Building Apps in Web 3.0
Meet Wouter Van Halen Who’s Building NFTz on the Decentralized Blockchain
It doesn’t even take 2 minutes and Wouter is telling me everything about NFTz and their part in the first round of Octane funding. There’s a lot in store for the project and his excitement radiates through everything.
He loves to share what’s going on with NFTz, a project his brother Martijn originally started with Ed and Brian Krassenstein on the DeSo blockchain.
NFTz is a DeSo marketplace and community that aims to pave the way to seamlessly blend NFTs with Web3 services. With highly customizable no-code creator options, integration with real-time insights, and a mechanism for enabling social interactions within the NFT space, NFTz is a platform built for the future. Our objective is to make minting, collecting, trading, presenting and interacting with NFTs in both the traditional digital world and the metaverse as simple, as social, as safe, and as easy as can be.
The Octane funding marks the beginning of a new era for the project.
“We got funded with NFT.zone from the Octane fund. This gives us options. We can fully commit to creating a big community. Without that commitment growth is impossible. Now, there is a chance to ramp up our goals. I can work more on NFTz.zone. It will be several years to complete everything we put on our roadmap.”
But let’s take a moment and get to know Wouter a little better before we jump back into what’s coming for NFTz.
Say Hello to Wouter
Wouter lives with his family — 2 children and his wife Debbie — in the Netherlands. He is 40 years old and works as a Risk Manager and Data Protection Officer at ATS, Alfa Transport Services. He assesses financial and fraudulent risk through analytics and thorough research. He knows all about GDPR and what’s needed to ensure clients’ and colleagues’ data privacy is taken care of.
I’m Wouter, 40 years old, father of two beautiful kids: an incredibly smart son of five and a very fabulous daughter of two. I have been in a relationship for almost seven years now with their beautiful mother, the most talented woman I’ve ever met.
Wouter is a very sociable guy. He loves meeting new people and he definitely is a family person. There’s close and regular contact with his two brothers: Martjin and Bas. And they were the reason he signed up to DeSo after being hesitant for a while.
It’s a funny story how I came to DeSo. Like most crypto enthusiasts I saw a lot of talk about it on Twitter. Everyone was talking about Bitclout. It was a strange thing. It’s interesting of course. Crypto and social. But I am a risk manager. I thought it was a scam or a very risky way to invest your money.
You have to know: You couldn’t get your money off the platform in the beginning. Why would you put it there? I didn’t pay that much attention to it for a while. My brother Martijn saw something there. He updated me weekly. He met Ed and Brian Krassenstein on Discord actually. They started developing an app on DeSo. My brother constantly talked about it.
A little later my other brother joined. Then my WhatsApp exploded. They just didn’t stop talking about Bitclout. And they were so enthusiastic. So I thought: It must be real. I have to check it out.
This happened on September, 1st 2021. Since then Wouter is on DeSo as MuchaSats.
And a lot has happened after this. But let’s look at it one step at a time.
Wouter’s Relationship to Social Media Depends on Which One We Are Talking About
“Facebook was fun in the beginning. There are still some things that are interesting and good about it. How they managed the flow through different kinds of media is really smooth. Most people are probably not aware of how well it is done.
It can be a real time-burner though. And it got a bit poisonous over time with Covid and everything. Sometimes I get a bit depressed by using it.”
Twitter is a different game for Wouter. He likes the community there which has a stronger focus on sharing knowledge.
There are really awesome people on Twitter. Very smart. I very much enjoy their takes on things.
Then, there are Instagram and TikTok. Instagram he uses to look at stuff. For TikTok, he enjoys the entertainment factor. Also, he realized he has to practice some dancing…
“I also use Instagram, which to me is a fantastic social app.
I don’t post often, although this is changing nowadays because of DeSo and NFTz, which is kind of funny in a way. Because of that, I now have TikTok, which I never imagined having.
TikTok made me laugh out loud. The whole video experience is so much better than in the past. You can make animations in the videos. Very cool.”
Social Media — from his personal perspective — is not the main focus in life. Obviously, as a father, he has other responsibilities than sharing pictures of the last party he went to. These days, there are different ways to enjoy life for him. However, when it comes to DeSo, he knows it’s going to be a vital part of making it a success to be active on classic Social Media and tell others about the Decentralized Social Blockchain.
“Now, with DeSo and NFTz I use Socials more again. And that’s something everyone on DeSo needs to understand: You gotta use other Social Media to make sure others get aware DeSo exists. This doesn’t mean everything you post needs to be about DeSo…”
Indeed, a number of DeSo OGs (early users = original gangstas) started being active on Twitter to educate about DeSo. Of course, there is a fine line between sharing your experience with the Decentralized Social blockchain versus selling it like insurance or a pyramid scheme.
“It has some cultish behavior. Like all crypto projects. No matter which one.
RSR people are so enthusiastic about it. They share a lot about it. They want to share and make others check it out.
There are still people who think DeSo’s a scam. My experience is different.
We know exactly what is going on behind the scenes. It’s a really serious project. Apps are being built. And you won’t even know that they are built on the DeSo blockchain.”
Wouter and NFTz: Becoming the Best They Can Be
A month after Wouter had joined DeSo, NFTz went live on the DeSo blockchain. Since then he’s been busy with his brothers and the Krassenstein twins to ensure the app can be the best they want it to be.
His main roles at NFTz are to build community as well as bring his expertise in risk management and data protection to the table. Next to that, he has an eye for design and marketing. As with every start-up, there are many different hats to wear and jobs to be done.
“I can ensure that certain privacy issues are taken care of. It’s something we need to look into: How does it work? DeSo is a different game. It’s on the blockchain.
As for risk management: you can buy creator coins and NFTs. But you gotta ask yourself: who are the people behind that account? Can you trust them? Do you know for certain it’s an actual person? And even if, it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily safe to buy from them.”
Wouter wants to make sure that DeSo and NFTz are safe places to invest. Certain procedures can be put in place to ensure that. It’s one of the areas where he sees improvement potential for DeSo.
“The first thing to improve is that the creator coins need to have a transparent vesting system attached to them. It’s fun to invest, but it needs to be done responsibly.”
But NFTz’s goal is not only to build a great and safe place to trade. They know the community needs to be built to make it a success. One aspect is to inform people outside of the DeSo blockchain about everything that’s possible.
“I’ll work on lots of infographs, marketing videos that we can use for our sites, and social channels. We will need a good advertising program, so people can find us.”
And when people come NFTz wants to be there to help them get started, find their way around, and support them along the way to connect with others.
“If we can establish a fun Web3 social experience unlike any other and help a lot of people along the way on their journey, then I will definitely be content about those achievements. But I want us to be the best that we can be, to truly show how important it is to have the tools available to be your own director in how the social experience is crafted.”
Ultimately, Wouter and NFTz want to empower creators. Every waking hour they think of how it can be done, and what can be improved.
“We got the Discord now. The community has a very easy way to connect and find all different creators in one place. Reactions are very positive. It helps you as a creator to bring all your socials together. For example, when the tuneleros post something on Instagram or Twitter it’s automatically posted by a bot to their NFTz Discord channel. This way we can connect it all. And then we will integrate into NFTz.zone.”
All the work for NFTz is currently still a double load for Wouter. But very soon he will be able to commit all his energy to work on NFTz.
“From March onwards I’ll work full-time on NFTz. We’ve set up a company for that: NFTz. Inc.
DeSo and NFTz, there are so many things possible. We created a roadmap with my brothers Martijn and Bas and the Krassenstein twins. It’s a very detailed roadmap. It will be several years, to get this done. I mean, to build the functionality and grow the business. We want to make sure that DeSo is reaching a bigger target audience.”
Helping DeSo and its Creators
Diversity of content and creators is another big topic to tackle. At the moment, there is a strong focus on artists that create digital art NFTs. Others, such as writers and photographers have completely different needs. And they will need further support to reach the same attention that other visual artists are receiving.
“We got a lot of photographers and they struggle to find the audience. So many cool pictures. But still little attention. We hope to help with it. We want all kinds of creators to see: If I go to NFTz I will reach the audience that I need. It’s one goal we have. It will not be done in the next month. It will take time.”
“We also have a lot of writers on DeSo. For them it’s a different ball game. It can happen that no one might be seeing their work. Discoverability on DeSo could be better. I never see everything.”
Wouter is extremely motivated to support and empower others. It’s who he is.
“I love to meet new people, help creators, to bring the best out of them, to inspire them in any way that I can. With NFTz and DeSo there is an opportunity to do this in different ways, and I very much enjoy doing that.”
And DeSo’s community is full of positive energy and fantastic people. Even if there are slow days when it comes to activity or the $DeSo is down, most keep on spreading good vibes. There’s an amazing mix of different people on the platform who are visionary, creative, and highly talented.
“I’ve met some wonderful people on there already, and I wouldn’t have met them on most other platforms. The past few months I have reached out to dozens of creators in different ways and loved the vibe they bring with them. I also love how incredibly talented everyone is, from developers, to photographers, musicians, writers and creators of art and animation.”
Wouters Other Activities on DeSo
In Wouter’s case not all he is doing for the community shows in his stats on openprosper.com
I believe this is due to the fact that he’s reaching out to creators through different channels and on a one-to-one basis.
And of course, he’s been incredibly busy over the last few months with working 2 jobs while keeping up with his family responsibility.
- 166 days on DeSo
- 807 Followers
- 4.95 DESO earned (current value USD 227)
- 1529 Diamonds received (current value USD 67.25)
- 1.1 meaningful social engagements on average per day
- 23 coin holders of MuchaSats coin (current value at USD 44.66)
Talking about making money through his activity on DeSo as a creator, Wouter says he likes the idea that you can directly benefit. Even if it is just a funny post you’ll be able to earn something.
“The idea that you can just post silly things and earn with it is amusing to me. If DeSo would grow the amount of active users to a few million on a daily basis, then you would likely start hearing about people earning a month’s salary with only one post all the time.”
Wouter also has plans to bring more laughter to DeSo.
“I also have a fun account. Just to make some funny posts about pirate life. It’s inspired by Monkey Island, the popular game. Perhaps in the future, I do more with it. On Twitter, there are a lot of fun accounts. People pretend to be someone. It’s like a whole experience. We need more posts that are really funny. Ludacris even. The social media experience should be really fun.”
Other than that he’s been working on his own art project. But of course, as it goes in life, things take time. And Wouter is someone who wants to get stuff right before he launches.
“I started to work on HappySkulls. It was right after I signed up for DeSo. I immediately jumped into the creation process. But then you learn how the NFT space works. I have assets available. I can make billions of them. But it needs to bring value to people. I don’t want to launch without a proper roadmap. We got NFTz up and running. The HappySkulls should be integrated in the NFTz space. So it’s gonna be part of our roadmap. This is gonna be a whole experience. I have different ideas for that. One part of it takes a lot of time to create. Currently, I don’t have the time. It’s coming a bit later than expected. It should be fun for people. Should bring them value in some way. I don’t want a launch and then never look back at it.”
Looking Into The Future
I believe, there will be a lot of great things coming from Wouter and NFTz. The passion, the concern for quality and safety, to bring value, and support to the community are all at the core of how Wouter and NFTz’s team work.
DeSo’s got a lot of real gems within its community — and NFTz and Wouter clearly shine bright!
Wouter’s prediction for DeSo is a positive one. Of course, his insight differs from the “general DeSo user”: he met the core team, he’s part of regular meetings with them and all teams who got into the first round of Octane funding.
“DeSo just had its first Octane Funding round, and all the teams are very busy crafting a better app/website/experience. 2022 will be a year where lots of milestones will be reached for all to ensure the DeSo experience will see some significant improvements.
Further out, and then I mean the rest of this decade, I fully expect that people will be interacting with DeSo in some way, unbeknownst to them. To me it’s seems only logical for big, centralized companies to augment their experience with decentralized Web3 options. A best of both worlds system. There are so many use-cases possible that aren’t even in development yet.
Web3 will be a life changing experience for many, and DeSo is leading the charge with other companies.”
Getting on Board
So, if you got curious come and join us! Looking forward to having you on the Decentralized Social platform!
When you arrive, follow my profile freedomxx and say hi!