NonFungible Heroes #5: Matty from DCL Blogger

Philip had the opportunity to interview Matty, one of the most successful NFT traders, blogger, and founder of DCLBlogger.com. He shares with us his vision of the NFT ecosystem and associated markets, from the first steps of the industry in 2018 to today.

Philip Mohr2020-03-10

Who are you, what do you do, and how did you get into NFTs?

My name is Matty and I write dclblogger.com .

I got into the NFT space off the downward trend that crypto was taking in early 2018 and I was looking for ways to diversify my portfolio. That’s when I came across decentraland on coinmarketcap, I liked the icon and it sounded like a game to me.

So I checked it out and there were so many people buying and selling these LANDs. When I got involved, the LAND auction presale had just finished. So a lot of people bought LANDs and were now trying to sell it to other people.

But they couldn’t sell it yet, because there was no marketplace for Decentraland yet. So the only way to sell this ERC-721 token, was to manually send it to someone and to find a buyer who would take that risk and send the MANA first and wait for the LAND to be sent after.

And this is obviously very risky, but it created a lot of opportunity as well, because there weren’t many buyers willing to do that. So I put my hand up and started to do this, and I started to realise that people aren’t as dishonest as you would think.

I never got scammed once and I was doing hundreds of these transactions, without any smart contract to secure the trade. There was a lot of demand for people wanting to sell their LANDs. That's how I got involved.

Are you only focused on Decentraland or are you also active in other projects?

I have been following Decentraland for a long time specifically, because that’s where most of the volume has been. I think there has been almost $50M in volume on Decentraland alone over the last 2 years. Just in digital land switching hands. That sort of money hasn’t moved in the NFT space anywhere.

So for Gods Unchained , the only reason I got involved was because that presale raised tens of thousands of ETH. Once again, you have a marketplace that collectively spends $5-$10MM USD, so when the marketplace goes live there will be tens of thousands of dollars transacted weekly. I look at projects that have a lot of positive momentum, a lot of collected money, so when the market place goes live, there is money to be made.

Do you think Decentraland will be able to attract people outside the space?

So far the marketplace has done well based on speculation. Now that it's public, we are only beginning to see some traffic. I have seen similar metaverses do quite well. CryptoVoxels , which is more Minecraft based, has been out for a while and gets a lot of attention.

There are not many people in CryptoVoxels at any given time, but a lot of people want to go there and set up their shop or whatever they want to build. In Decentraland, there are awesome builds, that are really pushing the limits, but they are happening on whole different parts of the map, which is absolutely massive. Most of the LAND is undevelopment, so you will be running through green land for a while to find these cool experiences.

I think I am more excited about Decentraland in 1-2 years down the track, when good developers get involved that know how to create good experiences and have the funding to actually see them through. Then, Decentraland becomes a platform to showcase gaming, which is the aspect I am excited about.

In a podcast last year you talked about potentially developing a battleground on a big estate you own in Decentraland, are you still working on this?

At the start I was interested in flipping land. I am a money guy. Buying and selling stuff on Ebay was something I’m used to. Buying and selling LAND just from clicking a few buttons was just so attractive to me.

After a while, when I understood what can actually be built on Decentraland, I started to hold these bigger estates with the intention to either rent them to big developers that can build them out or building experiences myself.

I have thought about different ideas, whether it be a big treasure hunt place, where people can pay tiny amounts of ETH to join and win bigger prizes if you find the treasure scattered around my LAND. Maybe also an art gallery as the art scene is massive in CryptoVoxels.. There are so many ideas I am toying with.

I think at the start, I might just create simple experiences to showcase what Decentraland can become. But then, when I see where the momentum seems to be going, I can allocate my resources to build these experiences.

The colosseum idea is great, but I will wait to see how it's even possible. Decentraland obviously needs to have the capabilities to have all these 3rd party NFTs recognised and be smooth enough to have some kind of a battle experience.

So I want other people to build something in that direction and then who knows, you might be fighting for NFTs on my LAND.

Aside from Decentraland, there are other crypto enhanced virtual worlds: CryptoVoxels, The Sandbox and Somnium Space. How do you see them compared to Decentraland?

A lot of them are very different. Decentraland is going to decentralise the experience. They want to have different people running the servers, so there is no central authority.

They want to have a decentralized governing system. You can own your name, your land, it's going to be a complete decentralized experience and that’s something unique with Decentraland, that as far as I know, no one else is doing.

For me the other projects are too small to get involved with, because they don’t have the millions in funding. You need a lot of money for marketing as well, it's not cheap to get momentum. You can’t rely on people sharing this stuff. Decentraland has stood out because of that.

CryptoVoxels and The Sandbox are also different for me, because the minecraft/voxel thing doesn’t appeal to me personally. I know it does to others.

The Sandbox so far has raised a few hundred thousand $, but has 92% of their land still to go on sale. So, I am going to be very curious to see if they can continue selling their land and to what point. It's also going to be under development for another year or more, before they even have an alpha out.

I think at this point, you should have a working project out there and really push your project in this early NFT space. As we know from alt coins, the early ones are the ones that are still on the top (Litecoin etc.) today. CryptoVoxels is doing well, so is Decentraland and Gods Unchained.

Do you mainly see NFTs as an investment or do you also play these games and actively use your NFTs (e.g. Gods Unchained, Axie Infinity..)?

I get addicted to games very easily so I intentionally stop myself from playing games. I played Hearthstone for a while to understand Gods Unchained, because it's based on Hearthstone. But then I realised I was playing it every day, in the morning, during the day time and at night and I really needed to stop playing.

It did show me though that trading card games as a genre is big, there are millions of people that play it, it's addictive and it has its place. This is one of the reasons why I invested in Gods Unchained.

But to answer your question, I avoid playing, because I get addicted and NFT trading is my full time job and I need to stay focused. I have a wife and a family I want to start, so I can’t afford to play games so much.

Is your NFT Swag Shop coming soon? I remember you talking about this a while ago.

I was, I got a lot of people on board. I talked to Axie Infinity , CryptoKitties , pretty much everyone in the space. All the big names out there and they were onboard. But I wanted caps, t-shirts, canvases, essentially everything. I have done this sort of merchandise before, but it takes a lot of time to get the quality of each right because you’re probably have different suppliers for each of them.

Now, the NFT space got really big so I think it is the perfect time to release it. I have got it running, but I am just testing canvases for now and I am slowly going to start adding different products as people start to use the platform.

I have the domain, I have a supplier in China who can do really good prints, but with the coronavirus, things are on stand still. Now, I am thinking about getting a more local supplier. We will see. Things are getting more complex with eCommerce.

It seems to me that most projects still focus on the crypto-community and less towards onboarding new people outside the space. How do you see the NFT space developing?

This is the job of projects like Decentraland, Axie Infinity and Gods Unchained. These are the pioneers, they need to build an experience that’s on the surface level so disconnected from blockchain that my brother or cousins can play it. People that don’t even know that blockchain is part of the game. Having to download metamask, having to buy ETH, and managing your own tokens are all hurdles that have to go.

We love this stuff because we are tech people. We think this is easy and it makes sense to us, but the masses couldn’t care less about decentralization. They are happy to put their money in a bank, it's a seamless, easy process. Until we have a game that produces a great experience without these hurdles, that’s when we are ready to onboard new people.

Any other projects you are excited about?

There isn’t. I was very excited about Gods Unchained, they released their market place and I am watching that space. Being two and half years in this NFT space, I want to see a project pushing adoption.

I want to see tens of thousands of people starting to use these platforms and I don’t see any project, aside from the ones we discussed, that give me an indication that they are going in this direction.

I mean there are a few, I have my eyes on. Neon District got a lot of attention. I am watching the Enjin community. They have a few really good developers building gaming experiences that are tokenizing their in-game items and if one of them blows up, it could be big. There is a little bit of interest here and there, but nothing new I am really excited about.

How can people find more about you?

You can go to dclblogger.com . I have analysis videos, tutorials, and guides about trading NFTs. I have a beginner, intermediate and expert series on my blog. I will also be releasing a few more products this year.

Thank you!

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