Mongolia is a land of endless steppes, hosting mystic Tibetan Buddhist monasteries and fierce horse warriors blessed by the eternal Tengri, the sky god in folk shamanism. For centuries, the harsh, cold climate of the plains forced its people to venture to the world beyond in a series of journeys and conquests. And now, blockchain enthusiasts can hear their stories in the form of nonfungible tokens through the Mongol NFT platform.
Since its inception in September, the platform has surpassed 100,000 registered users and close to 400 creators in various stages of their projects. In an exclusive interview with Cointelegraph, Gabit Bazar and Adiya Bayansan, co-founders of Mongol NFT, discussed the future of the project that's bringing Mongolia (once again) to the world stage.
Cointelegraph: Who are the participants on your NFT platform?
Gabit Bazar and Adiya Bayansan: It's everyone; we have many different areas of artists — they're singers, artists, painters, movie producers, etc.
CT: Which blockchain(s) is this NFT platform based on?
GB & AB: It's multi-chain. So we have Ethereum, obviously, and we're also planning to support Polygon. And next is Solana. The creators will choose; it's up to them.
CT: What are some of the themes surrounding the artwork in these NFTs?
GB & AB: We have a theme of the 13th century, for example, during the time of Genghis Khan. Another artist focuses on Tengri and the culture of the nomadic Central Asian steppes. One artist was in the Marco Polo [who journeyed east to visit Kublai Khan] Netflix show and will be producing cartoon NFTs on that topic.
CT: How many NFTs have people bought and sold so far within the past year?
GB & AB: We launched only about two months ago, on Sept. 17. And we already have approximately 5,000 drops in. And out of those 5,000 drops, our record selling is within five seconds.
CT: And what is the vision behind the platform?
GB & AB: Very simple; every country has a great history, culture, and character. [...] But not everybody knows what character exactly inside, they might know, only one or two very famous artists. Such is the case with Mongolia. We want to bring its talents to the world stage. We were always behind the rest of the world by 20 years, 30 years. But with NFTs and blockchain technology, we are all starting from precisely the same point together.
CT: What does the current state of cryptocurrency adoption look like in Mongolia?
GB & AB: So currently, we do two things: first, someone who purchases the NFT can also use the fiat Mongolian currency (Tögrög, p. Tugrik) or use our coin called MNFT. The partner exchange is Bittrex on our end. So creators can cash out to their exchange, or they can get their Tugrik to their Mongolian bank accounts.
CT: What does the roadmap look like for Mongol NFTs in the future?
GB & AB: So Mongol NFTs was the beginning of the marketplace, then we evolved to MNFT coin, where we want to make it a utility for people. They will have the specific content but are only available for MNFT holders. Exclusive video streaming and music streaming are the next steps. Because today, even though young artists can upload their songs to Spotify or iTunes, it's hard for anyone to find out about it, so getting the economic benefit can be difficult. That's why we want to create a Mongolian streaming service powered by MNFT coins. We want to revolutionize the industry so that the young kids who have that passion for the music, they can get on board, create their NFTs, create their music, and people can listen to it.
Number two, most NFT initiatives also include buying land on The Sandbox, similar to Adidas sportives. All of those big boys have got the land. Now we're also building the Mongol Valley in our Sandbox. So with that, why? Maybe you heard about our traditional annual wrestling festival called Naadam. Our country's vision is to bring as many tourists as possible. We will create tourism in the metaverse. They can see the arts, the festival, go to the marketplace to get the NFTs, and use the MNFT coin to purchase. That's the whole purpose of the metaverse. Any artists can do exhibitions or concerts; we plan to do that as an entire country. The Ministry of Culture of Mongolia is also endorsing us in terms of this initiative.