Exclusive Interview With Nikolay Shkilev: Blockchain-Powered E-Commerce Platform
Nikolay Shkilev has grown to become one of the biggest names in the field of Blockchain in the last few years. Awarded multiple awards for his noteworthy contributions as an advisor, he is also the owner and founder of many successful businesses. The Coin Republic had an exclusive interview with Nikolay Shkilev to talk about his future projects, his recent nomination to the prestigious Blockchain Life Awards 2021, and his ambitious entry into the e-commerce industry with his blockchain-powered company “Zelwin”.
THE COIN REPUBLIC: NIKOLAY, YOUR REPUTATION PRECEDES YOU. YOU’RE OFTEN REGARDED AS ONE OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL FIGURES IN THE WORLD OF BLOCKCHAIN AND HAVE RECEIVED MULTIPLE AWARDS FOR YOUR NUMEROUS CONTRIBUTIONS TO THE INDUSTRY. TELL US ABOUT YOUR JOURNEY TO THESE IMPRESSIVE HEIGHTS. WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR BIGGEST MOTIVATION?
Nikolay: Before joining Blockchain, I had experience of owning different types of businesses for 20 years, and this was lacking in the Blockchain environment. There were a lot of programmers, enthusiasts, but the projects did not understand how to build their business correctly, there were no real and successful entrepreneurs, there was no experience on how to build their own business correctly, and this was clear to me from the very beginning. Therefore, I began to help many projects, they earned good money, I made good money, and a reputation in the blockchain environment appeared there. Moreover, I very quickly established contacts and relationships with all the big people in this area, and this is more expensive than any money. Projects want to work with me, because they understand that I can open doors for them as quickly as possible to any place, without intermediaries, and always honestly say what works and what doesn’t.
THE COIN REPUBLIC: YOU’VE OFTEN EXPRESSED CONFIDENCE IN STATING THAT BLOCKCHAIN AND CRYPTOCURRENCIES WILL ONE DAY BECOME AS BIG A REVOLUTION AS THE INTERNET WAS. GIVE US A PICTURE OF HOW A BLOCKCHAIN POWERED HUMAN SOCIETY MIGHT LOOK LIKE IN THE NEAR FUTURE.
Nikolay: I said it because I see this problem in the world. Firstly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the traditional business has collapsed in many countries, and people have begun to look for sources of alternative income Secondly, The US government printed more money in 2020 than it did in 200 years, and in early 2021 again printed an unsecured $ 1.9 trillion, despite the huge external debt. A decent part of this money, like the past, ordinary people channeled into digital assets. Thirdly, large traditional investors began to actively invest part of their investments in Bitcoin, recognizing it as digital gold.
This gave a powerful impetus to the entire industry. In many countries, access to financial instruments is limited, with high inflation, high interest rates on loans, sanctions, government barriers, etc. For a huge number of people, digital assets are a real way out of a difficult situation. Many people liked the idea of complete decentralization, i.e. without dependence on any regulators, without intermediaries, without censorship, and without total control. Of course, Elon Musk and TheWallStreetBets also significantly moved the market and found millions of followers.
But I also understand that the states of many countries will be against this technology, will try to take it completely under control and will want to control people even more rigidly. But the more they prohibit this technology, the more people will switch to this technology. The future is definitely headed towards blockchain.
THE COIN REPUBLIC: LET’S TALK ABOUT YOUR COMPANY, PRIVATE BUSINESS CLUB WHICH YOU FOUNDED IN 2003. NEARLY 70 PROJECTS HAVE BEEN CREATED IN THE LAST 3 YEARS IT WITH A NEAR $1.2 BILLION DOLLARS MARKET CAPITALIZATION OF COMPANIES THAT ARE IN THE CLUB. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE CREATED SUCH A MASSIVE ENTITY? TAKE US THROUGH THE JOURNEY THAT BEGAN IN 2003.
Nikolay: It all started in 2003 when I earned my first million dollars in international logistics and bought a Bentley. It was an idiotic thing to do because cars cost twice as much in Russia as they do in Europe or the United States because of duties.
In those years, there were few Bentley owners in St. Petersburg, where I lived, and they were well-known, important people in the city and different business industries.
I got to know all of them and suggested creating a club of interests for the elite. To my surprise, everyone supported the idea. That’s how things began to develop. Private Business Club began as a local project, but we realized that the system of recommendations does not go far over time. Despite our extensive connections, we are still limited by our circle of acquaintances. Our resident investors constantly need fresh ideas and projects. Conversely, projects need access to more entrepreneurs. We invite entrepreneurs from any country. We also have residents from a vast number of spheres of business — this includes the construction business, the tourist business, real estate, IT technology, Blockchain, FMCG, eCommerce, etc.
Therefore, I invite all your readers-entrepreneurs to cooperate and welcome to our Private Business Club.
THE COIN REPUBLIC: YOU’VE MENTIONED YOUR ADMIRATION FOR JEFF BEZOS AND JACK MA IN YOUR PAST INTERVIEWS, WHO ARE THE RESPECTIVE FOUNDERS OF AMAZON AND ALIBABA, TWO OF THE BIGGEST E-COMMERCE GIANTS IN THE WORLD. RECENTLY, YOU CREATED YOUR OWN E-COMMERCE PLATFORM ZELWIN, WHICH IS POWERED BY BLOCKCHAIN AND EVEN RUNS ITS OWN CRYPTO TOKEN ZLW. ACCORDING TO YOU, HOW BIG IS ZELWIN GOING TO BE? WITH TIME, WILL IT REPLACE AMAZON AND ALIBABA?
Nikolay: We have clear goals to achieve a capitalization of 1 billion US dollars in the next 1–2 years, and then only to grow rapidly.
It is foolish to fight with Amazon and Alibaba now, but this market is growing so rapidly that now the volume of trading in the world is already almost 6 trillion US dollars. If we take just a small part of this market, we will make billions.
THE COIN REPUBLIC: ZELWIN HAS BEEN DUBBED AS “THE MARKETPLACE OF THE PEOPLE” AND ITS USP SEEMS TO BE ITS ATTRACTIVE REWARD PROGRAMS. NOT ONLY DO SELLERS GET GOOD COMMISSIONS FROM THEIR SALES BUT EVEN BUYERS GET REWARDED FOR THEIR PURCHASES IN THE FORM OF ZLW TOKENS. WHAT LED YOU TO CREATE SUCH A SYSTEM THAT REWARDS ITS BUYERS AND HOW DOES ZELWIN MANAGE TO SUSTAIN IT?
Nikolay: Yes. You are right. In all my business I’m creating a WIN-WIN strategy for all parties, including Zelwin.com; we have made several ways of earning for merchants and sellers. People invite Sellers from all over the world to our website and receive adequate commission from all of their sales. It’s very profitable for Sellers, too. Free registration, no subscription fees, commission only from real sales. People invite Buyers to our website (using a referral program in their personal account) and receive 20% of cashback from them. It’s profitable for Buyers to use a referral link of those people, because then their cashback is doubled.
In other words, we are developing a Marketplace for the People. Absolutely anyone can join. Some will be able to earn greatly, some will not. But we are giving this chance to everyone without an exception. It will be beneficial to people, to us and to sellers — all parties; and that will allow us to create a massive community!
THE COIN REPUBLIC: OUR NEXT QUESTION IS ON BLOCKCHAIN LIFE AWARDS 2021. YOU’RE ONE OF THE NOMINEES IN THE “TOP PERSON IN THE BLOCKCHAIN INDUSTRY IN RUSSIA AND CIS”. HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT IT? WHAT DO YOU THINK MIGHT BE THE BIGGEST FACTOR THAT’LL CONTRIBUTE TO YOU GETTING THE AWARD?
Nikolay: Of course, I am pleased that I am considered one of the main people in the blockchain field in such a territory as Russia and the CIS countries (there are about 20 countries) and where hundreds of millions of people live.
To receive this award, a large open vote has been going on for several weeks, and at the time of your reply, I was supported by most people. Without the support of ordinary people, even I am powerless, so I was doubly pleased how literally in all social networks people not only gave votes for me, but also actively supported me and urged others to vote. Many thanks to all my fans, friends, projects who decided to support me.
THE COIN REPUBLIC: LASTLY, TELL US ABOUT YOUR FUTURE PLANS. ASIDE FROM EXPANDING YOUR CURRENT BUSINESSES, DO YOU’VE ANY PLANS OF ENTERING A NEW BUSINESS SPHERE?
Nikolay: Together with the Private Business Club, we have launched and are launching dozens of projects in the field of Blockchain. Many projects and our investors have already earned millions of dollars.
Therefore, I invite both projects and investors to our Private Business Club. Let’s make money together, the market now allows you to do it! We help at all stages and I have a large team of some of the best specialists in this field. In parallel, we are now launching the Xpertual Blockchain Academy, where we will tell everything about the blockchain and trends from A to Z, and where I have invited many famous speakers.
For any questions/partnerships, you can find me on LinkedIn. In the subject line, just write “Partnership” and I’ll answer asap.