(Q.1) King, would you like to present yourself – who you are, what is your (professional) background?
My name is Tony and I’m the founder/CEO of MainStreet.Finance, which is a DeFi hub residing on the BNB Chain.
Although I come from a small business/entrepreneur background, currently Main Street is my primary focus in terms of time spent.
I launched the project in June 2021 after about 5 months of development. Although a long road, we’ve withstood consistent bear markets in terms of financial aspects and continued to build out our ecosystem.
As someone who’s always enjoyed business and trading; It’s been an enjoyable experience. Building in a space where I had believed the barrier to entry was too high for someone like me really gave me some much needed energy.
On a more personal level, I’m just a normal dude. I’ve been very fortunate in my life to have made good business decisions while also having an incredible support system. That combination led me to doing crypto full time while enjoying my wife and what is now my 3yr old son starting in 2020.
(Q.2) How/When did you step into the NFT world?
I began investing in NFTs in September 2021. Dabbling both on the BNB Chain and ETH Network.
We had launched $MAINST Token shortly before that.
Having always been a value driven investor (beyond just being a degen sometimes); I was intrigued by NFT projects who offered real utilities and solid concepts.
Non Fungible Apes of Apeswap and Sympathy for the Devils were my first two investments, both which I still hold till this day.
(Q.3) When did you first come across the Lazy Lions NFT project?
It’s funny because my actual entry into Lazy Lions came a lot later than it should have.
I missed out on the Lazy Lions NFT mint even though one of my friends at the time tried to tell me it was solid (see screenshot below).
After missing on the initial boom of Lazy Lions and watching them establish themselves as a premiere project, I found myself circled back around because of NFT Expoverse LA in July 2022.
Meeting some Lazy Ape Yacht Club associated folks brought my attention back to the Lazy Lions community through association. Ultimately leading to getting involved with the Lazy Lions community as a holder and builder.
(Q.4) Why choose your identity to be a Lazy Lions NFT instead of others?
They’re cool, recognizable and bring a lot of love from the Lazy community.
I love rocking an NFT profile pic and normally like to customise it with other NFTs/Projects I’m involved with.
(Q.5) What is the story behind your username?
Although it’s not my government name, I’ve gone by Tony long before I entered the crypto world.
The name was given to me by a good friend of mine around 2012-2013 and just stuck.
(Q.6) Is the choice of your username linked to the persona of your Lazy Lions? Tell me more about why you chose that Lion as your PFP / identity?
Nah! Tony isn’t linked to my profile pic or crypto life like that.
I pretty much chose my profile pix based on on the fact that it encompasses our MainStreet.Finance colours while embodying me as a person – I wear sunglasses, I’m a smoker, and my chains never leave my neck.
(Q.7) In the NFT space, what does building mean to you & what are you currently building?
Not giving up.
Crypto or not, businesses are not easy to build.
People quit too easily or don’t have the grit to continue on. That’s often seen in web2 entrepreneurship.
To me, if you’re building… you’re working. You’re working towards making what you have going on successful.
Not sweeping the floor looking busy by shit-posting in chats trying to look active!
But on the other side of that, building is a rollercoaster.
Some things come fast, some things come slow, some things just don’t pan out.
That’s the reality of how it goes. To judge what effort is being put into a project in terms of process or progress isn’t anyone else’s job to do besides the team and the people who chose to invest their money.
(Q.8) What are 3 people in the NFT space that have either touched you or you feel are creating an impact?
The only specific person that would come to mind is @WenAirDropNFT.
He was involved in the overall NFT space before joining our MainStreet.Finance team about a year ago. On a personal level, he came to MainStreet.Finance at a time when I personally needed it for my own morale and has become a real friend to me ever since.
On a professional level, I believe he’s making a real impact in the web3 domain space.
Beyond launching his own broker/registrar IHeartDomains, he’s providing real education and alpha on domain topics & issues with weekly twitter spaces, articles and threads.
The connections and accomplishments he continues to make within the space I believe will make a lasting impact overall in the web3 domain sector.
But at the very least, I guarantee you he will have a positive impact on those around him.
(Q.9) Apart from the Lazy Lions, are there any other NFT projects that you are bullish on?
1. Money Monkeys
Hate to be a homer like that, but our MainStreet.Finance Money Monkeys are an incredibly sound NFT project that provides their owners with rewards in $MAINST token.
These rewards are generated from profits of an Apeswap yield farming fund (we call this fund the Banana Bag) which was originally funded with 100% of the mint money.
A recent partnership with EternalLabs.Finance has allowed us to implement some features to optimize the growth of bag and give us great positioning moving towards Apeswaps upcoming $BANANA hardcap. There’s a lot of good value driven concepts going on within Money Monkeys, so those who find any of the above mentioned interesting can check out our latest update here.
2. Sympathy for the Devils
Also known as SFTD and their website is at: sympathyforthedevils.club
This is one of the first ETH NFTs I got into. I loved the concept of an investment fund based around blue-chip NFT holdings with community voting etc.
They’ve experienced their fair share of ups and downs, but have continued to be resilient. They’ve been through all the rollercoasters having original founders leave the project, to community members stepping in and actually driving the project to new heights.
Although overall sentiment in the project is somewhat low due to its fall from previous highs, in my eyes it makes for a good entry point into what has proven to be a sustainable project so far
Website at: iheartdomains.xyz
Although it’s a web3 domain registrar/broker, NFTs are used in representation of the sales etc.
I think between the technology and mass adoption implications of web3 domains its a project that’s positioned itself within a market that can be capitalised on unlike other NFTs.
Throw in a founder who’s really pushing the envelope in terms of awareness and overall development of the sector and it makes me bullish.
(Q.10) When choosing an NFT project to mint or to buy from a marketplace, are there any criteria that you have laid down for yourself before you even consider investing your ETH in it?
The only rule I really hold myself to is buying at least 3 of the collection.
One I like aesthetically, one off the floor and then something rarer from the collection.
Beyond that I have a multitude of different reasons for minting something. Value, cleverness, and my own stupidity all are encompassed in that decision making process.
(Q.11) What wallet(s) do you use and recommend?
Safepal and Metamask.
Safepal has an incredible UI and capabilities within their DApp.
Metamask just because it seems to be the most secure and compatible with other platforms.
(Q.12) Do you like to attend twitter Spaces?
I Iike smaller Twitter Spaces for the conversation.
I think it brings a lot of value for individuals to be able to speak with each other on various crypto topics and things going on.
Larger spaces where it’s just listening, I’d prefer to listen to some type of podcast.
(Q.13) What are your thoughts on Spaces in general – is there anything you feel that Space creators could improve on?
Got to have good content and bad content regardless of what social media/platform it comes from.
Social media in general gives people a voice who probably shouldn’t have one, but also is a great tool for allowing people to be heard who deserve it. So just a fine line.
Engagement-wise I think they are a joke beyond conversation between real individuals.
Like cool, someone has 500 people in their space… majority of those are going to be bots. But this is encompassed in the fine line that I mentioned above, so just is what it is.
Up to each individual where they believe the value in those things lies.
(Q.14) What mistake(s) have you made till now that we could learn from?
If you come from a web2 business background and are stepping into web3, dont give people in web3 too much credit.
When stepping into web3 in terms of starting a project, I constantly questioned myself because I believed I was out of my realm in terms of technology skills.
That turned out to not be true, and applying the same web2 skills of learning anything can be directly applied in web3 also.
Crypto isn’t rocket science, don’t let people make you believe it is.
Q.15) You founded MainStreet Finance, can you give some insights / backstory about it?
I launched Main Street in June 2021 as a community token based around project vetting, marketing and pretty much all things crypto currency.
Myself and founding team members really wanted to create a central crypto hub that brought fun and more importantly trust to the space.
The MainStreet.Finance ecosystem is centred around our deflationary token which is named simply enough as $MAINST.
All of our concepts we implement on Main Street contribute to the token through various different ways.
For example, over the first 14 months we’ve established Main Street Media & Money Monkeys as our first two initial concepts for the ecosystem.
Through media revenue and yield farming profits, both contribute to $MAINST tokenomics that redistribute tokens back to holders while also burning tokens from its already fixed supply.
(Q.16) I hear Main Street started out on BNB Chain but then it has recently also stretched out reach to some ETH projects – why did you choose BNB & why not directly on ETH?
Launching $MAINST token on BNB Chain was strictly based on familiarity.
Although we do like the things that Binance has in the works for the future and the way they handle their operations.
Things have become so seamless these days in terms of wallets and bridging that I don’t believe chain loyalty really exists like that these days.
It’s obviously out there and has its place within crypto, but currentlyI believe most savvy crypto users aren’t afraid to jump from chain to chain for the right opportunity.
(Q.17) Is there other projects are under Main Street’s umbrella?
One way Main Street has been able to turn revenue for our media product is through project incubation and content creation type things.
Whether it be social media management or copyright etc, It’s always been something that’s been attractive for partnerships and things of that nature.
We’re currently working with developing 3 products in that same aspect :- Lazy Street, IHeartDomains, and Haddies Bay Club are all currently underneath the MainStreet.Finance umbrella.
They are being used to grow our own ecosystem while supporting those outside sources.
Anyone interested in how those relationships exist and contribute to our ecosystem can come ask in any one of our social media communities or check out the update linked in the next question!
(Q.18) Is this a one person company or do you have a team behind and what’s the plan for 2023?
We have a core team of 4 with some other moving parts that help us operate/troubleshoot things.
We’ve been putting a lot of work in overall into helping out our incubated projects in pursuing their goals while developing our own ecosystem.
We’ve been at it since early 2021, so we’re definitely looking forward to another year of growth under our belt.
If anyone is interested in what MainStreet.Finance has coming up for 2023 feel free to check out our latest update here!
(Q.19) How do you believe you’re making the NFT space special?
Special? I couldn’t tell you.
I believe those who are truly doing exceptional things usually don’t even realise they are.
If I leave this space having made a positive impact on someone or given them some type of hope when they really needed it. I’ll consider it a success for myself, and hopefully something special for them.
When I first came to this space I was strictly financially motivated. But through my own struggles and growths here I’ve come to realise that can’t be the focus 100% of the time.
Even though I still struggle with that balance in my personal life, I guess through that lesson learned there alone, I won’t be leaving the space empty handed. So i guess it could be said that the lessons I’ve learned here are special to me.
(Q.20) Any message you would like to leave for the people in the NFT ecosystem?
Keep On, Keepin’ On!
You owe yourself too!
That’s it folks! Hope you enjoyed the conversation with Tony.
Before you leave!
Please take a moment to drop a comment below for the following TWO questions:
- What did you like or not appreciate with this interview so that we can improve?
- Is there any followup questions for Tony? Ask them in the comment below & I’ll get the answers for you!
– Shamazle –