Mad Realities’ Devin Lewtan Integrates Crypto Users Through Reality TV


Web3 doesn’t have the most inclusive reputation, but many crypto founders are talking about bringing the next 100 million users into the space. Statistically speaking, the next 100 million cannot maybe be made up entirely of a cohesive group of white males who spend most of their waking hours coding and/or day trading (no shade, just pointing out a fact)!

This week on Chain reactionI interviewed Devin Lewtan, a 20-something founder who seems to have found the secret sauce to bringing web3 to new audiences.

His New York-based media company, Mad Realities, just launched its first season of “Proof of Love,” a dating reality show that lets viewers engage in the plot and vote. on key decisions via NFTs. Last April, Mad Realities raised $6 million in a seed round from investors including crypto-VC firm Paradigm and socialite Paris Hilton to create a platform that it hopes will it, will become the “Netflix of web3”. You can listen to Devin’s full interview below.

“We think the thing that’s going to get the next 100 million people into crypto is going to be content because it’s intuitive. It’s a real use case for consumers,” Lewtan said on the podcast.

Lewtan, who catapulted herself into global tech fame when she co-published the viral Clubhouse show “NYU Girls Roasting Tech Guys” at the height of the pandemic, first became interested in NFTs when she started chatting with her friend and co-founder Alice Ma about how crypto could help change the way media is funded.

“We put out a blog post basically saying, what would it be like if we had this dating show where people created our NFTs and they could vote on who got on the show, what’s going on and who win and have fun, special, governance perks based on the tier they purchased,” Lewtan said.

Shortly after the Mad Realities team published their first blog post in November, they raised around $500,000 worth of Ethereum to fund the production. In just a few months, they had concocted a five-week interactive show filmed in person in New York.

The audience for the first season, which ended in April this year, was about 55% female and comprised mostly of people who were only there for the entertainment value of the show at the start rather than for its web3 connection, Lewtan said.

Devin Lewtan, CEO and Co-Founder of Mad Realities

Devin Lewtan, CEO and co-founder of Mad Realities. Picture credits: Provided by Devin Lewtan

Once members of the public saw the perks and voting rights granted to Mad Realities NFT holders, called “roseholders” in a nod to “The Bachelor” franchise, they were intrigued.

“They were able to tell their friends I’m pretty sure these rose holders that keep popping up are people who bought NFTs, and those NFTs let them vote on things and then the money from the NFT funded the show.And then they’s like, that makes sense to me, more than most projects in space…it’s not really like the type of fraudulent use case I’m thinking of with NFTs,” Lewtan said.

As for what’s next, Lewtan said the next season of “Proof of Love,” which is slated to launch early next year, will inform the startup as it charts a larger vision of what a platform might look like. web3 multimedia form. They are experimenting with ideas such as bringing other content creators to the Mad Realities platform and helping them launch their own NFT projects for their audiences, she added.

Above all, Lewtan emphasized the importance of keeping usability in mind when building the product.

“One of the things we’re focusing on now as we develop our app is that it’s important that [creating a crypto wallet] is not part of the process steps. You should just be able to create an account and not think about it being connected to a wallet,” Lewtan said.

“A wallet is compatible, but if you sign up, you should be able to have an NFT in your wallet and app and not even think about it… So a big part of what we’re focusing on is, what the experience so user-friendly and mobile-first that it doesn’t even feel like a crypto product?”


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