I am engaged in p̶y̶r̶a̶m̶i̶d̶s̶ crypto-currencies and I try to hide it from people

To begin with, let’s make it clear. There are different from each other concepts:
- blockchain;
- crypto-currency;
- network marketing;
- projects related to the crypto-currency;
- investment programs and pyramids.

But people, who are far from crypto-world, narrow everything down to one — fraud.

We try to spell it out:

  1. Blockchain is the technology
  2. Crypto-currency is a way of using blockchain.
  3. Network marketing is the scheme of the sale of goods.
  4. Projects related to the crypto-currency are IT in the crypto-sphere.
  5. Pyramids and investment programs are phenomena that arise in all fields because of misunderstanding, greed and quick profit.

The latter thing with time moves from here to there from one field to another. Can you recall Talk Fusion … Difficult, isn’t it? But people made such a fuss over it a couple of years ago.

A similar situation now occurs with crypto-currencies. But this article is not meant to expose the pyramids, but to talk about the stereotypes that we encountered while working on FinTab and how to deal with it.

Who we are?

FinTab is SaaS product along with many others presented on the market. The difference is in the field of application: the standard iOS app reflects the situation in the stock market, and FinTab will show the situation in the crypto-currency market in accordance with the coins presented in your portfolio. Unlike most ICO projects, the main goal of FinTab is the development of the service. Despite good intentions, we often have to hide our occupation from people unfamiliar with crypto-economics.

“Anton, we are all going down! What’s wrong with your native Chelyabinsk factories?” — That’s how the interlocutor of our traffic manager Anton Andreev reacted when he heard about his activities. After that, we definitely decided — it’s time to show the crypto-industry from the other side.

“Undoubtedly, the crypto-currency is one of the most popular topics at the moment” — Nikita Kutsenko CEO of Cryptex

BTC is everywhere

At the beginning of 2018, crypto-currencies have become almost the most popular commodity in global trade. Over the past 2017, the total market capitalization has grown by almost $600 billion, from $17.7 to $612.9 billion, i.e. in 34.6 times. Sometimes popularity is way over the line: in Yekaterinburg a street artist created a ritual “bitcoin altar”.

Ritual “bitcoin altar” in Yekaterinburg

Along with the market development, the number of companies improving this sphere has grown. By mid-December 2017, 234 ICOs were registered for $ 3.7 billion, and the “average bill” was $ 15.7 million. However, as in all rapidly growing spheres, crypto-economy has its own “gray area” of so-called “investment programs” using crypto-currency or, in simple words, pyramids.

The editors of the Forklog website clearly explain what it is: the organizers of the pyramids promise an exorbitant profits (often above 30–40% per month) and the main type of earnings on partner programs with a minimal, as it is said, risk for investors. Similar programs are actively developing in the territory of the Russian Federation.
People are eager to earn quickly and without much effort in a progressively developing area which makes them vulnerable to get scammed or to get into a stupid situation if you are not very familiar with crypto. For example, in October a citizen of Obninsk bought two “bitcoins” for a thousand rubles. The sellers told the credulous client that “bitcoins are constantly becoming more expensive and in November you can capitalize several thousand on the rate.”

“Crypto-industry is one of the elements of the change of the technological way of life” — Alexey Tyumentsev, representative of Start ICO

Semyon Gleim — CEO of Paymon

Paymon is a blockchain platform that connect all market participants through new scalable blockchain — Hive.

Often I hide my work under the label of IT sphere (websites, mobile applications), but if we start the conversation about the crypto-industry, then I do not find it necessary to explain to a person such an extensive technology as a blockchain in a half an hour. It’s impossible. Moreover, most people are skeptical about this sphere, since there are so many pyramids. Organizers attract participants, promising them a lot of money, but more often they do not understand what they are doing. Naturally, when you mention the crypto-currency, there is the image of an annoying friend proposing “to invest now” in people’s mind. No wonder people who do not even try to understand the essence of the crypto-industry, negatively label the sphere.

There is a lot of news about extortions. I feel like the 90’s are not over yet. For example, in Yekaterinburg, an attack on one famous in the crypto-world person was planned. By the way, this is another reason why I try to hide my occupation.

Crypto-business is not easy. There is a paradox: everyone talks about the anonymity of the crypto-currency, but this often makes it more available for the community. If you do not talk about what you are doing now, there an objective question arises: “Has he disappeared with our money?”

It has to be more selective to recruitment. In this business there is no state of stability: you are constantly swinging from side to side: one day everything is fine and +100 thousand, while the other day you are shouting “boss, we are screwed!” and -20 thousand, although people are investing. This state of business makes you always move. In the crypto there is always something new, unconventional — it’s interesting for you and for people. No one has voluntarily left Paymon for 2 years.

Anton Ryabin — President of the Ural Blockchain Association

Ural Blockchain Association is a competence center in the field of solutions based on the distributed registry of information storage technology.

I never concealed my activities, moreover, it makes me sad that my colleagues do not talk about their work only because they do not want to waste time explaining to people unfamiliar with the crypto-industry what it is.

We often wonder whether we should look for an enemy represented by the law enforcement agencies. We have received letters from the relevant institutions with a reminder of 115 FL (law on countering the money laundering obtained by criminal means and financing of terrorism). Some figures of the crypto-industry are serving a sentence for violating the above-mentioned article, because they were engaged in crime. However, from such cases it is not necessary to bring everything to a common denominator.

I believe that I can spend my time on educational activities, because people do not understand our work: I recently conducted a seminar in one company on the blockchain, and by the middle of the conversation it turned out that people confused the services of Air Bit club (popular investment program from Russia) or Alpha Cash (popular investment program from Russia) with crypto-currency.

The Russians are very enterprising and resourceful. But people do not have a normal background for the their talent realization in the classical business. Average citizens still have a picture in their heads that to be an entrepreneur is embarrassing, shameful and even illegal. When our national-social nature does not allow us realizing ourselves in ordinary entrepreneurship, representatives of the pyramids appear and we accept the simple rules of the game. On the one hand, you have an aggressive world in which you need to understand finance, management, be legally savvy, and on the other hand, it is the offer to sign papers and work on a certain algorithm. Naturally, people choose the pyramid. Let us not have any illusions that a person does not understand where he is going.

In the crypto, as in any other field, the main goal of the project is to get the job done and offer the community something new. With a large number of ICOs, a number of problems remain unresolved, for example, if someone succeeds in settling the balance of speed and decentralization of the crypto-currency, it will be brilliant. The market fluctuates from a quite decentralized BTC (you can criticize me, but I think it is true) to Ripple, which, in fact, is not even a crypto-currency.

Crypto-industry is a new world, and we need to put a lot of efforts to explore it and not to go insane. Once at blockchain school for developers, a man gave us a business card indicating that he was a knight of peace and good of an international fund of peace and good. “We can be useful to each other” he said and invited us to join the Russian bath academy. It’s not financial world, but a fairy tale.

Anton Dzyadkovsky — co-founder, IT Director of ICO MicroMoney

MicroMoney is an open-source credit reference bureau with large data that connects new customers with all existing financial services.

Unlike my colleagues, I exhibit my membership to the crypto-world, so there are many strange reactions. I live in different countries and they all have different stuff, someone says that all this is a fake, a scam, a pyramid; in some countries they can’t decide at all whether this is legal or not. My advice is simple: dudes, bitcoin is an anonymous currency, no one will know about you, buy and hold it yourself. I try to support those who take a healthy interest in the crypto-world: I often advise such people to install a blockchain wallet, I give them a little penny in bitcoins or ethers, if a person wants to develop, this penny will eventually turn into a good amount. Then they thank me. I am pleased.

I’m skeptical about altcoin, after I got them, and it has fallen 5 times. So only BTC, only hardcore!

n the crypto you can make an honest business, the most important thing is to continue the project after collecting the funds and to be honest. If something went wrong after the ICO, it’s better to talk frankly to community about this and approach the problems differently. During the ICO, a lot of pitfalls are revealed, and lawyers ask the cost of fortune for their advice.
I decided to give some advice for free and work more with the community. Because my tokens are only needed by the crypto-community, if I give them useful information, my tokens grow, my tokens are not needed for average citizens.

I do not know about Russian pyramids since I have not been living there for a long time and I do not know what is happening in Russia. In theory, any project can become a scam or a pyramid with wrong management.

In general, the crypto-industry is a breath of fresh air, these are all bright eyed people, unlike conservative representatives of the classical financial sphere.

Nikita Kutsenko — CEO of Cryptex Capital

Cryptex Capital — Professional Crypto-Currency Active Management Fund which operates on the principle of trust management of clients’ assets.

In the crypto-world there are some unspoken security rules. First of all, it is needed to understand whom you are talking to about your activities. There is so much racketing because the crypto-currency is not protected by the law. If something happens, it’s useless to turn to the police. I filter my environment and get to work very organized. I have my own fund, I take the money of other people under management and I do not have the right to make a mistake: I have a separate laptop for work, I only enter the exchanges only through VPN, therefore reducing the risks. It is necessary to work only with trusted people. The country is in the “gray zone”: neither yes nor no.

People are skeptical about the crypto-sphere because of the large number of pyramids. There is no realization that it is a very diverse activity. The term crypto-currency is not the same as the financial sphere. For a number of adult entrepreneurs, our work is still a game, although there are more and more businessmen who understand the field’s progressivity and decide to invest.

For us, the participants of the crypto-industry, it seems that almost everyone is engaged in crypto-currency, but it’s not. The percentage of people familiar with crypto is very small. The percentage of those who are deeply immersed in the process is even less. Most people just heard something about crypto-economics. Of course, this is one of the most popular topics at the moment, however, when people start to find this field interesting, they stumble upon advertising of pyramids. This discourages people to be interested. After this, deviant behaviour is not surprising: one day I was giving a free lecture on crypto-currencies for a small audience, at the moment of my speech about the prospects of the sphere, one man from a traditional brokerage company jumped up and started shouting “You know nothing about currencies! You can’t buy and sell this bitcoin anywhere, there is no future! You can’t legally buy it! Stop bullshiting!” I replied: “You know, I have been living on a crypto-currency for a year now and handling all my finances in it.”

I’m telling everyone that the crypto-industry is the future. Just do not paint this future black. It’s needed to work honestly: to create as much transparent and clear websites and project platforms as possible, to charge objective commissions (not to collect 50–60% from people), while striving to earn as much as necessary for the project and for the team without robbing users.

Ruslan Vasyutin — CMO of Datarius

Cryptobank Datarius is a decentralized partially enclosed system. Datarius provides a direct link between lenders, borrowers, and related services.

Most people do not understand the specifics, goals and objectives of crypto-economics. Quite often people get annoyed by the crypto-currency mentions. The problem of promoting values and the benefits of crypto-economics are evident. I always say that I am banking services in virtual space. Shortly, I’m doing the right thing at the turn of the dawn of advanced technologies:)

Crypto-economics is a “quantum leap” in the development of business, society and civilization. Work in the crypto-industry is gradually becoming a way of life: developing and inspiring. Crypto-economics innovators often have to act as the Messiah, and it is expected too much from the professional point of view and moral. For the development of honest crypto-business it is necessary to entrust this to an honest team that has an idea of business morality, with good legal / financial education and an impeccable reputation.

Ilya Orlov — CEO of TravelChain

TravelChain is an open-source blockchain platform, which reliably stores all the data about tourists and travel businesses. TravelChain is the core of the Smart Traveling Ecosystem, and TravelToken is its fuel.

I am not hiding my activity. My work is connected with blockchain technology, which provides a powerful tool for uniting people in any system. In Switzerland there is a system of corporations owned by people, some cooperatives exist for more that 10 years (there is one older than 50). Blockchain allows such systems to be implemented in less developed countries, provides an opportunity for each person to get what they deserve — the more you benefit, the more important you are.

The crypto-industry has several waves of development and the companies of our wave are very united. The first wave is people who invented this technology; the second is people who started popularizing; the third is us. Our companies appeared at a time when the technology is already developed enough to create amazing things, for example, to build fair systems of relations in society. Representatives of the first and second waves have already made fortune and went home. We, in turn, need a connection.

We would not have appeared, if the BTC and all other crypto-currencies were not popularized by speculators, businessmen, pyramiders. These people are often absolutely soulless, but thanks to them (partly) we have work. The question of “transparency” of their activities remains controversial, but people are still joining the pyramids, thereby getting their own experience. Perhaps, it is even less painful: to lose money fast and form an opinion.

I take the pyramids negatively, often even the participants themselves are embarrassed to tell something, when they find out what I’m doing. I learned to explain intelligently about innovations — I once had to explain to my grandmother what I am doing. However, in the pyramids there are a lot of smart people who, in time, understand technology and turn to the “bright side of the force”.

My opinion is everything tends to crypto-marxism. The ideas of Marx, which he first mentioned 200 years ago, can be realized now with the help of technology.
The idea of the crypto-industry is based on honesty and justice, therefore, in order to develop in it, one must comply with these parameters. However, some big projects are moving their money to create a hype, doing a lot of rounds creating an information funnel, and after conducting the ICO they begin the crazy market makings. The market dictates the rules, but even they can be broken if you focus on the team where forwards are committed to their ideology.

If we create a transparent system with a single history, people from childhood will appreciate and respect the crypto-field and this can lead to the most just generation.

During the investigation, we discovered a paradox: people who understand technology hide their activities, and the others with superficial understanding are engaged in active propaganda. It would seem that everything should be the other way around. To look at this problem from different angles, our team decided to talk with the representative of AirBit Club Olga Getman. It should be noted that the team FinTab does not share the values of the company AirBit Club and advises users not to draw a conclusion about the entire industry because of the policies of one organization.

Olga Getman — Representative of AirBit Club

AirBitClub is a unique platform that uses a trading algorithm based on Blockchain, which allows you to start earning today directly from the crypto-currency.

I do not hide my activity and do not fight skepticism from other people. Our organization is not a sect — people come here through word of mouth from contacts. People talk to eat other, offer solutions to financial problems and become part of our investors team. I take investments in general positive. Investing in ICO is very risky. Our life is full of risks: when buying a new car, when choosing a holiday destination, etc. It’s a personal choice. Each investor loses money, the question is how he treats money, whether he is ready to multiply it and understand the future technologies. Although we are spreading crypto-currency, many crypto-projects try avoiding us. Most often this is due to the fact that not all projects have an affiliate program.

For me, crypto-industry is the discretion, this is a new interesting sphere. This is an opportunity to travel, spend time with children, payed off the mortgage. Although they say that money is not the most important thing, but when you have it, we become freer.

And what does the community think?

After talking with the company representatives, we asked our users the similar questions.

More than half of the respondents answered that they were hiding their activities.

Did you have to hide activities related to crypto-currency? RU

Basically, people call themselves IT programmers, analysts, financiers, participants in partnership programs. One of the most bizarre reactions to activities related to crypto-currency is the issuance of a presidential decree, according to which from November 2017 in Russia it is possible to “buy bitcoins for any amount, and only 50% can be exchanged back.”

It’s not without the classic MLM, pyramids and offers to buy a car instead of “some coins.” Users told us terrible stories about “some acquaintances lost a lot of money on this”, about the fact that it is “short-term and unreliable”. According to the survey participants, skepticism is caused by the financial ignorance and mass-media information, “that doesn’t want to undermine the foundations of the established banking system”. For most participants, the crypto-industry is a field that will change the future.

The most popular answer to the question “How to make an honest project related to the crypto-currency?” is “just do it.” However, the representative of the Start ICO Alexei Tyumentsev does not think so:
Given that there are still no laws on crypto-currency, an honest project will not work. Whatever you do the investor will not be legally protected.

English-speaking participants, on the contrary, rarely have to hide their activities, and those who hid, said the same thing as the Russians: IT programmer, investor.

Have you ever hidden activities related to crypto-currency?

However, there is also strange reaction abroad: in most cases, participants are warned about fraud, they are agitated “never to invest in bitcoins,” and some believe that “these are all Illuminati and soon we will all die.”

Illuminati meeting

Foreigners, like the Russians, believe that such reactions arise because of all sorts of financial pyramids and lack of information from the state. Residents of the other countries offered start-up entrepreneurs to strive for “full transparency” in order to make an honest project related to crypto-currencies. Like our fellow citizens, they believe that the crypto-industry is a sphere that will change the future.

There is no need to bring everything to a common denominator

After this article, you should not hunt the representatives of the financial pyramids or try to change public opinion in radical ways. Direct confrontation most often does not bring positive results. Public labels have always been, are and will be. Their removal is possible only in an evolutionary way, in our case it is the development of projects useful to the community and their maximum popularization.

In the crypto-world there is a paradox, which we mentioned above: those who understand technology are silent, while people with superficial understanding are engaged in propaganda. We hope that this article will be a small step towards eliminating this contradiction.

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