Alexander Neimark, CEO of Ties.Network and Ties.DB, talks about his own and others projects, about investing and keeping money in cryptocurrencies.
Cryptocurrencies as a new form of savings
The problem is not what currency you choose to make savings. Cryptocurrency is a new form of payment, I see it that way.
I personally am against using cryptocurrency as a savings tool because it is highly volatile. If it wasn’t - how would it be different from fiat money? Cryptocurrency is genius, partly because we do not know what will happen to it tomorrow. If you prefer currency that is not subject to volatility, you should probably go for pound sterling or Swiss francs.
I do not understand why people choose to buy securities or other assets with part of their earnings hoping they will magically create enough passive income to save the deal. When people have millions of dollars, it’s understandable, they do not want these millions to evaporate. But those people make 5% of the whole population. Those who make less than a thousand dollars per month - I don’t understand why they bother about buying securities that will “magically” make them richer. This is utter nonsense! There is no conservative tool to accumulate wealth while not putting your savings at risk: money doesn’t grow and double on its own, it needs to be invested, something needs to be done! The philosophy of keeping your money in some form of magical assets is the atavism and the fear of the rich to lose their wealth.
I often hear that only financially illiterate people invest in ICOs. I participated in several ICOs as a team member, I saw how it’s done from inside, I negotiated with potential investors, and I've never seen anything that could make me believe that people in cryptocommunities are idiots. Their thinking is more progressive, and their intuition simply works better (since they deal with cryptocurrencies, at some point their intuition must have told them about its potential). They know how to multiply their coins.
Of course, there is a lot of scam, but there is a lot of it everywhere. We see a number of unviable and unclear projects in classical investments as well, but venture funds poured a lot of money in them. Meanwhile, the Pareto principle continues to work: 20% of the projects pay off 80% of those less lucky.
On the business platform
Let’s assume that it is something similar to LinkedIn - it is a large business network that we can use to our benefit. I've used LinkedIn for a long time: I've attracted the very first 200 thousand dollars of investments through this social network. If cryptocurrency exists, then why don’t we give the cryptocommunity a business platform with an optimal set of tools that will allow them to quickly find reliable business partners and strike secure business deals?
We try to create both a business platform and a database - the latter is an infrastructure solution that is necessary for everyone in the decentralized economy. It is a pragmatic approach. Emotions rule our creative process, but we have a clear understanding of what the market needs.
The network is similar to LinkedIn (let's use this analogy so far) but it has some significant differences. We don’t have illusions to develop another another social network. It is rather going to be a business platform with social networking elements (where people can communicate, make reposts - for their own convenience). This tool will allow the necessary information to go to the right people.
People register and sign in with their wallet (no logins and passwords). Business transaction is at the sore of our platform. Thus a person must first add their Ethereum wallet or create a new one. After that users have several options:
- They see all their ether and can spend them;
- They see all their previously purchased tokens, as well as our tokens and can use them.
Users will have to keep some amount on their wallets that is necessary for internal settlements and mutual payments. We hope with time people will trust our platform more and will keep larger amounts on their wallets. But in the long run it doesn't matter to us - we are not a bank.
You can find a partner, you can start a chat. I will go into the main differences from classical social networks. We have "projects" - similar to groups on Facebook, but they are not about discussing things, they are more about accomplishing something. I create a project (choosing from a template or in a free form) so that I can quickly find a team among the users. Users’ profiles list their skills, and confirmation of their skills is guaranteed by the business deals that have taken place. Being an expert, I get certain rating and feedback on the work done. [The higher my rating, the higher my profile pops us in the search results]. When you search for a specialist in a usual way, you come across many inadequate characters, and there are no guarantees that this person is as good as they claim.
When I create a project, I can state that I need a programmer and a designer. They automatically receive a notification that a new project with such positions has been created. The project can be public or private.
When the team has been found, the founders organize their paychecks ( after the test task has been completed) via a smart contract, which sends the money to corresponding wallets according to rules set in this project.
It is not a problem if people find business partners and leave to work with them on other platforms. We will have a cumulative number of tools that can make it possible to manage the project in a better and a more secure way on Ties.Network. If someone prefers to do make lists of people they need to pay and rather pay with bitcoins - it’s their choice.
The "project" function allows you to describe your idea to the public, find a team to help you make it happen, and reach an agreement with them. And all of this is done prior to ICO. We do not provide tools to do an ICO. There are already enough platforms that do it.
There will also be investors on the platform who can pay attention to an interesting project and negotiate directly with its team.
So it is a social business platform.
If you’re considering investing in an ICO, you do not need to ask the founders whether they can be checked: you can simply upload all publicly available information to a separate project, and let experts give their professional review. Each potential investor pays a small amount to pay for the experts’ work. This way we open the market for experts and give them voicem so that they can contribute to teh community! Investors will have an opportunity to audit teams for a small amount of tokens. And teams will be able to promote themselves on an independent platform.
The platform allows a third party to make a review. The market is so filled with crap at the moment! Someone sends me a white paper and I'm shocked while reading it. At some point I started moving such emails to spam. Developers write complete madness, and it’s even worse when white papers are written by copywriters.
For now we are launching the product with these functions. We can’t deliver more at this point of time, but we will be adding more functions in the future. At the moment, the concept has been worked out, we have a clear and promising Financial Model (it is a long financial document), we will ensure there are moderators and super moderators to prevent the project's budget from being misused), we have a strong IT team (we are proud our programmers are Russian, it is a sign of quality) . White paper has been translated into five languages and has received many positive reviews.
As for the database: when we were designing the business platform, we realized that there was no database we needed, and making one from scratch seemed really difficult. We found a similar centralized database and decided to make it decentralized.
There is no public decentralized database, there has been none in the history of mankind. Blockchain is not a great solution as a database since it has certain limitations: it is slow, the information should disperse everywhere (for financial data it’s ok, but not if you want to change your profile photo or your documents ). Blockchain is immutable (we, on the contrary, need a system that we can edit).
Herein lies the brilliance: our database not only solves our problems, it is a B2B solution for any other decentralized project. Up until today there is no database that allows to store structured information flows. We searched the whole market! When we did not find a solution, we came to conclusion that we should do it ourselves. We took a ready solution as the basis, but we had to change almost everything.
In fact, we are doing two projects - organically, without a hustle. Thus, investors who may not like our B2C project can invest in the database. It is also profitable: it is impossible to run the database without buying our token. Our business is to make a convenient tool for the market to buy our coin. We are not a charity project, but a commercial one, so our job is to give value to the people who will use our product and will be happy to pay for it.
We have a good IT product, we carefully select our team, and we have been working for a long time. We have taken the best programmers from our previous project with us to Ties.Network. We envisioned the project in January of this year. We took part in a couple of ICOs to understand the mechanics, and realized that we are ready to start our own project.
The criteria of a quality project
Always check the project’s GitHub and look at their IT Director! If there was no update for the last six months, there is alway a question: what kind of project is this? People claim they are doing an ambitious project but absence of code shows they are unable to do it...
We have a White paper, GitHub, short guides (a guide to our database from a business perspective). We compared our database with main existing solutions (this document shows that we differ from existing databases). We also wrote a Yellow Paper - hardly any project has it; it is a detailed technical document that describes the IT-essence of the project in-depth. And we will have a prototype ready by the twentieth of September, so that people can try it. We have a truly strong team.
Quite often I see job-postings like "I need someone to write a smart contract for us." People are not able to write a smart contract, and they launch a project? That's ridiculous! Or, for example, I saw IT projects where there were almost no IT people. For such teams, the task is to simply raise money. We are against such philosophy. I find this unfair cynical attitude to ICOs quite annoying. Therefore, there is an idea to make a post-ICO transaction analysis on our platform.
If we talk about a team that is trying to add value to the community, then they work towards capitalization. They care that the project can operate and benefit the whole community. This is our philosophy. Don’t look at what founders say, look at what they do.