Ishan Pandey: Hi Grigory, welcome to our series “Behind the Startup.” Please tell us about yourself and the story behind Hashbon?
Grigory Bibaev: My name is Grigory. I am the CEO & Co-Founder of Hashbon. I graduated from an experimental group at MIPT (short for Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology), where, in addition to physics, we had a specialization in Economics at the Gaidar Institute of Transition Economics. Meanwhile, my passion was stock market forecasting, and I heavily focused on IT school studies. It became life-changing, because it was the perfect background to work in fintech.
Hashbon in Hebrew means an invoice for payment that is brought to you in a restaurant (a restaurant check). Initially, we started with a product for payment processing but later decided to also join the DeFi revolution by creating the Hashbon FiRe digital ecosystem (FiRe is for “FInance REinvented”).
It was not so easy for us to attract financing from classical funds, where we unsuccessfully sent more than 6,000 emails to venture funds. Therefore, in early 2021 we decided to issue the HASH token. In November 2021, we held an ICO during which we received support and investments of $922,000 from 338 participants. The goal of the ICO was to support the recently launched Hashbon Rocket cross-chain DEX that allows you to exchange any ERC-20 for any BEP-20 token and vice versa. Recently we have launched native staking of HASH with up to 171.46% APY on our platform to deliver more profit to those who hold our token.
Ishan Pandey: Since cryptocurrency transactions are designed to be anonymous, highly regarded charities are often hesitant in accepting substantial donations from unknown sources. What measures can the industry adopt to create a robust mechanism to track and verify the source of all incoming funds?
Grigory Bibaev: We pay special attention to this. All crypto transactions that pass through the protocol are tracked through the service Coinfirm, which allows you to identify the original source of cryptocurrencies. Thanks to this, we prevent attempts to launder money coming from dark web addresses, as well as scam projects.
What other measures can be taken? It is important that all VASPs play by the same rules, namely, conduct KYC of their clients, cooperate with each other, and also limit crypto transactions from crypto mixers. To achieve this, it is necessary that all states adopt uniform rules and regulations.
Ishan Pandey: Could you share with us your thoughts on the present condition of crypto security? What needs to be done to dispel the widespread belief that investing in or holding digital assets is a security risk?
Grigory Bibaev: From my point of view, cryptocurrency technology provides a higher level of security compared to widespread credit cards, for instance. Have you ever wondered why sometimes credit card payments are limited to the amount of 1-10 thousand dollars? Have you ever come across a bank blocking your card or rejecting an allegedly suspicious payment? And SMS codes? All these are attempts to secure a very outdated payment architecture. There are no such problems with cryptocurrencies in principle, which makes them a more convenient and secure payment method.
Ishan Pandey: The cryptocurrency ecosystem is evolving toward a cleaner, more environmentally friendly future. How will this impact the intense debate surrounding Bitcoin and its carbon footprint?
Grigory Bibaev: The carbon footprint is basically a problem of the modern energy industry, and it concerns any business that consumes electricity, not just bitcoin mining. From my point of view, the key market participants should unite to support the bitcoin hard fork on the transition to a less energy-consuming and more reliable mechanism of consensus – Proof Of Stake.
Meanwhile, crypto opens many doors to environmental and animal charities. For example, on this International Animal Rights Day, a lot of crypto projects united on Twitter with the hashtag #CryptoForAnimalRights, encouraging donations for International Animal Rescue NPO.
Ishan Pandey: In the domain of blockchain technology, decentralized finance and non-fungible tokens are now the two most prominent implementations. How can these two trends be effectively merged?
Grigory Bibaev: In my opinion, they’ve already been merged, because they function within the framework of the blockchain. Therefore, anyone can easily make a smart contract that would use DeFi protocols for operations with NFT. Here the only question concerns practical application. Now NFT is associated with digital art, but I see a more practical future for NFT, for example, in the IoT.
Ishan Pandey: What role has the pandemic played in allowing traders to profit from cryptocurrency investments? Also, what do you think the post covid-19 scenario would look like for the blockchain ecosystem?
Grigory Bibaev: Due to the pandemic, the emission of fiat money grew to support the falling stock market, and the 2020-2021 money supply soared to its historic record. This led to the rise in cryptocurrency’s popularity, as a method of saving money from the greed of world bankers :) As for the post-pandemic future – let’s wait and see.
Ishan Pandey: China’s Ministry of Commerce, recently came up with the 14th Five-Year Plan for Service & Trade Industries, which explains how China will integrate blockchain into various areas of trading. Do you think soon we will witness mass adoption of blockchain technology across all avenues?
Grigory Bibaev: Absolutely, yes. I think public blockchains are seen as more competitive and tenacious than state blockchains.
Disclaimer: The purpose of this article is to remove informational asymmetry existing today in our digital markets by performing due diligence, asking the right questions, and equipping readers with better opinions to make informed decisions.