Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency Startup Sets Up Shop in Estonia

Estonia is a Northern European country with a population of 1.3 million. It has become well-known for using cutting-edge technology to help its citizens file taxes and conduct elections. In addition, the innovative nation has developed digital infrastructure that allows foreign businesses to enroll in its E-Residency program. With this E-Residency program, companies can legally operate as virtual business entities based in Estonia. Cryptocurrency startups have recently begun to take advantage of this opportunity.

Notably, the developed country offers a business-friendly environment, even to cryptocurrency startups and ICOs. Up till now, I had only read about this on the internet and not actually talked to anyone who had registered a business in Estonia. Yesterday, however, I interviewed Joyjit Bhowmick, the CEO of a cryptocurrency startup who has established a legal entity for his business in the high-income economy nation.

Highly Speculative Cryptocurrency Market

During our interview, Joyjit pointed out that the current cryptocurrency market was highly speculative. Digital currencies are being heavily traded and there are numerous crypto exchanges operating as well. Unfortunately, according to the Bangladeshi businessman, there are not nearly as many use cases compared to the daily trading volume of cryptocurrencies. This, I think is a very astute observation.

Initially, before speaking to Joyjit, I had incorrectly assumed that he was stating that all cryptocurrencies do not have use cases. Of course, this is simply not true. As most crypto enthusiasts would know, Bitcoin definitely has many use cases. One major one being that large crypto-platforms such as Komodo and Factom back up their data to the Bitcoin blockchain 24 hours a day, at pre-determined periodic intervals. The Bitcoin blockchain is considered by most to be the most secure and reliable one out of the thousands of blockchains in the the crypto ecosystem.

Cryptos Have Use Cases – But We Need Many More 

While Joyjit acknowledged the various practical use cases for not only Bitcoin, but also Ethereum and a few other crypto-platforms, he did say that he wants the token for his crypto-platform to derive value from its actual usage, instead of baseless market speculation. This is partly how the idea and concept for Nobar.io came about. At first, Joyjit and his team members had been focusing on learning about Blockchain and how or if it should be incorporated into a business.

After the cryptocurrency market began to really take off, particularly in July 2017 as the CEO of nobar.io noted, his team naturally started paying more attention to it, like many others would admit to as well. Observing cryptos very closely, Joyjit’s team noticed that the digital currency market was quite fragmented. There were, definitely, use cases that had been developed by projects such as Paytomat, Lapo, and Pundi X that aim to provide payments solutions for cryptocurrencies.

Comprehensive E-Commerce Crypto Platform

However, Joyjit believes that the above-mentioned projects are not aiming to provide a truly comprehensive E-commerce cryptocurrency platform. The CEO termed their project as building “The Complete Crypto Commerce”. Building on the concept of using cryptocurrency as a medium of exchange to buy and sell goods and services, Joyjit not only intends to provide a simple crypto-payments solution. Moreover, the ambitious entrepreneur wants to also develop an online E-commerce portal where users can directly and seamlessly use their BTC, Ether, LTC, BCH, and his company’s developed NBR tokens to pay for products and services. The NOBAR team wishes to provide a holistic solution on their platform where users can perform B2B, B2C, C2C, C2B, Ads, Job and POS (Point of Sale) payments activities with crypto payments.

According to Joyjit, there are already individual services for freelancing work, B2C, B2B, and POS systems, but he wants to bring all these services to one go-to destination that he calls Nobar.io, where Nobar stands for No Barrier. Essentially, the Nobar.io team plans to surpass giants such as Amazon and Alibaba by not only offering a platform where users can engage in diversified commercial activities, but also do it using cryptocurrencies and the NBR token.

Building from Scratch

Clearly, there will be numerous hurdles and obstacles that the Nobar.io team will have to face. One of the major ones that come to my mind is that of accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, which Winning Poker Network CEO Phil Nagy brought to my attention. The most obvious problem with accepting cryptos is that you have to deal with their highly volatile nature. So, if you accept a $1,000 payment in BTC, that same BTC payment could be worth $500 in a few days. 

Therefore, you would have to stomach the losses. Only a company that has a very solid foundation would be able to handle this type of volatility. Moreover, retail giants like Amazon would struggle if they attempt to accept cryptos as payment because they process a very, very large number of transactions. So, for Amazon to start accepting cryptos, they would have to absorb the losses due to volatility a lot more than a much smaller company like the Winning Poker Network. What I can conclude here is that allowing for cryptocurrencies to be a payment option is something that is best suited for mid-sized companies. Most startups, as we know, fail. And for a startup to accept cryptocurrencies might not seem realistic. But, this is what Nobar.io is attempting to do.

What Exactly Will Nobar.io Do?

Nobar.io wants to:

“disrupt the $4 trillion digital payment and e-commerce industry to provide a holistic solution to the spending problem of cryptocurrency and crypto token. By providing a platform where users will be able to spend their cryptocurrency and crypto token for wide range of transactional and commercial activities, the NOBAR platform’s user base is expected to have a sustainable steady growth. By doing this, we aim to create one of the largest usage commonalities in the crypto market.”

As Joyjit himself admits, this will be a very challenging thing to do but he believes that he has the right vision, expert team members and determination to bring this project to fruition. That’s okay, I think, because billion dollar companies exist today because their founders accepted these challenges and worked hard to achieve what they had envisioned. Let me be very clear though. I am not saying that this project will be successful. There are numerous obstacles that would prevent a project of this magnitude to actually become a reality.

Cryptocurrency Regulations

One of the wisest business decisions that Joyjit and his team have taken is to establish a digital presence for their business in Estonia. Because of the country’s crypto-friendly laws, the Nobar.io CEO believes that fundraising for his business venture will be a lot easier. Currently, Joyjit is in Dhaka, Bangladesh and pretty much anything crypto-related including trading is banned. So, obviously it would not be advisable and maybe not even legally possible for him to raise funds for his startup in Bangladesh.

Countries like the United States would also not be a good place to launch an ICO, because of the US Securities and Exchange commission classifying ICOs as securities offerings. Since they are now considered to be securities, they need to be registered as such. The registration process is quite lengthy and complicated, so Nobar.io has decided not to go through with all the hassle that is involved with launching an ICO in the United States. 

Where will the Money Come From?

Admittedly, the United States and Bangladesh are not the only places where funding for ICOs can come from. However, Joyjit mentioned a number of other countries where they would not be able to receive funding from investors due to regulatory restrictions. In light of these limitations, a good question to ask would be, where will the money come from? In response, the Nobar.io CEO said that they were not limiting their investors to ICOs.

According to Joyjit, he not only plans to take advantage of the crypto-friendly laws in Estonia, but also intends to draw investments from accredited and private investors. This is not a new strategy by any means. In fact, my interview with Marie-Antoinette, the founder of C2Legacy, “a Digital Will platform on a blockchain that will securely and accurately validate the death of the legacy holder”, will also look to draw investments from accredited investors from the United States and Europe.

Given the large number of scams that have been orchestrated under the guise of ICOs, this is probably a wise way to secure investments for cryptocurrency and blockchain startups. Nevertheless, working within the legal framework of any jurisdiction can be quite challenging for any startup, and this might be even a lot more difficult for a cryptocurrency startup. That’s probably why the Nobar.io team has chosen Estonia as a starting point to relieve some of the legal and regulatory burden that is placed on tech startups.

Nobar.io Whitepaper

So, how will the “master plan” unfold? The details are covered quite extensively in the company’s whitepaper. While I won’t go into all what is mentioned in this lengthy document, since you can refer to the write up itself, I will point out some noteworthy things about it. There are plenty of technical details that the whitepaper goes over, including the actual source code they appear to be using and working on.

Perhaps the best thing I found was that the people who are part of the Nobar.io team and their major role can be found in this whitepaper. Oftentimes, the identities of the individuals behind an ICO project are not made public. This is usually a red flag, which is not the case with this company. Obviously, this does not imply that the project will be a success. It does, however, show that the crypto startup is trying to be as transparent as possible.

How Does the Crypto Startup Plan to Address Scalability

As most people would know, a significant problem plaguing major cryptocurrency platforms like Bitcoin and Ethereum, are scalability issues. This occurs when a blockchain-based network grows larger and larger. When this happens, like it has with Bitcoin, transaction processing times increase sharply. Additionally, transaction fees go up quite a bit as well. Even while a highly skilled Bitcoin Core developer team is working around the clock to solve these issues, they are still a problem at this time.

When I asked Joyjit how he plans to tackle this, he stated that only the payments process would be handled through a blockchain. The rest of the e-commerce infrastructure would be built using a more traditional, centralized, and proven e-commerce solution. Still, this would be a very challenging e-commerce system to implement because you are attempting to build one that will offer even more services and products than Amazon and Alibaba offer and integrating a crypto-platform into it as well. In response to this, the CEO explained that the cryptocurrency market is still relatively small compared to the 4 trillion USD e-commerce and digital payment industry and is still at its initial stages where people are learning how things work. According to the CEO it is great time to start building his platform and gradually penetrate to generate acceptability as the crypto industry grows.

Marketing Strategy & Implementation Details

The Nobar.io CEO is currently running paid Facebook, Youtube, Instagram and Linkedin ads to promote his business. This would seem a bit surprising as Facebook recently moved toward banning cryptocurrency-related Ads. But Joyjit pointed out to me that the way you fill out the information required to set up a Facebook Ad can allow you to advertise your crypto business on the giant social media platform. According to him, you need to basically follow the Facebook advertisement policies carefully to make it sound less promotional and specify that if a user intends to invest his money into Nobar.io, then he or she should perform their own research and accept responsibility for their own decisions.

Joyjit is probably right about this because I have personally seen numerous crypto-related Ads on Facebook, even after they were supposedly banned. The CEO informed me that they have not begun their marketing on Twitter yet. And, recently they have added Mr Ismail Malik, the Editor in Chief at ICO Crowd as an Advisor for the project. They have also incorporated Mr Anil Kumar, Director of strategic partnerships at Trescon as their Advisor. Joyjit believes that now he has the complete team to develop this project to success.

The NOBAR team has a post token sale beachhead marketing strategy where they would penetrate the global market with their platform starting from their origin, Estonia. The CEO explains that they are going to market the platform gradually both function wise and region wise to steadily build up the user base on their platform.

$2 Million Soft Cap & Upcoming Media Partnerships

Hopefully, if the company can manage to raise $2 million, then this soft cap target will allow them to build a basic e-commerce platform that will have most of the services that they aim to provide, but only be able to accept and process payments in Ether or the company’s native NBR token. Users would not be able to pay for services using the other planned cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, and Litecoin. 

To achieve the $20 million hard cap target, which would allow the crypto startup to implement all the promised features described in their whitepaper and website, the company would need to let its presence be known. Of course, this would require working with various news media companies. When asked about which news media sites he had been planning on working with, Joyjit said that he had contacted Bit Crypto News, a Russian news agency. Also, the CEO has done a online interview with icotalk.tv, a YouTube channel, to explain what his crypto project is all about.  Finally, when I asked him why he chose to do an interview with me, he responded by saying that he was looking to market his business through us, at Crypto Core Media. So, I would like to welcome Joyjit Bhowmick and accept this offer on behalf of our company. 

Please note that, at Crypto Core Media, we strive to publish objective, unbiased, and accurate information obtained through investigative journalism. Inline with this approach, you can expect to read more from us as Nobar.io proceeds further with the plans outlined in their whitepaper, but from an informative and educational point of view. We also encourage our readers to learn more about the crypto projects they choose to involve themselves in.

References: 

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-01-23/estonian-leader-doesn-t-rule-out-ico-idea-warns-on-regulation

https://web.facebook.com/nobar.io/?_rdc=1&_rdr

https://www.linkedin.com/in/joyjit-bhowmick-934933116/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/blockchain/