ICONOMI is currently in an ICO and has managed to raise $5.2M USD with eight days left to go. The platform aims to create funds as smart contracts on top of the Ethereum network.
I decided to reach out to Tim M. Zagar, co-founder of Cashila and ICONOMI to find out more details about the platform.
How did you first hear about Ethereum and why did you get into it?
We started brainstorming about going full-time into Bitcoin (which showed us that trust can be decentralised) around 3 years ago. When starting cashila.com we hoped something beyond sending tokens of value around would happen. Ethereum was the answer to that question and a logical evolution for us.
Is Cashila noticing an increase of bitcoin users in Europe?
We started Cashila to process payments from BTC to SEPA bank accounts, targeting mostly EU users. After operating for about 6 months, we also introduced EUR to BTC payments. Soon we learned that more fiat money is going into cryptocurrency than vice versa. That meant that people preferred to invest into BTC rather than spend it. This trend intensified with the addition of ETH. Lately we are noticing even stronger interest of people wanting to invest in Iconomi.
What’s your main reason for starting Iconomi?
At Iconomi we strongly believe in the decentralised economy. Judging from market reactions and from analysing user trends, we share this belief with a much wider audience. Iconomi is an answer to specific market needs. Furthermore, after the introduction of Ethereum and on top of that the emergence of the first app tokens, we figured that startups are moving away from “classic” VC founding.
With no real need for middlemen, Iconomi as a vehicle is allowing people to actually skip that step. The Iconomi fund management platform allows people to invest in decentralised-economy startups with FIAT money. We introduced the concept of funds to minimise the volatility, simplify the process and offload the burden of research and due diligence to investment professionals with a proven track record.
Do you foresee any legacy financial institutions building funds on the Iconomi platform?
Actually, in the first phase they are our primary target. We have already talked to several different asset management companies that are showing great interest in using our platform.
Are you concerned about any potential regulatory hurdles?
We have reserved a sizable amount of resources for the “legalisation” of crypto fund-management. We are and will be global leaders in this category. Therefore, as pioneers we are responsible for proactively opening this topic with the regulators. We have already identified the most sensitive topics, and are addressing them as we speak.
What measures will Iconomi take to prevent any exploits like what we’ve seen with the DAO?
The DAO had a bug in the code with lots of ETH inside and that is what brought it down. ICONOMI’s cryptocurrencies are kept in multiple cold storage multisig wallets and there is no way to directly interact with them via a smart contract.
If Iconomi succeeds, give us a 360 overview of what the platform will look like in 4 years time.
Iconomi will succeed – we have a significant advantage in terms of business model, funding and regulatory activities. We’re the Uber for fund management and financial services. Iconomi will connect professionals with knowledge, experience and skills with the investors.
What we foresee will happen through time is the evolution of funds. At the beginning funds will include only cryptocurrencies and investments into the decentralised-economy, later digitalisation of traditional assets will follow. Iconomi will take a significant share of traditional funds business. In a few years time, this fastest growing business segment with be much much bigger than today’s 11 billion USD of combined crypto markets capitalisation.