Joshua Verheul likes to keep things interesting. He studied a triple major at the University of Cape Town in economics, finance and environmental science. After college he began in traditional finance working alongside wealth management professionals, but his love of interesting things pulled him into crypto back in 2013.
What interested him was Web 3, although it had not been named that as yet. Instinctively, he knew that change was happening in this space.
“It’s definitely the hottest buzzword now, but even back in 2013 I knew I had slipped into the interesting section of the finance market,” he says.
Verheul defines Web 1 as read only, Web 2 as read and write, but Web 3 as read, write and own.
“Going from centralised finance which is so laborious to decentralised finance is very exciting. And to be here at the beginning is off the charts.”
Verheul was not only excited to be part of Web 3, but he also wanted to be part of the creation of Web 3. To that end, he teamed up with Jolyon Horsfall to co-found SparkWorld. For both founders, Non-Fungible Token technology – a way to capture and store digital data and 1:1 value on a blockchain – is a vital component of decentralised finance (DeFi)i.
“In fact, at its core, SparkWorld is an innovative Web 3 NFT launchpad. And by that, I mean an NFT project can come to us to launch their NFT collection which could be a bespoke or supplementary launch of an existing project. Our platform will also display multiple other projects via our NFT Marketplace Aggregator.
“We also plan on adding a suite of DeFi and staking options – for the community. SparkWorld is based on the Avalanche platform for speed, low fees and the amazing, passionate AVAX community.
“Community is everything.”
Verheul sees SparkWorld overcoming coming initial challenges surrounding NFT launches such as the reliance on first come, first served access, the proliferation of bots and the difficulty of getting access to popular whitelists.
“We are tackling these issues through a new concept: a gamified concept called fair prediction launches or FPLs. We get our community to predict the price of the AVAX token at a certain date or time, for example, for which they are guaranteed to earn native Spark tokens for engaging. If successful in their predictions, then the predictor will be awarded NFT whitelist allocations, but if the prediction is wrong there is no punitive fee.”
SparkWorld is billed as a win-win platform.
“You buy, come and make predictions and you can stake. So, you are earning interest but once you are successful you also earn NFTs or the right to buy white listed NFTs.
“If someone becomes a top predictor, then they will earn increased rewards – but again no one is penalised for getting it wrong.
“We are also going to doxx all the NFT projects featured on our platform. All teams will have to do KYC to be featured on the platform. No more anonymous rug pulls.”
Verheul expects a wide range of NFT collections to be featured on the platform from gaming to art to music. He is especially keen to bring collections with communities onto the site for SparkWorld to operate as a hub.
“We want collaborations with NFT projects, weekly and monthly predictions, tournaments, guilds, and metaverse integrations. Our platform is going to be a place where people come every day, interact with the community and win amazing prizes.”
SparkWorld, as befits a platform keen on community, is built on five key principles; transparency, accessibility, integration, fair prediction launches and community.
“Using the blockchain and smart contacts, everyone will be able to see the movement of funds and NFTs across the platform. Transparency is a key value of ours and as such all our FPLs will be based on trustless blockchain contracts powered by the Avalanche network.
“In time, SparkWorld will transition into a DAO where everyone will have a say from the participating users to the NFT partners and we’re also going to launch a founder’s NFT collection to our community members who have been most involved up to launch.
“Right now, SparkWorld is in the final stages of our private round of fundraising after securing key backers in the Seed and Private rounds, with a launch date imminently expected; everyone and everything is working hard and well.
“We’re at the final stages of development and testing right now – but it’s only going to get more interesting,” Verheul concludes.