Welcome to The Ask, where each week Crypto Investor interviews essential voices doing the work to make crypto 'mainstream.' Exchange lightly edited.

This week, senior reporter Stephen Stirling spoke to Alex Salkinov, co-founder and head of product at Rarible. Rarible is fresh off a series A fundraise of $14 million, led by venture capital firms Coinfund and Venrock Capital.

“Previously, we were backed mostly by crypto funds,” he said of the fundraise “And now the NFT space is moving broader and broader. It's finally ready to be a consumer grade experience.” 

Has the NFT space entered a development period?

SALKINOV: I think that the NFT market unexpectedly turned mainstream. I would say everyone was excited about it. But when a lot of consumers came in, they were like OK, it probably needs to be a little bit better, because it’s still too difficult.’ And that's why everyone is doubling down right now on the development. In the hardest times, your telephone rings 10 times a day and everybody wants to launch their NFTs and to make it one off. Now we can concentrate, and reflect on the developments to build something strategic to reshape architecture to handle more load, to create features.

Do you expect to see more activity in Q3 and Q4 (compared to Q2)?

SALKINOV: We'll definitely see some activity in the fall after the summer because summers are always quiet periods. It's not like an intense working season, I would say. So, the peak was in March, right? A lot of projects started building then. It takes at least six months to build a great project. So we'll see a lot of projects, releasing in the fall, I think. I guess the key would be (interactions) between each other all those projects so that we can consume the true power of NFTs. I guess we'll probably see a lot of copycats... But some of the projects that were launched will really turn out to be gems, like hidden gems.

Community seems to be at the core of so many successful NFT projects. How valuable do you think it is?

SALKINOV: I can't express how really important that is, because that's the true core value proposition of blockchain. It's connecting people into the network. And it's done on various levels — you connect people into the network inside your website, you connect websites into the network inside the blockchain, because now you can move your items from one website to another. So it’s all about communities and networks of people. Community was first and foremost behind Rarible’s success. We've got really no and went on Thresh, our movement adopted variable as one of the most democratic platforms and we continue to foster the community, it's, I guess, it's really the most important thing behind variable. Just be as the people that are in this community are so welcoming and helpful to each other. It's been one of the best communities I've ever been into.

What advice would you give to brands or businesses jumping into this space?

Try to bring long-term value to the community. It's probably one thing that is being overlooked. When Mark Cuban joined NFTs first drop was for $20 a piece. And then he created a couple more drops, just experimenting, what works and what doesn't work. And then he published a blog post about how cool NFTs and DeFi are. He contributed to the community and the community contributed back to him. That's why he's on all the big NFT projects right now. So when brands are going to the NFT space, they really need to understand who would be their target audience that would benefit from them being in the space.

Welcome to The Ask, where each week Crypto Investor interviews essential voices doing the work to make crypto 'mainstream.' Exchange lightly edited.

This week, senior reporter Stephen Stirling spoke to Alex Salkinov, co-founder and head of product at Rarible. Rarible is fresh off a series A fundraise of $14 million, led by venture capital firms Coinfund and Venrock Capital.

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