Interview: Artozo Marketplace Founder & COO Pavlo Kharmanskyi
Insight into the up and coming Solana based NFT Marketplace
In 2021, Pavlo Kharmanskyi began collecting and trading NFTs. With more than 12 years in the Fintech & IT industry and a background in software development, the emerging digital art market was a natural draw.
In 2021, I was a college English instructor looking for a way to get past the lockdown blues. A local artist threw me a lifeline and we began creating and marketing NFTs. By April of 2022, we had run the gauntlet of pitfalls digital art has weathered — high gas fees, low support, scams likely. Enter the Artozo project with a new approach to how to sell and collect NFTs.
I got to meet Kharmanskyi and some of the Team at NFT.NYC last June where I was attending with one of the featured Speakers. When he heard that I held an MA in English, Pavlo asked if I might be interested in joining his team as an editorial writer. The goals of the Artozo project impressed me so saying yes was easy. But I did hold out for getting an interview from the COO.
The Artozo team is a multinational group, but many of the core players are from Ukraine and have had the additional challenges of political and social unrest to contend with as they work toward realizing the project.
Kharmanskyi and the beginnings of his Team began exploring the mechanics of NFT creating, selling, and collecting across existing marketplace platforms. The invasion of Ukraine might have stopped another project in its tracks, but not for this group. Instead, the team achieved Web3 “unicorn” status by delivering their project ahead of schedule.
I caught up with Pavlo on WhatsApp last week and drilled in for some insight into Artozo Marketplace’s current status and what keeps him and his team going. Between the current bear market and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, you might expect some pessimism. Instead, the Artozo Team has expanded to become a truly international crew of visionaries out to make a great platform and their own good vibes.
D: Pavlo, tell me what’s getting you excited right now?
P: Call me Pasha. I’m excited most by how we’ve expanded our Artozo team every month. Every teammate is excited about what they do and that’s despite the fact that although everything went in the way we didn’t plan, it’s all going even better than we expected.
D: Tell me about the challenges your team is currently facing. You got your Beta Launch online a month ahead. So are your challenges internal or external?
P: I would say the biggest challenge at the moment — we can’t build Artozo fast and still get quality. The whole team holds a high level of standards. I know we need to bring the product to the market — everybody needs some cash flow — but the majority of projects in Web3 that make a fast launch just close even faster. Plus, of course, during a bear market people are more suspicious and choosy with projects.
D: What’s the best thing about your team?
P: We always create, we always look for solutions, we’re seeking to find a way to make something faster, secure and more convenient. Market giants are fighting for the user’s attention with crazy budgets and it’s difficult to appear on the market. We believe that we need to build Artozo slowly but surely and be ready for the bull market.
D: What got you into NFTs & Web3?
P: I’m passionate about creating something new, gathering teams of professionals, and meeting highly intellectual people. Web3 offers all of that. When I was 13, me and my friend used to ride on roller skates and sell newspapers. When I was 14, I got my first computer and started developing websites. And software development includes all those things.
D: So what got all of this started? How did you and the Artozo team set your goals?
P: In the beginning we were trying to create a basic MVP…And all the way to this launch we’ve been polishing not only our main product and core functionality but our marketing & communication strategy with the community and our investors.
D: So, what is the best thing that happened to you this year?
P: Honestly? To have more than 25 self-motivated people of the Artozo team that gathered together and believed in what they are doing. I had lots of accomplishments in my career but it was more about the material things or teambuilding.
D: So what would you say is your proudest accomplishment?
P: What I’m really proud of is helping my mom to build a house for her where she is safe and happy right now. That’s my personal pride. For my career — when I was in front of the choice — to work for somebody else, use my experience in the industry, try to live a stressless, quiet life or to start a new venture that brings independence, but also sleepless nights and stress. Guess what I chose?
D: How has your job or the industry changed since you started?
P: Back in the day we had to build absolutely everything on our own. Now there are lots of SAAS services that cover all the necessary trivial things for simple or high requirements in Web development. And of course, the blockchain, crypto, Web3, NFTs…these are changing not just the industry but the whole world.
D: Changing the whole world is a big ticket item. What do you see currently happening to punch that ticket?
P: I think 2022 has been a kind of transition year in the NFT industry… the sunset of scam projects (hopefully) and a long period of developments for great projects. It’s impossible to build something valuable within 2–3 weeks or even months. That’s the hallmark of every rug-pulling project we’ve seen. It takes at least a year to build a really quality product and about the same time to show what you can do on the market.”
D: So Pasha, what do you think things will look like in five years? Where do you see NFTs going or is there a “next step” to look for?
P: People will be connected to their devices even more. All important documents, IDs, currency will be digitized in the cloud. But I think it’s unlikely to be decentralized. People long for regulation even as they look to disrupt the market.
D: Do you see NFTs as a lasting part of our culture or are they the starting point for more developments?
P: Some things like digital art and game items have solidly established themselves. But I believe the technology needs more developments and acknowledgment from the government. In 5 years we’ll be using Blockchain and Web3 tech for everything. NFTs will be accepted by Governments and used by people even in small, but technically advanced countries like Ukraine. Cross-chain solutions will make that possible.
D: Where do you see yourself in five years? Not your team or Artozo, but you yourself.
P: I’m hopeful the war in Ukraine will be ended and I’d like to live in Kyiv (Ukraine) in a big wooden house with my family. To work in the office again, to see in real life all the guys from our team. I also have a dream to get an MBA diploma in Singapore.
To learn more about the Artozo Marketplace project and the Team making it possible, visit www.artozo.com.