Meeting Viggo Stenseth was something I was looking forward to for a long time. If you’re unaware of who Viggo is, he’s the Chief Technology Officer of the leading Nordic Web3 media house, NORN.xyz.
Viggo and his team at NORN.xyz have taken on the responsibility of bringing the Web3 and NFT world to the Nordics. NORN.xyz started its journey when one of Viggo’s co-founders, Vahid Toosi, purchased the domains NFT.se, NFT.dk, NFT.fi, and NFT.no.
The aim of bridging the gap between the world we know and the world we may know is never easy, but Viggo and the team at NORN.xyz are carrying the responsibility with gusto and incredible optimism.
Can you tell us about your background?
“Our landline had attached diodes that blinked and the bell had been exchanged with a fan-like attachment. This was a common scene in the apartment where I grew up in Stockholm.
I love dismantling things, seeing the inner workings, and seeing if I can improve them or at least make them more fun. This led me to one of my first jobs in tech in 1997. I was working at a company called Spray Networks AB. It was so much fun that I was really surprised when they offered me a full monthly salary at 16 years old.
What I didn’t know then was that it was the hottest “Web1” startup in the Nordics; the breeding ground for the founders of King.com, Spotify, Stardoll, Tumbler, and many more fantastic companies that have since been built.
My love for frontier technology has always been a part of me. Fast forward to more recently, I was working as a technology leader at Spotify. Leading teams to reshape and improve the inner workings of a 300 million user base service.
Sometime in 2021, my interest in Web3, particularly blockchain technology grew uncontrollably. I was seriously bitten by the bug. It seemed so obvious to me that I had to be in that industry to learn as much and as fast as possible. To be in what is the new frontier.”
What is the current state of the Nordic Web3 market?
“To be frank, I think we are a bit behind.
A lot of the great things and opportunities with blockchain technology that has been drivers in other parts of the world haven’t been that appealing here in the Nordic countries. This is of course my subjective take on the matter. We have unusually high trust in our government, institutions, and even our banks.
In the Nordics we kind of accept things that have “always been”. It’s completely normal to not be able to transfer money on a Sunday… Because that’s how it’s been. Right?
However, with the advent of NFT technology, we see not only the financial industry as a target for disruption, but we see all kinds of established business models that are ripe for disruption.
Maybe not surprisingly, the music industry is a prime example. Here we see an industry that was disrupted almost 15 years ago now, and it is primed for another massive disruption. We are already seeing some really interesting web3 startups challenging the status quo in this space right now.
The spaces where I see the most innovation happening in the Nordics are Music, Sound, Art, and Analytics.
There is still a lot of work needed to reduce friction and lower the barrier to entry. Too many unfamiliar and “scary” steps are still needed from users. Choosing a wallet, downloading it, generating seed phrases, transferring money between exchanges, and figuring out who to trust.
These friction points are great opportunities for improvements where we can provide services and build products.”
What are some of the leading nordic Web3 companies you like?
“I like what both Corite and Another block are doing to challenge the music industry; looking at ways to empower artists, and producers and engage fans in new ways.
There are nice “micro” communities that are super engaged! Two examples are Trym Ruud’s RudeBoys community, which is a highly engaged community, following his contemporary take on art and collectibles. World of Alidia is empowering and engaging women to enter Web3, I am an NFT holder and visited their first holder meetup.
There are many more, on the more foundational level we see companies like NBX, Moralis, and Dune. Building financial, developer, and analytics services.”
What is the vision of NORN.xyz?
“We are building a gateway for the Nordics onto web3. Establishing local media outlets for Web3 pioneers. A media house that eventually will be co-editorial with the community. We envision sourcing research papers as well as on-the-ground news, validated and made available with blockchain technology.
A fired-up and engaged community, leveraging NFT technology to attract, engage and delight the community.
Right now, there is a lot of education that needs to be done. We have to start where people are. And let’s face it, right now 90% of the Nordics don’t have any form of crypto wallet. We have to help to make this change as easy, fun, and as safe as possible.”
Where will the Nordic Web3 market be in 2026?
“I believe that Web3 will be a part of our everyday lives. We will have passed the technology diffusion mark of 13-15% adoption, meaning mass adoption is around the corner.
NFT technology has been and will continue to be one of the biggest catalysts for general adoption. On the surface, it might not be called NFTs, but under the hood, it will be.
New business models will be thriving that utilize NFT technology and old established “supply chains” or “value chains” will be truly challenged. Hopefully more distributed to many more actors reaping the benefits. Empowering all sorts of creators in ways we haven’t even imagined yet.”
Viggo and the team at NORN.xyz are building something to pay attention to. With a vision that encompasses the creation of a real-world solution and the drive to make it widely adopted, the NORN.xyz team is heading in a great direction.
If you’re interested in learning more about this dynamic team of builders that are creating the bridge between one world and another at the frontier of new technology then check out their website!