Dec 8, 2016
Matej Michalko: Armenia has a huge potential in Blockchain Technologies
The modern technologies seem to thrive in Armenia and it’s not only due to the enormous innovative impact that the local startups and IT companies have in the field, but also the growing interest from the outside big companies, which have their representation here. DECENT is one of those, having opened Blockchain Research and Development Hub in Armenia.
Itel.am talked to the founder and CEO of DECENT Matej Michalko, who visited Yerevan last month.
- The new Blockchain Research and Development Hub opened in Yerevan recently. What’s the mission of the hub?
- The mission is to create products and solutions that enable convenient, direct, and secure exchange of digital content globally. We are going to use the intellectual potential, the resources and experience that Armenia has for development of Blockchain technologies. We want to bring Blockchain Technology to mass markets and public domains through everlasting innovation and vertical Integration into Industries and systems. The center was established during my previous visit here in October.
We want to build a team which will take Blockchain Technologies mainstream. As a result of crowdfunding with 4300 participating sponsors we received USD 4.2 mln, out of which we are investing a substantial in Armenia in order to establish this center.
- I have been invited by the Center’s current CEO and co-founder Gagik Yeghiazarian. We visited a few tech companies in Armenia, including VMware and Wovenmedia. Here I saw that Armenia is a place with a huge potential in IT development, where it is possible to make any product, Blockchain technologies included.
Right now we are hiring developers, software engineers, and software architects in Armenia. The application for our job listings is available here. As soon as we have the team we will start. We are looking for about 10-15 team members for Armenian office. But this number can scale very fast. It usually takes time to find the right people.
I would like to point out that we have strong presence in China, but our organization is also based in Geneva, Switzerland. We have another headquarters in Slovakia. So currently we are directly present in 4 countries: Switzerland, Slovakia, China and Armenia.
What we want is to have a development team in Armenia. China is the country where a substantial part of our customers will come from. We also have partners in US and other countries. I was on a major conference about energy, organized by Chinese government in August, and 80 % of the content was about Blockchain. 8 out of 10 speakers talked about Blockchain solutions. So there is a huge interest towards this technology both from the state and private companies.
- Blockchain is a new technology. How would you describe its highlights for our readers?
- Blockchain is a list of transactions that happened in the past. An example of transaction can be that you send an email to or make a financial payment to someone. Once something is in the Blockchain, it can’t be changed. Blockchain is an exact record of history, and history can’t be modified.
I want to stress out that Blockchain is not only about FinTech. We are among the first ones to take Blockchain out of FinTech to the world of digital content and data distribution (Media, Real Estate, Energy, etc).
Given the fact that in Blockchain everything is registered, one knows what’s going to happen, one can be sure that this happens by the rules of cryptography and mathematics, instead of having a trusted third party. Blockchain can bring trust to different fields, with it one can prove what actually happened. The companies that will decide to use Blockchain solutions will save money. They will make their systems secure and their activities transparent.
Today Blockchain is in the same position as internet in 1990s. It was new, and most of the people didn’t understand its importance. And only after some time it was adopted by mass markets. Now it’s the same for Blockchain technologies – not everyone realizes its importance. We are the early adopters of this technology and it still needs time (3 to 5 years) to become a mainstream technology. We want to be the ones to make it a mainstream.
Armenia has a huge history in innovation so I am sure it’s a very good ground for Blockchain technology development.