"Gradually, almost every company will switch onto blockchain, as in its time to the Internet. Those who are late will be washed off from the market. They will be simply uncompetitive."
Nikolay Shkilev, co-founder of “Top ICO Advisors”, is a TOP-10 world expert in the field of blockchain, established expert on ICObench (top rating agency for ICO projects).
How did you become an expert?
20 years in business and owning multiple IT companies, many different titles and awards, gratitude letters, etc. Therefore, people themselves began to consider me successful and to call an expert, constantly asking for help and advice in various projects. Everyone wants to have a strong advisor and mentor.
Tell us about your professional career. Was it one of a bumpy ride?
Sure! I founded my first company at the age of 19 and after that their number only grew. Although, it will be a lie if I say that everything was smooth and there was always only a way up. There were periodic and strong hits, threats, incursions, etc., etc. Like of an any strong businessman :) When someone tells me that everything has always been good, honestly, I don’t believe it.
Tell us about your project "Top ICO Advisors".
There are hundreds and thousands of incompetent experts on the market, so at some time there was a desire to find the best ones, so I wrote letters to all top 20 people in this field. Everyone responded to my proposal. So there appeared "Top ICO Advisors", which includes the best experts, advisors and specialists.
How deep of an analysis of a project and team do you do?
When every day you receive applications from dozens of projects, then after a while you start to immediately understand what is junk and what has the right to live. This can be seen at once and by many factors. As for the team, the question is more complicated - I personally ask everyone to pass verification on ICObench, hold a meeting with me, show the team, make a Skype call, communicate with the team in Telegram, etc. Of course, this is not a panacea. I'm not a government agency or a psychiatrist, I do not get into the head of the creators, but nevertheless I refuse to at least 5 projects for the sake of 1, which seem suspicious to me and cannot show me their faces and team. Just the other day I came out of one project and wrote to ICObench that it was a scam. And this happens regularly. None of the experts are interested in scammers.
Do you consider bitcoin a "bubble" or is it the future?
And what’s now not a bubble? Dollars are also, in some way, candy wrappers.
Why do you think so many ICOs have failed?
Typically, this happens with a weak team, a weak product, and because of an absence of a decent marketing budget.
What should one pay attention to when choosing an ICO to invest in?
Usually it’s the team, White Paper, if the team is verified on ICObench, stage of the product availability, the experts who are part of the project; as well as to the idea itself and to the development of the project, how does it gain Soft Cap. But as I always say:
>> "Never invest in one project! Also, never spend your last money on it. "
What should developers pay attention to when preparing an ICO?
On the realness of their project. That they have a ready MVP as early as possible, that can be checked by simple users and investors.
Have you personally invested in any ICO?
Yes, and more than once.
What is the future for the ICO in 2018?
Now, this market is regulated by various structures, like the American SEC, the Swiss FinMA. The sector gradually ceases to be fishy and gangster, so I expect more and more serious projects coming in 2018, and not the ones which are made half-assed.
Should we expect the extinction of this kind of crowdfunding or its new rise?
No. After the drawdown of the cryptocurrency, the recovery will begin, only that investors will become more selective and will choose more solid projects, with a solid team and experts.
ICO investors. Who are they now? Individuals or investment funds?
Both of them. With good marketing, crowds-sails (mass sales) bring millions from individuals, just as face-to-face meetings with investment funds raise millions for projects.
Can you explain the drastic volatility in the cryptocurrencies value? Is this trend caused by a large number of scams in the ICO and tightening of the regulations?
There are many reasons. The main thing is the regulations made by the “big fish" who issue fiat currency, for example, dollars. Why do “hosts of the World” have to have an extra competitor on the market? Therefore, they do everything to remove anonymity and to maximally press the crypto-currency for themselves. Even banned advertising on Facebook, Twitter, Google, etc. Also, as real monsters from the economic and exchange sector came to this market, they already perfectly understand that it's impossible to enter the market at its heights, so they firstly competently lowered the entire market, and now they’re driving it up. I think that we will see this roller coaster even more than once.
Do you share the views of Don Tapscott and other blockchain enthusiasts who believe that blockchain technology will turn the world around?
I already see that many technologies find themselves in practice, and later there will be even more. Gradually, everyone will switch onto the blockchain, as in its time on the Internet. Those who are late will be washed off from the market. They will be simply uncompetitive.
Many entrepreneurs are trying to introduce blockchain into the areas in which its application is ambiguous, and it could possibly only draw money out of business. In your opinion, where does the blockchain fit, and where it is better not to be use at?
Yes, many funny projects are seen daily, but also a lot of important and necessary ones. Actually blockchain can be used in any industry where there is a goal to create not a local product, but a national or a global one, where people can use this technology to obtain greater transparency, reliability, increase speed and / or get rid of a lot of unnecessary intermediaries. Therefore, goods and services can be easily included.
They say that strong experts work for prepayment, and weak experts - for tokens. How much do you agree with this judgment?
That’s how it is. Projects chase the strong ones themselves, and the weak ones are begging to be in at all projects and are ready to work even for tokens.
And if this is non-confidential information, what is the size of remuneration in the market of experts?
It all depends on the level of an expert and the development stage of a project. Prices are different - from 0 to a several dozens in ETH.
How do you feel about those experts who, for bitcoins or Ether, sell their faces for being listed as a project adviser?
It's like asking how do you feel about a star being shot in TV commercials? This is everyone's business, we do not ask Messi - "Are you really addicted to drinking Pepsi and recommend it to everybody?". If projects want this way and a person is popular, then this is their business. Many projects do this, many do not, as well as with the advertising of stars on TV. One to one situation.
What is usually the decisive factor for you when investing in a project?
The original interview was made in Ruissian, click here to see it.