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Martin van Blerk

Martin van Blerk, known to many on gaming platforms and Twitter as Syber, and Dippy on YouTube, is the creator of , a role-playing game and NFT collection with monsters called Pixelmon. In March 2022, he revealed his identity after the project was accused of being a rug pull. [1]

I came up with Pixelmon, which in essence, it's a game where you can create, train, trade and fight with digital monsters across the metaverse.

Pixelmon

Approximately 10,000 Pixelmon were initially created, of which approximately 7750 were sold through a Dutch auction. The price of the Pixelmon NFTs decreased by 0.1 ETH every 10 minutes until a bid was made. The starting price for each NFT was set at 3 ETH, equivalent to around US$9500 or NZ$14,500 at the time of the auction. However, the project received backlash after the NFTs' images were revealed, as it did not match what was promised. [4]

After the launch of the project, some social media users criticized the founder, Van Blerk, and labeled him as a scammer. Van Blerk acknowledged that the launch itself went well, and the gaming community responded positively. However, he admitted that the quality of the artwork did not meet expectations, leading to negative feedback on Twitter. [5]

According to Van Blerk, the artwork was not created by a large professional team, making it challenging to meet the high expectations set for the project due to its significant growth. The overall experience has been described as a roller-coaster ride for him. [5]

All the artwork for the project was personally funded by Van Blerk and produced by online artists. He disclosed that he spent approximately NZ$15,000 for this purpose. [5]

Regarding the accusations of being a scammer, Van Blerk asserted that such claims were unfair. He clarified that their primary focus was on being a game project, not an art project, and people did not acquire the artwork as NFTs. However, he acknowledged that he had utilized some of the funds raised during the NFT sale. Specifically, he had spent 280 Ethereum to acquire (BAYC), , and CloneX NFTs. Additionally, he converted $1.3 million and transferred another 13 Ethereum to an exchange. [5]

In response to the criticism surrounding the artwork reveal of Pixelmon, Martin van Blerk, the founder of the project, chose to reveal his identity to the public. The purpose behind this decision was to address concerns raised by the community about potential risks related to the significant $70 million worth of Ethereum raised during the NFT sale. By disclosing his identity, van Blerk aimed to reassure the community and mitigate any apprehensions regarding the project's credibility and the handling of raised funds. [2]

During an interview, he revealed that refunds would not be given, as the NFTs would be used in the game. Instead, the artwork would be redone with a higher quality. [3]

After the mint event in February 2022, van Blerk maintained a low profile and actively sought out potential partners to explore possibilities for the project's future. During this search, he crossed paths with Giulio Xiloyannis, the Co-Founder of LiquidX, a Web3 VC studio. Giulio Xiloyannis eventually got the role of the new CEO of Pixelmon. [4]

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Martin van Blerk

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