steadily built its community on Telegram, with over 3,800 members today.

There’s no Web3 without community. We want our community to be a part of our journey on Chain Debrief. As our Telegram group grew, we created a spin-off NFT Debrief group for our NFT enthusiasts as well.

– Jacky Yap, founder of Chain Debrief

Its NFT Debrief community has since grown to over 1,500 members today.

Launching an NFT collection: Enlightened Rats

After the Telegram group, an NFT collection was next to follow. In the first quarter of 2022, Chain Debrief launched Enlightened Rats (EnRats), its genesis collection comprising 888 NFTs

The whole idea behind Enlightened Rats was that although we’re struggling in the rat race, we’re aware of the world of Web3, and we’re trying to see if it can lead us out of it.

– Jacky Yap, founder of Chain Debrief

At the time, the platform had just raised US$900,000 in its seed funding round and already announced plans to continue building products and resources in the crypto space. Being an EnRats holder was a way for community members to be truly vested in Chain Debrief’s future. 

Enlightened Rats NFT collection
Image Credits: Enlightened Rats

“You have two types of NFTs – the kind which you buy and flip, and the ones which you hold onto because you truly believe in the project and the team behind it,” says Yap. “We hope we fall in the latter category.”

As it stands, EnRats continues to trade for well above its mint price of 0.08ETH on secondary markets. The collection has been accruing value as holders get exclusive access to all of Chain Debrief’s new offerings.

Incentivising crypto education

One such offering is Nexus, a program which rewards users with cryptocurrency for taking courses about a particular blockchain or protocol. These rewards often have limited availability, and interested EnRats holders receive a guaranteed spot for the courses.

By giving users an incentive to learn about the crypto space, Nexus is helping both new and existing investors make more informed decisions.

For the mainstream audience, this is a better starting point than buying whichever coin makes the headlines. It’s a way to learn the uses of crypto, beyond being a speculative investment.  

When we talk to people about entering the Web3 space, their first question is usually ‘which coin should I buy?’. This starting point is already wrong. It’s a gambling mindset where they’re just here to make money, instead of understanding the technology and protocols which these coins represent.

– Jacky Yap, founder of Chain Debrief

For retail investors to safely enter the crypto space, they need to be onboarded with guidance from credible sources. “People need to understand how to minimise their risks and avoid scams,” he adds. 

Yap goes on to liken crypto investments to stocks and equity. There are different categories and segments which crypto coins fall under, and investors need to approach the space with the same mindset when researching where to place their money. 

“If you’re investing in Ethereum, it should be for the same reason why you’d invest in PayPal. While there are differences between the two – cost efficiency, decentralisation, rate of growth – they both serve the same purpose: to facilitate payments,” he explains.

Bridging the physical and virtual worlds

With Covid-19 restrictions lifted, the crypto and NFT culture is finally making its way from the virtual world to the real one. In Singapore, we’ve seen a number of physical events take place, from art exhibitions to community meet-ups. 

On May 6, Chain Debrief – along with Invade and Kult – debuted MetaJam Asia 2022, a three-month long festival dedicated entirely to NFTs. 

metajam asia 2022
Image Credits: MetaJam Asia

To our knowledge, it’s the first Web3 event of this scale in Singapore. It’s almost like a museum where you get to learn about the rise of NFTs. MetaJam Asia is catered to the Web 2.5 people – those who have heard about NFTs, but aren’t sure where to get started.

– Jacky Yap, founder of Chain Debrief

Spanning two floors, MetaJam Asia features seven experiential installations, showcasing over 10,000 NFTs. The space includes a learning zone, which presents key visual and audio recording recapping the growth of the NFT space. There’s also an interactive workshop where visitors can discover first-hand the process of creating and minting their own NFT.

Over in the showcase area, there are digital screens which cycle between different NFT artworks. Among these are homegrown projects such as Tasty Toastys, TTTreasures, The Other Side, and Enlightened Rats.

metajam asia 2022
Image Credits: MetaJam Asia

Finally, on the second floor, there are interactive installations which make use of augmented reality (AR) technology, and dynamically change based on user input. Along with this, there are pop-ups highlighting the work of notable blockchain companies such as Salad Ventures and Enjinstarter. 

From workshops to meet-ups, MetaJam Asia has a lot in store for the coming months. 

“The theme is always education,” Yap shares. “We have a lineup of great content partners and sponsors, whom we’ll be hosting at the festival.”

The future of NFTs in Singapore

Although the NFT space is still fairly young, its presence is rapidly expanding. 

“More and more communities have started hosting physical meet-ups,” Yap says. “As a result, there are bars and lounges popping up, looking to cater to this clientele.”

Over the past few months, Yap has been approached by almost a dozen entrepreneurs looking to set up NFT-centric spaces in Singapore. He believes these business ideas aren’t solely driven by the hype around NFTs. 

“There is an actual demand for event spaces that are catered towards NFT communities. It’s human nature to want to connect in a physical setting. Just like how we have gaming cafes that cater to trading card collectors and enthusiasts, NFT bars can provide meet-up spots for this new form of community.” 

For a business to accommodate the NFT phenomenon, it can take steps as simple as setting up digital screens to display artwork. 

“As a business owner, the only question you need to ask is ‘are NFTs here to stay?’,” Yap says. “If you believe so, then it’s best to start preparing for it.” 

Featured Image Credit: Jacky Yap / Chain Debrief

Also Read: MetaJam Asia 2022: A sneak peek at Singapore’s first digital and experiential art festival





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