Excitement about this industry is justified. There is a lot happening and there is huge potential for the future. Particularly from the artificial intelligence perspective, there is a need for blockchains. Blockchains have the capability to track all of the decisions that an artificial intelligence algorithm is making. When that is done, there is important synergy between blockchain and AI because we can see how well the algorithms have performed in the past.
As part of my series about the “5 Ways That We Can Help Stabilize The Cryptocurrency Market” I had the pleasure of interviewing Sergey Savastiouk, Ph.D.
Sergey is the Founder and CEO of Tickeron, an artificial and human intelligence platform delivering unparalleled trading insights and analysis to self-directed investors and investment advisors.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”?
Ifirst entered the artificial intelligence space when I got my Ph.D. in applied mathematics, which was not a very popular subject at the time. Right after earning my degree I moved to the Silicon Valley area and began teaching at Santa Clara University. Additionally, I was entering the fintech industry by working with a few different startups and developing my own trading algorithms. All of this was occurring right around the same time as the financial crisis of 2008. When that happened, I saw that my 401(k) went down, a lot of people suffered, and I wanted to set up a service which would give advice automatically, based on my personal experience of trading and knowledge of the mathematics and algorithms. It was then that I combined all of the algorithms I had been working on into a single platform and started Tickeron.
Can you tell us the story of how you got first involved with the Regtech or Crypto markets?
Although Tickeron was founded and many of our tools were created before this, crypto markets really started picking up in 2017. At that time, we had the very first prototype of crypto trading algorithms. However, a lot of people and businesses jumped in the industry and we had to move quickly. It was at that time that we added the module which analyzes crypto prices to the platform. Back then, we were supporting over 1,000 crypto coins but over the last couple of years, as many have died out, that number has dropped significantly. Despite this, Tickeron has remained in the industry and we have been supporting crypto market algorithms for the past couple of years.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
There is not one particular person who helped me get to where I am today, but I like to say that my “three different lives” and the experiences I’ve had and different people I’ve met along the way have made a huge impact. In my “first life” I grew up in a small town in Russia, without pretty much anything around. I left at 16 years old to go to college in Moscow. In Russia, it is generally believed that you cannot become anything in your life without going to Moscow for a college education. I received my Bachelors and Masters degrees and left to go study at the International Space University in France. After returning from France, I completed my Ph.D. program in Moscow and decided it was time to move on and go to the United States. I eventually found a job teaching at Santa Clara University, where my “third life” began. I was, and still am, living in the Silicon Valley area where I first got involved in creating start-ups. These three lives and the experiences I had within them have taught me countless lessons and given me a unique perspective on politics, technology, working with different cultures and more. All of this put together has had a significant impact on my success and helping me to get to where I am today.
Can you share 5 things that should be done to help stabilize the Crypto Economy?
- Regulations — By far the most important thing the crypto industry needs is better regulatory guidance and laws associated with the currency. Over the past couple of years since becoming involved in the crypto economy, I have not seen much progress on the regulatory side. Additionally, I have worked with a few attorneys who determined that dealing with the initial coin was too risky from a legal perspective. I believe that this issue accounts for three quarters of the industry’s instability. As soon as better regulations are put in place, the market is going to be in much better shape because there will be more trust in the market.
- Advertising — There are also problems associated with major platforms like Facebook and Google not allowing cryptocurrency advertisements. Starting in 2018, they cracked down on any sort of crypto advertising due to the absence of regulations.
- Trust — Another consequence of the main problem, a lack of regulations, is that investors have lost a lot of trust in the market. Putting strong regulatory legislature in place will allow investors to start to gain it back.
- Exchanges — A less important but still significant issue is the absence of regulated crypto exchanges, as the practice is still in its rudimentary stages.
- Advisors — Lastly, advisor education is extremely important. The crypto economy is still relatively new, and the better-informed advisors are, the more likely they are to participate in the market.
In your experience, what are the top strategies that crypto firms should be considering in order to have a competitive edge?
In order to have a competitive edge, the most important factor is education. A lot of institutional investors are interested in the market, but the problem is that they do not have the education or trust in the market that is necessary. Many advisors are going to recommend not putting much in the crypto market because of the lack of regulatory protocols — not only do they not fully understand the market, but they do not have much trust in it. Crypto firms who are on top of the constantly changing legislation and protocols will be the ones with an edge.
What are the 3 things that most excite you about the blockchain industry? Why?
Excitement about this industry is justified. There is a lot happening and there is huge potential for the future. Particularly from the artificial intelligence perspective, there is a need for blockchains. Blockchains have the capability to track all of the decisions that an artificial intelligence algorithm is making. When that is done, there is important synergy between blockchain and AI because we can see how well the algorithms have performed in the past. For example, I recently read an article about a facial recognition system failing and falsely convicting someone of a crime. Clearly, the system can come up with false positives. A blockchain system could be recording their trust in the algorithm and the level of confidence we should have in the A. I’s decision. This is very exciting because when the two systems work together, we can compare the outcome and resulting level of trust in the A.I.
What are the 3 things worry you about the blockchain industry? Why?
My most significant worry with the blockchain industry is that politicians do not have the time to deal with the significant regulatory issues facing the industry. There is a lot of turmoil about other problems, so the things that the market need get pushed to the back and are not a priority. Additionally, Congress is shutting down huge crypto projects that could be very impactful to the industry. Facebook was developing a coin that got shut down; another company accumulated over a billion dollars for a project and was ordered to return it to investors. My overall worry is the chaos at the legislative level. Until that is dealt with, the industry will not progress.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world? Can you share a story?
I have been lucky enough to be successful with a few of the companies I have been involved with throughout my life. These ventures have offered many benefits to users and introduced new technology to the world, which I am very proud of. However, what I am most proud of using my success for is adopting a child from Russia to come to the United States and experience the goodness that this country offers.
Can you share a story of a time when things went south for you? What kept you going and helped you to overcome those times?
Pretty much every company founder in the Silicon Valley area has faced a dilemma about how much you can accomplish with the time and money allocated by investors. Going along with that is the concept of “fake it until you make it.” While I have never been dishonest or crossed the line, I certainly have had difficulties dealing with investors and balancing my needs as the company founder against their own, as the financial support.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?
As said by Winston Churchill, “no crisis should be left wasted”. While I’ve always appreciated that quote and what it means, it has never been as relevant as it is in 2020. Particularly during the first half of the year, everyone’s lives were impacted in some way, whether professionally or personally, due to the coronavirus pandemic. When we are faced with a crisis like that, we should be coming out of it as better people, employees, leaders, etc. There is so much potential to not only improve the work environment but also find the best of the situation we are in currently, and where we are going to be when the crisis is over.
How can our readers follow you online?
Thank you so much for this. This was very enlightening!