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How Jeff Staple is Transcending Time

Last Updated: May 20, 2024
Boardroom talked to Staple about his thoughts on the current state of crypto, his evolving STAPLE brand, and its expansion to a new opportunity with Coinbase.

Coinbase is a sponsored partner of Boardroom.

Jeff Staple is known for many things.

He’s a well-known figure in streetwear culture, a designer, and a content creator, among other things. But for the purposes of this story, you’ll be reading about the influential crypto leader who has been in on the bustling market since day one.

“I love that we’re in a good place, and I think if you held and believed in crypto and the blockchain since two years ago, you’re probably in a very good place right now. You’re probably rewarded for holding,” Staple told Boardroom.

Boardroom spoke with Staple about his thoughts on crypto, his evolving brand, and his latest opportunity with Coinbase. Here’s what he had to say.

Coinbase x STAPLE: A Seamless Fit

Staple founded his namesake brand, STAPLE, in the late ’90s as a multifaceted design agency, creative firm, and streetwear brand. STAPLE has impacted various markets, from fashion to digital media and, most recently, cryptocurrency.

He founded STAPLEVERSE in 2021 as a Web3-focused digital space that encompasses all his cultural knowledge on topics such as sneakers, NFT, apparel, and more. Staple described his newest brand as a community building the future of street culture through Web3, blockchain tech, and NFTs.

“We were pretty early on in the NFT crypto boom,” Staple told Boardroom. “Coinbase was there to do a lot of supportive things with us. I even had a podcast interview series on Coinbase where we interviewed half a dozen to a dozen people about their experiences in crypto and NFTs.”

To that end, it was only right that Staple’s Web3 brand partnered with Coinbase, one of the biggest names in crypto. Coinbase approached Staple to become an ambassador and produce some digital content for Coinbase One, a subscription service that reduces the cost of transactions on the platform by offering zero trading fees on select trades.

Staple has been working closely with Coinbase for the past two years on a multitude of business opportunities, so when the crypto leader reached out to him to conceptualize a giveaway, he knew it was the perfect fit. The pair launched the Coinbase One x STAPLE Giveaway to expose more crypto investors to Coinbase’s subscription service and give crypto enthusiasts the opportunity to hang with Staple for a day.

The giveaway rules were simple. If interested people weren’t already members, they had to sign up for Coinbase One. Three Coinbase One members were selected to receive a range of prizes, from autographed limited edition STAPLE merch to an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City for a day of sneaker shopping and vibing with Staple himself.

Staple said Coinbase gave him and his team the full range to come up with a giveaway concept that felt authentic. He landed on this light-hearted video to promote the giveaway and explain what it’s all about.

“My goal at the end of it was: My fans will be like, ‘Coinbase gets it,'” Staple said. “When you think about where to put your money, you want stability, especially coming off the other one that we shall not mention that sort of broke the pillars of confidence of our whole world. Everyone gets affected by that.”

The winners of the giveaway will be linking up with Staple later this month for their exclusive experience.

Aside from bringing more exposure to crypto and his own brand, Staple said he had fun working on this giveaway experience with Coinbase. He’d definitely be interested in doing it again and maybe even expanding on the prize offerings.

The State of Crypto

Staple has been in on crypto through all of its volatile moments, from the start of the NFT boom to the current rise in Bitcoin investments. Despite the downturn in NFTs, he believes certain NFTs will still hold value because digital art will always remain, whether it’s on the blockchain or not, and continue to progress.

“I think the NFT boom rush that happened two years ago will, in the long run, turn out to be kind of like the Adam and Eve genesis of how we experience and interact with blockchain and crypto,” Staple said.

His thoughts on the market have always remained the same, and now more than ever, he believes people are finally starting to understand it.

“I think the concept of the blockchain and crypto is stable in people’s minds, maybe not in currency fluctuation, although we’re at a pretty good part right now as we speak on May 7, 2024, but that could change May 15, 2024,” Staple said bluntly to indicate how much the crypto market could change in a week.

Staple has always been bullish on crypto. He compared his confidence in the market to society’s confidence in the paper dollar.

“You’re basically trading a piece of paper for a car, but that piece of paper is not based on anything other than the belief that the government is backing this piece of paper until it doesn’t, which we’ve seen happening today in other countries,” he explained.

If anything, Staple doesn’t see a problem with crypto’s use cases; he said the market suffers from a marketing image problem. He jokingly said crypto should get a new name to cut ties with shady dealings that have happened in the sector throughout the years.

But jokes aside, Staple views the blockchain as a contract a lawyer would give you that would be accessible for everybody to see and track digitally. Staple even shared a thought on where he sees blockchain technology headed, which is a similar thought Gary Vaynerchuk shared with Boardroom two years ago.

“I personally think in the future, instead of hiring a real estate lawyer to buy a house, houses will just be on the blockchain,” he said.

Still, in this evolving crypto landscape, Staple said that coding is a skill people should pick up on to stay ahead of the market. To bring the blockchain mainstream, people will continue to access it through mobile apps and games, so the people who know how to develop digital products will be in high demand.

Building on STAPLE’s Legacy

Staple launched the first iteration of the STAPLE brand 27 years ago, and since then, he has seamlessly expanded into new markets where he sees fit.

“When I started Staple in 1997, I didn’t have an email address on my business card. I didn’t even have a cell phone. It was my landline telephone number on my business card. So, I have transcended time and space,” he said. “I started my project pre-internet, and then I saw the advent of the internet, email, social media, and now web3. So STAPLEVERSE, I guess if I were to look back at it, is an inevitable progression of the brand.”

Staple said he used to silkscreen every shirt, so even a silkscreen machine was a technological leap for him and his brand. He didn’t see his opportunity in Web3 until he saw many of his friends and associates across the other industries he worked in pioneering in the web3 space. This helped him build trust in the new market before jumping into it.

Staple considers himself a cautious person when it comes to expanding his brand, which is why he spent so much time educating himself on Web3 before launching STAPLEVERSE.

“I don’t want to do anything that will ruin the legacy of what I’ve built,” he said.

What’s next for Staple and his brand? Don’t be surprised if you see STAPLE University merchandise sometime soon. The multifaceted entrepreneur has always been fascinated with education, and the blockchain could be the perfect place for his next big idea in that realm.

Staple said he doesn’t have a long roadmap for what’s next in his career, but, as always, Boardroom will keep an eye out.

Read More Tech:

Michelai Graham

Michelai Graham is Boardroom's resident tech and crypto reporter. Before joining 35V, she was a freelance reporter with bylines in AfroTech, HubSpot, The Plug, and Lifewire, to name a few. At Boardroom, Michelai covers Web3, NFTs, crypto, tech, and gaming. Off the clock, you can find her producing her crime podcast, The Point of No Return.

About The Author
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham
Michelai Graham is Boardroom's resident tech and crypto reporter. Before joining 35V, she was a freelance reporter with bylines in AfroTech, HubSpot, The Plug, and Lifewire, to name a few. At Boardroom, Michelai covers Web3, NFTs, crypto, tech, and gaming. Off the clock, you can find her producing her crime podcast, The Point of No Return.