Lesson From A Tech Futurist — Pavel Bains, CEO & co-founder of Bluzelle
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Pavel Bains, the CEO of Bluzelle for a discussion about crypto, blockchain and the future of this technology.
Gene: Can you please tell us more about what your company does? I love learning about advancements in the crypto space, so please feel free to geek out with me on this.
Pavel: Bluzelle’s goal is to build a new data economy. This is because data has now become a currency and the existing centralized structures are leading to data breaches, data clogs, and data manipulation. To solve this problem, Bluzelle is building a decentralize database. This database uses blockchain concepts to
allow for data to be stored much more securely. We do this by splitting up the data into multiple pieces and storing them on networks of nodes spread around the world.
Gene: Who are your competitors in this space? What makes your company stand out?
Pavel: Oracle, IBM, AWS. They all used old centralized cloud models. We designed our database protocol similar to Bitcoin, it’s decentralized.
Gene: What sort of traction have you guys gotten so far? Are you a well known brand? Still in the startup stage? Or somewhere in the middle?
Pavel: Because we did a very successful ICO in January, our name and brand became very well known. People like the product, team and technology. In the blockchain space we have over 35 applications working with
us and five different blockchain platforms. In the past we also used our technology to do projects with big banks and insurers, including HSBC, AIA and MUFG.
Gene: What is the most innovative project that you have ever worked on?
Pavel: Definitely building the Bluzelle decentralized database. Everyone said to us ‘this is a big challenge you are taking on’, but that’s what excites us. We have an opportunity to build something very innovative and
Gene: What are some up and coming coins that we should keep on our radar?
Pavel: Perlin is exciting as it aims to reduce the processing power required for mining. The CEO is big into social impact and we are all aware of the negative environmental impact of mining bitcoin.
Gene: What is your opinion on bitcoin? Is it still a good investment?
Pavel: Regardless of what one thinks of the technology, if you believe in crypto then you need to have Bitcoin. It’s the most popular one and mainstream will always go to that first. So as more masses come in, they will be buying
BTC first before anything else.
Gene: What sort of regulations do you think we can expect in the near future? How will it impact the industry?
Pavel: I see regulations coming into ICOs so they run like stocks. I just hope they don’t prevent small, non-accredited investors from participating. I think it’s a mockery that anyone is allowed to buy lottery tickets or gamble (which
the US has now legalized with sports gambling) but they are not allowed to buy stock of certain companies? How about regulators start treating Facebook, Google, Snapchat and others as banks? After all they take our
data and do little to protect it while they are re-selling it. And after Cambridge Analytics, we see that they manipulate it too. If banks did that with money, there would be serious fines happening.
Gene: If you could jump into a time machine, go back in time, and change one aspect of your past, what would it be, and why?
Pavel: After graduating from university I joined a startup, it didn’t turn out well. I decided to go get a finance job because I felt so burned. Instead I should have took the learnings and got back on the horse right away. I waited too long to get back into it.
Gene: How will the work your team is doing impact humanity in the future? For example, bringing people closer together, creating more jobs, create killer robots that will destroy all of humanity (joking), etc.
Pavel: By giving people more control of their data. As said, data has become a currency and needs to be managed like one. Right now it’s being used and abused by big tech companies. Our goal is to give everyone the ability to control and monetize their data. If people don’t fight back for control then we are all in for big trouble.
Gene: Throughout our careers, we have all run into a few roadblocks. Can you please tell us about a time that you failed? How did you motivate yourself to keep going?
Pavel: Before Bluzelle, I had a digital publishing platform for kids books called Storypanda. Long story short it didn’t work out. I was pretty bummed out. But my wife said “It’s only a failure if you go back to a regular job. If you take what you learned now and do something else you haven’t failed yet.” So that’s when I decided to go even bigger and challenge myself with deep technology innovation and aim higher than Storypanda. That’s when I discovered blockchain.
Gene: What are a your 5 tips that you would give to an inexperienced investor? Why?
1. Invest in something you are truly interested in. If everyone says bio-tech are a good investment but you have no care for it, then don’t bother.
2. Read up more in those areas so you can understand the nuances.
3. This is a given but only invest what you are comfortable with losing. Tech entrepreneurs are different than investors. We are willing to go all the way. Do the opposite if you are an inexperienced investor.
4. If going into a new, emerging industry (like crypto and blockchain), have a strong stomach and don’t get shook out. Hang tight. This applies for investments into space exploration, AI, quantum computing etc. If it’s in a new, exciting space, talk about it to others. The more people who know about it, the better.
Gene: If you could spend one day with any person (alive or not), who would it be any why?
Pavel: The writer Albert Camus. Given what’s happening today with social media, reality-tv, celebrity worship, hot-take culture it would be interesting to discuss the absurdity of life now.