Hey guys! Happy to connect today and learn more about the Kalamint project! Can you tell us more about the founding of Kalamint and what the problem is that you were addressing?
Sure! Thanks for having us here. Kalamint actually began as a dream by co-founders Sandeep Sangli and Harsha Bakku, with the idea that an art platform should be created to inspire art from the people and be governed by the people. The name “Kalamint” is derived from the Indian artist, kalakar, and the process of storing pieces of art onto the Blockchain in a process called “minting”.
The team previously had experience working with entities on the Tezos platform before starting Kalamint. We were amazed by the protocol upgrades that were being introduced at a rapid pace and the fortitude of the community. At the same time, we were seeing gas fees skyrocket on Ethereum and were starting to notice conversations about the energy consumption and detrimental aspects of certain blockchains to the environment. Between having new artists that couldn’t even afford to mint, a secondary market that wasn’t profitable, and a real concern for the future of the ecosystem it was a no-brainer for us to build an NFT marketplace on Tezos. It was a solution that provided solutions to the gas, a secondary market, and the environment all wrapped into one. So, we took the next step and started prototyping in Q4 2020 but wanted to make sure to listen to feedback from our early community… they told us we weren’t ready. We listened and delayed our initial launch and decided that we weren’t going to put out a platform just to collect a cheque, we were going to “do things right the first time”. A full month later we launched Kalamint Beta version on March 23rd 2021.
Could you please give us a rundown of the most important things about Kalamint?
Kalamint is focused on several things but with a clear focus on our mission.
- Connect artists and collectors across the globe in a safe and energy-efficient way.
- The authenticity of artists works to ensure the actual owner is rewarded eliminating scammers from the equation.
With a verification process before allowing users to mint with Kalamint, we place a lot of emphasis on the veracity and authenticity of the art.
- It’s also pretty unique that we store all of our data on the blockchain in order to stay true to the technology.
Any owner of an NFT on Kalamint will be able to access the information for as long as the Tezos chain is in existence. No worries about a separate server to pull data from or corrupted systems down the road. It’s all right there on the chain, forever.
So going forth into 2020 and beyond, how will Kalamint make an impact in the crypto space, or on the world?
It’s very easy to dream about the future. We of course have big plans, but at the rapid rate that the cryptocurrency is evolving, we can only prepare to adjust as things come our way. Our plans aren’t to set the world ablaze claiming to build the best NFT marketplace. Our plans are to usher NFTs into the mainstream where they are so readily available that the average user doesn’t even realise that NFTs have become a part of their everyday lives.
Now, could you tell us about your accomplishments so far, and in the history of Kalamint, please tell us what you are most proud of.
I’m glad you asked! Since the launch, we have had a lot of firsts. From selling out on the launch day to announcing the biggest partnership for us so far, we are proud of a lot of achievements.
We have just announced a partnership with PangeaSeed, one of the world’s largest ocean-focused environmental foundations! They are bringing an all-star lineup of twenty-eight of the most well-renowned artists including Yuumei, Ted Chin, Claire Droppert, Von Wong, Jon Burgermann, POGO, Tre’ Packard, and many more, with a collective following of more than 3.2 million! That’s amazing exposure for any movement! It’s certainly a strong statement to the world and the NFT community that it’s possible to mint art on-chain and still be mindful of the environmental impact involved with blockchain technology.
Now, give us a quick rundown of the future of Kalamint. For example, what new things are you seeking to bring to life and what will it mean for the overall project?
Art is just the first stepping stone into the world of NFTs. The idea that anything that is bought or sold can be tokenized and executed through a smart contract is where we are headed. The idea is to make the world a more efficient place, reduce the environmental impact, and be able to have a sustainable system that can adapt to the ever-changing world of technology. We, of course, will be working on the ability to interoperate with other blockchains as well. We want users to be able to bring their tokens onto our platform and operate effectively with the Tezos blockchain without the negative aspects of other chains.
With Auctions currently on testnet and a solid platform to build off of, we hope that we are able to change the world one NFT at a time. Eventually, buyers and sellers will be swapping small bits of information to prove the ownership of a piece of property, art, or anything else of value that can be executed by a smart contract without lawyers and middlemen.
What is Kalamint’s view on the NFT space, and how do we make sure this space doesn’t leave an environmental footprint?
NFTs are really gaining steam. The problem is that the NFTs located on Proof of Work chains not only cause the artist and buyer to pay ridiculous gas and minting fees, but it also has a real environmental impact. For every transaction on a PoW chain, you have the “miners” on that chain competing to claim the gas fee. The mining rigs use massive amounts of energy to compute the mathematical equation before it’s added to the chain. Only one miner is awarded but they all have to expend the energy to join the race.
Kalamint is positioned on the Tezos Blockchain. It’s a time-tested and proven Proof of Stake chain that only requires a little more than a standard desktop and a reliable internet connection. Minting a piece of art can cost as little as seven cents and the amount of energy being consumed is comparable to sending a tweet on Twitter. Instead of miners, they are called “bakers”. Bakers are required to put a portion of their Tez “on the line” as an incentive to not attempt malicious transactions. This means that there is no need to compete, just compute the proper transaction and greatly reduce the ecological footprint.
Tell us about your team. Who’re the people behind the scenes?
Any project or a company is only as good as its team. The Kalamint team is spread across the USA and India currently. While a big chunk of the development and growth is based in India, we have a rockstar operation set up in the USA. As a young team hungry for more, we are excited for what is in the pipeline. We’re growing and we have plans to scale up our operations both in the USA and India in the near future.
Which partnerships have Kalamint engaged so far, and which ones are the most impactful?
We have quite a few things in the works that we can’t talk about publicly yet. We can assure you that a lot of excitement is coming in the next couple of months. Obviously, PangeaSeed is a huge deal for not only us but the crypto community as well. It’s a phenomenal cause with a real-world impact. We hope that it emphasizes that it is possible to have your cake and eat it too on Kalamint. With that, we’ve partnered with some world-renowned artists that we’ve yet to announce as well as several other organizations for future collaborations. Last but not least, we are trying to position ourselves to be involved with exchanges that might have an interest in launching a marketplace or gallery of their own.
The name of the game is interoperability and we plan on winning.
Now on a more technical side of things, why did you choose to use the Tezos blockchain instead of the Ethereum blockchain for example in regards to Kalamint?
A combination of all the previously discussed solutions that the Tezos blockchain offers certainly makes it highly favorable over Ethereum; price, speed, and energy efficiency. We keep hearing about 2.0 and layer two solutions. At Kalamint we aren’t focused on what might be done but instead, we focus more on what solutions we have right now. Will a seamless transition happen to 2.0? Will the developers need to recode everything they’ve built on Ethereum if not? There is even talk of a miner strike and threats to move the mining power to 51% as a show of force… We are neither interested in the drama nor the fistfight. We are interested in having a platform built to last on a chain built to do the same. The Tezos blockchain has already implemented six upgrades which are more than every other chain combined. Now, if we can offer solutions to interoperate with our platform and have them join us, that’s just icing on the cake!
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Thank you so much for your time! Do you have anything to add before we finish?
Personally, I would like to thank our team that is working tirelessly behind the scenes. We are in the infancy of the technology and they are certainly dedicated to making our platform the best available. We’ve seen the flaws of other platforms and they are dedicated to making something better. We know that one day we will be in the position to change the world, one NFT at a time.