Waves Platform For Investors #4 – Investor Q&A With Sasha Ivanov, Creator Of The Waves Platform

Leon Fu: We’re live.

Tai Zen: We’re live, guys.

Sasha: Hi guys.

Tai Zen: So what’s up guys? This is Tai Zen and I got my buddy LeonFu.com, the Oracle of cryptocurrency guys. Today we got Sasha Ivanov, the creator, the founder and the inventor of the Waves Platform. Sorry about that. I got some feedback.

Sasha: Something is wrong actually.

Tai Zen: If you have a YouTube channel on, can you mute that YouTube channel?

Sasha: It was just open.

Tai Zen: Just before we get started, could you guys put in the chatbox on the of the YouTube channel to let us know if you guys can hear us clearly and if there are any audio issues?

If the video is not perfect, that is not a big deal, but I know that many people complain that they cannot hear us. So if you can go to the right side and from whatever country or state you from, if you can just text and just say I can hear you from New York or I can hear you from Zimbabwe….

We have a bunch of responses saying that the audio is good. So sorry about that feedback guys. I’m not sure where it came from, but let me go ahead and get restarted again. I will hit the reset button. We got people from Houston, Spain, New York City, Holland, and Arizona.

Let’s go ahead and get started guys. We got 90 minutes here with Sasha. And so let’s go and get started. In case you are new to this channel, my name is Tai Zen, your most awesome trader coach ever.

With me, I got my buddy LeonFu.com, the Oracle of cryptocurrency, the Oracle of Austin, Texas, the Warren Buffet of cryptocurrency investment.

We also have Sasha from Moscow, Russia. This might be the first time I ever did a live Hangout with anybody in Russia. Sasha, he is the creator, the inventor, the founder of the Waves Platform and today he’s joining us for this Waves Platform Investor Q&A.

We have a thousand questions for Sasha from me, LeonFu.com and also from the audience. We are going to hit them hard with some hard investing questions about the Waves Platform.

After this investor Q&A, you will learn the history and the background of Sasha Ivanov; what is the problem that Sasha and the Waves Platform is trying to solve; who is on Sasha’s development team as well as what their background and experience are.

Besides, you will know whether they have enough money to make this cryptocurrency projects succeed; how the Waves Platform will be promoted; how Sasha and his team will get the public to adopt the Waves Platform; and whether Sasha and the Waves Platform are real.

Therefore, we’re going to ask them all the hard questions and we’re going to ask him what will make Sasha’s Waves Platform succeed. That’s also important since we got lots of cryptocurrencies coming out on the market.

Let’s go ahead and get started. Hello Sasha, can you hear us?

Sasha: Yes, I can.

Tai Zen: I know that’s an exciting introduction there, but let’s go ahead and get started, Sasha. The investors are watching now and they want to hear from you directly in order to get accurate information so that it is not rumors or myths.

First things first, one of the things that we all want to know is who are you; where you are from and what your background is. Can you start with that?

Sasha: Sure. I am Sasha Ivanov. I’ve been involved in the world of cryptocurrency for three years, mostly in the NXT platform.

We started several projects such as instant cryptocurrency exchange. Actually, we were the first to start this, not the ShapeShifter, it was us, Coinomat. They actually came to market and occupied that niche.

After that, I became active in the NXT community. I started one of the first fiat-based tokens. It was called CoinUSD. It was a token on the NXT platform, which was tied to USD, but it is still working actually.

I think that idea is quite important so our Waves Platform is based on that too because we’re building Waves to become transfer layer for fiat currencies.

We are not going to invent a new currency. It’s going to be kind of a transaction layer for existing currencies, including Bitcoin, fiat currencies, national currencies like USD,…

Tai Zen: Just real quick. A lot of the people are saying there’s a lag and they said the audio is not clear from you. Sasha, if you have the YouTube channel on and the Google Hangout on, could you turn off the YouTube channel so that we can save on the bandwidth?

Sasha: I don’t have a YouTube channel on. No.

Tai Zen: You’re breaking up from your side.

Leon Fu: Maybe if you turn off the video, we can save on bandwidth. Maybe you don’t have enough bandwidth because you’re breaking up. Your audio is breaking up.

Sasha: Wait, wait. I might change my location so the connection gets better.

Tai Zen: Because earlier when I talked to you, the video is very clear.

Sasha: Is it better now?

Leon Fu: You’re still breaking up. Tai, do you hear him like? It is still breaking up every fifth word you say.

Tai Zen: Let me see. Because the video was very clear earlier.

Sasha: Is it better now? Can you hear me?

Tai Zen: I’m able to hear from you.

Leon Fu: I can hear you.

Sasha: I can hear you perfectly. So I don’t know what the problem is. I can’t fix it because the connection seems to be alright.

Tai Zen: How about this?

Sasha: Let me ask if people can hear me.

Tai Zen: Some people say it’s good, but some say it’s not good. Let’s get started and see what happens. Hey, before you go into your background in the NXT and the software, could you talk a little bit about your background and where you’re from. Are you Russian? Are you from Moscow? I know you broadcast from Moscow.

Tai Zen: Hold on. The audio is not working.

Leon Fu: You can try to maybe turn off the video because we did not hear anything you said. I heard you were 15 something and that’s about all I heard out of that sentence.

Tai Zen: That’s fine. Let’s just try turning off your video.

Leon Fu: I don’t think we have enough… somebody doesn’t have enough bandwidth to do the video and audio. It might be Google’s own servers.

Tai Zen: Go to the top. It’ll say turn off the camera.

Leon Fu: Can you hear us, Sasha?

Sasha: I can hear perfectly. Can you hear me, guys?

Leon Fu, Tai Zen: That’s better.

Leon Fu: Tai maybe you can even shut off your video too. I think hearing is more important than seeing us.

You are coming in perfectly clear, Tai. You are fine, but Sasha was just completely breaking up.

Tai Zen: The audience is all saying that it’s better. So let’s just go ahead and run like this and then we’ll go from there. Hey Sasha, can you just talk about your personal background? Are you Russian? Are you in Moscow? Because we didn’t hear the answer last time.

Sasha: I’m Russian. I’m initially originally from Ukraine. I came to Moscow to study when I was 16. I studied physics after that I was a theoretical physicist for a while.

After that, I was involved in trading bots, coding in creating some payment system and currency systems. When I found out about Bitcoin, I started pursuing this area. I started the Coinomat project three years ago.

Tai Zen: Did you get involved in the Coinomat first or the NXT first? Because I first heard about you in the NXT community.

Sasha: I just started Coinomat project and I was really interested in some kind of new financial instruments because I always considered Bitcoin and cryptocurrency as actually a new class of financial instruments.

Hence, I was always interested in crowd-funding and I was looking for a way to bootstrap Coinomat and find some opportunity to make some crowd-funding campaign.

Therefore, I checked out some centralized services that existed at that time. I thought that was Crypto Stock and probably it’s doesn’t work any longer.

Then I found out about NXT and it seemed to be a very good platform now. It was on the rise and people were excited about it. They actually like the approach. For that reason, Waves is the next step in that direction because the inspiration is taken from the NXT platform.

I think this is a great platform which probably doesn’t get enough attention and it’s a little bit undervalued at the moment. So I want to push this further and make some NXT on steroids in a way to make things for NXT approach.

Tai Zen: How long were you involved in the NXT project before you had the idea to go and start the Waves Platform?

I’m asking that for the audience so they’ll know how much experience you have in the cryptocurrency world before you started your own Waves Platform.

Sasha: I’m active in this arena in three years already. I’ve done bots trading, instant cryptocurrency exchange and fiat projects like tokens tight connected to fiat, fiat pegged projects.

I’ve also done the first market index tradable, which is tied to the portfolio of top 20 cryptocurrencies. It’s coinoindex.com. In addition, I’ve launched several assets on NXT such as Coinomat and Crypto Fund, which is probably the first decentralized venture fund launched on blockchains.

Leon Fu: So Sasha, I have a quick question. Why do you think NXT hasn’t caught on the way it should have and what are Waves going to do differently than NXT?

Sasha:

Sure, I think that the NXT community probably wasn’t really focused on business in away. There were some technical kinds of people who wanted to pursue some technical opportunities. For more business-oriented people like me, it was probably not the best option.

For example, NXT developers change the API very often and all businesses have to adjust. After the API had been changed, some things just got broken and it was kind of a recurrent event. It happened often.

Therefore, some guys who were really technically oriented and some guys were more business-oriented like me. I try to be somewhere in the middle, but the current NXT team wants to pursue some direction with side chains and some pretty complicated things.

It’s hard to say if it’s really gonna work for them. Besides, the NXT ecosystem really suffers from it.

However, I really hope that NXT project will succeed and they will do everything they plan to do.

On my side, I would like to try to do it in some other way, which is to focus on business and immediate usage over the technologists because I think that blockchain technology is ripe for mass adoption.

We have to approach like the mass-market now. When we solve the blockchain bloat or when they are outside chains and stuff like that, some markets can be disrupted already. There are many of them, but we focus barely on transfer for existing currency, for fiat currency and on crowdfunding.

Therefore, we are going to implement fiat transfer in order to help fiat-based crowdfunding on blockchains. You know that there are many CIOs right now and they all collect Bitcoin as we did, but the next step in this direction is to deal with actual fiat and to do it in a compliant way.

We want to have fiat-based tokens on the blockchain so people could crowdfund for USD and EUR, not only for Bitcoin.

We are working on the legitimacy of this. It can be compliant in many countries. For that reason, we hope that it will have a great impact on the way people raise money because I think the time has come to crowdfund from traditional venture investing.

In addition, this direction is really picking up steam now. Hence, we want to become the first decentralized Kickstarter, where you can attract not only Bitcoin but also USD and EUR.

Overall, our goal is to focus on value transfer and community-based projects. We are going to have some decentralized voting which will allow managing the projects like what DAO is doing now.

It is not going to be so deep in technical but more on business and it has to work now. We don’t want to wait for the development of technology. We want to develop the technology as we proceed with the actual business.

Leon Fu: I got a question about the fiat. When you described you want to have a USD token or a EUR token. Can you describe to our audience how you envision this to work?

For example, if I have USD in my US bank account, what would be the process I would do to move that USD onto the Waves Platform?

Sasha: Exactly. This is a very good question. We don’t use the pegged approach like BitShares does, which somehow dynamically pegs the token exchange rate to the USD exchange rate.

We don’t do that. I don’t believe in this approach because it’s quite complicated and under the hood, it’s still centralized. Hence, we go centralized throughout here.

We use the Ripple’s gateway approach. It’s working. You just work with some company that has a financial license and is able to provide and maintain the gateway to provide liquidity and market-making services.

They make the market for the token. They buy the token and they sell the token to people. They do all the necessary KYC/ AML.

When you want to move your USD to the blockchain, you just go through the KYC/AML procedure, send a bank transfer to the participating gateway and they send you the tokens.

From there, you can keep the tokens, invest the tokens in crowd-funding projects or even send the tokens to another user and eventually withdraw the tokens.

Leon Fu: Who is that? Are you going to partner with a bank?

Sasha: We are focusing on payment systems now because you don’t need a bank for this. It’s not lending money. It is a kind of a limited license. You need to have a money transfer license for this. You don’t need to have a full banking license for this.

Leon Fu: I’m just trying to understand; so would it be something like a Western Union I go to or who would I go to?

Sasha: It’s more like the payment system. I wouldn’t like to be more specific here because we’re in the process of some kind of negotiations with several systems. However, it’s not going to be like PayPal because it’s way too big.

Let’s imagine this. You go through PayPal and you have some money in your PayPal account and just buy the tokens with that money in your account.

Because blockchain offers just the transfer layer for payment systems. They can outsource their IT infrastructure to a decentralized blockchain. That’s all. It’s legal and it’s the same as the payment system. They just use some decentralized layer instead of centralized servers.

Tai Zen: Just real quick Sasha. In the US and the European countries, they are very strict on the KYC (know your customer) and the AML (anti-money laundering) and you are making claims that your Waves Platform will be able to accept Fiat currencies like USD, EUR, YEN and etc.

Sasha: It’s compliant.

Tai Zen: For example, Leon and I can say that we are KYC compliant because we follow all their laws, procedures, rules and regulations. We are not accepting any customers’ money or anything like that.

So we can say that and the audience can believe that because we’re not accepting anyone’s money at this time. However, you and the Waves Platform are making claims that you guys are going to accept USD and fiat currencies.

Sasha: I’m not accept anything. We are decentralized platforms, but we are not going to accept any fiat money, not at all. We are coders and programmers, who are creating the network. The fiat will be accepted by participating institutions with corresponding licenses.

Therefore, they’re allowed to do so and they have all the KYC/AML procedures ready. Just imagine the payment system like PayPal or any other payment systems.

Leon Fu: What you’re saying is you’re negotiating with these payment providers and trying to create partnerships and negotiating agreements so that they will sell USD or EUR Waves tokens. That’s what you’re doing. Is that correct?

Sasha: Exactly. It’s like Ripple’s approach because their approach is promising in my opinion. Some other approaches are very tricky and not stable, but this approach is just replacing the usual IT infrastructure which payments systems have with another infrastructure. They just outsource this infrastructure to the decentralized network. That’s all.

Leon Fu: Well let me ask you this question. If you’re trying to be like Ripple, what’s going to differentiate your Waves Platform and Ripple then?

Sasha: It’s just one piece of the whole puzzle because we need fiat to be able to provide the centralized crowd-funding platform for fiat, not for Bitcoin.

People don’t probably do major crowdfunding campaigns. They don’t want to accept Bitcoin due to many reasons such as fluctuating exchange rates or KYC/AML stuff.

Hence, we want to have fiat on the blockchain and to allow crowd funders to raise money with usual currencies with fixed exchange rates.

Imitating the Ripple’s gateway is just one piece of the whole puzzle for us because we have a totally different network. Out network has some other kinds of the consensus algorithm. We have another approach to this and I think it’s more stable.

Tai Zen: If you’re saying that the Waves Platform is similar to the Ripple platform and…

Sasha: Regarding the gateways, we take this. That’s all. Technically, it is a very different thing.

Tai Zen: Now, you’re providing a gateway for people to bring their fiat currencies into the cryptocurrency world. From an investor perspective, what is going to make your platform different from something like Coinbase?

Because we all know that like over 3 billion dollars of fiat currencies have gone through Coinbase already into the cryptocurrency world. So why would someone use the Waves Platform when there are platforms such as Ripple and Coinbase that’s available?

Sasha: Because they can’t actually participate in crowdfunding campaigns. They can’t send USD, EUR, and other currencies on the blockchain. They can’t do it in such a way that it is more decentralized than sending them in a bank. Because when people go through KYC/AML, they held the tokens. The tokens can’t be taken from them.

Tai Zen: What does that hammering noise? Is that from you, Leon or from you, Sasha?

Sasha: It is from my side. Someone is doing some innovations in the office. Let’s continue. Why would people want to use it? Because our pitch is like that and it is going to be very simple.

What we are going to have is a very simple light client that people can just download from Chrome or Firefox app store. It’s a one-click installation actually and requires absolutely no blockchain download. It works right from the start.

You just install it and you have a cozy banking interface with USD, EUR and Bitcoin and a crowd-funding platform where you can launch your own campaign, invest or trade in the other campaigns and vote for projects. That’s approximately what DAO is doing now. It is very simple because the light client can be installed in minutes.

It requires absolutely no blockchain download because it interacts with the full nodes. Full nodes support the network. Light clients are just working with a network. They use API to connect to the full nodes and do all the operations they need through the full nodes.

Therefore, you have an interface, which is similar to the usual banking interfaces or broker interfaces. It is a learning curve and it is flat because people are accustomed to this over 20 years of the Internet. They don’t have to take some steps up in their understanding because it’s all the same. They have a fiat and cozy broker interface with different stocks.

So it’s very simple. We’re targeting mass-market adoption and we are trying to bring blockchains closer to the people. So one of our mottos is “Waves – Blockchain for the people”. We were approaching mass-market adoption. That’s what we are doing now.

Leon Fu: OK Sasha. After your crowdfunding is completed, what are your estimated timelines? When do you believe you will have these partnerships set up for the gateways? Because that seems like a critical piece.

Sasha: Let’s me correct this. It is not critical because in any case, we will have Bitcoin. It will have Bitcoin token and it would be done soon, but I think that in summer we’re going to have USD and EUR.

Sasha: But you just said one of the major features is that I will be able to have USD tokens on Waves Platform.

Tai Zen: Sasha, can you let Leon ask a question, then you answer that? Because if two people are talking, the audience can’t hear who is who.

Leon Fu: Let me, I’ll ask a question. I know that I can always send the Bitcoins. However, one of the features you said that you want to have fiat tokens on the blockchain, whether it’s USD or EUR tokens. I wouldn’t do so unless I could convert these tokens to the real USD or real EUR. How would you get any backing without these gateways or without these providers?

Sasha: We can back it on our own. When the partnerships are really, we will have the tokens for that.

Leon Fu: Let’s say I have some USD Waves tokens and I send them to my friend, Tai. However, he won’t be able to cash those out.

Sasha: No, we can’t launch like that. We will have the partnerships and you can buy them properly. There is no trick here, absolutely.

Leon Fu: The second question is when the launch date is going to be and where a typical customer could sign up for Waves and start using the core features. When do you anticipate all of that happening?

Sasha: This fall. Actually, it is about 3 or 4 months when we are going to have the talk, the transfer, and the decentralized exchange. In NXT, the asset exchange would take a little longer because it is a critical thing that has to be done right.

We want to implement a very sophisticated transaction layer here so that when you add a new transaction type, you don’t have to do hard work as it happened in NXT. Therefore, we have to do it properly this time.

We’re going to have the tokens sooner than the asset exchange, but we are going to have the tokens in summer. Probably, in this fall, we are going to have the asset exchange at least in a better version.

Therefore, I think the full range of features will be available before the end of the year, probably not decentralized voting and stuff like that. We will have those features next year.

To sum up, what we are going to have this year will be the tokens, Fiat gateways, and decentralized exchange. That’s the core of our system and we are really focusing on making it work as fast as possible actually.

Leon Fu: So another question related to the decentralization since you brought it up. We know how Bitcoin is decentralized. It’s decentralized through proof of work, miners running hashing.

We also know NXT is decentralized through forging, which means anybody with NXT tokens can do the proof of stake and set up their NXT node to do forging. So how is the Waves Platform going to be decentralized?

Sasha: We are using the same algorithm as NXT, which is going to be a POS (proof of stake) algorithm. I don’t believe the proof of work algorithm in blockchains because it’s complicated.

Leon Fu: So can I do the proof of stake? You are saying all the Waves token holders can be a node in the Waves Platform. Is that true?

Sasha: Yes, sure. It’s the same thing as NXT forging. You effectively mine transaction fees.

Besides, we are going to have some kind of DPos here because our network has 2 tiers. There are going to be light nodes and full nodes. The full nodes will do most of the transaction processing. The light nodes will be able to lend their balances to full nodes and also profit from the transaction processing. However, they won’t do it on their own. Full nodes will be doing this for them.

You have this feature in NXT because these things were invented in NXT. You could just lend your balance to another node and let it mine for you. It’s the same case here. It will be some kind of a mixture between balance lending and DPos, so light nodes just lend their balances to the full nodes which do most of the processing.

This way we’re going to achieve transaction speeds which are compared to what BitShares offers actually. It’s essentially the same approach. It won’t have now. It will happen probably a little bit later at the end of the year or maybe even in the next year. Nonetheless, we’re going to have a very fast transaction speed because it’s important here.

Leon Fu: We know that with these Waves tokens that your investors have purchased, they can forge with them. What else will the Waves token do in the Waves system?

Sasha: You can’t do anything without the Waves tokens. It’s like Ethereum. The whole network can be wrong if only using these tokens. When you send USD under the hood, you have to pay some Waves.

Leon Fu: If I take my Waves and start forging, I set up a node and I will be compensated in Waves tokens. Is that correct?

Sasha: Exactly, for now. However, we have some plans to pay transaction fees in a certain asset like fiat assets. It will be effectively paid in some ways, but it will go through the asset exchange and the token exchanges. Therefore, when you pay your fees with the fiat token, the token is exchanged at the same time in decentralized exchange.

Under the hood, it is always going to run on Waves tokens, but there are plans where you can pay with USD for everything. It can be interesting and attractive for some people because it’s easy to understand, but under the hood, it is going to be always Waves token.

Leon Fu: Could you talk a little bit more about the technology stack you’re using, such as we know NXT was written in Java and Bitcoin was written in C++? What are the tools? What are the programming languages?

Could you give us a high-level architecture about how each of these pieces is going to be built using what programming language or database? Maybe you could go over that a little bit.

Sasha: Sure. We’re using some open-source platform which is called Scorex. It has been developed by a former NXT developer, who is a Russian from Saint Petersburg. It’s not ready, but it’s a nice collection of some libraries, which can be used for faster development.

We are building on top of it and making it ready. It’s written in Scala. It’s a functional programming language which makes our projects quite interesting because probably this is the first usage of a functional programming language in the cryptocurrency arena.

It gives you some benefits such as the code is cleaner and harder to make errors and there are no memory leaks. In addition, multithreading actually works better in functional languages, especially in Scala because it focuses on multithreading. It would be much more difficult to code something like that in Java. In Scala, you get some problems like multithreading, memory leaks, etc, solved for you.

Scorex, which was developed by Alexander Chipper Noi. He has a very nice modular structure. Alexander wanted to separate the network layer from the transaction layer and made it kind of a constructor where it can be built easily on top of the code because all blocks are clearly separated.

It’s very nice code. We are really glad to work with it and develop it further. So it’s going to be open source. We are going to contribute to Scorex development and make the code production-ready. So that’s how we are approaching this.

Leon Fu: The user-facing style of this would be a web interface or a mobile app?

Sasha: Our light client is going to be a simple browser plugin for chrome or firefox that you can download just from the app store. It’s a one-click install and you can have it on your browser.

Probably, we’re not going to make a mobile client at the moment. We are forging some partnership with major Bitcoin wallets. You can find that in some new systems. We’re working with Mycelium project and we plan to implement Waves in their platform. We are planning to implement a USD and EUR transfer for them.

Now, we are just going to work on browser interfaces. I don’t think that it’s really feasible to trade when using your mobile phone because it’s kind of complicated and we’re focusing on crowdfunding.

For example, there is like a list of all the campaigns on your phone. It’s not comfortable to go through the list and stuff like that.

Leon Fu: To sum up, the user interface side will be a plugin that I will use in chrome or firefox and Mycelium will be kind of like the mobile front end for now. They’re going to handle most of your mobile development.

Sasha: We agreed on that and we are going to pursue this. Besides, what might be interesting is remittance.

For example, I send a RUB token and you receive a USD token. The exchange is carried out in the decentralized exchange. It is actually what Ripple is doing now. They also have this exchange where you can exchange the tokens automatically.

We are going to approach the remittance market too because it’s a very big market and it’s ripe for disruption. Currently, it’s very costly to send money through Western Union for example. The costs can be reduced substantially through the remittance market.

We have the technology allowing us to do so. If we do it, we can implement this inside the Mycelium wallet to send, for example, money from one mobile wallet in India to one mobile wallet in the USA. I think that can be a very interesting development for our project too.

Tai Zen: Hey, Sasha, I have a question. I’m listening to what you’re saying and you are describing all the different features that the NXT platform has. What made you create the Waves Platform on your own? Why not just use the NXT platform the way it is already and then just do an ICO and raise money to do the marketing for the NXT?

Sasha: It’s not my project and there are some other guys there. How can I take the NXT code and do an ICO for it? Besides, they can see things where they can really be improved. Why do I have to clone it?

No, I don’t want to do that because it’s not my project. There are some active guys who pursue this direction and wants to make it work, so I hope it’s going to work out for them.

However, I want to pursue some other direction and make things right as I see them because many things can be improved and some new directions can be really considered and implemented.

Basically, it’s not my NXT. I really love NXT because it’s a great inspiration for me. I can see some technologies which are undervalued at the moment because they stay in the shadow of bigger projects of course.

For example, Ethereum is a great height now but it can’t be the only technology. It’s not going to be one coin that’s going to rule them all. It can’t happen because it has its limitations.

For example, you can’t easily build a decentralized exchange in Ethereum. They encounter some big problems with this because it is going be very costly to do market making for some decentralized exchange with usual bid-ask structure. In addition, when you move your order, it costs you a lot.

Therefore, decentralized exchanges wouldn’t be so easy to implement on Ethereum, but with NXT approach, it is done very simply.

All this information is just written into the transaction attachments. Basically, Ethereum is a distributed virtual machine and NXT with this approach is a decentralized database. They are like static data versus dynamic data where Ethereum is dynamic data and NXT is static data.

However, you have better scalability in the Waves because all Ethereum nodes have to run all the contracts. It’s a one-tier system.

We want to implement such a system where a node executes only what it really needs to execute. If a node doesn’t want to deal with some kind of assets, it doesn’t have to run those transactions to calculate the balances. Therefore, we obtained some kind of scalability automatically.

Even though it might be not as deep as what Ethereum is doing now, it might be more practical and, to some extents, it can implement faster. We’re going to pursue this approach and I think we can really make certain things much faster than Ethereum project can do.

On the other hand, we want to be compatible with Ethereum because it’s a great project absolutely. It’s a very profound and deep project. Therefore, what I want to implement is some kind of a common asset transfer protocol.

For example, DAO people are launching on Ethereum now, but they will be able to transfer their tokens to us and trade us at our exchange. Because now, Ethereum doesn’t allow you to do this. You can only trade it in a centralized way. For example, some exchange will offer a DAO trading soon for sure, but you can do it in a decentralized way.

However, they can transfer those tokens to us and trade them in a decentralized way with us. We’re going to interact with them because I think the key to success in crypto is interaction. You don’t have to compete with other projects. You have to interact with them. It’s not a zero-sum game. We have to work together to make it work for all the crypto community.

Tai Zen: I have a few business-related questions for you, Sasha. I know you cover a lot of technical questions with LeonFu.Com. I just want to cover some business, promotional and marketing questions for you.

First of all, one of the challenges that NXT ran into is that they focus more on the technical and development side and did not have the strong sales, marketing and promotion side like the Ethereum project did.

For example, before Ethereum came out, Vitalik and his team promoted the Ethereum projects at all the Bitcoin conferences. I noticed you recently promoted the Waves Platform at the Russian Ethereum conference or the cryptocurrency conference in Russia.

Are you planning to go to any other conferences to promote the Waves Platform so that people will know about it?

Sasha: I’m not going to be very active because now I’m focusing on development. We are gonna launch the light wallet next week, so I just want to stay in the office now and monitor the development.

However, in June, I’m going to be traveling to some conferences and I’m going to be very focusing on promotion.

Tai Zen: Another question is how you are going to get the banks, businesses gateways and people like that to a partner up with you or adopt the Waves Platform?

I know that you have partnered up with Mycelium wallet service already. Do you have a sales team or a marketing team that’s going to be contacting and calling the businesses?

Sasha: No, we don’t have anybody yet. It’s just me doing the business side now, but we’re going to have a dedicated team for this naturally.

I have some negotiations ongoing and I think that it can be solved without a team. Obviously, after the ICO ends, we have enough funds to hire some people to approach some other markets, not only European markets but also smaller markets. It might be very interesting to realize that some smaller countries where you have national currencies, it might be simpler.

Leon Fu: Are you going to focus on the US market or the European market? Where do you plan to make your marketing efforts?

Sasha: European, for now. We want to start in the US too, but it’s kind of complicated regarding this as you mentioned. You have an equity crowd-funding law there now. It’s kind of complicated in my opinion. It’s a little bit overregulated there.

In due time, I hope you will be able to do it, but we will start from European markets for now. Then, when we have a strong position in Europe, we’re going to move to the US and Asia. For now, we are focusing on Europe and Asia.

Tai Zen: So after the ICO is over, are you going to be spending most of your time focusing on the software development, coding the software or are you going to spend most of your time on the business side to get businesses and users to adopt the Waves Platform?

Sasha: Sure. I will have to do both. I like both things. I’m not much of a coder, to be frank. I don’t code fast but I can read the code and I need to know what’s going on. I’m going to be supervising the code development and doing the business at the same time. Probably it will be more on the business side, but I am going to do both.

Tai Zen: That’s the first good news on business I’ve heard so far during this Hangout. As you know, my main concern as an investor is that no matter how good the software is, nothing is going to succeed if businesses and users don’t adopt it. You, LeonFu.com, and I already know that the NXT software is fantastic, but if no one uses it, it doesn’t matter.

Sasha: You don’t have to take it this way. I’m really focused on mass-market adoption. The whole project is about that actually. My position now is a supervisor because I need to know what the coders are doing. That’s for sure. However, I’m a business-oriented person. I care about technology as much as it relates to the real world.

I don’t believe side chains and stuff like that at this time. Probably I’ll change my mind but in 5 or 10 more years. For example, I don’t believe too much in the smart contract because you can’t really make a smart contract for the real-world issue.

In my opinion, a smart contract is just a demo right now, but it’s going to be ready to use after 5 or 10 years. Meanwhile, we can do some actual working things, which could disrupt businesses and add some values. So I’m very focused on this, not on technology.

Tai Zen: Speaking of the business side, I want to mention that in the famous business book “Good to Great”, the author talks about all the great businesses, companies and organizations that succeed. What they do is that before they start going on their journey, they make sure they have all the team and all the people on their bus so that the business has a chance to succeed.

One of the things when I first looked at your website, you only had yourself and Tobias Schwartz. Now when I look at it, you have yourself and six additional team members. Can you talk a little bit about each of your team members? What are their background and experience? What made you hire them? What are their specific roles?

Sasha: Let me open the website.

Tai Zen: Maybe if the listeners are listening, they can go to the wavesplatform.com site, we can start from the top up Tobias, then Brandon and Ivan Shcheglov.

While everyone is pulling that up, I just want to make a comment that I notice there were a few team members from the Waves Platform in the YouTube chatbox. I ask them to identify themselves so that everyone knows that they are from the Waves team, just for transparency. They have already done that.

Sasha: I must say that it’s not the whole team. We are going to have our website updated after the ICO ends.

Tai Zen: Can we start with Tobia Schwartz. What’s his background? What’s his role? What made you hire him?

Sasha: First of all, I must say that most of the people they come from NXT. Tobias Schwartz was active within the NXT community. He implemented some things for SuperNET project, which did the crowdfunding a couple of years ago and it’s JL777. Therefore, he’s a visionary type of guy.

Therefore, we cooperated with him in certain directions. Tobias has made the SuperNET light client and had many experiences with it technically and conceptually. Now, he uses that experience for the Waves light client. He’s a front-end developer and I’m glad to have him on the team.

Tai Zen: Is he a partner on the Waves team or is he an employee that you brought onto the Waves team? What is his role?

Sasha: Partner. You might consider him as an employee, but we are all partners on this.

Tai Zen: How about Brandon?

Sasha: Brandon is a very active cryptocurrency journalist, who wrote tons of articles for bitscan and for other related resources. He’s based in the UK. He’s a very cool writer and probably he’s going to lead the marketing department or communications department in the upcoming Waves foundation. By the way, we are registering now in Germany within a month. I probably didn’t mention that

Tai Zen: How did you meet Brandon?

Sasha: A couple of years ago in the NXT community. We had some projects together. I’m really happy to work with him because he’s a cool writer and a great guy actually.

He will probably be responsible for writing articles for certain parts of promotion. He’s going to be an important person in the Waves foundation.

Tai Zen: So he’ll be kind of like the public figure to update the community with the Waves Platform.

Sasha: Exactly. He’s the director of communications more or less.

Tai Zen: How about the next person on your team, Ivan Shcheglov?

Sasha: Shcheglov is going to be active with banking integration. He is a programmer, but he has been working all his life for banks. He was a very experienced Java coder who has been working all his life for major banks.

He knows that the banking industry very well, so we’re going to work with him on integration with payment systems and banks. He’s currently in the UK too.

For that reason, we’re going to have some UK presence too in the future. We’re starting with Germany because we want to have a nonprofit organization first and Germany seems to be a good choice for this. Another reason is I have worked in German for a couple of years, so I know the country quite well. Therefore, I want to have a foundation company there.

Tai Zen: Basically, Ivan will be handling the Fiat gateway, AML/KYC on your team?

Sasha: He is going to do the technical things like API for banks, bank integration, and payment systems integration. His role is a consultant for us because he has a great experience with banks and with the way in which banks interact with external service.

Tai Zen: How about your next team member? A backend developer dressed like Yuri Gagarin. Are you trying to say that the Waves Platform will go to the moon?

Sasha: Sure. I want the Waves Platform to have a space theme. You know because why is it called Waves?

A couple of months ago, humanity discovered gravitational waves. I’m a physicist, so it was a very big thing for me. When gravitational waves were discovered, I wanted to somehow connect to my current projects and I named the project Waves.

This is, of course, some kind of an Easter egg because we have Yuri on our team. Now, he is considering leaving his position because we move quite fast and he has some commitments towards his current employer so that he can’t reveal his identity for now. It will be reviewed like in a month whether he quits or not.

Tai Zen: So Yuri Gagarin is just a pseudo name for now?

Sasha: No. We have Yuri on our team, but he’s not the Gagarin. Yuri Gagarin is the first man launched into space. It’s kind of Easter egg here. Some people ask why we have this. I don’t want to remove him. Yuri is going to be on the website soon. I think that Yuri Gagarin is going to stay there because I think it’s kind of fun and it is going to be some kind of mascot for our project.

Tai Zen: Leon, since you are more familiar working with backend developers, do you have any questions about Yuri’s backend developing experience?

Leon Fu: Sure. You said the backend going to be written in Scala and Scorex. Has Yuri worked in that technology before or what is his experience?

Sasha: He’s been working with Scorex projects for several months and he knows Scala too. He really wants to do some cryptocurrency project. He’s very enthusiastic. Therefore, we are glad to have him.

Leon Fu: What is his background?

Sasha: He has worked in many major Russian payments system and WebMoney. For now, I can say that there are three other people with lots of experience that are not listed here. Overall, we have three backend coders and only one is listed here.

There is one of them has been working for Deutsche Bank. He was coding Scala there because Scala people can be found usually in banks and in some telecom companies.

Another one was a freelance coder for banks for many years too. He had some projects made for major banks.

The last one is Yuri. He worked for payment systems. Currently, he’s working for UK factoring company, which is a lending business, but he quits in about a month and he is going to be a full-time developer for us.

Now, we have three full-time backend coders, Tobias – frontend developer. We also have a full-time designer. His name is Carlos and he is not in Russia. He is a very talented designer who can do user interfaces, websites, and creates a logo. I’m really glad to have him on board.

Tai Zen: Is he the Carlos M from Spain answering all the questions in the chatbox right now?

Sasha: It might be him. His nickname is Steph.

Tai Zen: Is that all the questions you have about the backend developers, Leon?

Leon Fu: That’s all the questions I have.

Sasha: Thank you.

Tai Zen: Then who is Carl Carlson?

Sasha: He’s a German guy who is very active in the German Bitcoin community. He maintains our German Bitcoin thread. I’ve known him a couple of years ago.

He’s a very active guy in NXT community. He runs NXT related projects. He’s a great writer too. Therefore, he is going to be some kind of a community manager as well as in charge of doing Bitcointalk and answering the questions. I’m really glad to have him too.

Tai Zen: Then you have a head community manager with Martin MX. Where is he from? Where did you find him? What’s his role?

Sasha: He comes from Poland. He is a very active community manager on Bitcointalk. He was active and involved in several Bit projects, cryptocurrency projects. He’s also the core media lead.

He replies most of the Waves related questions at Bitcointalk at the moment. It’s more of a hobby for him. Actually, he doesn’t want to have his identity revealed because he has some good position in some company. It’s more of a hobby for him, but he’s very active and he’s doing a great job. Therefore, I’d love to have him on board.

Tai Zen: I have a suggestion for you. I think in the future it would help if you mentioned in their profile that this is not the real person because someone who is outside of Russia might not know Yuri Gagarin is a famous astronaut.

Therefore, in case of those employees like Martin MX and Yuri Gagarin, who don’t want to reveal themselves at the moment, having a notion like that next to their names will make it clearer and more transparent for the investors.

Sasha: Probably, you know him. He’s the first man to be launched into space. That’s Easter egg here. Of course, I probably won’t remove him, but naturally, all the detailed information of the team will be uploaded on the website, because no one wants to be anonymous.

In addition, I’m a very public person. I have no problems with revealing my identity. I think it’s time to make all cryptocurrency projects as legit as possible.

Tai Zen: Regarding the ICO funding that you have, how are you going to hire the developers, then how the funding that you guys received from the ICO will be used for the marketing?

I’m going to let Leon start with the first question. Then when he finishes, I’ll go into the marketing questions.

Sasha: Sure.

Leon Fu: I have two questions. I know that you’re going to get probably over 10,000 Bitcoins by the time your crowd sale is finished.

How will you continue to fund the development of the Waves Platform? That’s the first question. The second is how many developers you need to get it to the point where you can launch the platform and have at least all the core features of the Waves Platform.

So those are the questions.

Sasha: Sure. I think we have enough money for now. It’s about $5,000,000, so our monthly payments to developers will be in the range of $50,000 at most. What I need now is probably another backend developer. That’s all. For now, we’re good.

Some part of the money will be spent on marketing because most of it will be spent on development. In addition, I think that we should set buy wall at the ICO price, so investors feel confident a little bit more. Of course, we can’t promise anything regarding the price of the token and the future.

Tai Zen: Can you clarify that quickly before you continue your answer.

Sasha: Sure. It is not a problem because part of the fund will be at the exchanges to set up the buy walls at the ICO price. You know that token price won’t be below the ICO price or maybe 10% below the price, but not substantially below. That will provide some confidence in the project.

Tai Zen: Who will be responsible for buying those Waves tokens if it falls below the ICO price?

Sasha: We’re just going to set a buy wall. That’s all.

Tai Zen: When you set a buy wall, does that mean that you and your team are going to buy any Waves tokens that fall below the ICO price?

Sasha: The price will be assessed at the ICO price. We’re going to move fast and show some quick developments. Therefore, I don’t think that there is any problem with that. Setting up by walls is just to build up the confidence of the investors and I think it’s a good option.

Tai Zen: I know that creating an artificial buy wall give investors’ confidence, but my question to you is who is going to be responsible for buying the tokens if they fall below the ICO price. For example, if I create a buy wall in the market for a cryptocurrency, I am the one responsible for buying it.

If other people are selling it, I have to go in there and buy it. So when you say that you are going to create a buy wall so that the investors do not lose anything below the ICO price. Who is buying that?

Leon Fu: I think what he saying is he’ll use some of the money that he’s raising right now to create a buy wall at or a little bit below the ICO price.

Sasha: Correct. Because we have enough money for development from now.

Leon Fu: In other words, Sasha, correct me when I’m wrong, I think you’re saying is you have more than you need for development at this moment, so you can afford to spend some of the funds to create buy walls.

Sasha: It’s like a buyback.

Leon Fu: Yeah. Buyback.

Sasha: It’s like when Apple buys the shares back to provide some confidence. It’s not a securities market. I won’t promise some prices. I won’t go as far as that because it’s tokens.

Therefore, I don’t want to promise anything regarding the price. I just can promise that I’m going to focus on development promotion and push this thing as far they can.

Tai Zen: What you’re saying that you’re not going to guarantee or promise that you make your best effort?

Sasha: No. I’m going to do my best because this is the project of my life at the moment. Maybe I’m going to have some bigger projects in the future, but at the moment this is the biggest project I’ve been involved in.

Tai Zen: As I know, the average cost of a programmer or developer in America is between $100,000 to $150,000 a year. Is that correct, Leon?

Leon Fu: That amount would include all the costs. It’s not just salary, but health insurance and everything. The average salary of a junior level guy is between $90,000 to $100,000. That of a senior level guy could be $150,000 or even more. You know the sky is the limit, but let’s say $150,000.

Tai Zen: What is the average cost of a developer in Moscow or where do you plan to hire the developers?

Sasha: Half of it, even third of it, but we pay half of it.

Sasha: It’s about $5,000 per month.

Tai Zen: Basically, you have enough funding than from the ICO to last several years?

Sasha: We have $50,000 spent monthly on development. We won’t spend the money as Ethereum did, around €300,000. It’s a bit too much because they wanted to do it in 3 programming languages at the same time.

They did it in Go, C++, and Python. We can do that. We are focusing on Scala development, so we don’t need to spend that much money. $50,000 is a very good ballpark figure for our monthly expenses on the developers. Of course, marketing will have its share too, but it’s going to be built a little bit less I think.

Leon Fu: Let’s just use your $50,000 number. The burn rate for Waves is $600,000 a year for development. Then, how much would you spend in a year on marketing and business development?

Sasha: At least $20,000 will go to marketing at the moment.

Leon Fu: $20,000 a month. It roughly costs about a million a year to develop Waves. I think you’re going to get more than 5 million, you have probably around 5 years’ worth of funding or even 3 or 4 years to be conservative.

Sasha: Sure. Don’t forget that what we are building. We’re building the crowd-funding platform, so there is probably another crowdfunding for some parts or the projects which are not in our roadmap now, but that can come later. For example, if you want to do something else within the platform, you can raise funds on the platform itself.

Tai Zen: When you say raised funds on the platform itself, if you have the platforms like Ethereum, it’s worth a billion dollars, plus another billion dollars from its network. However, Waves is new and it’s not worth anything at this moment except for the $5,000,000 that you guys have raised. Therefore, why would I do crowdfunding on the Waves platform instead of Ethereum ones?

Sasha: The is one feature Ethereum doesn’t have is the decentralized exchange fiat. You can raise money directly in fiat or USD. You can trade your tokens inside the platform and we’re really focusing on crowdfunding. Ethereum is focusing on everything. They don’t offer some ways to use the platform. They just created different possibilities and people choose what they wanted to do.

Tai Zen: I just want to pause really quick, Sasha. You keep saying about the fiat is the key characteristic that makes the Waves Platform different. In America, where Leon and I live, we know that that is a very strict and very tough issue with the KYC/AML in the US and in Europe.

Do you have anything in beta or anything that you can show the public that they can process the fiat currencies?

Because I hear a lot of people say that in the cryptocurrency world, but I don’t believe it until I see it with my own eyes. Hence, do you have any evidence or do you have anything in the works to demonstrate that it is going to be possible with the Waves Platform?

Sasha: It doesn’t matter whether the company maintains market making other platform or is compliant, as long as it has the finance and money transfer licenses, that company can just buy and sell the tokens. Speaking of that, we have some partnerships forging at the moment.

I don’t think it’s impossible here. We’re going to have this in summer and there is going to be USD on the blockchain. Then, you can buy it and go through KYC/AML. It’s all going to be compliant. I don’t care about that. I care about evolution, not revolution.

Tai Zen: Do you have anything right now in the works?

Sasha: Sure. You can check out our light client in a couple of days, so it’s going to have USD, but it won’t be functional at the moment. It will work soon.

However, you can get a feel of how it is going to work sometimes. Therefore, it is all the possible and we will prove that it is working actually. They have some gateways problems in America as far as I know, but it’s all possible.

We will work on that and approach it very carefully so that we don’t do any illegal stuff because we have to stay really compliant at all times. This is my goal to make it very compliant product, payment systems and eventually, even banks can use to move value on blockchains.

So I think it’s very possible. It could be done, should be done and will be done. I’m sure about that.

Tai Zen: One of the common questions from the YouTube audience is that when you will start utilizing ICO funds?

Sasha: Right now, I’ve got to pay the developers because I invested in my own pocket. I’m just financing all the things myself and I won’t have enough money for sure.

The burn rate is going to be around $50,000 per month. I don’t want to hide that fact. It’s true.

Tai Zen: For your information, when Sasha and Leon are talking about the burn rate, it means how much money are they going to use each month to develop the Waves Platform.

So what you’re saying is you’re going to have a $50,000 a month burn rate to pay for all the developers and the marketing activities. My next question to you would be whether you have an exchange already set up.

Sasha: Of course. I don’t want to tell which exchange is going to work with us immediately, but there are some.

I have four of my NXT assets at a certain exchange, so I have some experience with the exchanges and I think that shouldn’t be and won’t be a problem.

Tai Zen: Regarding the success that you and your team have to make the Waves Platform succeed before we came on here, LeonFu.com and I were talking about you were responsible for the Coinomat. It was the first “ShapeShift-type site”, right? Could you talk about that with Leon?

Leon Fu: Well I have a question. So you actually beat ShapeShift to market by Coinomat. I remember using Coinomat to get my first Litecoin actually. Therefore, why aren’t Coinomat as big as ShapeShift?

Sasha: They had a lot of money. I’ll be honest here. They had a large budget for marketing and whatever, so we couldn’t compete. However, it was my idea. I can say that because I started this project and it was started before ShapeShift. It can be checked easily in Holic.

Another fact is that the founder had Satoshi Dice. He sold Satoshi Dice, so he had money to invest in ShapeShift. Basically, they occupied that niche. Probably, we’re going to move Coinomat in a different direction now after the ICO because I can’t focus on it right now, but it won’t shut down.

We’re going to target some other markets probably like fiat market. Shapeshift is the brand that is hard to compete with now. I’m not hurt by this, but this is life. To be honest, they were more much more effective after having more money and actually I like their service quite a lot.

Tai Zen: Leon and I both agreed that Coinomat service was the first crypto instant cryptocurrency exchange. However, you’re saying that it did not succeed as you want it to because it lacked funding.

Sasha: More or less. There were some development problems, but the main reason is funding. If we had been more active with promotion, we could have succeeded.

At that time, I just wanted to concentrate on technical stuff, then ShapeShift came and they were active. They just approached all the coin communities at Bitcointalk and all the other places.

They moved fast and we couldn’t move like that, so we lost. That was a great experience. Hence, now I’m trying to move as fast as I can.

Tai Zen: Basically, you learned from your experience with Coinomat that you did not move fast enough, so now you are going to apply that towards the Waves Platform. Is that correct?

Sasha: Exactly. It was a great experience. I understand that you have to move fast in this arena because it’s constantly evolving. It’s changing every day, so you have to move fast or die and I prefer to move fast.

Tai Zen: To be able to do that, you’ll be using up the ICO money that you raise a quickly then. The other things that I noticed from your Waves team are that you recruited many people from the NXT community. Does that create any drift or conflict with the current NXT community? Did anyone leave on bad terms or anything like that?

Sasha: Not really. Some people just don’t like the current direction that the NXT community takes. The reason is if you check what the current developers are trying to do, it can really hurt the monetary value of NXT. They are creating side chains and the main chain is going to be devalued, which makes many people are afraid of what they said.

To be frank, I wouldn’t have started this project if all had been good with NXT. If so, I will go on with NXT, but I just can’t. You have to fight some problems constantly and some things that you don’t consider right. In my opinion, I don’t really consider what they’re doing is right. It might be right

However, everyone is entitled to his own opinion. I think that many people will support me because most of the communities are not really happy. Therefore, many people come from the NXT community to my community, but I don’t want to destroy NXT in any way.

I hope that they will succeed. Technically, I would say they are proposing some interesting things. They propose side chains and stuff like that, in which you will be able to launch your own assets on your own side chain. It’s cool. I don’t know how it works out for them businesswise.

Tai Zen: Speaking of businesswise, we have some questions from the audience here because you are Russian and you are in Moscow.

We have questions from Neo. He stated that you are in Russia where there a lot of negative press about the Russian government. They don’t like cryptocurrencies and stuff.

How will that affect your Waves Platform business in Russia since you’re rushing? Is it true that the Russian government is against cryptocurrencies? Can you talk about that?

Sasha: Not really. They are pro blockchain. They want to implement blockchain. They probably could ban Bitcoin, but the probability is quite low at the moment. It still exists, but I’m not really sure that they will.

However, they’re very enthusiastic about blockchain technology and they’re supporting it. I don’t think we have any problems here in Russia. What they don’t want to have are some new tokens as money surrogates.

It means you use some kind of token instead of using the RUB and we are not going to do that. We’re not going to use Waves as money. Waves token is used to facilitates some operations, but we still use normal money.

If all is good, we can also have the RUB on the blockchain. It’s going to be compliant with Russian laws and the regulations, which will be supported by some payment system here.

Therefore, I don’t think we will have any problems here because I already talked to many people, even some people in the venture fund community or other people from like from banks about this issue.

Tai Zen: The other question I’ve forgotten to ask you earlier if you were on stage just a few days ago with Vitalik at the Russian conference. What kept you from going to all the Bitcoin conferences to announce the Waves ICO? Obviously, more people will know about it in that way.

Sasha: I think we had enough publicity because I prefer to move faster with development. It started two months ago, so I had to find the programmers to rent the office for them and I was quite busy with that. In addition, I’m focusing on the light client now. When the network is stable, I will be going to every conference I can find.

Tai Zen: Let me ask you this also. Now you have an office there in Moscow. Is that the main Waves Platform headquarters?

Sasha: Probably not. It’s going to be the office for backend developers. Most of the critical development probably will be here because it’s easier for me to find the coders here.

However, the main headquarters probably in German because now we’re in the process of registering the foundation company in Germany.

It doesn’t cost that much as in Switzerland for example. It’s also a good European country. Therefore, the headquarters could be here. In June, we are going to have Waves foundation company.

Tai Zen: Let’s move on to the next question. In 2016, the biggest ICO is the DAO ICO for Ethereum. They raised over $160,000,000 already. The second biggest ICO is from Lisk and they raised almost $6,000,000.

It’s funny because you are from the NXT community originally and I’m from the NXT community, so as Leon. The guy in charge of the CEO of in the founder of the Lisk project is also from the NXT community.

Leon and I were discussing this morning that there is a very big chance that the Waves Platform ICO might even do better than the Lisk ICO. Do you see that as a potential or do you have a goal to do better than the Lisk ICO?

Sasha: I don’t care much about that because we have enough money for development. We can beat Lisk, but in any case, we won’t beat DAO. If Lisk were the biggest crypto ICO, that will be cool to beat Lisk. However, it’s not the case right now because you can’t beat DAO. It’s impossible and no one will in the next few years.

Tai Zen: From my business perspective, since you have 9 days left before the Waves ICO ends, I believe that if you are able to get the word out about the Waves ICO to more people in the cryptocurrency world, there is strong possibility that you can raise more money than the Lisk ICO, which would be a huge marketing tool for you.

Sasha: My projection is that we can beat Lisk because they had most of the funds at the end of the ICO. So, if it’s going to be the case for us, we can beat them for sure. Once again, I would like to emphasize that it could be cool, but it’s not important.

Tai Zen: Have you worked with or communicated with Max from the Lisk project before?

Sasha: No. I knew him from NXT community but I didn’t really talk to him.

Tai Zen: So you have no personal goal or competition to beat the other ICO funds.

Sasha: No, not at all. I checked their ICO because it was cool. I used some ideas from it. I confess that I used the way they made a signature at Bitcointalk and stuff like that, but it’s OK I think.

Tai Zen: Do you have any other questions before I open it up to the audience, Leon?

Leon Fu: I’ve gotten all my questions and thank you.

Tai Zen: That’s all the questions I have, for now, Sasha. We’ll just spend a few minutes here before we finish. I want to answer some of the questions from the audience.

I know that your team members already answering the questions in the chatbox already, but if you guys have any questions for Sasha himself.

Please put it in the chatbox and state what country or city that you are coming from so that we can have an idea where everyone is asking questions.

Sasha: Cool.

Tai Zen: So, let me just scroll through this. Somebody asked earlier whether you are going to be integrating with Swift. Are you familiar with that?

Sasha: I don’t think so. I think that they’re going to go with the permission route, because most banks are trying to do their own thing to create some kind of permission blockchain, closed blockchain. What we are trying to do is to create some open blockchain that banks could use.

I think that’s a good thing too because if we don’t do that, banks will go to close blockchains and they will just privatize the technology. If we have some solutions for banks and payments system, it is going to be open like Ethereum does.

Maybe we can have something else. Banks could start working with the open blockchains and there’s going to be a very good thing for humanity to say. However, at the moment, we don’t have plans to work with Swift. We are too small for that.

Tai Zen: We have a question from the T3C3 in the Netherlands and he asked what the plan for the crypto fund on the Waves Platform.

Sasha: We had some assets at NXT and they are going to be transferred to Waves, so probably they are going to be the first assets on the Waves. We can test everything out.

In terms of the crypto fund, I’m contemplating the idea of creating some assets for the foundation. It’s not decided yet, but the idea is to have some umbrella assets and some kind of venture fund like DAO has.

We are going to have some decentralized venture fund like Waves Foundation Fund which will invest in some projects launched on Waves. Hence, we will endorse some projects and invest in them and a crypto fund is going to become a part of this asset.

Tai Zen: Next question is from Chase That Coin. He has his own YouTube channel and you guys might want to check it out too. He said some good stuff on his channel. He’s from New York City and he asked if you guys are going to look to get a BitLicense from New York, which means whether you’re going to handle a Bitcoin in the New York area.

Sasha: I would definitely love to do it. For now, we’re approaching markets step by step. We’re going to approach Europe and Asia first, then USA latter because it costs more. You have to jump through the hoops.

Tai Zen: So you are going to start building a customer base in Europe, Asia and then moved to the US later.

Sasha: Absolutely.

Tai Zen: The next question is from Neil. He asked if you guys are going to do any type of options, covered calls or butterflies, which is basically the options on futures trading on the Waves Platform.

Sasha: Can be done on top sure. You can do if it is a kind of high-frequency trading. However, I don’t believe in frequency trading on blockchains because they have latency. It’s impossible.

Blockchains are for settlement type of operations. For example, you trade at a centralized exchange and you do the settlement on the blockchain at the end of a day. It can work, but HFT (high-frequency trading) can’t work on blockchains.

Tai Zen: Yes, I agree with that. I’m an active trader myself and I don’t see high-frequency trading done on any blockchain technology at this moment.

That’s not to say that it won’t happen in the future, but at this moment I agree with you that if the New York stock exchange, the NASDAQ and the Chicago Mercantile exchange just use the blockchain technology to settle their transactions, it will save billions of dollars for the trading industry every year.

Because right now they have T+3, which means the time of the transaction plus three days to settle the transaction. If they can use the blockchain technology to get rid of that three-day lag, that alone is going to save billions of dollars, even if they don’t use the blockchain as a currency.

Tai Zen: The next question here is from Merison in Brazil. He asks about the KYC to each token. In particular, his question is if there is a backing processor or multiple backing processors. I’m not sure what that means but…

Sasha: Probably, he or she means that if there will be several gateways for the same currency. The answer is yes. There can be several if you can do anything about that. Probably, you could have some custom clients for a given gateway.

For example, if a payment system wants to have their own clients, we can make one for them. Whether it can be 5 gateways for USD and 3 gateways for EUR, it’s possible. It’s a question of user interface mostly. So it’s possible. Sure.

Tai Zen: Joe Howe asks what the primary difference is between Waves and Ethereum. For that question, if you can go back and watch the beginning of this investor Q&A, Sasha has already answered it in details.

Sasha: Just imagine this way. Ethereum is a distributed virtual machine and Waves technically is a distributed database. There is a difference here. They are like static versus dynamic.

Tai Zen: Derek from the Netherlands asks if there will be more than one USD gateway. If so, whether there are at least 2 different USD tokens with the USD market

Sasha: It’s a possibility. It can happen. There’s going to be some interexchange market. It’s going to be something like settlement between banks, so you can transfer your USD tokens from one bank to another bank in a decentralized way.

It can be used not only for cross border admittance but for settlement between banks where you exchange one USD token in one bank for USD token in another bank.

Ripple is doing that too. It’s a possibility to have 20 or 30 USD tokens exchanged. The question is how to make it transparent and easy for users in the interface to have all those tokens, we’re going to be working on that. If we go that far, I think we’re going to solve this problem by probably offering some custom clients to each bank.

Tai Zen: John from East Africa, Kenya asks if the Waves provide an assets exchange for shares distributions like the NXT platform?

Sasha: Absolutely. We are going to focus on assets, shares, crow-funding and all financial things that don’t require millisecond tradings. Even normal companies can do their crowdfunding or IPOs if they have licenses to do it because it’s just a technological platform.

If a normal company can do the IPO, it can do it by using our platform. Probably, Overstock is going to do that. I don’t know the status now, but they were going to do that on some colored coin platform and they were registering with the SEC securities and Exchange Commission.

Therefore, I think it’s possible if you can do it legally, you can do it with us. That’s for sure.

Tai Zen: Right now, the Ethereum is the biggest thing in the market, so every time someone comes out with a new cryptocurrency or a new software project in the cryptocurrency world, they are always comparing it to the Ethereum platform.

Therefore, what is the biggest thing that makes the Waves Platform different from the Ethereum platform or what can you do on Waves that you cannot easily do on the Ethereum blockchain?

Sasha: Integrated trading. You can’t trade on the Ethereum easily. They don’t have it and I don’t know where they will have it. Probably, they can never have it actually because it’s very hard to realize such issues to implement and we have integrated trading right inside the platform. This is the core of our system asset exchange like you had in NXT and Ethereum doesn’t have it. Therefore, it is the main difference here and some scalability problems can be solved more easily I think.

Tai Zen: Chase A Coin ask another question here from New York. He said that if you will promote the use of crypto to solve the problems or take the same approach that Circle took. A circle is from Boston, Massachusetts. At first, they promoted themselves as Bitcoin, but then, later on, they changed it to the blockchain. So now they remove all words of Bitcoin from their website. They only use a term blockchain now.

Sasha: As far as I know, Circle is mainly providing remittance services. They use Bitcoin to provide cross border remittance service. On our side, we promote technology, not Bitcoin. That’s for sure.

However, we think that some cryptocurrencies should be used as money. Bitcoin is obviously one of them, probably the only one. It can be DASH or XMR (Monero). I think most cryptocurrencies should be used as platforms.

We are building not cryptocurrency, but a platform that can work with other cryptocurrencies, money, Bitcoin, money cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and cryptocurrency platform like Ethereum, because we have to work with all the platforms to succeed.

Tai Zen: Basically, are you saying that the Waves Platform will go on top? Is that correct Sasha, Leon? Is that going to go on top of all the other cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency blockchain?

Sasha: No, not on top. They will be integrated. Do you know SuperNET project? There is a multi-gateway approach. When you have a token that corresponds to Bitcoin, another cryptocurrency or USD.

For example, you will be able to deposit Bitcoin on Waves Platform. You send Bitcoin to some multi-signature addresses and you receive the token. It’s like a multi-gateway in SuperNET.

Leon Fu: What Sasha is saying is they’re going to set up a gateway for any kind of coin or digital asset. Let’s say we have DAO tokens. Somebody could set up a DAO gateway and you could send your DAO tokens. Then, you would get another token on the Waves system, then switched that to USD Waves token for example. After that, you go to another gateway to cash out in real USD. Is that correct, Sasha?

Sasha: Absolutely, it can’t be done in any other way. All project that tries to work with other external cryptocurrencies use of this approach. For example, BitShare uses the peg approach. ETX or ETH project, which is trying to create some decentralized marketplace, is using exactly the same approach.

Tai Zen: Basically, you’re saying that all these services like ETX and the others are all based on similar technology as the NXT multi-gateway.

Sasha: Same ideology, not technology.

It can be very different because we just combine some ideas which can be attributed to us and create some mixed approaches.

However, my goal here is to combine the ideas from different communities, to add value to existing technologies, and to make some mixtures that are going to work and become successful business-wise.

Tai Zen: This is a technical question from PS Dev from North Korea. He asks if the plugins that node decide to install are related to the fees that the node are able to collect or node is motivated to install as many plugins as possible to charge the most fees.

Sasha: It might be the case. The more transactions you can really process; the more fees you collect. That’s for sure. We’re going to work on that. It can be like that. Therefore, there’s going to be an incentive to install as many plugins as possible.

Tai Zen: Alex from Spain read that the full nodes will have a kind of competition between them, so the question is which will be that competition and when the white paper will be ready.

Sasha: White paper will be ready in the summer because I have lots of organizational things to do. Speaking of full nodes, they can compete because the fee is going to be flexible.

There’s going to be some kinds of dynamic balance when the fee is determined by some kinds of consensus. I think each node, on average, will be earning approximately the same amount of money if it stays online for the same period of time.

For example, if you stay 24 hours a day, you will be earning the same amount of money, more or less. It’s more or less like in DASH. That’s the same approach here.

They have 3000 full nodes that make money and we’re going to do the same. The most important thing here is you can always install your own full node. The system is open. The network is open. You don’t have to ask anybody.

There is no system permission for installing full nodes. Probably, you will need to have a dedicated server and pay around $200 for it monthly, but you will make more money. If it’s profitable, people will be installing the nodes. So the system is going to be open.

I think this is the most important factor even if it’s not so easy to join the system because you have to have a dedicated server that can download 100 gigabytes of the blockchain.

Tai Zen: Just to wrap things up here because Leon and I have appointments for other stuff. What is the best way if someone wants to contact you or anyone on your team? Is it through Twitter or Email?

Sasha: Slack. We have most of the discussion there and all the software are uploaded to Slack for testing. Just join our Slack. That’s all. This is the best way to contact me because I spend most of my time on Slack.

Tai Zen: By the way, in the time you finished the ICO in nine days, when will you release the Waves tokens. Do you guys have a timeline of when you guys plan on releasing the Waves tokens?

Sasha: Right after the ICO. I think it’s at the beginning of June. We’re going to have some alpha man net with limited functionalities, of course, but you will be able to transfer for the tokens, check your balance, check transfer history, and check the network status. To sum up, in June, we’re going to be in exchanges.

Tai Zen: Okay. You will focus on speed. You are going to make the tokens and distribute the tokens to all the investors

Sasha: I prefer to move fast. We could have limited functionalities but we can test the network. Therefore, I think we’d better move fast, then wait when it’s all ready. Therefore, I think that it will be at exchanges in June and we have the alpha main net in June too.

Tai Zen: You have any other questions before we wrap it up, Leon?

Loen Fu: Nope, I’m good. Thank you.

Tai Zen: So before we let you go, do you want to do the last-minute farewell elevator pitch? The audience may want to know what they should tell their friends, family, and associates if they want to pitch the Waves Platform ICO to them.

Sasha: What I want to say is we’re doing a project that can be called blockchain for the people. We’re trying to approach the mass market here.

We are trying to use the blockchain technology for real-life businesses. We are not going to wait for some technical improvements that can come from some advanced technologists.

We are going to approach the mass market and I’m going to make it work now because I think blockchain technology can affect on many important areas such as crowdfunding, crowd investing community-based projects, open-source development.

Blockchain technology can become a game-changer here, so this is the time to implement it. We’re going to be moving fast and targeting some specific areas like crowdfunding, valid transfer and community-based projects.

We hopefully will become a decentralized Kickstarter in half a year or so. In my opinion, this market is ripe for taking actions and we are doing our best to do it. Stay with us to ride the Waves.

Tai Zen: Well thank you, everyone. Thank you, Sasha. You might want to turn on your video again, so the audience can see you. We had to turn it off because of the bandwidth issue.

I want to thank everyone for joining Sasha, the creator and founder of the Waves Platform, myself Tai Zen and my fellow investor LeonFu.com, the Oracle of cryptocurrency here on this wave platform investor Q&A.

If you guys like what we discussed today, give us a thumbs up on our channels so we’ll continue to make more investor Q&A. If you guys don’t like this, give us a thumbs down.

I invite you to follow Sasha and his development on his twitter. If you guys look in the description box, you will see all the relevant links. I will also put the website links to Sasha’s website, to his twitter account and everything.

I want to say thanks to everyone including Carlos and the core media guys on the YouTube chatbox for answering all the questions so that we can focus on the interview.

Thanks for watching these guys and we’ll see you guys in a future video. Thanks a lot, Sasha

Sasha: Thank you. Bye

Tai Zen: This will conclude this broadcast. Guys.

 

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