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Georgia treats positively any businesses, including the cryptocurrency one. Nevertheless, the country has not yet adopted crypto laws. Besides, their development should involve representatives of this sector. This is the view of Artur Arabyan, the founder of Bixtrim and a speaker at Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Georgia. Artur told us why he started his cryptocurrency business in Georgia, what challenges he faced, and how he would grow it.
Interviewer: Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Georgia (BCG).
Respondent: Artur Arabyan (AA).
BCG: Hello, Artur. What did you do before entering the crypto business?
AA: Hello. Since 2014, my partners and I have established several firms in such sectors as junk food, children’s entertainment, and gambling. In 2016, we got into mining. Afterwards, we came up with the idea of the Bixtrim project and ICO.
BCG: How did you come to hear of cryptocurrency?
AA: It was in 2015-2016. Cryptocurrencies were just appearing in Georgia. I first heard about them from my friends. I was interested in this issue and began to look for information about cryptocurrencies everywhere by examining articles and reading specialized publications.
BCG: Why did you start mining? Its rate was not so high in comparison with the current one.
AA: Despite the low rate, one was able to mine a lot of cryptocurrencies: there were far fewer miners, and the process was simpler. Therefore, cryptocurrency mining was quite profitable even in those days. We mined various coins: Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Dash. We did it using both video cards and ASICs.
BCG: Why did you decide to run your cryptocurrency business in Georgia?
AA: Primarily, Georgia is a country where I live. It is much comfortable to do a business where you live. You will be able to control it more efficiently.
Flexible business conditions in the country are also a significant factor. Besides, not only does it refer to mining, but also to any entrepreneurial activity. Georgia has free economic zones allowing to establish a mining center and cheap electricity. Therefore, it has become one of the most advanced countries in terms of the mining sector.
BCG: What does convince you that crypto business will be successful in the future?
AA: My conviction is based on certain aspects. Currently, national registers are shifting to blockchain. The Land Registry in Georgia has been transferred to blockchain. Some banks are also considering the integration of decentralized technologies. There a lot of similar examples. Blockchain and cryptocurrencies are the hottest topics worldwide.
BCG: How did you come up with an idea of Bixtrim?
AA: The idea fell into our minds when we faced a range of cryptocurrency challenges. We didn’t know how to use and convert them into cash. Then we thought about developing our own solution: a kind of platform able to simplify the use of cryptocurrencies in routine life and to make a spectrum of their application wider.
BCG: What is the concept of Bixtrim?
AA: It will be a cross functional platform allowing to store, trade, and exchange cryptocurrencies. We are going to launch a pawnshop where one will be able to pawn digital assets and return them after the liquidation of obligations. There will be an Escrow Account and even Futures, the support of transactions scheduled for a certain date.
Certainly, we will emit coins (BXM) based on our blockchain and issue plastic cards. Owning BXM, a person will be able to pay for any goods and services using this card; and it doesn’t matter whether a company accepts cryptocurrencies or not.
BCG: At what development stage is the Bixtrim project now?
AA: Bixtrim is at the development stage, but the lion's share of platform is already completed. Now, we are adding the support of various cryptocurrencies. I don’t want to rush things but it’s quite possible that the platform will start working at the end of October 2018. Launching a basic version, we will integrate it with various features mentioned above.
BCG: What are the main difficulties of Bixtrim development?
AA: All the technological challenges are solvable, thus the core difficulties are legal ones. There are certain issues with the National Bank of Georgia and international banks. The problem is that cryptocurrencies do not fall under the jurisdiction of our central bank. The bank is trying to steer clear from digital currencies, as the country doesn’t have cryptocurrency laws. No one understands how all of this should work.
Therefore, I believe that the development of cryptocurrency legal regulation should involve crypto business representatives. Government authorities should hear the opinion of entrepreneurs engaged in this sector.
BCG: Could you share your plans for the Bixtrim development?
AA: The Private Sale stage will be over soon and will be followed by other ICO phases. We are going to bring the platform into operation after the token sale. As I have said before, it will happen approximately in October.
Next year, we are aiming to establish six offices of our company in the CIS countries and Europe. Moreover, we are preparing the partnership with Blockchain Association Georgia and Blockchain Academy Georgia. We will collaboratively conduct blockchain trainings.
BCG: As to the ICO: the Private Sale stage offers an 80% discount on tokens. What is the reason for such a discount?
AA: The fact is that the amount of sold tokens is limited at all ICO stages. We will sell only 3 million tokens with the 80% discount. As a comparison, we are going to sell 42.8 million tokens at full cost. In other words, investors probably won’t be able to buy a desired amount of tokens at once at the Private Sale stage. Besides, they won’t be able to sell tokens at the next stages, because tokens will be charged only two weeks after the completion of ICO.
BCG: What do you expect from Blockchain & Bitcoin Conference Georgia?
AA: Despite the fact that the blockchain industry is developed pretty well in Georgia, the country has not yet hosted such major blockchain events. It will be its first international event of this kind. I believe that the conference will bring together a lot of people and provide a great deal of useful information. I’s sure that our business community is highly interested in discovering more about blockchain and cryptocurrencies.
The more similar events we have, the faster the Georgian blockchain sector will grow. That’s very good for the country.