[Interview by _tamasik_]
1) Wiredutch, I’ve seen you around for quite a while now, as I was lurking around the ecosystem over the years. Since when have you been in IOTA? And why IOTA?
The summer of 2017, it was IOTA’s vision around the M2M economy that triggered my interest. I saw Dom and Dave on stage and it was a couple of months after that that I put some skin into the game and bought my first bag of IOTA. My professional background is in Information Technology, I’m a partner/owner of a SaaS (software as a service) company providing tech for startups and venture capital readiness — And yes, we use IOTA in our product to bind digitally signed documents to the Tangle.
2) Following up on the first question, you’ve become REALLY noticeable recently after you started taking an open no-bullshit stance on what you call fake NFT projects. What made you decide that enough is enough, that you’re gonna put your neck out there and call out nonsense?
That’s easy, I just felt a sense of duty to the IOTA community to raise awareness on projects that are not being 100% honest with their intentions.
3) So, for people like us, what are some of the things we can check and keep in mind when checking out NFTs to buy?
I’ve been involved with IT for the past twenty years as a programmer/designer, so I trust my professional instincts for when something doesn’t quite sit right with me. That’s when I go into Google search mode ;)
First-glance telltale signs:
(a) NFTs that are made up of collages i.e. a collection of images that make up the whole but don’t quite seem to fit together in colour, style, quality and so on.
(b) The artwork is really good, and I mean really good that it warrants a further look at. Sounds counter intuitive, but go with your gut feeling on this. (c) There is something recognisable about the artwork that you can’t quite put your finger on.
What to research:
a. Is the collection a direct copy of another collection on a different protocol. Take a quick scroll through OpenSea.
b. Is the artwork original i.e. can I find the artwork on a stock image website. Pick a major stock agency website and browse their catalogue, most agencies have the same artworks.
c. Is the artwork an original idea i.e. is it copied from somebody else’s work, tutorial etc. Search Google for tutorial videos with keywords i.e. blender 3d robot tutorial.
d. Does the artwork infringe on a company’s trademark. This is easier to determine with recognisable brands. With regards to other elements outside of the art i.e. utility, you’ll have to figure that out for yourself because it means different things to different people. I recommend reading an article or two on copyright and trademark infringement. It’s not a difficult subject, it’s only people that make it difficult because for the most part they are only interested in bending the rules to fit their own narrative.
4) Tell us about Munkilabs! What’s special about it? Are / Were you involved in any other projects in the DLT space — — whether it be IOTA-related or not?
Oh dude, where do I start, the more I dig into Munkii the deeper I get! I’m having the most fun since I first held crayons in my hands as a child. Munkii Lab is my creative playground, a story that is unfolding right in front of me. I view it similarly to how some authors might sketch out their whole story before penning a novel whilst others start the first sentence without knowing the middle or end of their novel. Munkii Lab is the later of the two, I’m discovering every day who Munkii is. What started out as a small 2D NFT collection has turned into a healthy obsession into the world of 3D. I created the first 444 3D OG Collection on Soonaverse to establish Munkii’s direction and to help get Munkii into the minds of other IOTA projects and the community as a whole. The focus now is bringing Munkii into Unreal Engine. I am working on the in-world character animations and the 3D environment within UE5, there’s still a to to do and I have to be realistic in terms of project scope and time scales. Munkii Lab is not an animation or game studio, but with UE5 anything is possible given time. Obviously I cannot do all things at once, so Merch and NFT giveaways are taking a back seat for a while until I have made more progress in UE5 — I also need to think about my day job ;)
I would love to get involved with other projects too but time is my enemy, I want to focus on delivering the best project that I can with Munkii Lab. I’m a realist on how much I can achieve by myself, but at the same time if you don’t get your hands dirty you’ll never know your limits. Right now I have a 3D Munkii running around a custom UE5 test environment on my PC and my kids are more than stoked because they get to see Munkii living and breathing on screen, so I’m feeling pretty good about progress right now. And yeah, my kids are waiting for me to create that Vinyl Figure Munkii too. Patience Munkii family ;)
5) What’s with the winking face — — your iconic DP and even ending text messages with “ ;) “. How did that become part of your identity?
I started a new Twitter profile last year with the sole purpose of promoting IOTA, so a lot of the early conversations I had were battling a lot of negativity and FUD that was thrown at the community. The wink was a cheeky ending to some of my statements, and it just stuck with me becoming part of my online persona ;)
6) What’s one change you want to see around here? (I’m being deliberately not specific. Giving you an open mic here!)
I’m not sure that I want to see any one single change, more that I just want to see the continued growth of the ecosystem that we are experiencing today. It, together with the community, is almost unrecognisable from this time last year.
It was a pleasure. Thanks for asking me to contribute.