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Having grown up in the United States as an only child to immigrant parents, Julian Rodriguez never anticipated the impact he would have on this world. But with a natural knack for technology and an unrelenting desire to dream big, Rodriguez has transformed the world of cryptocurrency with an app.
Rodriguez is the founder of Momento NFT, the only platform that allows creators to own and sell limited edition content to their communities. Launched in April 2022, users can earn perks, rewards and money through every single engagement on the platform—something that has never been done before. It’s a revolutionary step away from social media platforms such as Instagram or TikTok, where creators only earn a small percentage of money from the content they make, with the rest of it going to the platform itself. Momento NFT allows creatives to interact with their fans in a way that has not yet been possible.
“I was always into technology,” Rodriguez says. “I got my first computer back in 1996, when I was 8-years-old, and as an only child, I spent a lot of time on it playing games and trying to make things as fun as possible.” With so much time on his hands, and only a limited amount of games to play, Rodriguez began to memorize the functionalities of his computer, and quickly became a total whiz.
Fast forward to finishing high school, Rodriguez was admitted into the Fordham Gabelli School of Business in New York with a goal to become a stockbroker. At this point, he brushed aside his passion for technology, and shifted his focus onto making money. But in 2010, everything changed.
“The Social Network movie came out, and at that point, I was like, Wait, Mark Zuckerberg is really cool, he’s doing a lot of amazing things.” From that moment on, Rodriguez knew that he had to make a shift. At this point in time, computer science departments in school were up to par with the technology industry as a whole. With access to high quality PCs through his college and a new opportunity at his fingertips, Rodriguez changed his major in school to computer science, a decision that changed the trajectory of his life.
Rodriguez entered the crypto industry in 2012, just as the Occupy movement was in full swing. He recalls the energy and ideas flowing in the air at the time, with so many people fed up with social and economic inequality, greed and corruption.
“We were waking up every day seeing it, feeling it and around it,” he says. “And when we took over Zuccotti Park, we camped out there to literally occupy Wall Street. It was a physical movement.”
Rodriguez says that he thought of cryptocurrency and Bitcoin as something that could potentially put an end to the tyranny. He quickly obtained a position at Bitcoin Magazine, one of the original news and print magazines covering Bitcoin and digital currencies. He edited and released a 6-page spread in the magazine covering everything from advanced crypto events that were happening in New York to the setup of the Bitcoin Center on Wall Street.
Having gone through that experience, the power of digital currencies has been ingrained in him ever since. It’s what fueled Rodriguez to take things a step further and create Momento NFT. Momento NFT offers an easy, fun and simple way for creatives to connect with fans in a way that hasn’t been done before.
“We want to empower those kinds of connections,” he says. “There’s something powerful in that, whether it’s big celebrities or the influencers, we just want to build the best possible tools to empower their relationship.” Since its emergence, more than 40,000 individuals have downloaded Momento NFT—gaining control over their content and monetizing their creations.