«I have already spent over 25 million tenge». A young farmer from Uralsk plans to use blockchain and mobile games to digitize livestock farming.
Maidan Naymanov started working in agriculture at the age of 15, assisting his father in managing 3.5 hectares of land and tending to several thousand cattle. While not being particularly enthusiastic about agriculture, after completing the 9th year of school, he enrolled in the Humanitarian and Technical College of Uralsk and graduated as a math and physics teacher. However, he chose not to pursue a career in teaching and, at the age of 18, took charge of one of the family-operated farms where he earned a good income.
Maydan Naymanov’s journey took an intriguing turn when he developed a strong interest in the crypto industry, with a particular fascination for NFTs. About a year ago, he had a visionary idea to merge blockchain technology with animal farming, thus giving birth to MixReality. The concept behind MixReality was to gamify the real sector by introducing digitized livestock as virtual in-game pets. Now, the question arises: how does this all come together in practice? Who would be interested in purchasing NFT sheep? Additionally, there’s the challenge of connecting the world of cryptocurrency with one of the most conservative industries in Kazakhstan. Maydan delved into these details during his interview with Digital Business.
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«During castdev, we conducted more than 20 test sales»
– Maydan, what are your plans for digitizing animal farming?
– There are several stages. The first involves establishing blockchain-based smart contracts to ensure legal guarantees of cattle ownership. In practice, a person acquires a certificate from us valued at 170 thousand tenge. This amount is utilized to purchase two sheep, cover their management and fertilization costs. After approximately 6 months, they yield crops. Within a few more months, when the sheep reach a weight of 30-40 kilograms, they become suitable for meat. In Kazakhstan, the wholesale price for dressed sheep occasionally reaches 2,700 tenge per kilo. The cycle then repeats.
Over a span of three years, we provide dividends to users based on meat sales: up to 50% in the first year, up to 45% in the second year, and up to 40% in the third year. The percentage is determined by the user’s activity in the game and the number of cattle purchased. Subsequently, during the following two years, we return the investments.
The subsequent phase involves the development of mobile games that allow users to interact with their purchased cattle. For instance, in MixBattle, users can organize battles between their virtual pets and earn various bonuses. In MixTamagochi, users can develop a virtual farm and take care of their pet by feeding it, providing water, and more. These activities will also yield additional perks.
Following that, we proceed with the launch of the NFT collection MixSheeps and NFT certificates MixAncestors. The liquidity of these NFTs will be backed by the cattle from our family farm. These NFTs will be tradeable on specialized marketplaces.
– Which of the mentioned above stages is currently ready?
– We conducted several castdevs during which we sold 20 certificates. These certificates are still in paper form with the conclusion of smart contracts. Additionally, we have developed a web platform with an MVP for two of our games: MixBattle and MixTamagochi. Alpha testing has already been performed. Notably, we have enlisted the support of a company with extensive experience in this field to assist us in game development.
Regarding NFTs, we are actively working in this direction and have plans to launch them soon. Overall, we have invested over 25 million tenge of personal funds into the project.
«We offer supplementary funding to farmers to enhance their turnover and facilitate scaling»
– In what ways can smart contracts, NFTs, and mobile games contribute to the advancement of agriculture?
– The paramount aspect revolves around securing additional investments for development. Multiple sources for monetization have been identified.
Firstly, there is the potential revenue from the sale of meat, catering to both local markets in Kazakhstan and international markets.
Secondly, exploring advertising opportunities within the mobile game is being considered, with interest shown by several potential advertisers.
Thirdly, the sale of NFTs presents a lucrative option, particularly in markets where individuals possess a strong understanding of cryptocurrencies.
Lastly, transaction fees stand as another revenue stream, charged to users on our platform during NFT sales or bonus purchases.
– How do you intend to effectively communicate the value of your project to common farmers who may find this structure complex and unclear?
– Initially, our plan involves implementing the model in our farms. We will analyze the initial results and figures to identify areas for improvement. Once everything is fully operational, we will offer farm owners the opportunity to purchase franchises. With this approach, all technological aspects will remain our responsibility, and the farmers can continue focusing on their usual cattle management tasks.
This process will not entail significant changes in the farm’s functioning. Instead, it will provide additional funds to enhance turnover and facilitate scaling. Moreover, the introduction of strict accountability for the cattle will simplify the control procedures, creating a win-win situation for all parties involved.
«Our plan involves offering NFTs to individuals from the US, EU, China, India, and Russia»
– Who do you consider to be the primary user of your product?
– It is crucial to distinguish the different potential buyers for our products. Regarding smart contracts for cattle, the buyers can range from individuals to entrepreneurs or companies. For instance, during the castdev, one of the 20 certificates was purchased by an individual earning 90 thousand tenge.
As for meat sales, we can target small processing enterprises or wholesale entrepreneurs. Even if we focus solely on the Kazakhstan market, the profit margin can reach approximately 300 tenge per kilo. This means a single sheep weighing 300 kilos can bring in 9 thousand tenge.
However, our ambitions extend beyond Kazakhstan, as we plan to venture into meat export to other countries. For instance, in Russia, one kilo of sheep meat costs almost 3,300 tenge, and even more in the UAE and Arabia.
For NFTs, our target audience primarily consists of individuals with a strong understanding of cryptocurrencies. As such individuals are not plentiful in Kazakhstan, we will prioritize marketing efforts in other countries, including the US, EU, China, India, and Russia.
In addition to NFT enthusiasts, we also anticipate attracting gamers who can play and earn income through our mobile games. Our unique gaming approach allows players to manage a virtual sheep and generate real earnings from it.
– Considering your strong emphasis on NFT sales, how do you plan to generate interest and attract people from the US and EU, who may have limited knowledge about Kazakhstan and the crypto industry, to participate in your offerings?
– We have already garnered support from prominent industry bloggers and influencers with a million-strong audience. They are willing to promote our venture in both English and Russian-speaking regions, subject to specific terms.
While we are focused on expanding globally, we remain committed to the Kazakhstan market. Our initial plan involves selling around 200 NFTs in our country, and we are confident we will find buyers. Additionally, my reputation in the crypto community will likely lead to enthusiastic support from fellow members.
– Is there still a demand for NFTs at present, considering that the crypto hype is said to be in the past, and AI is now trending?
– The sales volume of NFTs has remained relatively stable, with early adopters continuing to stay involved in the sphere. The ongoing crypto winter is unlikely to have a significant impact. While there may be a decrease in new entrants for now, it’s a matter of time before interest rekindles with potential rises in Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies.
I firmly believe that crypto is a fundamental concept of Web 3.0, which represents our future. It serves as the financial basis for this new era. Moreover, AI is expected to be a helpful rather than harmful element within this context.
«I will not return to farming. Making such a decision would signify giving up and betraying the idea»
– What additional investment is required to fine-tune the project?
– Based on our calculations, around 8 million tenge is needed for hypothesis testing and enhancing existing products. Additionally, an estimated 17 million tenge is required for registering a company in Dubai. The UAE is being considered due to its zero taxation policy on cryptocurrencies. Nevertheless, we are still exploring various options and the decision is not yet final.
– Are you planning to seek investments?
– There is no urgent need to seek investments as I can cover the required amount from the profitable farms.
However, we are also exploring the possibility of attracting investments, but only under secure agreements at this stage. If we decide to seek funds in Kazakhstan, I would prefer to work with MOST Ventures due to their favorable approach, and they have an extensive network that could be beneficial in the future.
– From my understanding, you seem to be generating substantial profits from agriculture, as evidenced by your ability to invest 25 million tenge of personal funds into the project and your willingness to invest the same amount again. So what is the purpose behind the desire to establish a startup?
– I am eager to embark on a novel endeavor, driven by a deep desire to develop an innovative project that facilitates the digitization of businesses. This idea ignites a strong sense of motivation within me.
– Aren’t you concerned with the possibility of the project failing and your investment yielding no returns??
– I am fearless when it comes to making mistakes because I firmly believe that they ultimately lead to success.
I have unwavering confidence in the viability of our idea. No matter what challenges may arise, I am certain that we can find solutions for them. If we happen to choose the wrong business model initially, we have the capability to transform it into a successful one. Even if the product encounters obstacles, I am convinced that it will ultimately succeed. Our ecosystem generates more income than any bank, and we provide clients with a secure means to store their assets in a fundamental necessity like meat. However, the most crucial aspect lies in our ability to effectively communicate the idea of the project to the general public.
– And what about risks?
– Our risks are minimal as we haven’t attracted any investments and don’t have any debts. We fund everything using our own resources, avoiding interest payments or obligations to patrons who seek returns with fees within two months.
Regarding timing, I don’t see it as a problem. We can adapt the idea if the current one doesn’t align with the prevailing reality.
As for financing, my father’s managed farms serve as a stable foundation from which I can draw funds if needed.
– By the way, how did your father react to your decision to embark on this business venture?
– Initially, he didn’t grasp the specifics of what I was doing. Given his lack of knowledge about technological startups and crypto, he neither objected nor offered significant support. However, everything changed when my project’s story was featured on TV. At that point, he concluded that I was involved in something substantial.
– In the event of your project’s failure, would you consider returning to agriculture or launching another tech startup?
– I will persist with this project. Creating demand is always possible. There’s a TikTok user who earned over USD 10 million by selling planks in the form of a penis, proving that effective advertising can sell almost anything. I firmly believe in the greatness of our project, and I trust that it will gain momentum after the initial payments to clients.
Returning to farming is not an option for me. Such a decision would signify giving up and betraying the idea.
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