#Meet the team — Interview with Pierre Chahine — Founder & CEO Cubiex — Part #1
- Welcome Mr. Chahine. Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your background?
I am 33, living close to Frankfurt Germany and I am the Founder & CEO of Cubiex. I’ve been a private banker for the past 10 years with several banking and business degrees. I’ve worked for different banks such as Volksbank, Santander Private Banking as well as Private Bank Schilling where I managed the fortune of HNWI.
Besides my passion for financial markets and banking, I’ve also been a long time gamer who has lived through the whole evolution of amateur and competitive eSports since 1999.
I started as a Gamer in 1999/2000 with the first version of Counter-Strike. Which turned out to be a hobby at first, quickly turned into an ambition to become one of the very best. We found our first friends online, at that time “in the IRC Quakenet” where you’d teamup up with others, connected through some very early and poor quality voice chat softwares and tried to challenge other teams.
Since then I have almost spent 10 years around various online and offline leagues and tournaments, played on a competitive pro-series level in Counter-Strike 1.6 and led different teams as a team-captain and manager.
Around 2010 when Counter-Strike 1.6 was not that popular anymore I focused on my banking career, but always watched the scene evolve and develop further from the sidelines.
2. How did you get into the blockchain space?
I believe I’ve heard about bitcoins invention in early 2016, which, compared to its invention in 2008 is quite a bit late to be honest. From a first glance at that time, and with my background in finance where I had to manage a lot of different risks, it seemed not understandable why somebody else would be willing to accept bitcoins as a store of value and pay even rising amounts of money for it, especially since there is no government backing or any guarantee that somebody else might buy it back from you.
So this made me curious. When I read the bitcoin whitepaper and understood the huge dimensions blockchain technology and decentralization could bring to the economy, and already did, it became pretty clear and obvious, that this technology in general is revolutionary and there will be no way around it in the future.
Since then I was fascinated about the space, the technology and all kinds of projects I’ve seen being developed. The underlying technology and its way of “freeing” people — improving a variety of subjects such as how value can be exchanged internationally in seconds with moderate fees, how we conduct business, how startups can build their own projects with the support of the community, made me dive deeper into the space.
3. How did you make the transition from banking back to gaming and blockchain?
Well I always wanted to something I love and I am truely passionate about. I remember playing on an amateur level but also on a competitive level — I would simply never get tired after playing hours and hours. It was pure fun!
The kind of cameradery, friendships and the adventure to succeed new challenges always felt like a pleasure and exciting environment. I am not sure I can say the same about banking — some might associate it with an old dusty office where an accountant sits in front of an old PC. Well even today, it is sometimes still like that. Not really exciting. ( loughs )
4. So in 2016 you returned to the eSports and gaming scene. Which problems did you want to solve?
I actually started earlier as a CS:GO player, I believe around 2014. I remembered during my own beginnings in 1999 it was very hard for me to find new friends online, that share the same passion for gaming or competitive gaming in general. Also because our technical means at that time were very limited. The internet was still pretty slow, latency issues, hardware, all of that wasn’t as good as it is today.
We only had very little online chats and chat softwares available, with no search function for likeminded people. We started out as a very small group of beginners, maybe a few dozens or hundred in our IRC chatrooms and quickly grew into a gaming community, that grew stronger over the years. So social connectivity has always been an issue from the very beginning.
Another major problem I personally faced during my first 10 years from 1999–2009 was, that there was simply no money in eSports or gaming. It all started very humble and simple — from your kids room to maybe some small local events with 10–30 people all playing to be the “Best” — but certainly not to make any living or generate income.
So my parents, like many many others, were concerned and saw those hours and hours of gameplay not as a way to live your life, but simply as a waste of time of your “golden young years”.
I remember situations where they loved to pull the lan cable or the wifi plug, to make me stop playing. Of course this would lead to numerous discussions with them. They just couldn’t see the bigger picture or realize, how much fun it was communicating with other people from all over the world with our simple chat softwares, having fun, achieving goals together and mastering all kinds of different challenges, tournaments and matches. They didn’t see how fast the space was growing, with more and more offline tournaments and more and career perspectives. I remember telling them: One day, this will be a profession. Well it took almost 15 years, but finally China accepted eSports competitive gaming as an official profession and discussions about eSports being accepted as an olympique sport are daily subjects now in the industry.
To be fair in retro perspective I don’t blame them. eSports was really in its infantry and you couldn’t make a living out of it. So they were just, as many parents would be, concerned that we’re throwing away precious years of school time and university time, years where you normally lay the foundation of your future career. So I made a deal with them: Once I lay the foundation through my banking job and banking academies I am free to do whatever I wish I want to do. And it worked!
5. When did you found Cubiex? Tell us also about Cubiex’s mission to solve these problems, now where the times are certainly more fruitful and not as premature as 20 years ago?
Yes, in 2017 I finally layed the foundation for a groundbreaking change of how amateur and professional gamers will connect in the future and persue their passion, allthough the idea was floating around in my mind way longer then that.
“Cubiex is a next-generation tokenized social network for eSports & gaming enthusiasts, with the vision to connect gamers on a global basis in an ecosystem with features such as: Rewarded content creation, eSports & crypto league, P2P matchmaking, Livestreaming & virtual ingame items / digital collectibles trading.”
Our mission is to connect gamers on an amateur and professional level in a social community, where they can feel free to share their thoughts, their content and also get rewarded once they contribute to the community.
We find that with traditional social networks that have no specific focus or any benefits or USPs a lot of gamers still shy away from exposing themselves and their passion. Not only because they might be afraid of the public view or their employer simply not allowing them to post eSports content to their personal profiles, but also because there is simply no monetization factor or clear targeted userbase.
It is hard to find likeminded people on traditional social networks, because there is simply no direct search function to find people from your local area, that you can connect with, create a team and then challenge others around the world.
6. This sounds very interesting, but how are you going to compete with other players in the market like Twitch.tv?
We don’t necessarily want to be seen as a competitor and thats also not how we see other players in the market. Each and every meaningful addition and contribution to the gaming sphere has its respected value and is welcomed to keep the space growing.
In its Core Cubiex is a social network with a variety of different services and functionalities. Empored by blockchain technology, gamers on a global basis can create their own profiles, add information about themselves, create and share content and get rewarded in Cubiex Power for content thats been valued by the community as productive and useful.
Lets take a closer look at what it is that others like Twitch for example are offering. Twitch is mainly a livestreaming platform, where people can broadcast and livestream their activities. To this date, Twitch has around 15m unique broadcasters from around 400m eSports gamers around the world.
But here is the deal: How many gamers really like to put their face in a camera, expose themselves and start being a showman or entertainer? Not as many compared to the overall number of global gamers.
Not everybody might want to be an entertainer or a livestreamer. Thats why the overall user number of traditional social networks such as Facebook is way higher. The entry barrier to participate in their ecosystem and contributing content is way lower and therefore more attractive, especially if you don’t have any livestreaming equipment or preferences to be one.
At Cubiex — we strongly believe, that not only gamers but a huge industry of eSports and gaming fans such as professional content creators want to contribute content to the ecosystem through creating content on their personal timelines such as writing articles, posting videos, uploading pictures or small stories.
Reducing the activity level of gamers in an ecosystem to just livestreaming, always being dependant that hopefully enough people are online at the same time to view their stream or that they hopefully have enough subscribers who donate to them is one way who to create a community.
Cubiex aims to provide any participant of the gaming sphere a much broader variety of options to connect with other friends, create and share content with their exact target community while being rewarded through an unique upvoting mechanism through the community itself.
Gamers can use their earnings to use a variety of services on Cubiex such as P2P Matchmakings through challenging other gamers or teams over tokens, donations to livestreamers or use their tokens to trade their favourite ingame items or digital collectibles.
So in a nutshell, Cubiex is an all-in-one gaming community with many different services to become the virtual place to meet and connect.
To us — the customer experience and solving some of the most fundamental problems like social connectivity and incentivization matters the most.
This was Part #1 of the interview with Founder & CEO Pierre Chahine
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Stay tuned for Part #2…