Nov. 13, 2019
A U.S. Army veteran with a passion for entrepreneurship and creating useful services, Zach Burks is the mastermind behind Mintable, a crypto marketplace for non-fungible digital items.
Zach enlisted in the U.S. Army right out of high school where he served in multiple positions, from EOD, to Artillery and Battalion Liaison. After leaving the army, Zach started a few online businesses where he discovered his enthusiasm for ventures that can help to improve the lives of people all over the world. The self-confessed “nerd” is a self-taught programmer who started multiple businesses despite having no formal training in programming.
While on his journey to build Mintable, Zach met co-founder Jesse Johnson, an expert in business development and strategy. Jesse recognised the potential in Mintable and shared the same vision that Zach had for the project. Today, they have successfully developed a product that allows their users to mint a digital item in seconds!
What is Mintable and what was the inspiration behind it?
Jesse: We are a new type of digital files marketplace, taking the best from proven marketplaces like eBay, Amazon, and Etsy, whilst combining them with the power of blockchain and NFT technology. Using blockchain, we empower content creators so that they can connect with their audiences and earn crypto from anywhere.
It is the first of its kind in many areas - the first NFT generator, first NFT manager, first NFT batch minter - and it will be the first to change the NFT ecosystem in a way most people can't even imagine.
Zach: I was in the NFT space before it was even called an NFT. I was the first person to make money on CryptoKitties in their beta during the EthWaterloo hackathon. I also have a paper published in the IEEE on NFT technologies. I built Mintable for my certification as a Solidity Developer and I saw how powerful of a platform it could be to completely revolutionize the NFT ecosystem.
What is your vision for Mintable?
Zach: The NFT space is so young, but the technology is almost endless in its use cases. It just needs the right infrastructure to allow it to take off and bring mass adoption to the crypto space.
Jesse: Our mission is simple, to allow passive income by unlocking the power of NFTs for content creators. We bring true ownership to digital files, and expand content creators’ reach when it comes to their audience.
Zach: That is what we are doing – we are helping provide the least friction possible to create blockchain assets, trade, profit, and even more.... that I can't say until it’s ready to be released. Once we are the largest platform for NFTs and have changed the way creators monetize their assets, I will know that we have done a good job.
What drew you to blockchain technology?
Zach: I heard about Bitcoin about a year after it was released, but at that point, I was young and didn't recognize what its implications were. My first bitcoin purchase was at $5.50, and I continued to “trade” and explore the space while living my life. My time in college was when I really started diving into programming on Ethereum and studying blockchain technologies.
I made a few dApps, worked as a freelancer for some blockchain projects, and while getting certified as a Solidity developer from Consensys, I had the idea for Mintable. The idea struck me as a great business opportunity, a mix of passion and profit, and that is what convinced me that I needed to devote all my time to this in order to build something that can change the entire ecosystem.
Why did you decide to build on Zilliqa?
Zach: We saw that Zilliqa had the ability for NFTs, but had none yet. Another first for Mintable. We will be the only platform on Zilliqa that allows the creation of NFTs, the ability to trade NFTs, and so much more.
What sacrifice(s) have you had to make as aspiring entrepreneurs?
Zach: I’ve had to give up plenty. I've moved across the world for Mintable. As a Californian boy – living in Asia has been a wild ride. I moved here to build a team, the product, and the company. So far it has gone amazingly well. Our team is amazing, full of experts and very knowledgeable people. It has grown from just me, to 6 people.
Our product has hit all the points on our roadmap and we are still on track to continue hitting those points. We have had traction since our beta launch, with thousands of assets tokenized, by being the easiest way to mint items on the blockchain. Financially, it has cost me a lot to build and support Mintable.
Founded by pioneers in the field who have published blockchain papers in both technical and law journals, Mintable is the first mover in the NFT digital files space, building a smart economy of digital files. You can learn more about them here.