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Messages - HonestFIRE

Investing - General (not P2P) / Interview with CBDO of Kriptomat
« on: June 11, 2019, 11:00:00 PM »
Has anybody heard of Kriptomat? They are running their STO currently.

I am glad that Dejan, one of the founders of Kriptomat, has agreed to share his thoughts with HonestFIRE blog readers. He has recently visited Lithuania and was presenting his company to potential investors.

Let’s dig in.

How did you like your stay in Lithuania? 🙂

I live in Slovenia and I somehow felt like home. We both have so much green nature, kind people, passion for basketball and a language no one understands. You have more lakes, while we have mountains.

Your business is really young, you started just over a year ago. Are you happy with the progress so far?

This has been an amazing journey for us. If I was told last year that we will achieve this much, I would not believe it. In a period of just one year, we came from our very first registered user to a business that is almost entirely covering its costs. We’ve done an amazing job and I’m very proud of the results our team has accomplished.

I’m more than happy that we are after our next milestone of 50k registered users. We have a stable and trustworthy platform and all of our KPIs are showing great results.

Is customer support your main strength compared to the competitors (Coinbase or Kraken)?

Kriptomat was designed to bring digital currencies into every household and to enable anyone to buy, sell and use crypto. Kraken is our respected and reliable partner and is one of the leading trading platforms. They are there for people that know how to trade, not for retail-oriented people. If you go and try to buy bitcoin on Kraken or Kriptomat you will see the difference.

Coinbase is the market leader and we love what they are doing and how. We have learned a lot from them. We have things where we think we are different and, as or users say, also better. I believe the basic difference is the local approach we are focused on, while they focus on established markets.

This entire market is still to become an industry and there is enough space for all of us.

How do you expect crypto market fluctuations to affect the growth of Kriptomat? How do you expect next bear market to affect the exchange’s growth and sales?

Our business model is based on buy/sell transactions. Market up or down we still make business. When I see the biggest telecommunication company AT&T announcing they will start accepting cryptocurrencies as a payment method I expect crypto assets will have a much bigger impact in the future and we will not be talking about bear and bull.

But still, 2018 may have been a bear market for cryptocurrencies, but it was a great year for development as the cryptocurrency industry underwent rapid changes in regulation and stabilization. It was also a year of advertising bans and the year that cryptocurrencies made their foray into mainstream financial markets — exciting yet turbulent times for the industry.

During the year we established the company, acquired licenses, developed a reliable and secure service, and worked on setting up the perfect environment for future growth. It made us productive and look for alternative solutions for the challenges we were facing.

I expect user acquisition and business results to continue with their growth. Once our offering is successful, I’m happy to know that our investors will benefit.

Would your mom or dad be able to buy bitcoin on your platform without your help? 🙂

15 years ago I was describing them what is the internet and how it works. They both said that it is too complicated and that they do not need that in their house. Today they both have smartphones with instant messaging apps, they use social media, they make video calls, they have wi-fi in their house, they watch smart-TV connected to the internet. All innovations face resistance to adoption and the same holds true for cryptocurrencies.

Our oldest user is over 80 years old and the average age of our users is above 40. They feel comfortable and safe using Kriptomat. My parents live in Slovenia and they would be able to open an account and buy bitcoin. There is no regulated all-in-one solution where they could buy it in the Slovenian language. So I believe the answer is yes, as soon as they become aware of its existence.

Part of your marketing, for example, your staff is described as wizards, seem to be aimed at gamers. Are they significant part of your users? Who is your main customer?

Looking at what our team has accomplished in the last 18 months I can easily say they are people with magical powers. We are pivoting in several different verticals and thanks to our strong partnership with the Enjin team, gaming is one of them.

At the moment the main part of our users is crypto newbies, followed by gamers and miners.

Paysera STO has been canceled due to slow funding. Do you see that risk with Kriptomat? Do you have a plan B if initial goal is not reached until June 22? Have you changed anything in the way you run your STO after failure of Paysera?

I’m really sorry Paysera management decided to revoke the issuance of the securities. I wouldn’t say slow funding was the reason, but rather a combination of several reasons. It’s hard for me to comment on that.

Doing an STO is really hard and it requires a lot of resources. You can expect only more mature teams and companies taking this path. I personally love what digital securities are bringing to the finance world. Especially the fact that the world which used to be there only for established investors is now becoming available to everybody. I expect this to have a big impact on how people invest their funds and it will surely be a serious game changer. However, at the moment, there is almost no success story in the EU. This is a brand new thing, an innovation, and a lot more can still be done to educate people and will be done.

I see that people from the Crypto sphere find STOs boring, institutional investors think it is too early and waiting for the regulated secondary markets, while retail investors are somehow afraid and waiting what will happen.

We believe this is the right path for us and we are doing our best to make it happen. We will do everything we can to become “the ones that made it”. That is why we will be publishing some changes in our Offering document this week. Main changes are:

We are prolonging the time of the offering to be able to meet with investors, educate them, answer questions and build credibility on tokenized securities. The new end date will be September 27th, 2019. This means the offering ends once we reach the investment goal or the last day of the offering.
We are publishing audited financial projections and an investment simulator based on those numbers. This way we give our investors a chance to see the potential of their investment and make an educated decision. STOs are a heavily regulated thing, which is why we had to have all the business analytics audited before we were allowed to publish them live.
You distribute dividends to the investors from revenue starting January 2019. The investors take the investment risk as early as May 2018 and there is a gap of half a year. Why has it been chosen to do it this way? Do you think it is fair?

Yes, of course I know that is fair. Transparency and simplicity are two of the core values of our company. We wanted a payouts schedule to be logical, transparent, is good and makes sense for business and covers the “what-if” scenarios. The last two mentioned were the ones we based our decision on.

After the offering is over and we decide to issue the financial instrument it will take some time for us to actually start using the funds we collected. As it looks now, we will actually start using the funds in late October.

We are an experienced team and the “what-if” is something we always take into account. We knew there was a chance that we would need to prolong the offering period because it might take time to start using the funds, regulations might change, we might have other challenges during the offering, etc.

As it looks right now, we were right.

Kriptomat is not the first business you develop. I have personally used Platformax sales system and it was working smoothly. Is running a crypto exchange different to other business?

We have been together for over a decade and we are a great team that combines innovation, experience, freshness, expertise and great management skills.

Setting up a business like Kriptomat is a unique challenge. There are almost no standards to follow and the ecosystem is still being built. There are some operations that require truly special care and as we are handling our users’ value you need to set up operations with a huge responsibility. It is different like everything we did so far, but we love the challenges as we are seeing the results.

What is your short-term and long-term goal with Kriptomat?

Short term is to reach 0,5 million users, long term is to have 5% of the retail-oriented crypto exchange market.

One sentence answer please: why would a retail investor be interested in your project?

I believe it’s one of a lifetime opportunity and the right timing to invest in an innovative start-up with an experienced team, working service with a proven business model with one of a kind dividends structure.

Full review can be found on HonestFIRE blog.
General Discussion / Any recommendations for RE crowdfunding?
« on: June 03, 2019, 11:00:00 PM »

I've started using Reinvest24. You can find a review and interview with CEO here.
General Discussion / Interview with Reinvest24 CEO
« on: June 03, 2019, 11:00:00 PM »

anybody investing on Reinvest24? I've just started to test the platform.

I’m glad Tanel Orro agreed to share his thoughts about the platform with me and my blog readers.

How long does it usually take to fund a project? Do the investors start earning once it’s fully funded?

It depends, mostly regarding to the funding target and the potential returns. The fastest we have fully funded a project was 6 days, but in most case 1-2 months. So far all our development projects offer interest from the day one. It is a lot harder to achieve this with our rental projects (since the returns are coming from the rental yield), but we have achieved this with Vinkli 10, which is currently 68% funded – the rental income for our investors will start from 01.06 (first payout in July).

Landplot project states that earnings start June 2019, does it mean the investors get part of the profits even if it is not fully funded? What happens if the project is not funded by July and an investor invests then? Does the investor gets income from June too without taking the risk?

Yes you are correct, but we are more then sure that this property will get fully funded within June.

Reinvest24 is not regulated. How do you ensure the transparency for the investors of the platform and SPVs?

Like other crowdfunding platforms in Estonia, we don’t have or need to be regulated. There are no obligations for audits, but it is our free will to have regular audits conducted by licensed auditors. Transparency is very important to us and we are constantly seeking ways to improve it. All our properties are operated through separate SPV ́s, these Estonian company’s have annual reports publicly available, which we will also upload to the property documents. The regulations will most likely come in the near future and we are already preparing for that.

I would rather not want to speculate about the upcoming regulations. But I am more than sure that it will bring investment caps per projects for the investors. For platforms it will bring a lot more reporting and most likely obligation for audits. All together we hope that it will bring more transparency and confidence for the investors.

Review and full interview can be found here.
General P2P Lending Discussion / ViaInvest P2P Lending Platform
« on: June 03, 2019, 11:00:00 PM »

are they better than mintos?
Introductions / HonestFIRE
« on: May 31, 2019, 11:00:00 PM »
Hey guys,

I'm 25 years old sales man who is trying to reach FIRE by the age of 35. I blog about my experience in Lithuanian and most of my investments are in P2P. Last week I've had a chance to have an interview CEO of Reinvest24 and would like to share that with you.

Anybody else have most of their investment portfolio in P2P? Any investors in Reinvest24 or FinBee?