Panel discussion: building blockchain ecosystems
The Blockchain Day conference took place this past June and was hosted online, enabling participants from all over the world to “attend”. The conference, which focused on the benefit of blockchain technologies in various industries, hosted many distinguished speakers from numerous different countries. Each speaker was an experienced thought leader, bringing years of knowledge and wisdom to the lectures and panels.
On Yavin, Cointelligence co-founder and CEO, participated in a panel discussion in which he spoke about how blockchain and cryptocurrencies will positively affect the future of all countries. The panel can be seen in the link below:
Interview with Denis Salangin, Founder of PayFair
PayFair is a unique story in the ICO world. While some ICOs raise millions only to never deliver a project, PayFair successfully launched their platform with less than a quarter of a million dollars, USD. We reached out to their founder to get some insight into how they did it, and what role they see themselves playing in the crypto community.
1. Can you tell us a little bit more about you and your background?
My name is Denis Salangin, the founder of PayFair.io and an entrepreneur with a background in the mechanisms that drive decentralized systems within the blockchain. Myself and the team form the backbone of PayFair.io.
2. How did PayFair start?
Over the years we had spent significant amounts of time trawling through forums, and we found a clear trend, a lack of confidence between buyers and sellers. This was the initial spark that caused us to create PayFair, a trust-less platform that eliminates the need for a third party and enables two individuals to trade cryptocurrency and goods and services all in one place. A true marketplace.
3. Why did you build PayFair?
To put it simply, we saw a problem and knew we had the solution! We were also in a lucky position where we had the means to create the solution which is usually the biggest hurdle.
4. Who are the core team members? What’s their experience and role in Payfair?
Our core team members are focused on the technical side of the project. As PayFair is a package of products rather than just a platform, there is an enormous demand on development. We also work very closely with several members of our community who assist John and Dmitriy with the marketing and social media side of the business.
5. How much did you raise during your sale?
We collected $51,000 during our pre-ICO and $170,000 during the ICO. When we look at the market in general and see projects raise hundreds of millions, it’s laughable. They have so much financial backing but spend years attempting to launch a project, then once it is launched there is no involvement with the community and updates are months apart. We at PayFair feel money is important, but the team and our reputation are worth far more.
6. Compared to other ICOs, you have a working product and main net live. How did you manage to deliver this?
Hard work, sleepless nights and a strong team. Development of a product needs dedication, without this you are destined to fail. These one hundred million ICOs may appear successful on paper but where is their product? The issue is their teams are usually a collection of people-influencers or marketing gurus. They all miss the one thing you need, solid developers, and lots of them! Sure you can hire a developer, but if they are not truly aligned to what the project is trying to become, they start working against each other and slow down development.
7. How do you define your community? Is it a strong community of supporters?
PayFair’s primary asset – after the platform itself – is the community. The feedback the community has given us has impacted how the platform operates and looks; their input will always be in our mind. Additionally, there are several members of the community that have formed groups outside of the main chat that promotes development, marketing, and general support; it’s these groups that make such a mammoth project easier to manage.
8. You are not listed on top exchanges although you have solid team and much-needed product, why so?
We get asked this a lot. The first point to mention is that PayFair is its own exchange. Really, there’s no need to go outside of the platform itself. However, many new investors will naturally look to larger exchanges first. These larger exchanges can cost between $500,000 to $1,000,000 per listing pair. PayFair cannot entertain these costs at this time. We do however recommend exchanges such as Chaoex and IDEX as these are easy to use and our current primary exchanges.
9. What would you do differently if you go back 1 year?
Sell ETH at all time high! But really, who wouldn’t!
I feel we could have focused more on primary exchanges before the market turned bull. It’s this bull market over the Christmas period that caused larger exchanges to ten times their prices. Other than that, we are happy with the decisions we have made as a company and with the community.
10. What are your future plans?
Naturally, some things we need to keep to ourselves for now! However, some of the more public plans are improving the usability of the platform, including further work on scalability. Marketing focus once the market levels out, Open Source API and Telegram Bots for automated and easier trading. Lots to come!
11. Any other words to the crypto-community?
Cryptocurrency is in its infancy. If you have an idea and see there is a real need, go for it and never look back. You can’t change the world with dreams, it requires hard work, and sleepless nights, if you can pull it off, you could change the world we live in.
12. Any advice to entrepreneurs that are working to launch an ICO?
I see too many ICOs launching as an obvious means to improve their financial position. The world is seeing cryptocurrency in a bad light because of these multi-million dollar ICO teams disappearing off the face of the earth. If you genuinely want to be successful, dedicate your life to the project, through good times and the bad, and always keep your word.
Mission Implausible: Next Summer’s Biggest Blockbuster?
Have you heard the plot of the new blockbuster thriller with Dom Fuse in the lead role as a CIA operative embedded in the crypto world? He’s the tough-talking all-action hero who is called in to the shadowy department, within a department, within a top secret corner of CIA Langley. Dom’s boss sits in semi darkness and briefs him about a mysterious genius at the heart of the dark web, who must be tracked down in order to restore the financial balance of a world being bent out of shape by cryptocurrencies.
Our Hero Investigates
So Dom sets off down the highway on a supercharged motorbike (because how else would you investigate crypto irregularities?), and along the way has some highly unlikely romantic encounters, and gets to play with lots of gadgets and guns. I won’t reveal all the twists and turns but there’s a lot of staring at multiple computer screens, and crashing through firewalls and heavily encrypted sites, usually in a matter of seconds. When this happens Dom’s nerdy hacker sidekick always shouts, “We’re in!”
What Dom discovers is that at the center of a whole spiraling web of deceit is a global conspiracy centered around the creator of the blockchain, bitcoin, and everything which has followed. It was all a mistake which got way out of control. The secret CIA department within a department was set up to penetrate the trade in weapons and drugs, and the whole crypto idea was launched simply as a Trojan horse (in the original non-viral meaning of this) to get deep inside the dark networks.
Crypto was never supposed to actually work, and be adopted by non-combatants around the world. But then people everywhere started cottoning onto this new thing, imagining use-cases, inventing new applications. Wow, you could even do a sort of crowd-funding thing called an ICO for new startups and hey, you could invent your own tokens! The irony was that here was something started by the law-enforcers which was now spinning into lawlessness and anarchy. Decentralization was the name of the game, and like the old myth of Pandora and her box, now the word was out it was proving ever more impossible to shut down the system.
Eventually after many thrills and spills – and here comes a spoiler alert – Dom tracks down the person behind the whole vast conspiracy. Naturally they meet in a dark underground car park. That’s the way it always is – you wouldn’t expect them to meet in a nice restaurant would you? His boss steps from the shadows: “How did you work it all out?” she asks. “We thought we’d covered our tracks, but we needed to confirm for sure before we shut it all down.”
“And now I’m the only person standing in the way of collapsing the whole cryptosystem?” asks Dom, staring down the barrel of a machine pistol held by his boss. “I’m sorry that I figured out your plan, Satoshi.”
Of course this is clearly a fictional screenplay, and nothing like it could ever occur in real life. Could it?
Good news bad news
There’s a ton of good news/bad news jokes, along these lines: “Good news – I borrowed your Lambo… and the airbags work.”
Another: Doctor to Patient – “I have bad news, you only have 24 hours to live. Even worse news – I meant to tell you yesterday.”
Crypto’s version of the old joke
Now we have our very own crypto good news/bad news joke in the form of: “Good news, the world’s first official state-sponsored cryptocurrency has been running since February 2018. Bad news, it’s the Venezuelan petro.”
Oh, hang on, that’s not a joke, it’s actually true.
With hyperinflation rampant in the country, it was clear that something had to be done by the Venezuelan government. The International Monetary Fund reports Venezuela’s economy shrinking by some 18% this year, and inflation has hit one million per cent. Half a million Venezuelans have already crossed the border with Ecuador, to escape the impossibilities of their home economy. Until the recent massive devaluation of the bolivar fiat currency there were scenes reminiscent of Weimar Germany after the First World War, when a wheelbarrow full of banknotes was needed to buy a loaf of bread.
On launch of the petro, Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro said it would, “Make new forms of international financing available,” and help pull the country out of its economic nosedive. The cryptocurrency – which is supposedly backed and guaranteed by national gold, diamond, and petroleum assets – can be used for almost any payment including real estate, gasoline, flights, and taxes. And now, even a loaf of bread.
It sounds almost feasible, which is the good news – or as good as it gets – so perhaps everyone in the cryptoworld should be celebrating that finally there’s a government which is not only crypto-friendly, but has actually created its own coin. However, the bad news is much more extensive. Everything about the launch was bungled, including the petro white paper which began by citing Ethereum as the platform, but by February had changed platforms to NEM. The confusion was so widespread (including different and contradictory versions of the white paper being published at the same time) that scammers easily established fake petro sites on other platforms and made a killing. Kerr-ching!
If you searched far and wide for a brilliant example of how NOT to do an ICO, you couldn’t find better than the sad story of the petro.
USA President Trump was then quick to jump on the newborn cryptocurrency, making it illegal for American citizens to invest and trade, while the highly-respected Brookings Institution reported that, “The Venezuelan Government has resorted to a deceitful means of introducing the petro… which exists to create foreign currency reserves from thin air.” Things were not looking good, and since then they have gone from bad to worse. A pity, because this could have been a success, a bad news/good news tale with a happy ending.
Matt O’Brien of the Washington Post offers the punchline to this crypto joke which isn’t a joke: “The petro might be the most obviously horrible investment ever. The petro is about creating something useless — that’s why only foreigners can buy them, but only Venezuelans can spend them.”