Mindaugas is a highly skilled legal counsel with 8 years of experience and in-depth knowledge of various industries — finance, cybersecurity, data protection, transportation, electricity and gas distribution, water distribution, and real estate. He has more than 2 years of extensive experience in leading and implementing the GDPR project in a financial institution while managing a 15+ person team in his past position. Mindaugas believes that ROKKEX is where data protection and cybersecurity comes first.
- Having worked for a number of enterprises in different industries, what was your first reaction when a cryptocurrency-related startup invited you to join the team?
I was over the moon. For years I was interested in blockchain and cryptocurrencies but never had an opportunity to work in this industry. So when our CEO gave me the “green light,” I jumped to the opportunity.
In my opinion, blockchain, smart contracts, cryptocurrency are the future, and we all should explore it as much as we can. This is what drives us all at ROKKEX forward — being a Fintech/Blockchain/Cybersecurity startup means you are going to the next frontier, creating a new standard. The possibility to be one of the first motivates to do your best: who knows, maybe someday IT experts will call ROKKEX pioneers of future cybersecurity who established a benchmark.
For me, shifting from working for an enterprise to working at a startup was a breeze of fresh air.
A fascinating difference is that you are at the roots of the birth of something new and powerful, yet you can make significant changes in no time: I can go downstairs to my colleagues, have a quick chat and agree on a substantial difference for our system and find it implemented in a few days. At “big whale” enterprises the negotiating and getting approval from managers would take months alone, not counting the actual implementation.
- What was the first crypto-related thing you worked on ROKKEX?
Good question. There were loads of tasks from many sides, but I think one of the first ones must have been regarding a service agreement with a team of developers from another country. Many details had to be negotiated, so I had an excellent opportunity to communicate with the whole ROKKEX team and with the other Party. I got acquainted with our team members fast, plus had a chance to hear all about the IT side of our product, and see how it works (you can also check it out here).
- Where do you usually learn more about industry law trends and news?
As I like to say, you have to “google it” from time to time. Mostly I follow foreign government and supervising institutions. I always find it interesting to read various reviews from Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers — they always give really good insights or leads for you to follow. Other useful websites are www.lexology.com (mostly news regarding the law in cryptocurrency and blockchain world) and www.era.int (they have a lot of various e-learning courses, reading material, etc.).
A great thing (and at the same time challenge) working at ROKKEX is that you work globally, which means you have to renew your knowledge always, reading as much news as possible, especially compliance issues, new legislation, licensing of cryptocurrency and other activity related to it. You could start your morning breakfast reading about new cryptocurrency licensing guidelines in Estonia, then continue your research on how to establish a company in Switzerland and what licenses are needed for a cryptocurrency exchange there, and dinner — advantages of Regulation D in the USA.
In my opinion, it is also essential to go to conferences or seminars: it will help you to “feel the pulse,” see new and upcoming trends and meet interesting people.
- Which of your previous experiences appears to be the most useful while working at ROKKEX? Why?
I am very fortunate that at the beginning of my professional career, I had a great honor to work with highly skilled and motivated people. What molded me as an expert legal counsel was an obvious example of leadership that I experienced every day.
I feel extremely rewarded that I could work very closely with at least 4–5 B and C level executives and see what real leadership looks like. It made me and my colleagues appreciate the work that we did, trust and help each other and most importantly — take responsibility and lead with a good example. Knowing how a true leader should lead the team and motivate people makes me happy I had such a great example that I want to try and achieve myself (even though I know it is very hard to do).
- ROKKEX is going to make Security Token Offering, can you explain STO from the legal side and why everyone is mixing ICOs and STOs?
Yes, on the 26th of August we will launch our STO (check it out here).
In my opinion, we, as a community, should give much more attention to clarity, compliance, and sharing of knowledge.
Only when the crypto world becomes much more legally compliant, we can expect people would stop calling this industry a scam.
This is why we at ROKKEX chose the road less traveled — we aim to create a fully compliant cybersecurity company adhering to any legislation that is or might be shortly applicable to us. We believe that being legally compliant gives a much-needed assurance and safety to our everyday customers, partners, and users.
ICOs is a sore that will take time to heal. ICO’s usually had a very nice proposal, but sadly, it had no obligations — the only thing investors would get during an ICO were coins (and most of them became worthless very fast), anybody could invest, meaning most of the time it was just a perfect place to launder dirty money. There also was no legally binding contract, so most startups were free to use investor money any way they want and file for bankruptcy once the money was spent.
This is why STO is the next big step, look at it as it would be an IPO (Initial Public Offering) of any company. It is very similar, but has one distinct difference: you receive tokens which represent a binding contract between a company and an investor. Everything else stays the same as an IPO — you must be AML (anti-money laundering) and GDPR compliant, adhere to strict KYC (know-your-customer) requirements, register a Prospectus with the supervising authority.
What is more, during an STO, you commit to specific legally binding rules that are verified and signed via smart contract (this is why you receive tokens). Tokens prove you have a right to claim whatever was promised during an STO: equity, bond, dividends — you name it. If a promise is not kept, investor, holding tokens, can start legal proceedings against the company and fairly easily claim what legally belongs to him/her.
- Can you explain what the Security Prospectus is and why it’s important? Is it challenging to create one?
A prospectus is an important document, and drafting it should be taken seriously.
Look at it as a company passport with the addition of all possible information an investor might need to make an informed decision: invest or not to invest.
A Prospectus is a primary document that holds all commitments made by the company; this is why an investor should read the Prospectus very carefully and make sure it is clear what an investor will get in return to investment, how the money will be used, how the investment will be returned, etc.
Creating a Prospectus takes much time because tons of information must be disclosed; it must be accurate, audited, well calculated, and made public. What is very important to mention, a proper Prospectus must be registered with an FSA, what makes it even more credible, because FSA registers only fully compliant Prospectuses and really takes its time to make sure that every bit of information is accurate (because the FSA is also liable if they sign off on a faulty Prospectus).
- What makes you relax after a long hard-working day?
At home, we have chocolate labrador retriever who is always looking forward to long walks in a park or forest. So the best way to unwind after a long day is to take a walk and play with the dog, throw some sticks or even let him take a dip in the lake (and he always asks for those extra five minutes with his cute eyes) — it always makes me smile.
I also love reading, so a good book could easily keep me awake way into the night. I especially like historical books about WWII, because it was the biggest tragedy in the modern world due to poor diplomacy and cowardness of politicians. I believe that people should invest more of their time to read about the mistakes made in the past and do whatever it takes not to repeat them.
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