The events of 2020 have become a serious challenge for the global community and economy in particular. Only a few areas haven’t plunged under the onslaught of the pandemic. Besides the pharmaceutical industry, the technology sector is among a handful of spheres that have stood their ground. This is not surprising, given that almost all social life, including work processes, has moved to virtual space during self-isolation. Perhaps the biggest success has been experienced by the cryptocurrency industry — over the past year Bitcoin has tripled its 2017 ATH, which proved impossible to achieve for three whole years.
The arrival of new technologies has created a whole cluster of young entrepreneurs who have managed to build companies of international scale in a few years. One of them is Ukrainian Bohdan Prylepa. Bohdan is a leader with extensive experience in Internet marketing, IT and web development, a well-known expert in blockchain technologies, one of the developers of the new generation BTC fork Bitcoin Ultimatum, CTO and co-founder of the IT company Prof-it Blockchain and VP at eHold group. Bohdan also advises the regulatory authorities of different countries regarding cryptocurrency. We asked Bohdan how he succeeded in creating his own company, managing a staff of over 150 people, and what he thinks about the modern processes in blockchain technology.
Q: Bohdan, tell us how you became involved in blockchain? What attracted you to this field and where did you start?
A: Blockchain is one of the most promising industries in the IT sector today. Here, technology is developing at a rapid pace — we have witnessed tremendous development in 12 years as if it has been a century. Therefore, my choice for this sphere was not by chance — personally, I see an enormous space for development in the industry. The best minds and ideas are here now. If your project does not contain the word “blockchain”, it will lose its relevance in 2-3 years. Those who feel the trend are well aware of this and try in every possible way to implement blockchain technology in their business processes.
I started with a small web studio with only a few employees. We made simple websites, then we learned and started creating more complex products. About three years later, in 2016, it became clear that we needed our own sphere. You can’t do everything and be the best. It was necessary to choose one specific direction, direct all our efforts to it in order to be able to really achieve something. And it so happened that we engaged in blockchain — then blockchain started making waves, ICOs emerged, everyone was talking about it. And so until now, we are engaged exclusively in blockchain products.
Q: And how’s your company doing today?
A: Now we are big, we have more than 150 employees; we have offices in Ukraine, Montenegro, Dubai and Thailand. We develop our own blockchain products and tokenize business assets. If your company needs to attract investment, you can either launch an IPO or issue tokens. Here you need to understand that an IPO sounds cool, but the process is very complex. It requires serious coordination, and it is difficult and expensive. On average, it takes about two years. However, tokenizing is much cheaper, and it is fast and effective — it’s quite fashionable now.
We help build company architectures. We specialize in implementing management models on blockchain that creates a transparent decision-making system for everyone. One that no one can falsify.
We are also engaged in new technologies like — NFT. We create unique digital products in this field. As we are all aware, copyright is a complex topic especially now, because we are in the internet and torrents era. NFT is a technology that has emerged to make the lives of authors, artists, and creators of any content easier. You can create a unique NFT of your work and claim an entire ownership and control (copyright) of the asset. That’s how it works.
Q: Is it difficult to manage a team of 150 employees?
A: Well, if you manage to organize ten employees, then 150 will not prove to be so difficult (laughs). In fact, when there were 50 of us, it was more challenging to manage the team. But now we have built up all the management processes that make the day-to-day operations of the company very effective. With our excellent management staff, we can focus exclusively on product development.
Q: So it turns out that you have already transferred most of the managing work to the company’s managers?
A: I wouldn’t say that. I do my job, and they do theirs. I am in touch 24/7 — this is the price you pay for an extensive business to thrive without failures. The notion that the head of a company gives up the operational activities of a business when it grows large is nothing but a myth. Of course, I don’t perform about 80% of the operational tasks. But the 20% that I am actively involved in is decision-making, project management, and discussing critical processes. The work that I am involved in has changed, the workload has not.
Q: Today, many people say cryptocurrency mining is something from the last century, even though it is experiencing a sharp decline. Elon Musk, intentionally or otherwise, influenced the drastic downturn of Bitcoin value, saying Tesla can not afford to support mining because it is devastating to the planet. Hence they have stopped accepting Bitcoin as payment, contrary to their previous announcement. What do you personally think: mining or staking — which is better?
A: Well, I also think mining is unecological, similar to the countless rockets launched into orbit by Elon Musk. However, if we talk about mining as a business, it is still profitable. There are mining pools you can go to and add your power to theirs. There is no need to compete with top players. It is no longer possible since they have already invested hundreds of millions of dollars in their equipment. And it is more of a fantasy to start the business “from scratch”. It’s another thing to join a community pool. This is quite real.
However, there is staking — this is an alternative to mining where you do not need to mine anything, you do not need to buy a lot of equipment. You simply have to put your coins in a wallet without touching them. And for the fact that you keep them and do not put them into circulation, you get accruals. Plus, the value of coins increases if it is a highly sought-after asset. Excellent passive income. And super-eco-friendly.
Q: It is often said that cryptocurrency will disrupt the banking industry. But these are structures that, for all their shortcomings, provide us with our high standard of living. Is it good or bad to destroy the banks?
A: Well, of course, banks are archaic, clumsy structures compared to cryptocurrency. The smartest among these financial institutions have long adopted blockchain technology — they understand that without blockchain they will soon remain on the sidelines of history. But don’t worry, crypto is not destructive, and no one is going to kill banks. They will remain, but they will have to adapt to the new realities — reduce fees, make their operations flexible, stop the practice of sluggish transfers which sometimes take up to a week. If they continue this way, they will soon have no customers. After all, DeFi is developing — you can now take out loans through the DeFi system and act as a lender.
I think that over time, banks will adopt blockchain and cryptocurrency, and each state will have its own digital currency. At some point, every transaction will take place on blockchain because they take seconds on this technology. We are now developing a technical solution for banks that do not want to be “left out”. One, whose purpose is to modernize banks by integrating blockchain solutions. This is the future.