VIDEO: BlockSpace Labs CEO Mukhtar Mussabetov on ICOs and Blockchain Technology
BlockSpace Labs Inc. is a co-founder of three blockchain startups worldwide. CEO Mukhtar Mussabetov walks us through the company’s focus on ICOs, its recent projects, and how Canadian investors can get involved.
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James West: Mukhtar, thank you for joining us today.
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Thank you for having me.
James West: Mukhtar, tell me about BlockSpace Labs: what does it do?
Mukhtar Mussabetov: BlockSpace Labs is the cofounder of three Blockchain start-ups in different parts of the world, and while this company has start-ups in development stage, conceptual stealth mode, there’s not much on the business development side. And I was approached by some friends from all circles to help them with ICO.
James West: Initial coin offering.
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Initial coin offering. And it was December 2016 and I didn’t know much about ICOs at that time, but you know, they told me, you have a lot of investment experience and corporate galleons, business strategies, it should be easy for you. So that’s how it started rolling out.
James West: And you’re from the investment industry, originally?
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Yes. I was involved in negotiating multi-million-dollar deals in the oil and gas mining industry.
James West: And where was that?
Mukhtar Mussabetov: I was in Kazakhstan, large oil fields like Tengis, Karachaganak, Caspian Sea Shelf…
James West: Sure.
Mukhtar Mussabetov: And it’s huge, probably close to trillion dollars projects now. And then I had my own business consulting, and was involved in business strategy in corporate governance management and helped financial institutions to go for IPO and go on the stock exchange.
James West: So when you say ICO, are you talking about originating your own ICO as a corporate entity, or you do it on behalf of other corporate entities?
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Well, it’s a part of the activity of my corporation, BlockSpace Labs.
James West: Developing…
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Yeah, helping clients to prepare them for ICO, and it includes all issues related to business side, like developing the ecosystem for Blockchain start-ups, business model tokenization and a lot of other issues related to make their whitepapers with some sense.
James West: I see. So is the purpose of the ICO as the service you provide, is it to raise funds for the companies issuing the ICO?
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Yeah. It’s to prepare companies for ICO.
James West: As opposed to an IPO.
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Yeah. So IPO –
James West: I’m catching on.
Mukhtar Mussabetov: An IPO is, everyone knows it’s getting regulated based on some results and many other standards, but ICO is very new, revolutionary model.
James West: Decentralized…
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Yeah, decentralized, and disrupting. It’s actually combination and sort of integration and evolution of several different concepts, like crowd funding, because it allows you to just in some projects with a possibility to get products first.
James West: So walk me through an ICO. Say I’m a corporate entity, I’m a $100 billion oil and gas producer, and I want to raise capital through an ICO. I call you, and how do you determine what the value of each ICO unit is worth, and how do you determine how many ICO units there will be?
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Basically, there are not too many companies from oil and gas as a traditional industries that are interested in ICO…
James West: Right. I used that as an example.
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Yeah, because they have – it’s more related to Blockchain start-ups, because there’s growing interest among other industries –
James West: Things with no real value. Okay.
Mukhtar Mussabetov: – like mostly technological industries who are creating some hybrid models like, you know, where they have a hardware product and a software product. And currently I’m advising one of these very interesting projects, CEEK, and it’s a convergence of Blockchain and Virtual Reality. So they already have a three year old company with a market-proven, solid product, solving many retail networks, well, what they want to do to move their software side from SQO platform to Blockchain and decentralized ledger. So that gives them a lot of new benefits, and like allowing their users to create new content, sell it on their platform, and so on.
James West: Okay, so this is not an ICO process, this is a process of creating efficiencies by replacing a legacy system with Blockchain?
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Yeah.
James West: Oh, okay. So this is another thing that one of the BlockSpace Labs services, then.
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Yeah. We help companies to move and see if there is any value or benefit of using Blockchain or any decentralized ledger for their business, and then advise them on how to build ecosystem, how to tokenize their business model, but it’s mostly related to companies that have at least some benefit from Blockchain.
James West: Sure. So let me ask you: what is it that can’t be disintermediated by Blockchain technology?
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Well, there’s a lot of things you cannot, but mostly wherever you see middlemen and transaction can be made between just two people on a peer-to-peer basis, can be decentralized. So like in financial services, you can see that companies can now transfer money via fintech and mobile applications without any involvement of banks or any other financial institutions.
James West: PayPal.
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Yeah, the same way. And now we have Bitcoin. Bitcoin can be transferred from one place in the universe to another without any difficulties, without any middlemen.
James West: Right. And everyone who’s involved in the Bitcoin Blockchain can see and verify the transaction.
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Absolutely, yeah, absolutely.
James West: Interesting. Okay, so how does an investor in Canada participate in your business?
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Well, you know, I get a lot of inquiries from Canadian investors and international investors in start-ups to help them with ICO, because that’s where my expertise is. But in general, I’m not seeking for investments into my company yet, because my own start-ups are still small. So it should be hopefully we’ll probably do something and move forward next year.
James West: Sure. Okay, well, that’s great, that’s a great introduction, then! We’ll come back to you closer to your go-public or investment opportunity, should it happen. Thank you very much for joining me today.
Mukhtar Mussabetov: Absolutely, thank you for having me.
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