Robert Viglione, co-founder of Horizen (formerly ZenCash), came to Kiev with a speech about the business of building a massively scalable blockchain ecosystem.
Also Robert is President of the Zen Blockchain Foundation where he is helping to create a freer, fairer, and nicer world by bringing fintech to the disenfranchised, and pioneer decentralized blockchain-based systems of governance.
– Robert, welcome to Kiev. Do you have the same speech for every conference that you visit?
– No, but I typically speak about three topics: technologies, economics and business talks. And between this categories I am switched up a little bit.
– How do you choose conference which you want to visit?
– I came here, because I know Pavel (Pavel Kravchenko, founder at Distributed Lab, organizer of Blockchain UA conference), he invited me here and of course I couldn’t say no. I love conferences so far and I like Ukraine. We have a big team in Ukraine, researchers and lots of partners from different businesses.
– How many conferences and events you approximately visit during the month?
– Nearly one every two months. Before Kiev I have visited conference in South Korea.I try not to do many, because when I am traveling I am not working. And it is important to keep balance between managing the team, because they are doing a lot of work. But when you travel it’s becomes disconnected.
– How could you describe your management style?
– I am a former military officer so I like to operate the business like in a military. It sounds weird, but we operate as a special forces where we have teams that we trust and we give them an authority to operate independently. We have a core team, so everyone can come back for support and we do bride organizational staff but we are very decentralized as a team.
– Are you usually looking for advices when you need to take a decision?
– Yeah, we have a leadership team basically we do brainstorming all the time. So we have a leadership team, we have advisers. Basically every division has a director and all the directors are on the leadership team
– How can you describe your project in a few words?
– We use blockchain technology to really give individuals all theirs entire digital footprint. Everything that you are doing online, our goal is to make it yours and to help you monetize it. We want every single person in the world have universal basic income, which comes from technology. Just imagine that you will have a chance to monetize your social media activity?
– Oh, yes, that’s a goal. Every time you go to social media –Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, whatever – you are creating data. And you should make money on that. Our long term vision is to make peoples life easier with our blockchain technology. And I think that give people money – is one of the best way to do it.
– How long it could take to implement this project in real life?
– As i said, it’s a very long term vision. So right now we have certain ways for people to earn money. They can run our software and we pay them to do it. We are creating a voting system so everyone will democratize business and everyone who have some Zen can vote and make money by voting. By participating and helping us decide how to use our resources, you can make money that way. We creating other services like VPN services, that will run our network. What we are really trying to do is to creating like a Google Play Store – Zen Store, where you can run on your phone to applications and make money by running them.
– Do you know who your competitor in this sphere and are they big?
– They are huge. And there are a lot of them. Actually its hard to define them exactly. Bitcoin is competitors, Etherium, EOS and lots of others… But we are not doing exactly what they are doing. Our strategy is not to face them, but to build around them in our unique way. We are not really competitors, because we are still exchanging technologies between each other, but we are differ user basis.
– In what kind of partnership are you interested in right now?
– We are interested in partnerships that now bring the technology to the real world. There are businesses today that bring their entire business onto a blockchain and we are interested in them.
– What do you like in this industry more and what you don’t like?
– The most I like the idealistic people that come to the industry. Mostly people that come here has 2 types – one is people that want to change the world and other -that want to make a lot of money. What I don’t like – regulation uncertainty. Because we want to follow the rules and do other stuff, but then later we find out that we must to stop doing it.
– What events in industry are you waiting the most for today?
– I want to see regulatory clarity that will not help to the scamers. But I don’t want to see regulation that kills innovation. It happens regularly that they don’t understand your industry and they can kill innovation.
– What country in the world today is the most close to solve this?
– Switzerland is the best. We’re considering to go there. In the US every state is a little different from each other, and there are some states with a very good with regulation like Wyoming. Today we have an offices in New York, Los Angeles, we’re setting up an office in Milan, Italy, we have people in United Kingdom, Germany… We try to build the global business not as being just an American company. And we will do it.
– How crypto effect your lifestyle, how it is changed your habits or usual timetable of the day?
– I don’t have vacations for years. It’s challenging -my work is my life basically. My wife is here also today, she came on this trip. That is our type of vacation today.
– Wow) So we wish you a pleasure stay in Kiev.
– Thanks. It was nice to chat with you.