“It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do, that defines me.”–Batman https://www.noonies.tech/2022/emerging-tech/2022-hackernoon-contributor-of-the-year-fin?embedable=true What does it mean for you to win this title? Every award is an honor and, in many respects, a validation of the hard work and dedication it took to win. For me, what makes the award significant is being recognized as a prominent Fintech contributor by a leading publication like Hackernoon - an online publication built on foundations of community and user contribution. Being recognized by a panel of judges is great, but recognition from end-users and the reading public is truly special. How do you or your company intend to embrace the responsibility of this title in 2023? Going forward, I plan to continue contributing to HackerNoon and sharing my knowledge and experience whenever and wherever possible. Suppose people find value in what I have to say. In that case, I feel it becomes my responsibility to deliver valuable content to my readers by conveying my experiences in finance and technology, as well as proffering my opinions on various fintech matters as I see them. Currently, my primary role is to lead a fintech company. In modern times, this means facing severe challenges, given the intersection of finance and technology. However, my role puts me in a superb position of being able to provide unique insights to a large (and growing) audience. I greatly enjoy writing about developing and implementing the latest fintech innovations for the benefit of as many people as possible - and it’s also my responsibility to assist Doto in that venture. At Doto, we are developing and implementing cutting-edge fintech innovations to enable our clients in their trading and investment needs. Whether our clients take short-term trading decisions or opt for much longer-dated positions as investors, it is our job to ensure they can achieve their personal financial aspirations at all times. Next year, we’ll be revamping several of our core features and relaunching as a rebranded entity. In the retail trading industry, staying ahead of the pack is incredibly important by delivering key features, with the greatest reliability, at the lowest possible cost. To stay relevant, you must innovate. A failure to innovate is always an opportunity lost. Without letting the cat out of the bag just yet, I can say that next year will see Doto delivering a groundbreaking product that’s simple, powerful, and effective for traders and investors of all varieties. We’ll be in a position to share our plans early in the new year, so watch this space. What goals are you looking forward to accomplishing in 2023 (whether it be through company initiatives or your personal journey)? My personal goals for next year are closely aligned with Doto’s. Having taken on the CEO role just months ago, I am fully focused on executing Doto’s relaunch and putting the company on the path to success. This includes traveling, often to unexpected places, meeting new people, and learning new things, which is highly rewarding and satisfying. Regarding my personal journey, I’m currently focusing on three avenues. Firstly, I have penned a book about leadership which will hopefully go into publication next year, to be seen on the shelves of reputable bookshops across Europe and beyond. Secondly, I must dedicate more time to my close family and friends. Professional achievement is important, but maintaining close connections with the people I love is critical. Last but not least – now that I have relocated back to Cyprus, I plan to become more involved with various charitable causes over the next twelve months. Giving something back to the place that made you is something I’ve neglected in the past, and it’s something I must change going forward. In art and dream, may you proceed with abandon. In life, you must proceed with balance and stealth. Which trend(s) are you most excited about in 2023? Share your reason. The worlds of finance and technology are developing so rapidly that it’s difficult to whittle down what I’m excited about to one or even a handful of trends. We’re currently seeing a mushrooming explosion of technical progress and human opportunity that’s changing the world as we know it. For starters, artificial intelligence (AI) and sophisticated algorithms are fascinating, given what they can now achieve. What OpenAI is currently doing with natural language is already mind-blowing, and it’s only just the beginning. The advances being made in the field of robotics, such as Tesla's Optimus, is another factor that will escalate into phenomenal outcomes merely a few years away. This kind of technology has incredible advantages and applications, but it must be used with caution. One particular example I always turn to when talking about AI, robotics and how automation impacts society is the following. Imagine you are charged with committing a crime - would you prefer an AI-powered robot or a human judge to review your case? Would you accept the judgment of a machine or a human being? On a more mundane level, the SEC's decision on Ripple and how this affects the crypto industry is likely to serve as a foundational precedent that will affect the industry for decades to come. What role Web3 will play in fintech and the kinds of real-world applications it has is also intriguing. Concerning seamless integration of software and hardware as part of the IoT revolution: we’re now moving into actual applications and away from mere theories and hypotheses uttered by whimsical captains of industry at conferences. It’s about time! 2022 had been crazy, especially in Tech - what with layoff, web3 fraud, and AI! Which trend are you most concerned about? What solutions can you think of? Be as brief or as detailed as you like. The past year has most definitely been memorable, to say the least. Remote working has become the new normal in tech while the propensity for fraud, especially in the cryptosphere, is raising its ugly head, as many predicted. However, the most concerning development I saw last year was the introduction of OpenAI and ChatGPT. The technology behind it is superb and has the power to streamline thousands of laborious tasks, but by the same token, it has already been singled out as a potential lightsaber for nefarious actors to streamline their impropriety. Meanwhile, Web3 fraud has grabbed the headlines recently, showcasing large-scale wallet thefts and bogus projects that lure unsuspecting investors into throwing their money away. Although some bad actors use powerful tech with bad intentions, the challenge of reducing impropriety is not impossible. Maybe it all just comes down to the human condition – when embracing progressive technology, there will always be an unscrupulous cohort hellbent on harnessing Fintech for nefarious purposes. Maybe the only viable way of countering this deep-seated human propensity for deceit for one’s benefit -- an issue that affects broader society and not just Fintech – is not necessarily through reams of legislation or hard-wired protection mechanisms that can save people from themselves. Maybe, there’s a simpler, more individualistic solution. In my view, a knowledgeable individual is a protected individual. If people can educate themselves to understand how prominent financial technology operates in practice, this would directly reduce the number of people affected by fraud and misconduct. If people have the wisdom and understanding to differentiate between a diamond and a fugazi, fraudsters will necessarily have less capacity to reign havoc on unsuspecting end-users. Share your biggest success so far and/or your biggest failure so far. The most significant success in my career so far is obtaining my Ph.D. in Behavioural Finance from King’s College London. The amount of research I put into my thesis was immense, while the discoveries I made as part of my work were groundbreaking. My biggest failure is my inability to learn another language despite making multiple attempts at doing so. I currently speak Greek and English fluently, but my ambition is to learn a third language – something I have failed to do (so far). The world is far more beautiful when seeing it from multiple perspectives. In many respects, languages are the lenses through which we see and interpret reality, so it stands to reason that learning a language is a direct means of enriching one’s life. We would love your feedback on HackerNoon as a tech publication! How has your experience been with us? HackerNoon is a superb example of how insightful online content can be generated by the people, for the people, as part of a bottom-up grassroots online community. The nature of the publication means that it cannot be swayed, bought, or misdirected. As someone who values honesty and transparency in all aspects of life, whether personal or professional, I consider HackerNoon a beacon other tech portals should want to emulate. Any words of wisdom you’d like to share with us? Don’t strive for success; strive to be of value.