Today we are talking with Mr. Danilevski, the founder of the KickICO fundraising platform, which has been under development since 2015. The KickICO ecosystem brings together 12 different services, each of which can function both autonomously and in conjunction with others. Together, they make up a universal solution for defi-transformation, including a decentralized B2B exchange of digital assets, a fundraising platform, a payment processing service and everything else that may be needed by users of cryptocurrencies or businesses while creating a cryptocurrency project.
Anti agreed to answer our questions about the projects the company is working on at the moment, about his vision of todays crypto market, and Kick`s plans for the future as well.
Neironix: Hi Anti, can you tell us please how did you manage to get into the crypto industry? When did you first become interested in this topic?
Anti: My "digital" experience began in 1985-1986. As a preschooler, I used to leave home for shopping malls where Atari computers stood, and hang out there for hours, waiting for them to let me play. There were the times of the USSR then, our family had no money at the moment. It was then when I decided I would make games, and after 8-9 years, it really became true. At the age of 14, I got a job as an intern at GemSoft Corp, a computer game development company in St. Petersburg. We made those various small games, including for Microsoft.
In 2000, there was “Fight Club” — the first browser game with built-in micropayments. In 2003, when it became popular, many have learned about micropayments. I tried to implement these ones even earlier, in 2001, when I worked as a game designer. However, the company I`ve been working with then wasn`t interested when I was talking about it would be great to sell virtual goods within the game for real money. A month later, I was fired, mostly because of this “idiotic idea” of mine.
I went to Carnage — at that time the second largest browser game in Russia, where Iёму been working as a game designer, and have learned to work on monetization. As a result, the company's income increased from $20k to $700k. I can not take credit for this, there were cool guys in the team, but I think that my contribution was more than significant.
In 2006, with a few enthusiasts who believed in my idea, we created a demo of the game Planewars with our own money. We used to work on it in our spare time, without any investment from the outside. It was made on a brand new, and then unknown, engine Unity3D. When Carnage refused my game, as they said because "3D is something no one needs in the browser", I left the company, and a week later, raised money from a private investor for this development.
We made the MVP, and it was bought by Social Quantum for $ 320,000. Unfortunately, I did not get anything from this transaction – I did not know how to execute documents properly. All the money was taken by the investor that made an agreement with the owners of Social Quantum behind my back. It was a good experience, after which I became very sensitive to contracts and documents.
I started developing Divine Space, and that's when I started working closely with Kickstarter and crowdfunding. We tried to raise money for the creation of the game, but we did not succeed – mobile midcore games became popular only 2 years later, and it was midcore we did at that time, a couple of years ahead of the rest again. We wanted to buy Game Insight, but my partners refused this deal, and I went to do Royal Flush Poker for Russian social networks.
The project was prepared and launched, steadily brought little money, but after Divine Space I became interested in crowdfunding. In my spare time, I started doing KickICO, which was called BackItForward then. Starting in 2015, I worked on it with a future co-founder, also on pure enthusiasm. I raised money from the second future co-founder for the development of the site, and then, at the end of 2015, I flew to China, where I soaked in the cryptocurrency spirit – everything was already seething there. After that, I have convinced my partners that it was necessary to launch cryptocurrency crowdfunding. So in 2016 KickICO occured, and by 2017 it was made and launched, and then you know.
Neironix: As far as we know, you are currently working on creating your own KickEx exchange. What prompted you to do this, for normally, you have established yourself as a fundraising platform? Why did you decide to create an exchange from scratch, not using, for example, a ready-made solution?
Anti: After the success of the fundraising platform (projects with our participation attracted more than 800,000 ETH in two years), it was decided to create an ecosystem that would solve the maximum number of crypto projects and their users tasks.
In addition to the fundraising platform and the exchange, the ecosystem includes such services as a payment provider (KickPay), an automated advertising network (KickCPA), a multi-currency crypto wallet (KickWallet), a referral network (KickRef), a mobile application (KickMobile) and others.
In early 2018, I came up with the idea of an IEO and clearly saw that these ones have the potential to replace the ICOs. We decided to buy a ready-made solution for the exchange. After analyzing something about 30 variants, both Russian and foreign, we realized that none of them was suitable for us: their architecture was too weak, and the level of security was quite low. Therefore, we began to develop our exchange from scratch. This has resulted in unprecedented levels of performance, security, and scalability. To be honest, I do not know of any project of such quality on the market. Even those that are now in the top-10 are like student crafts, unable to further development in comparison with us.
The exchange is not only the most important component of the ecosystem, which allows users to change cryptocurrencies to other cryptocurrencies and Fiat, but also a necessary service for projects that have raised funds on the KickICO platform.
When investing in ICO, token buyers expect that they will get into the listings of well-known and reliable crypto exchanges in order to be able to sell tokens in the future. But the process of listing on large ones is quite complex and expensive. There is no guarantee that a token will be listed on an exchange.
And, of course, the subsequent fall in prices after the ICO is also the most important reason why we need our own exchange. I came up with a system by which these problems simply will not occur.
Therefore, tokens of all projects that have successfully conducted a campaign on KickICO are automatically listed on the KickEX exchange, while the listing conditions are transparent and clear.
I would also like to note that the exchange is a kind of funnel to attract new types of users (such as traders, investors and miners) to the fundraising platform and all our other services, and back. All of them are united by the KickID service – it is a single authorization service, a B2B solution that we will not only use by ourselves, but also offer it to third-party businesses that will become part of our ecosystem. Therefore, we will have a natural and constant scaling of the user base. Each new integration, each new partner is a synergy that benefits both us and the partners who get access to our users.
Neironix: How will KickEX differ from its competitors? How do you plan to bring the exchange to the top?
Anti: One of the main problems of most crypto exchanges is a small set of order types: as a rule, it is a market order, a limit order and a regular stop. Therefore, traders have to use various third-party services and software to implement their strategies. Our smart orders, such as sliding or double stops, unsecured orders, chain orders and others, will not only provide the opportunity to automate trading and get the maximum profit, but also allow beginners to trade professionally without the use of bots. This will equalize their chances in competition with professional traders.
Also, we pay great attention to training, so for beginners, we have already created a sliding stop constructor, which will not only facilitate the installation of an order for beginners, but also quickly teach them how to do it by themselves.
The next problem is usability and design. Even before the public launch of the exchange, we began to make a new version of the design, already taking into account the experience of alpha testing and feedback from traders who participated in it. Therefore, some time after the launch, the exchange will have a new progressive design, which is created by one of the best design studios in Russia for us. But even the initial design of the exchange will be significantly improved in close cooperation with professional traders from our community. We make an exchange for traders and together with traders.
Starting liquidity is the main pain of any newborn exchange. In order to attract the maximum possible number of users at the start, we have already launched a referral program. For the first two days of work more than 20,000 people registered, after 10 days gone they were already 50K – and all this without any marketing and PR-campaign at all. Therefore, we are confident that the referral program before the launch of the exchange will provide us with a large user base. Our minimum target is 300,000 people to launch the exchange, and the maximum one is 500,000, although we will be aiming for more. Since all the referrals in the system receive their share of the exchange`s profits, which will be created by those whom they attract, they are now very much motivated to attract real traders. After all, real traders will bring them permanent passive income. I expect a sufficiently high conversion rate, sufficient for us to enter the top-10 exchanges right at the start.
And this is just one of the tools that we have already launched now. So, we have our own loyal audience – almost 20K token holders. Well, there are tricks up my sleeve, which I won't tell, you will see everything soon. We do what no one did before, we`re not afraid of experiments and bold decisions, all this is not available to our competitors, who can only copy, but do not create anything brand new.
In addition, the initial liquidity of the exchange will be supported by several market makers, with whom we are currently finalizing agreements. Later we will actively develop social trading on the stock exchange. We`ll lauch KickEX TradeNET, a professional social network for traders. We believe that social trading is the next big thing, and we want to give our traders a recognized advantage in it. KickEX TradeNET will provide the infrastructure for communication, training and cooperation of traders of any level. For example, to exchange trading strategies and signals.
From the very beginning of work on the exchange, a lot of attention is paid to security, as security and decentralization of user funds are key priorities for us. We use CISCO's next-generation hardware firewalls at a cost of $ 30,000 each, a stack of DELL server hardware, geographically distributed data centers, and cloud hosting based on private networks with the latest generation of encryption. As well as the most advanced and modern algorithms for data access, mechanisms to detect and prevent intrusions, and self-level provider services for mitigation of DDoS attacks, auto start mode of protection from attack in case a suspicious activity is detected, Trusted Platform Module system that protects the servers from physical access, and so on. In general, all these clever and complex words mean one thing – we guarantee a clear and smooth operating of all services and the security of users' funds.
Neironix: in 2017, Polymath was created to transfer traditional assets to STO, which raised $200 million on an ICO. To date, the capitalization of this project is $11 million. From which we can conclude that STO is not popular now. What do you think will increase interest in STO and when will it happen?
Anti: The growth of STO popularity is only a matter of time, as STO gives investors advantages and legal guarantees similar to the purchase of classical securities, and for the startups it is a great opportunity to reduce legal risks.
Different countries are gradually introducing regulation in this area. For example, in Russia, the relevant law will come into force on January 1, 2020. Therefore, our fundraising platform and the exchange will actively support STO — we are just registering the company-operator of the fundraising platform in Europe, and are ready to obtain the appropriate license in Russia.
In addition, there is an important factor that few people understand: the magic power of STO is that they do not relate to cryptocurrencies in any way. Even if suddenly bitcoin, ether and all other cryptocurrencies turn to zero, STO tokens will still be digital securities, the value of which depends solely on the successes or failures of the company that issued them. These are the same shares, but in a more convenient and accessible form for everyone. Now there are difficulties with outdated requirements for depositories, but in the coming years they will also become “more digital”, and blockchain is the best way to do this.
Neironix: As one of the leaders in the crowdfunding market, what do you think about IEO? In the spring, there was an increase in the popularity of this type of investment, but now it seems to be gradually fading. How promising do you think this format of fundraising is?
Anti: We believe that virtually all IEOs are fraudulent campaigns that were launched in collusion with the exchanges. Yes, we came up with thisу ones in 2018 and published itan information about it in our Kick Ecosystem White paper. But our competitors did not understand how to use this mechanics correctly, and did not want to implement it honestly and transparently. They took our idea and implemented it with a complete lack of understanding of how it was supposed to work properly, and with an even greater lack of understanding of what a huge and deep hole they dug for themselves. Therefore, in the near future we expect a large number of investigations, as well as lawsuits against all those who conducted IEO: both projects and exchanges.
Which, by the way, will also contribute to the growth of interest in STO and open the way for full-fledged, regulated and well-designed STO campaigns, where investors will be protected legally.
Neironix: According to you, KickEX commissions will be the most profitable for traders. Can you tell us a little more about it?
Anti The basic commission rate is 0.075% for the maker and 0.1% for the taker, which is already lower than on the leading exchanges. At the same time, thanks to our loyalty program, the commission can be reduced to almost zero. Users will receive discounts for trading volumes, for holding KickTokens and for paying commission with these ones. Here, in general, there is no know-how yet – the simple mathematics of competition.
Neironix: It is known that the new exchange will work with the most popular cryptocurrencies. What about projects that want to be presented on KickEX? Are you planning to monetize the listing? Under what conditions will the cooperation be carried out?
Anti: On most exchanges, this procedure is opaque and often insanely expensive. You are trying to list, you are called some crazy money, and the more successful your ICO was the higher was the listing price. We ourselves learned a lot about this when we placed our KickToken on almost all known crypto exchanges. Therefore, that fact that the listing procedure on KickEX will be clear, and the financial conditions will be public and equal for everyone – is an important detail. In addition, after experiencing the pain of a startup that all exchanges want to milk, I came up with a special mechanics that will make their listing available to everyone.
Neironix: Do you intend to add pairs to fiat? How soon will this happen?
Anti: Yes, there are such plans, but we want to do it flawlessly in terms of international legislation, so it will take some time. But already at the start, users will have the opportunity to buy cryptocurrency using bank cards.
Neironix: This raises a question about the legality of KickEX. In which countries will this platform be available?
Anti: KickEX Exchange is registered in Estonia and has two licenses: for cryptocurrency exchange as well as for cryptocurrency wallet and cryptocurrency storage. This is enough for a start, and in a while we will upgrade to more “respectable” licenses, including the US ones.
Our first license entitles the company to provide services related to the exchange of cryptocurrencies, tokens and other crypto assets and virtual values for Fiat funds to its customers and partners both directly at the company's representative office and remotely around the world.
The second license provides an opportunity to offer clients services related to the storage of cryptocurrency and other virtual values on specialized cryptocurrency wallets on a commercial basis.
These licenses allow you to work with users from most countries of the world. For other countries, such as the United States, we will also build a scheme of work.
Neironix: Recently, many exchanges have introduced a ban on anonymous coins, for example, on Monero, Dash and Zcash. How do you feel about it? What policy regarding such a cryptocurrency will KickEX adhere to?
Anti: I generally have a very negative attitude to anonymity, because of which so many people suffered during the ICO hype. And yes, we do not plan to work with such cryptocurrencies. Any integration of coins on the exchange requires resources and time, so the priority is those coins that will not create any problems for us or users in the future.
Neironix: Tell us more about the trading tools that will be available to KickEX users. Is there a possibility of margin trading on the exchange?
Anti: We will start with spot trading, and then we will consistently add other types, including, of course, margin trading. Landing is also a very interesting story, we look in that direction.
Neironix: What about the privacy of the information provided? Will third-party developers be allowed to use the data posted on KickEX to create their own trading systems, bots, signals?
Note: We will provide users with various statistical and analytical data. Some of them will be open to everyone in an impersonal form, the other part will be available only to owners of paid Pro-accounts. Of course, no personal data will be transferred to anyone – we are talking about statistics and analytics.
Neironix: What ways of earning, in addition to trading, are provided for traders?
Anti: First, all traders receive cashback for trading commission in KEX tokens at a ratio of 1 KEX for each trader paid the equivalent of 1 USDT. For example, if the user paid a commission for his trades of 0.1 ETH at the current rate of 1 ETH = 200 USDT, that is, his commission was 20 USDT, he will be charged 20 KEX. This is a new token, it will be used in the future when we show what B2B decentralization is. It will be very popular and liquid then. And it will be needed in another case, which I can not yet tell, but it is a very bold and unusual experimental plan, and also this has never been done before by anyone. I will only say that I will introduce an unusual concept – semi-stable token, and KEX will be exactly that, and everyone will want it.
Secondly, we have one of the best (according to our research – the best!) referral programs in the market, which I talked about. Our referrals can build a real multi-level network – this mechanics I borrowed in network marketing, where it works great.
We give up to 50% of the profits of the exchange to those who brought active traders. Our network is ten levels down and each level gives a percentage of the Commission that the trader pays. For example, I brought Vasya, Vasya brought Petya, and so on. From the commission that Vasya will pay to the exchange, I will get 15%, from what will pay Petya I`ll get 10%, and Vasya`s income will be 15%, and so up to ten levels down. Therefore, in our referral system, not only traders can earn, but also those who know how to attract people – MLM developers, bloggers, journalists or just ordinary, but active and contact people who know how to involve. Those who try hard can earn tens of thousands of dollars a month.
Neironix: Do you plan to decentralize the exchange in the future?
Anti: Although decentralized exchanges are safer for users, but they are slow and not designed for a large number of traders. We believe this direction of development is unpromising, but we will have an innovative exchange product that will use the principle of decentralization in a different way. This is also our know-how, and when we implement it, we will not be overtaken anytime.
Neironix: Tell us a bit about other crypto services that are currently in development. What is the reason for the increased interest in creating various crypto projects?
Anti: The link of the ecosystem is KickID – a service of end-to-end authorization and authentication in all components of the Kick Ecosystem, providing user registration and verification (KYC). This service is not only used in the ecosystem, it is also needed by various types of businesses that want to access a single database of users already registered in the ecosystem, or who need a simple and easy solution to register their users and verify them.
For example, online stores that sell goods for cryptocurrency, or online games. By integrating KickID, developers will automatically have access to all the services of the ecosystem – for example, with their KickRef they will be able to run the referral program. Plus, all users having been registered earlier, get the opportunity to use the products of the platforms that have integrated the KickID service, as well as to buy goods without re-registration and re-passing KYC. This is very valuable for payment and any other services where verification is needed.
Also, in addition to the exchange, we are now actively working on updating the KickICO platform, its launch is planned some time after the exchange.
The main feature of the updated platform is the initial placement of coins on the basis of an auction – AIO is the term we use for our innovative concept of placing tokens at a fair price (ICO or STO), in which the price of the offered tokens is not set by companies conducting ICO / STO. Instead, a bid-based auction takes place. This concept is aimed at combating inflated prices for tokens, from which the entire market suffers, and allows to achieve a balance between supply and demand. AIO is the biggest innovation that KickICO is introducing into the fundraising process. A similar principle was used during the EOS campaign, but we implemented it more honestly and transparently.
The advantage of this model is that it will allow you to regain confidence in the procedure of fundraising with tokens. Due to the fact that the token pricing process will become more transparent, participants will get more confidence that their tokens will not collapse in price after the completion of the ICO. Yes, I specifically do not tell the mechanic, because I know perfectly well who reads me and what will happen if I chew everything and lay out, although no one but me can correctly implement my vision. The purpose of all this is to make participation in projects more attractive, to minimize the risks of price drop during the initial listing of the token on the exchange and to make tokensales attractive to potential buyers again. The projects, in turn, will receive the necessary funding instead of dying at the very start.
Also on the platform will be such innovations as rating system and review system, marketplace services, chat, integrated advertising, reputation system and scoring.
Neironix: You want to build an extensive ecosystem. Is Binance your main competitor? It is known that this exchange plans to open a messenger and a platform for developers. And in general, the Binance team closely monitors all areas of the crypto market. How do you feel about it?
Anti: Binance is certainly one of the market leaders and our competitor, but unlike us, they do not develop an ecosystem around a fundraising platform, they do not have an auction model for ICO (and will not, since it will be impossible to manipulate, which means that it does not suit them), there is no social trading. In addition, the services of our ecosystem will only be B2C only at the start, and we initially build the architecture of the entire ecosystem for the subsequent development of each service in B2B. I do not want to reveal secrets, but in 2020-2021 we will launch an exchange service, which now simply has no analogues in the world, and neither Binance nor any other current exchange will be able to oppose us.
I still like to ask if I'm afraid of Binance. No, I'm not afraid – they can't come up with anything of their own, and in order to steal ours, they'll either have to redesign the entire architecture from scratch, or offer me a few hundred million dollars. I don't think any of these options are realistic, and even if they wanted to buy us, I don't think I would agree.
Neironix: Can you share your personal vision of the current state of the crypto market? What events of the past year do you consider the most significant, which of them will have an impact in the future?
Anti: The condition is exactly as I predicted a year ago. It is a very interesting time at the moment: most of the scams that raised money by the ICO mechanism in 2017 have already disappeared and died out, especially persistent ones creating the illusion of work. At the same time, real projects that have raised money and that have already been kinda buried will soon start producing their products. For example, Civic, us, Aragon (although they have problems due to the ether hard fork), and others. The wave, as they say, will wash away from the shore, and it will become clear who swam without clothes, and who – in scuba gear. We even were in nuclear submarine all this time, and already quite soon we`ll pop up on the surface.
Binance has made a very unpleasant dirty trick for the whole industry with the IEOs. Their dishonest, manipulative and, in my opinion, frankly fraudulent way of implementing my idea has dealt another blow to the industry as a whole, and the consequences of all this are yet to be seen — it will happen soon. And this time the exchanges themselves will suffer. Not only they sawed off just the branch on which they were sitting on – they sawed off the whole tree. In addition, they also dug a pit with spikes under that tree.It will be fun and painful. And we'll just come up when the heads will roll, to the cleared glade. So thanks to the Chinese for this unwitting gift.
Neironix: What recommendations would you give now to a person who is just starting to think about investing in cryptocurrencies? Where to start, where to get adequate information, what criteria to follow?
Anti: Read, learn, understand what blockchain and cryptocurrency is, how it works. Practice on minimum amounts, buy a cold wallet and learn not to store cryptocurrency on your phone or computer, in any case do not store passwords and keys. The most important thing is to learn how to keep the cryptocurrency safe and inaccessible, but at the same time to have a way to restore access if something happens to a cold wallet or machine.
If we are talking about crowdinvesting – ICO/STO – then just study the projects before buying their tokens. Study the team, what they did before, whether they are real people, whether they can do the project or not. Think about whether their product really needs a token, or is it just for beauty to raise money? All this is quite important, and if people have thought about it, and have studied it, then the scam and disappointments would be tens or even hundreds of times less.
Neironix: How do you see the Kick platform in 10 years?
Anti: It will be a global world story that will unite not just different people, but whole countries into one ecosystem. I have very ambitious plans, but I understand if you want to fly on a helicopter, you must first make a scooter. So we go very consistently, focused and purposeful, step by step closer to our goal. Now we are actively improving and developing Our KickID + KickRef startup services, which even in beta show amazing results purely on organic traffic. When it becomes a B2B SaaS story, and third-party businesses will begin to integrate both KickID and KickRef, our audience will grow exponentially. This is our strategy: we make all our tools for ourselves in the first step, and then develop them for B2B in the second, and they all work in synergy with each other, and with our partners who will use them. I believe that the key to success in our case is necessarily a mutually beneficial partnership and cooperation, and not competition, as it is happening now in the crypto market. And mutually beneficial not only in relation to businesses, but also necessarily in relation to users. And that's how we will take over the world, and even faster than in 10 years. I think five years wii be enough.
Neironix: And finally, when do you think the attitude towards cryptocurrency will change? What needs to happen for people to stop thinking of it as a pyramid and start using it in everyday life?
Anti: Cryptocurrency can hardly replace fiat money in everyday life due to volatility and the fact that although they are much easier to use than conventional fiat money, it is difficult to start doing it, because it needs to rebuild your brain a little. They do not work like fiat money, and this is the difficulty for beginners. On the other hand, the tools are getting better, simpler and more casual, which makes entering the cryptocurrency sphere easier from year to year. Cryptocurrencies have great advantages, for example, in cross-border transfers and in providing financial services to the unbanked public. Obviously, cryptocurrencies and fiat will exist in parallel, and our team will do everything to increase confidence in cryptocurrencies and simplify their use.
Neironix: Thank you for an interesting conversation. We wish you success in the implementation of your planned projects!