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Arguably the best name in Cardano

Allow me to introduce you to CardanoThor, a prominent figure in the realm of Cardano, and an individual originating from one of my most cherished countries that I've had the privilege of exploring. CardanoThor, known for his creative genius in the realm of music, has carved out a significant role within the Cardano ecosystem. Their contributions have not only been instrumental but also have garnered an ardent following of admirers, numbering in the thousands. CardanoThor's unique blend of creativity, passion, and dedication has left an indelible mark within the Cardano community, making him a notable and cherished presence in the world of Cardano.

Let's start with giving a bit of background about yourself. Be as specific or general as you would like. Remember, no judgment here! We appreciate the fact you are willing to open up to a room full of strangers. Where are you from? What do you do? What are your skills? What do you do for a living? Go where you want with it, and have fun!

Halló! My full name is Thorsteinn Sverrisson, but you can call me Thor or CardanoThor. I was born and raised in Iceland but moved to Indiana, USA in 2008 for school. That’s where I met my wife (@Paralledit) and where we live with our 2 young kids.
My entire extended family is still in Iceland and we try to visit at least once a year. After finishing my MBA in Louisville, I became interested in digital marketing and branding. I started working for a growing tech company in the travel industry (dohop.com) as a digital marketing specialist and soon promoted to head of marketing.
I decided to leave that position to apply my skill to the family business, where I was (and still am) a partner (happycampers.is). It was exciting to grow a small startup, operating in a small market, to an established business, doing $5-6 million in annual sales.
But I wanted a new challenge. During my paternity leave, my brother, who had bought a few $BTC at around the $3k mark, told me more about crypto. As with everything I do, I became obsessed and dove deep. I discovered Ethereum and finally Cardano. Charles’ vision got me hooked and it was no longer about making money; it was about participating in a Web3 movement.
Later that year, I stumbled upon Cardano NFTs and I decided to go full-time in Web3 from that point forward. I hired a marketing manager to replace me at my other business and CardanoThor was born.

What projects do you run or do you help with? If none, what project brought you into the space?

The project that got me hooked on NFTs was H.Y.P.E. I still love that project and maintain it’s the best early animated PFP collection on Cardano. This is how I discovered the power of a quality community and as I explored communities, I noticed that there was something special about Cardano.
In October of 2021, I started the Viking Squad server. I wanted to create a neutral place for like-minded people to talk about NFTs and crypto. The original goal was, and still is, Web3 education and empowerment. Unlike your typical ‘alpha group’, we focus more on long-term opportunities, quality art, and general education. The community has grown to over 3,000 Vikings and we have some exciting plans, including our own NFT collection, community investment fund, and more useful resources.

What projects are your favorite and what are they looking to do for the space and/or the world overall?

My favorite NFT “projects” are artists. NFTs offer such a unique opportunity for small artists to grow their communities and monetize their work without a middleman (i.e. art galleries). I’m a huge art collector and could name so many talented artists on Cardano such as Aeoniumsky, Jesse Moynihan, Joshua (Squashua), Ernst Blaad, Withspaces, Threefoldbold, The Heartist Artist, Netanel Cohen, Poetonic, Trix (Old Money), and so many others.
Looking at more typical NFT projects, each has their strength and unique value proposition. Some of my favorites include Derp Birds (community & leadership), Fort Gotten (art & tech), Clay Nation (Everything), OREMOB (art & culture), Goofy Gophers (utility), and KWIC (gaming).
Looking beyond NFT projects, I typically invest in projects that are solving real problems with Web3 tech. They are attempting to revolutionize and entire industry. Good examples of this would be Book.io (book publishing), Iagon (data storage), and World Mobile Token (telecommunications).
And of course I’ll have to mention my own CT793 collection. Holders are my biggest supporters, inner circle, and those I prioritize anytime I create anything in this space.

What brought you to blockchain technology in general?

At first, investment opportunity. But what made me stay during this current downturn was the community and belief that blockchain technology can solve real-world problems.
What event in your life triggered you to decide that you needed to learn & build the next generation of technology?
My crypto journey coincided with my personal growth journey. I had been sober for 8 years, was getting bored at my current job, and feeling overwhelmed during my paternity leave. I was feeling stagnant and uninspired. I needed to build something myself; something I believed in.
So when I discovered the possibilities of blockchain technology, I knew it was my answer. It was my chance to be at the forefront of an exciting revolution and feel proud to contribute to something meaningful.

What do you see as the biggest advantage(s) to blockchain technology over current web tech.

Decentralization & transparency. I believe all Web2 services will have a Web3 equivalent and eventually offer superior value to users because of their decentralized, trustless, and transparent nature.
Why Cardano out of all the other chains? If not Cardano, why the chain that you prefer & why?
I liked Cardano’s focus on fundamental Web3 values: decentralization, technology, and security. The limited environmental impact of the proof-of-stake model was also very appealing. Being so early in its development presented an opportunity for a greater upside as Cardano grows. Finally, I liked their general scientific approach and unwavering commitment to its principles at the cost of faster adoption. Cardano is playing the long game.
Although there are plenty of exciting blockchain solutions out there, I don’t invest in anything other than $ADA and $BTC. The only exception so far is when a Cardano NFT project expands to Polygon or Ethereum and I want to support.
Other blockchains have their strengths but besides the reasons mentioned above, I spend most of my time on Cardano because of the community.

If you could do anything to make a living, what would it be? What's stopping you from making this a reality?

I would help people all around the world by empowering them with Web3 tools. That’s what I’m doing. There is nothing stopping me except for myself. Although the bear market is trying its best.
What are the most important qualities a team must possess and what attributes do you look for when researching a new company or project to invest money into?
The team is the first factor I look at when assessing a new project. Besides the viability of their concept and UVP, I invest in teams.
I look for a leader who consistently shows up for the community/investors, is a good communicator, and is intrinsically motivated to solve an important problem. Then I look at the experience and talent of other team members.
One of the main reasons I started interviewing projects on my stream was to get a better sense for the people behind the projects.
In general, these are the factors I look at before buying into a project:
- Team
- Business model & tokenomics
- UVP & competition
- Community & marketing (adoption)

Where do you see yourself 10 years from today? What are your long term goals and why are they important to you?

I will hopefully have acquired vast knowledge and experience in Web3 as a content creator and business owner. I will hopefully have helped a lot of people navigate the space and make the most out of the opportunities here.
My goals are to create a powerful and sustainable brand that focuses on Web3 education and information.

What are your hobbies? What do you find the most enjoyment in?

With 2 young kids and trying to survive the bear market, there is not time for hobbies.
In all seriousness, I enjoy gardening, trail running, soccer, basketball (played my entire childhood), coffee drinking, gaming, and art (especially photography and music).

If you could change one thing in the world, what would you change and why would you change it?

I’d reward people for kindness and value creation, instead of sociopathic/narcicistic behavior and superficial popularity that we seem to reward in today’s society.

What's your favorite kind of music? What is your favorite music artist? What is your favorite song? Elaborate on how and why these became your favorites.

My top 3 all-time favorite bands are Sigur Rós, Radiohead, and Boards of Canada. In general, I gravitate towards the alternative rock, post-rock, and ambient music genres. I listen to the “feelings” of songs, instead of the lyrics, and I think these bands perfected that approach during my developmental teenage years. I’m not sure how this happened, considering that my parents only raised me on country music and mainstream pop.

What is your favorite book or piece of literature? What about it made it so special?

I admit that I read a lot of self-help books. I know, I’m that guy. The book that has had the most impact on my life is probably “Mindset” by Carol Dweck. The book itself wasn’t very interesting besides the powerful concept presented early on: the growth mindset.
Another favorite is Born to Run by McDougall. This is the book that got me into trail running, which has been my favorite hobby and mental health practice for years.

What is your favorite piece of art (if you have one)? What does it inspire in you?

It’s too hard to pick a favorite piece of traditional art. I’ll probably have to go with Morning Sun by Edward Hopper. I love his ability to portray the feeling of loneliness and quiet desperation.
But in general, I gravitate towards non-traditional pieces with social commentary. Poetry, music, film, etc. In that category, I’d put Bukowski’s work and even the recent “Inside” by Bo Burnham.

What’s the one thing you would change about the Cardano community?

Like all crypto communities, I wish we could be more welcoming and accepting of other views and approaches. I also wish we could focus more on positive news than drama and criticisms.

What was challenging moving into full time crypto?

Being sustainable without sacrificing my principles and integrity. It’s difficult to make money from content creation without becoming a slave to the social media algorithms and sponsors.

Do your family understand what you do and are they supportive?

They might not understand, but they are incredibly supportive.