‘No one can censor us in the metaverse, including Putin’: CEO of Ukrainian project MultiNFT speaks out
As CEO of Ukrainian-founded metaverse-entertainment platform MultiNFT, Guy Goldenberg has a bit on his mind right now. That includes getting his family to safety and preparing to help launch the project’s native token. Stockhead caught up with him…
Hi Guy. Firstly, thanks for responding to us. MultiNFT is based in Ukraine, right? Kyiv? How are you? Have you managed to get to some sort of safety?
Hello and thanks for having me. Fortunately, I’m currently out of Ukraine and in Poland with my family on our way to the next destination to recalibrate. Yes, we are from Kyiv and MultiNFT is a Ukrainian-registered company with our headquarters set in Kyiv city centre.
Do you have a Ukrainian background?
I’m half Ukrainian on my mother’s side, and interestingly enough my mother lives in Moscow nowadays, so we’ve been comparing media reports back and forth with shock and awe as things were escalating.
So you managed to get out of Ukraine before things really kicked off there? Is there anything you feel like sharing about that experience so far?
We left at the last minute. Needless to say, we didn’t want to leave our home, businesses, lives and possessions behind, as no one would. But Thursday night, last week, reality woke us up to the sound of missiles landing not too far from the city, within earshot.
For me, being born and raised in my early years in Israel, the next step was too familiar to wait for, so I instructed my wife to begin packing for us and the baby (five months old) and we headed towards the Polish border – an adventure that took over 100 hours, including the extremely long queue of cars at the border-crossing area.
What came next was the realisation that my wife left her passport in Ukraine as we were escaping and we are now stuck in Poland because the Ukrainian embassies all around the world halted their travel-document issuance – a crucial service at times of war.
Weighted down by the Russian attack, the consulate services and embassies are almost paralysed until further notice. I reckon that NFTs and blockchain-verification methods could actually solve such problems of the outdated paper-age world we apparently still live in today… But I am getting ahead of myself!
It must be near impossible to concentrate on an NFT virtual-world business at this time… Or is it perhaps a case of “screw Putin, not even he can stop the metaverse”?
Haha, I love how you put it. YES! The fact is, nothing can stop progress and, if anything, war and conflict have always been accelerators of innovation, technology and its adoption. You can see it happening right now during this war – blockchain and NFTs are being used as a major way to fundraise. People fleeing countries convert their FIAT to non-confiscatable crypto such as BTC or LTC. We even hosted a protest to stop the war in the metaverse where no one, including, Putin can censor us or arrest any participants!
Very cool. Tell us a bit about that protest – your team held it in the Cryptovoxels virtual world?
Yeah, that’s right. As some of us were escaping the country with our families and others, the rest of our team, led by Max Hatchwell, the company founder, started a protest that can’t be censored or silenced. In fact, as we were doing this we realised that this might just be one of the biggest and most important use cases for the metaverse – uncensorable and unstoppable freedom of speech.
Adding to this topic, my mother went on the same day to protest physically in the streets of Moscow and was detained by the police for several hours and interrogated! Needless to say, this protest was close to our hearts and there is a real need to protect freedom of speech, even today in 2022, it seems.
What actually happens in a metaverse-based protest like that one?
Well the demonstration took place in the central place of the main Island in Cryptovoxels called Original City. Everyone who took part in it spawned right there. For the first two weeks of the war, once you logged in, you could see dozens of avatars protesting with signs in favour of Ukraine and against the war. Some people even left their avatars in there for several days – so it was also a protest you could take part in while sleeping in your bed.
Is there any way to donate to Ukraine’s cause through MultiNFT?
We were very close to releasing an NFT collection to donate 100 per cent of its mint costs to the Ukrainian authorities and special aid forces. However, we soon learned there is already an official project out there and we didn’t want the main fundraising campaigns to lose focus, or for us to appear as if we are making a marketing play out of our own misery!
Furthermore, we had, and still have, our deadlines to chase now that we have pushed things forward a tiny bit, so unfortunately we decided to drop this concept and focus on the protest and our roadmap.
Fair enough! So we hear you had to delay the $MNFT token presale launch – is that now going ahead on March 17?
Correct. We delayed the launch by a bit as we had to escape the Russian invasion and simultaneously we also took the chance to prepare the Polygon bridge to deploy our token on MATIC as well from the first day. That also means that all our airdrop participants will not have to pay any gas fees to receive their allocation. We believe it was the right move and that the time was used most effectively.
What has you excited about the project and what’s coming up?
Firstly, I’ll say that it is very exciting to shape the future of entertainment, and coming from the performing arts myself – I used to play guitar for several prominent metal bands and toured the world performing every night – I am obsessed with the new developments in the metaverse. In our opinion it’s the next medium of entertainment, e-commerce and socialising.
MultiNFT has a lot coming – token launch on multiple chains, NFT DeFi, membership ecosystem expansion, more musical genre debuts, such as metal and rock, and more venues in new metaverse platforms – we’re actually in all of them.
Then there are centralised exchange listings in the next quarter as well as DEX [decentralised exchange] listings, and a very exciting announcement about a never-before-seen NFT concept with wings that will reach space, literally… That’s all I can say on that one at this point.
Our Nightclubs are taking over the #Metaverse🎉@decentraland (Live)https://t.co/1bmVq5Bk2f@cryptovoxels (Live)https://t.co/VUA7kxkLGx@SomniumSpace (Under Construction)https://t.co/2KeqcTgE9B@TheSandboxGame (Coming Soon) https://t.co/my7WeqpfCX#Metaverse #MusicNFT pic.twitter.com/nHCXjYQxRe
— MultiNFT.io (@multinft) February 16, 2022
Can you give us an idea of who’s partnered with the MultiNFT project or who might be looking to do so? You’re looking to connect with big names in techno and metal. Can you provide any further details?
Sure. Firstly, from the crypto space we have been, and still are, in active partnerships with many big names such as Enjin, Decentraland, Sandbox, Somnium, and we have supported and had media partnerships with P2E and NFT games such as Axie Infinity and Blockchain Cuties from the first days of their projects.
In regards to the music and entertainment industries, what we’re allowed to share now prior to launch and marketing publishing is only that we’re currently in advanced stages of signing with the biggest metal headliners and music labels in the world. And the same statement goes for our techno and psytrance departments.
We’re finalising contracts and deals with industry giants that have more than 100 years of combined experience between them in the artist management and live-production scenes.
The project has set up a virtual nightclub in Decentraland called RAGE. How’s that going?
Yeah, RAGE has been pumping techno sounds every Saturday night for a month now, averaging 1,000 participants per party, with every single event’s POAP tokens completely claimed by the participants and a lot of random visitors outside working hours – and it’s only getting started! We’re constantly developing and designing more features and trying to reimagine ways to capture the essence of a good dance floor and club vibe.
Have you managed to pull in any big DJs into the RAGE club?
A few days ago we had Aiwaska from the Crosstown Rebels music label in there – with a visual set created especially for the metaverse. Aiwaska is a project from a mysterious producer with a big global fan base and more than 20 years of musical experience. A hypnotic, spiritual sound – a great blend of melodic house rhythm with atmospheric bass lines and hypnotic vocals. But the main RAGE launch party’s also been pushed back a bit and we’ll have a few more artists for that – yet to be announced.
Thanks to all the 600+ ragers who came to rage with us!
Next week! 19 of March! We celebrate our 4th birthday & official nightclub launch party!
— MultiNFT.io (@multinft) March 13, 2022
Before we finish up, can you briefly describe what will give the project’s native ERC-20-based token its value?
Yep, the $MNFT token is our ecosystem’s currency and there are many things that give it value and usability. The first thing is our treasury play, which rolls 50 per cent of the company profits into the token liquidity or buys back the token from the open market.
And the token itself focuses on experiences and spending at venues and events, earning cash back for your NFT purchases. It can be used to unlock special lounges and VIP events, and access NFT drops before others. It’s also used to reward every NFT holder from the ecosystem daily for the next six years.
Cool, any thoughts you want to leave our readers with?
Just that, today more than ever, I appreciate the meaning of community and family, and I feel that we are at the right place at the right time – the metaverse is the future and crypto will be the infrastructure of freedom and information anarchy.
And MultiNFT is proud to be a spearhead in this path. It’s in times like these where our true spirit is put to the test – those who come out on the other side will be stronger.
MultiNFT was founded in 2018 when it deployed the first-ever NFT membership for multi-games and community experiences. The project aims to grow interactive entertainment experiences and connections right across the metaverse, across a multitude of platforms. MultiNFT also develops NFTs in collaboration with prominent artists and brands.
This Q&A has been edited lightly for clarity. Stockhead has not provided, endorsed or otherwise assumed responsibility for any financial product advice contained in this article.
At the time of writing, the author holds several crypto assets, including Bitcoin and Ethereum.