Name and current occupation: Oleg, Head of Business Development ICO Drops
Describe your current activity: Responsible for external communication (projects and funds). Establishing and expanding connections for investments and collaboration.
Short bio: Finance background.
When did you first hear about Bitcoin/blockchain and how? April 2013 – price rally, during which the value was growing by 5-10% daily.
What was the first crypto-related activity you did? Trading
What was the last non-blockchain related job/occupation you had? FMCG company
What made you migrate to the blockchain professional environment? It was hard to combine both and crypto seemed to be more flexible, profitable and exciting. Plus community side is also an essential factor.
How do you see your role in blockchain and crypto? How do you think you can influence the industry? The purpose of ICO Drops is to find and share good projects with the community at an early stage. Right now it’s hard for the regular investor to evaluate the quality of the project from 1000 ones. Our role – build an ecosystem for crypto enthusiasts where they can share opinion and ideas. We always develop new tools to help: social tracking instruments, portfolio, ranking community-based tables, reports from experts, etc. Now we are launching a new version of the website.
How do you see the actual situation with ICOs? Do you believe they should be regulated? Expressing our own opinion here, we literally aggregate the voice of a large crypto community, even though this opinion contradicts with the business model which enables us to gain some profit at the moment. 1. We believe that responsible projects even without regulators can come to the conclusion that a stable model may be built by using smart contracts with investment vesting. Creation of a completely decentralised financing system, when the team receives the funds in parts according to the results of community voting, regarding roadmap compliance with the possibility of buyback for investors. 2. Normal crowd sale with possible proof of care, but without any “fanatical” lotteries for marketing. Most of the community will choose the option of a project entering with a fair distribution of tokens (even with presale lock-up). The community has more and more possibilities and expertise and fewer caps, taking into account the fact that presale stage Crypto Funds (not strategic partners or seed investors) often have only two functions: marketing effect from the fact of investment, and the possibility to decrease the circulation. 3. New forms of utility. The format of token usage in the ecosystem as commissions/ validation/ staking becomes less attractive for the investor. The popularity of mining exchanges now grows because this is a new format of real use of platforms and tokens. More and more interesting projects are concentrated on buyback and burning tokens at the expense of commission earnings on the platform. New mechanics will appear. 4. The platforms, as aggregators for the investor, should bring new possibilities. The existing solutions like Tokeneed & LeekICO may develop new features: encrypted data of KYC, rating system/ investor classification, stage financing. 5. Time after time the teams make the same mistakes related to the bad planning of lock-up and vesting, prices for seed & private, caps and approach to crowd sale structure. Frequently these problems appear either because of greed or because of uncertainty in being able to gain funds. A “good” standard of metrics based on roadmap and aims should appear.
From your point of view, what are the main challenges of blockchain at the moment? Negative trends:
• Projects without crowd sale / with a minimal percentage of crowd sale, which disrupts the decentralisation itself. A wish to be sold to the funds (sometimes with huge discounts) and to organise the marketing crowd sale with forms, quizzes, proof of love & proof of caring, and with the lottery, leads to situations when an ordinary investor has lower chances of getting in good projects. The interest fades. Working projects do not appear, which also does not increase the level of involvement.
• All products are extremely overvalued. They do not require tens of millions $ for solving non-existent problems. As a result, there is nobody to control the obtained means. $10M is a colossal grant for the financing of the already existing scientific projects with real results and real teams, who proved their competence and advantages over the other ones. In crypto btw it’s like “not greedy metrics”. Only dozens from the thousands of ICOs may have their current capitalization when the market finally starts to overvalue.
How do you see the future of blockchain? How will it evolve? Where do you think we will be in ten years’ time? Do you see crypto as some kind of universal payment system? Do you think that bitcoin will still be king, etc? We are full of enthusiasm, and in the period of general stagnation, we are developing new tools and solutions. Blockchain should find application in real life. Today we see the use of cryptography and blocking technologies in corporations in internal operations. Some countries are developing own blockchain solutions. However, these are all signs of crypto-revolution which we can miss. All those CMC projects will not be affected in this scenario. We are waiting for a company from the top 100 CMC to show a real case of using its technology either to solve the problems (costs, speed, expansion, security) of a real business or ordinary users. At the time of writing, we do not see such examples. It is worth noting that the ICO as a way to attract funding has itself made a considerable contribution, as this entirely new technology has shown that exciting ideas can receive funding from around the world in the shortest time without the need to conduct expensive campaigns. Venture funds were able to test the mechanics of investments with much shorter horizons and higher liquidity. We call psychics those guys who are trying to look even a year ahead on this manipulating market. If we talk about ten years, we need to remember that ten years ago there was no iPhone (or just appeared). However, at the level of emotions and desires, I want to see different blockchains for different needs. Fast and cheap for transactions, secure for savings (I do not yet know an alternative for bitcoin) and flexible for Dapps. Crypto anarchy with the possibility of getting married on a blockchain, pay for all vital needs with a cryptocurrency and be free from regulation is interesting. Let’s see what happens. So far, right now we give away $30 million to guys who are developing unrealistic solutions to dubious problems (I’m talking about the total mass of 192 ICOs in Q2 2018 for example). Keep calm and hodl.
Disclaimer: for the “People of Blockchain” section we have developed a short Q&A with relevant people of the industry. All answers are presented exactly as offered. The content of the answers is not altered in any way and is the sole responsibility of the respondent.