As a part of the Morning Lazziness series about empowering women who are encouraging and doing incredible things with their ideas in society, I had the pleasure of interviewing Maria Rebelo.
“Maria has started her professional path in Marketing and Business. After founding successful businesses and NGOs in Portugal, she moved to Barcelona, where she learned more about cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. She studied through Ivan on Tech (Moralis) and founded an Arts and Marketing Agency in 2020 to support and bridge artists from traditional art to NFTs. She was an Art Agent, a Consultant, a Spokeswoman at several Blockchain events and a Strategist focused on NFTs and DeFi projects. Today, Maria is developing a business network at Gate.io and providing resources for the expansion of Gate’s NFT MagicBox.”
Many thanks for doing this for us; please let our users know about yourself and “NFT Magic Box”?
Thank you for having me here today! I am Maria Rebello, the head of NFT business development for Gate.io. I was always an entrepreneur, but my interest in NFTs grew as I studied more about crypto and blockchain technology in 2020. Before joining Gate.io, I founded an Arts and Marketing Agency in 2020 to support and bridge artists from traditional art to NFTs.
Can you share a story with us about what brought you to this specific career path?
When I was young, about 13 years old, I opened an online store for Home Decor and Art. This small shop – far from being as easy as a print-on-demand shop today – was the culmination of finding good deals on the internet and selling them to a national community. So, besides developing trust with my product selection to my customers, I started engaging with local stores, artists, and art schools. From the local stores, I wanted to sell the products to them as bulk and at a cheaper price. While for the artists, I would ask them to submit photos of their works and then select and curate them, get to know the artist, decide upon the right price and sell them online. One could say this was the beginning of today’s NFT Marketplace, but without all the technology involved.
Do you think NFTs, which are open to virtual reality, could adversely impact our health due to increased screen time?
Yeah, well, we have all watched Wall-E, right?
Obviously, if you overuse and abuse technology, it’s going to be bad. So it is about how you use a revolutionary piece of technology without going overboard.
What key highlights of the “Gate’s NFT MagicBox” make it unique from the other NFT platform?
The main feature of Gate’s NFT MagicBox is that it has no minting fees. This ensures that artists can focus only on art creation without worrying about unnecessary financial details.
What are the main services you render through this platform?
- Host NFTs in a platform with 0 minting fees.
- Magic Box is created using the GateChain, which is exponentially cheaper than Ethereum when it comes to gas fees.
- Tap into Gate.io’s >10 million user base to achieve unprecedented exposure.
- Give funding to newcomer artists via Initial NFT Offering (INO).
What do you think could be the future of NFT? How useful can they be for everyone?
To answer this question, let’s understand the main utility of NFTs. Digital art is cool, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Our lives are becoming more digital than ever before. However, previously, it was impossible to bring in the concept of “ownership” in the digital space, since it was impossible to bring in effective scarcity.
For example, when you own a car in the real world, it is YOUR car and nobody else can lay claim to its ownership. However, how do you bring in that same rarity in the digital space?
Now, with NFTs, it is finally possible to do this. This has already changed the digital ownership game, and this is just the tip of the iceberg.
How do you hope to guide the users through the NFT encyclopedia?
Most users don’t need to. That’s the core concept of abstraction, isn’t it? For example, you use your laptop every day, but do you have detailed knowledge of the chips and circuitry working in the background?
However, if you are interested in knowing more, it is crucial to start with blockchain technology and cryptographic hashes.
The future of the digital world might be ruled by blockchain and cryptocurrency. Do you think it would be challenging for all age groups to gain knowledge about the same? How can we educate them?
That’s the learning curve of new tech, isn’t it? The fact of the matter is that we humans are incredibly adaptable. Before the 2000s, people weren’t that familiar with ATMs and debit cards that much. However, that has become the norm now. We barely even go to the banks anymore. Look at the internet. Something that used to be so niched has become a part of our daily lives. When needed, humans will adapt.
What are some upcoming programs you hope to launch this year?
Magic Box has already partnered with Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) and NBA legend Allen Iverson. Moving forward, we want to work with newer artists and give them a platform for their NFTs.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Great question. Professionally, I see myself having successfully developed a network of like-minded people doing business together to bring the best of every technology, product, and service to a decentralized community. Have you ever wondered what would happen if kids could learn music in the metaverse, where frequencies can be visualized in real-time and sounds could be represented by colors and shapes? It’s a matter of getting the technology, schools, and governments coming together.
Personally, I wish to be living around the globe, feeling that there are no barriers between countries and continents, and meeting with visionaries through VR spaces, while contemplating every type of nature and culture in real-time.
I also have the future vision of providing knowledge to educate all generations in both physical and virtual spaces through courses in Arts, Blockchain Technology, and Business through Mindfulness. Education is key to human development.
Mention your top 5 NFT collections?
This is a VERY tough question! Top 5 (not by order of preference):
1. Meta Angels: https://www.metaangelsnft.com/
2. Andrés Reisinger NFT Collection ‘Impossible Objects’: https://reisinger.studio/
3. OG Crystals, by Michael Joo and Danil Krivoruchko: https://ogcrystals.com/
4. Damien Hirst ‘The Currency’: https://palm.io/studio/the-damien-hirst-currency-
5. Art Blocks – https://www.artblocks.io/learn
6. Secret tip: I’m looking forward to a project which is coming up this month, all I can disclose is the collection’s acronym – U$B.
Any female entrepreneur who inspires you the most in the Metaverse field?
Honestly, I believe that some of the most inspiring female entrepreneurs are yet to be known – but you probably know their work already. One woman who has really inspired me is Melissa Romero, the head of Gamechangers, the first Grant DAO focused on providing funding to women in the Blockchain business.
Lastly, what do you think this world needs the most?
You need to look in a spectrum, not a hierarchy. The world needs education, that’s a genuinely important factor; needs connection, in the most intuitively way and that’s through technologic development and creative development; needs better infrastructures, because one thing this pandemic made clear is that most homes aren’t prepared for a healthy lifestyle; also, needs scientific and medical development.