In 2020-2021, we witnessed a boom in the digital assets DeFi (decentralized finance), NFT (non-fungible tokens) and other blockchain technologies. The industry performed a growth of over 300% in 2020, and 600% so far in 2021.
Together with one of the world's leading experts in blockchain, Nikolay Shkilev, we tried to uncover the reasons for this phenomenon. Shkilev is the founder of the Private Business Club, the Zelwin ecosystem Market Cap > $300,000,000 and the advisor and mentor of a large number of popular projects around the world.
INT: Hello, Nikolay, we appreciate the opportunity to talk to you personally.
NS: Hello, me too!
INT: I’d like to start with some personal questions to help readers to get to know you better if you don’t mind?
INT: Where were you born?
NS: I was born in a small town in the Far North of Russia, Mirny.
NS: No, Yakutia. A harsher region. I lived in Siberia later, and it was a resort if to compare with Yakutia. Siberia's winter temperature is -20, -30C on average, while in Yakutia I witnessed -62C.
INT: -62 degrees Celsius? Are you kidding?
NS: (Laughs) This does not prevent people from living, working, and mining diamonds there.
INT: How old were you when you first tried to go into business?
NS: My first attempts in business have been going on since my childhood. I sold fruits picked from a neighbor’s garden when I was 7-8 years old (laughs). Now, I'm ashamed for it, of course. Then, at the age of 14, I helped my parents to digitize all documents and accounting from paper to electronic form. At that time, very few people were good at working at a computer, but it came easy to me.
INT: When did you start your first company?
NS: At the age of 19. Later, it grew into dozens of companies in various fields.
INT: Quite early. And what about education?
NS: I had no choice, I got married at 17 and became a father at 18. So I had a family to feed. Although, I still managed to study at the St. Petersburg State University of Economics and Finance, completing the postgraduate course, and got a degree in economics simultaneously with work.
INT: How many children do you have?
NS: I have three children, a boy Luka was born just recently. The age difference with the older children, Anna and Igor, is 22 and 18 years, respectively.
INT: That’s strong!
NS: We do our best (laughs)
INT: Well, now let’s turn to the leitmotif of our meeting. Why is the whole world going crazy about DeFi, blockchain, NFT and other digital stuff?
NS: There are many reasons for this:
1. Money moves where there are more earning opportunities. Now, these are digital assets and decentralized financial tools.
2. The coronavirus pandemic caused a collapse in the traditional business in many countries, so people began to look for sources of alternative income.
3. In 2020, the Fed printed more money than in 200 years before, and in early 2021, printed $1.9 trillion more, backed by nothing, despite the huge external debt. A decent part of this money, like with previous tranches, has been directed by Americans to the digital field.
4. Large traditional investors began to invest part of their capital in Bitcoin, recognizing it as digital gold. This gave a strong impetus to the industry.
5. Many countries have limited access to financial instruments, high inflation, high-interest rates on loans, sanctions, government barriers, etc. So for many people in the world, digital assets are a real way out of a difficult situation.
6. Many people liked the idea of complete decentralization, no dependence on any banks, regulators, no intermediaries, no censorship, and no total control.
7. The securities market became a huge bubble, so many large investors decided to diversify their portfolios.
INT: How many of your friends and residents of the Private Business Club have bought digital assets for themselves?
NS: I’d be lying if I said everyone. But believe me, in 2019, a maximum of 10% of my acquaintances had some digital assets... And in the meantime, at least 70% of them keep digital assets.
INT: Everything is clear with Bitcoin, but how many people bought ZELWIN tokens, that’s the coin of your ecosystem?
NS: Frankly speaking, almost all of my friends bought ZELWIN tokens, they had faith in me from the very beginning.
INT: Have they already earned a profit?
NS: Yes, in 2020 alone, all early-stage investors earned up to 700%.
INT: That’s impressive. How did you do it?
NS: We developed our project with our own money and released a ready product. We didn’t look for money on the side. We managed to list on 7 exchanges, almost right after the launch. The product is clear to everyone, and its core may be described in one sentence: Zelwin.com—crypto-friendly Global Marketplace of Goods.
The further development was all about supply/demand. After that, we began to add games, simple exchange, and a Zelwin.Finance launchpad with promising projects for early-stage investors.
INT: Could you please tell us how your Zelwin.Finance and Private Business Club manage to have so many projects on the one hand and investors on the other?
NS: Everything is simple—some want to get millions of dollars, while others want to earn hundreds and thousands of percent of the profit.
INT: But why can’t those projects do it themselves, why do they turn to you as if you were a Kickstarter? Or are they the same investors from your Private Business Club fund?
NS: Practice has shown that in 99% of cases projects can’t cope on their own. We carry out a thorough analysis and evaluate projects. Having vast experience in this area, we already understand which projects will soar and which will not. And this is crucial for investors.
If we see a promising project, help to package it properly, fix it, set correct tokenization, help with exchanges, marketing, and launch it. Investors know that we select projects carefully and that those projects often bring from 300% to several thousand percent, thus they happily invest. It is a win-win for everyone, so to say.
INT: But what if the project fails? Could it happen?
NS: Yes, it could. In life anything can happen. That is why we don’t promise profit, don’t guarantee percent and don’t give financial advice to anyone. Still, the current market allows for making money. For example, the last two projects brought our investors from 300% to 1400% within a few days after IDO.
INT: That’s impressive. Do you often refuse projects?
NS: This month alone, we refused 141 projects and took on board only two.
INT: That sounds interesting. Looks like you really have a serious approach to project selection.
NS: We don’t want our investors, people who trust us, to lose their trust and money.
INT: To conclude, may I ask you a few questions that may be of our readers’ interest? What should project developers do to avoid fatal mistakes, and what should investors pay attention to at first of all?
NS: First of all, if you create your project, don’t try to sell it at the start, otherwise, you risk losing control of the company and receiving only pennies. The later you sell, the more you receive.
Don’t offer big discounts on pre-sales. Don’t do big airdrops, otherwise, it will “kill” your project and your digital assets on the exchanges, and the project will die at the start. That is the reason why 95% of blockchain projects fail.
Go public only when your product is ready and complete. An empty idea is not in people’s interest.
Good marketing is the root of everything. No marketing, no sales.
Hire professionals only!
Regarding investments and investors, I believe in these simple rules:
- Never invest your last money;
- Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, that is, don’t invest all your money in one asset. Make sure you diversify your portfolio.
- Carefully study the project team and their background.
- Track the project’s marketing and listing on stock exchanges. If this is not the case, I would advise against investing.
- If you have invested in digital assets, there are smart mechanisms like Stop Orders, that help protect you from large losses. So don’t forget to place Stop Orders (the condition for automatic liquidation of an order on the exchange).
- Never be seized by panic.
- Remember that any project can fail. This happens, but if you invest in different assets, your funds will be protected and you will receive the maximum profit.
INT: Nikolay, thanks for speaking to us! How can projects and investors who read us reach you?
NS: Thanks for the interview. You can find me on LinkedIn, Nikolay Shkilev, PhD, or on other social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram. Look for more information on Shkilev.com