Q: Hi Andrius, tell us about yourself
Hi, readers. My name is Andrius Putna, and I am the CEO of BitDegree. Over the last decade, I have worked as a software engineer. Whilst I have been involved in a number of web projects, I have implemented the roadmaps for two of the world’s most popular web hosting platforms, hostinger.com, and 000webhost.com, over the last seven years. As a self-confessed “tech geek”, I am also an avid crypto promoter, and it was one of my ideas to introduce BitPay at Hostinger. In fact, my interest in this area is one of the reasons I decided to start BitDegree. Away from the tech and crypto worlds, I am from Kaunas, a city in Lithuania. I still live there with my wife and two children. I also received my bachelors degree from Kaunas Technical University.
Q: Tell us more about your team! Do they all have crypto backgrounds?
Excluding our advisors, we have 12 people working at BitDegree. With the exception of our marketing and communications department, all of our staff are highly technical individuals with crypto backgrounds, and we have worked with many of them since the early days of Hostinger and 000webhost. However, everyone in our team is a cryptocurrency owner, and some of them are even cryptocurrency miners!
Q: What inspired you to do an ICO? How did the idea of BitDegree come about? Is this something you have done before?
The second part of the answer involves 000webhost.com, which is the largest free web hosting provider in the world. This means that it naturally attracts a high number of young, tech-savvy users who are looking for a platform upon which they can test their ideas, and learn new skills.
At the start of 2017, BitDegree started creating a learning platform for the fundamentals iweb development. In the spring of the year, the Ethereum started gaining some serious attention, so we decided to create a smart contract course using Solidity. Throughout this process, we learnt about the possibilities that decentralised apps provide, and an ICO was one of them.
Our ceiling cap is the equivalent of 30M USD in Ethereum. This is the amount we need to start providing high quality tech courses, develop an easy to use platform, hire the necessary experts, and work closely with them to create high quality educational content.
Q: If you successfully crowd sell with your ICO, where will your company be based?BitDegree is registered and located in Lithuania. Most of us are Lithuanians, so we would love to continue working here. However, we would be willing to change that in the event of any legislation changes that would prevent BitDegree from achieving it objectives. Moreover, we would be willing to change our geographical location if it would benefit BitDegree.
Q: What level of scrutiny do you feel ICOs need to be held to?
We are currently in the early stages of ICOs, but they certainly need regulating in order for them to become a normal way of crowdfunding. Why? Because the potential of ICOs, plus the ability the give to investors the chance to participate in the early stages of a company’s development without a huge amount of capital is a huge opportunity. Think of what we are doing as the opposite to an IPO, which is only available to a select few.
Q: Do you have a background in conducting due diligence on crowdfunded projects?
You can tackle this question from two viewpoints. From an ICO perspective, our team has carried out its own due diligence on crowdfunded projects. From a general perspective, you need to be a legal entity to execute due diligence ‘proper’.
Q: In addition to cybersecurity, what do you feel needs to be understood when performing due diligence on cryptoprojects?
When performing due diligence on cryptoprojects, the economics driving them need to be absolutely clear to everyone involved. Again, this is a simple matter of best practice.
Q: What is your “bird’s eye view” of the blockchain industry as a whole. From what you’ve seen, what aspects of token crowdsales need to be improved?
Looking at the blockchain industry as a whole, there are two things that currently stand out to me. Firstly, ICOs are what have led to key industry players becoming involved with blockchain. However, the blockchain industry in terms of the actual number of people involved is still very small. Secondly, one of the driving forces behind BitDegree is that we want blockchain to grow, and we want more people to know about and use it. One of our goals is to erase all of the mystery surrounding the term “blockchain”, and we aim to do that by providing online courses about it to all BitDegree users in the future.
Token crowdsale as a model during last 7 months showed that is working pretty well from the technology point of view. What needs to be improved is to educate people how to distinguish good ICO from bad ICO. And BitDegree will also have a course about this.
Over the first two quarters of 2017, we have seen that ICOs work pretty well from a technological standpoint. The thing we need to improve is helping people distinguish a good ICO from a bad ICO. We do not believe that anything in this field can be done without transparency, so we will also provide a course about this topic.
Q: You’re clearly very passionate about the crypto space. What other projects are the most exciting to you?
Bitcoin will always be my number one. It is of course not the only one. Second one is Ethereum because of the possibilities it opens with DAPPS.
Bitcoin is, and will always be, the most exciting cryptospace project to me because it is the first one that I discovered and introduced me to the world of cryptocurrencies. If I had to choose a second, it would Ethereum because of the opportunities it opens up with using decentralised applications.
Q: What kind of blockchain projects would you like to see in the future?
I would like to see blockchain technology become part of our daily lives, and I am already waiting for car odometers to be synced to blockchain. This would mean they cannot be altered, and this would make blockchain (and my life!) easier to explain to everyone.
I like blockchain because it gives businesses the possibility to reinvent any transaction that currently requires an intermediary. These generally include the financial, retail, and manufacturing industries. In our case, we also see education as one of these fields because we will be able to connect BitDegree students directly with the course instructors.
Q: What’s in the future for BitDegree?
We have produced a roadmap for BitDegree over the next two years. You can check it out on our website. We will certainly be giving our users the chance to learn more about blockchain and smart contracts, because we want to grow the blockchain community. Everything else we do will be related to the tech industry.
Q: Have you talked with any exchanges about their interest in enabling the trade of BitDegree tokens?
Not yet, and our main priority right now is our ICO which will take place on December 1st. However, we are already taking steps to discuss exchanges with new partners as soon as the ICO ends on December 14th.
TheInvestZone wish you good luck for the ICO.
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