CoinFox continues to interview the prominent people in the field of cryptoeconomy. This time, we are speaking with Sergey Sergienko, the founder of Chronobank, the first project that converts man-hours into currency value.

Our conversation was vivid and largely visionary: we spoke about the global mission of the project, the perception of cryptocurrencies, the ICO boom in Russia and about the future of the cryptoeconomy and its role for the humanity as a whole.


– Russia and the whole world are currently going through an ICO boom. What makes your project unique and how would you define its mission?


– Sure, the ICO projects are trying to use the market situation. Of course, not all of them succeed. I would say we have the same chances as everyone else but our chances are helped by the eminence of our idea: we are selling the time.


In the world of blockchain everyone has a possibility to change the world for the best – for instance, to improve the pension system in the Philippines. It is the moment of passage from one bank system to another one, and if our community takes advantage of the opportunity, we can help many people. If the project implements such a large-scale story, it means it is very likely to bring revenue at the end of the process. However, few people start with great aims and then think of revenue – the majority prefers to think about money first, from the point of view of quickly entering the market and quickly leaving it. This is our difference: we are first of all oriented towards a great aim. Of course, if we consult history, social projects are rarely successful – but we do not lose hope.


– What stage had been reached in the implementation of your plan?


We are not behind our plans that are fixed in the roadmap: we have just launched the first man-hours. The initial idea to sell our pattern to the companies did not get much traction. It should be implemented on another level, either with countries or with very large companies. That is what we are trying to do now.


As for the technical part, we have already made a wallet and a platform to issue our tokens and are working on internal exchange: it is currently in a beta version and will become full-fledged by February. We are also trying to solve the common problem of the financial world: how to understand what is happening if a person disappears and does not contact you. For cryptocurrency and smart contracts it is especially important to understand how did it happen.


– Besides working on your own project, you act as adviser for many companies. What is your interest and what kind of projects are you ready to help?


I am perfectly aware of the fact that we need a great number of partnerships for such a large-scale project as Chronobank to be successful. The best and the cheapest way to form them is to start at the stage when no one has anything but the idea: to do it later is much more expensive. That is why we are using the advising model, strengthen our links. I like the example of our cooperation with PlusCoin. A team from Irkutsk designed a platform to accumulate the loyalty bonuses and to use accumulative reductions for different purchases. We advised them to enable the internal exchange of these reductions for tokens – and the guys are currently making an ICO to finance the finalization of the project.


To develop Chronobank, we will need artificial intelligence – it would perform all accounting and look after users, seeing how many funds or hours they have spent. Accordingly, I am attentive to the artificial intelligence projects, but with one condition. They should be global.


– How do you evaluate the ICO boom in Russia? Why ordinary citizen are so eager to become investors?


I would examine the problem from two sides. Firstly, many projects that start an ICO make a conscientious effort to conceal the essence from potential participants, trying never to call the ICO an investment. As there is no law in Russia so far to compel these teams to indicate that their tokens are issued as investment tools, people might sincerely misunderstand that there are no guarantee of earning anything and, moreover, there is a risk of losing your money.


Secondly, this entire story about cryptocurrency and fabulous revenue coming from nowhere reflects the eternal hope of Russian people for a wonder. They prefer not to know that the cheese is freely offered only in a mouse trap. Afterwards, if everything collapses, they will massively start writing letters to the public prosecutor’s office and complain to other instances, sure that they have been cheated. This is a result of the very low level of financial literacy in Russia. People hear the word “percent” and are at a loss.


– How, in this case, do you assess the initiative to create the cryptoruble?


I fully approve it. Three hundred years of evolution of the economic thought in Russia did not lead to anything more constructive than the idea to turn the money machine on in a difficult situation. This problem will probably not be solved by the cryptoruble, because it should be understood that a private blockchain can be made and presented in different ways. However, this would still reduce expenses during the money transfer. At least these funds will not get lost to no purpose.


– If we are touching the question of the development of world economic thought, what can the wide propagation of cryptocurrencies lead to?


The entire history of cryptocurrencies should be analyzed from the point of view of alternative financial possibilities. If the idea of cryptocurrencies is developed, the USA will lose their capacity to control the financial system and distribute their inflation in the whole world. I would see it as a historic chance for many countries including Russia.


In an ideal world, a common world cryptocurrency could be created to use as a reserve currency. All countries would have access to it but not profiteers. And if the selling prices of the energy resources are calculated in this currency…


However, it is important to preserve the very idea of decentralisation. It is hardly a secret that many currently existing cryptocoins are in reality very centralised: they are being preserved as decentralised in a centralised way. The forks after the situation with The DAO show it very well.


– And if we spoke about the future of the cryptoeconomy as a whole?


We should understand that the entire cryptoeconomy in its present shape is nothing but a top of an iceberg. Even from the point of view of capitalisation we only touched a very small part of the possible volume. The people think there is a revolution under way. However, the aggregate capitalisation of all the cryptocurrencies in the world reaches only $170 billion and their daily turnover does not exceed $4 billion. There are companies in this world that can destroy the whole system in one day. And such a collapse will immediately turn cryptoenthusiasts into cryptosceptics. When the time of great investment funds comes, the sums will be absolutely phenomenal.


Of course, even if the cryptoeconomy undergoes a total collapse, the blockchain technology would stay and the databases will be available for use. But I urge people not to lose contact with the reality, to remember on what stage of development is the blockchain system now. Sooner or later, investment funds will join the game, futures will make their apparition, and cryptocurrency markets will reach what is happening today on the commodities market. From the point of view of pumping the cryptomarket, no large global player has so far seriously considered the cryptocurrencies. 


Is everything so bleak?


I hope that we the humanity will learn to earn money better than to sell bullets. The time is the most precious asset that a human being has. If somehow we manage to tokenize, to evaluate the human time, both working and leisure, we won’t need any currency at all. But this is almost a fantasy.


From the point of view of the development of blockchain, Vitalik Buterin is absolutely right: why invent one more ether if we already have one? You should not do something that other programmers have already done: in the best possible case, you will get the same thing as something that already exists. We have a chance to change the world for the better and do it without a traditional way of changing something – I mean without a large-scale war. That is how I approach the development of blockchain projects – I am trying to change the reality so that a large war would stop being the most efficient way of changing the world.