Hello Mr. El Aliwat. Before discussing Hebys, we would like to get to know you briefly. Who is Mustafa El Aliwat? In which schools did he study? What kind of experiences he has in business life until the Hebys journey began?
I graduated from the Computer Engineering department of Boğaziçi University, and I also have an MBA (Master of Business Administration) degree. I have worked in various sectors and roles with an IT focus for 20 years. I had my own startup in the software field for four years, but the 2008 global economic crisis also affected us. Yet, I learned a lot.
I also worked as a project and R&D manager in leading banks but never left the back of the house :)
Hebys is a platform operating in the NFT space as a Search Engine and Marketplace. How did the idea to present such a vision emerge? What dynamics in the NFT space led you to establish such a company?
When I was the leader of the R&D department at the bank, we regularly and closely followed the technological developments in the world. We reported the possible impacts on the financial sector. In 2015, we prepared and presented a report on Blockchain and Bitcoin to the top management and emphasized that we should participate in this field as soon as possible. But I’ve seen that they don’t take blockchain as seriously as we do and underestimate it.
At that time, I told myself I should take up entrepreneurship and invest in this field. A few months later, I set up my startup to work entirely on blockchain technologies. We have provided consultancy and project development services in many countries, such as the US, Canada, and Turkey.
Although the crypto community has not a good relationship with, Warren Buffet has a quote that I love: “If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work till you die.”
Thanks to this quote, the idea of switching from service provider to platform ownership gained importance for me at the beginning of 2021. The NFT space has incredible potential and does not have huge financial risks, unlike crypto exchanges, thanks to the non-custodian basis. This is how our Hebys journey began.
Lastly, of course, I have to say that my teammates also strengthen me a lot.
Hebys has a solid multichain infrastructure supporting five leading blockchains. What do you think is the importance of having such a basis in the NFT space?
Let me tell you that we plan to add Solana as the 6th blockchain soon. We greatly appreciate the NFT community in Solana. Together with Ethereum, they keep the NFTs afloat during the bear season and give hope to everyone.
Projects usually focus on one or a few major blockchains like Ethereum. Because it is tough to make software developments and maintenance for all of them, it is also hard to offer the same data quality and user experience in different blockchains.
Therefore, as soon as you establish a multichain structure, you are already a few steps ahead of your competitors. In fact, I see it as an obligation for us because Hebys is an NFT platform and includes a search engine.
In short, users deserve to transact on all blockchains on a single hub :)
Are you satisfied with the progress of Hebys? Has the recent months’ stagnation in cryptocurrencies and NFT space affected your plans?
I’d like to emphasize again: Hebys is an NFT platform, including many products such as search engine, marketplace, launchpad, portfolio management, aggregator, and also providing data to 3rd parties via APIs. That’s why we spent a little more time and effort to run all of them integrated. Since we have been in the bear season almost from the beginning of the project, there have been some delays according to our roadmap. But in the end, I am happy with the point we have reached, although we still have a long way to go.
Building a project during the bear season is not something everyone can afford.
Hebys has integrated the VRF feature of Chainlink, one of the leading companies in the blockchain industry. How do you expect Chainlink VRF to contribute to Hebys?
As Hebys grows both in terms of product and community, we cross paths and collaborate more with the big players in the industry.
While discussing with Chainlink what problem we can solve in the NFT space, we realized that we could solve the lack of fairness of NFT launchpads quickly and effectively.
Holders complain that there is no fair distribution, especially in collections where rarity is essential. Since the mints are made sequentially, there are discussions that rare and leading tokens go to certain people with whitelists. We have developed an NFT launchpad with Chainlink using VRF (Random Number Generator) to randomly distribute the mint order and solve the problem. Curious users can read our Medium article for more details.
What was it like to partner with a global leader in the blockchain industry like Chainlink? Can you share this process with us?
First of all, they are very professional. Usually, such large companies’ decision-making process acts slowly. When we started working, they took action very quickly. Different Telegram groups have been created. While the technical work was continuing, a marketing plan was prepared for the contents to be shared simultaneously. When the announcement date came, the action was taken step by step. In short, it was such a smooth process we all enjoyed it.
What plans do you have for Hebys? What kind of innovations will Hebys users meet?
We have a lot in mind for the future. But, what we try to do in the first place is to bring Hebys to anyone’s mind when NFT is mentioned. For this, we prepare a detailed marketing plan and go-to-market strategy. In addition to the benefits and user experience, we are working on a gamification infrastructure to attract and keep users inside.
Many innovative features; such as integrating Solana and Flow in addition to EVM-based blockchains, making the Portfolio tool handier, and implementing the “Progressive Payment” system to protect investors of launched collections, are also on our roadmap.
What advice would you give to someone interested in NFTs today?
Collections that no longer offer a utility are out of date. We will see more collections that offer privileges like Evox Capital’s, game characters & items, and NFTs of real-life products (like Amazon).
Those who want to invest or develop projects should locate themselves accordingly.
Are there any challenging aspects of your job at Hebys with your daily life?
Of course. This world works 24/7. Therefore, there are no working hours habits. For example, I just came out of the AMA session we do every week on Thursday at 9 pm, and I am giving an interview. :)
We also strive to build a close relationship with our users, followers, and community. We are very focused on quickly responding to requests and solving problems, no matter what channel they come from Discord, Twitter, or Email. Although we have our community managers and support team, I personally try to follow them closely so that I can aware of public opinion :)
Finally, we guess you spend most of your time in Hebys. But what do you like to do in your free time? What hobbies do you have? Thank you. :)