BASE.INFO team has interviewed Anton Mozgovoy the CTO at Humaniq project. We have asked the most topical questions to get acquainted with the project and to learn the future plans of the Humaniq team.
Please welcome, Anton Mozgovoy.
Do you remember the day, when you and your team decided to launch this project? Can you tell us about it?
There wasn’t really a specific day, it was all part of a long brainstorming process I started late in the summer of 2016. As a person deeply involved in Fintech and Blockchain at the time, I wanted to make a direct contribution to the industry. I looked at promising fields of application of this new technology and fell in love with the idea of helping the unbanked. The possibility to lift millions out of poverty, even if indirectly, was something that motivated me deeply. I call our mission Humanitarian Capitalism, the fusion of two usually antithetical concepts.
Could you briefly describe your project?
Humaniq is a project aimed at developing markets, our primary goal is providing people who rely entirely on cash with all the tools that they might benefit from if they had access to the banking system. That means providing digital money in the form our token called HMQ, but also crediting, insurance and other financial services. In line with the trends of this decade, it’s all going to be done with an App of course.
We also have other development directions, such as helping charities in fundraising and distribution. In general, we like to keep ourselves flexible while moving ahead and explore ideas such as charity distribution and other even more outlandish ideas.
Why it differs among the other cryptocurrency ideas? What main feature can be the significant one?
Well, there aren’t that many cryptocurrency projects focusing on the unbanked, and the few that exist, do it in different, sometimes incomplete ways. I think that a major strength of our project is how it all ties together in one place. For example, we added chats for a reason, so that users can do everything they need to in one single place.
Think of WeChat and how it does basically everything. There isn’t one feature dominating over the others, except maybe for the token itself and the Hybrid Blockchain it’s based on. Every transaction on the system will use HMQ as the currency, and our goal is to reduce friction and improve usability as much as possible.
What are 3 main difficulties in running the cryptocurrency project?
I’d say in our case the difficulties are: hard to reach the target audience, complicated regulations, and the immaturity of the technology. The first two are simply a consequence of our decision to focus on Africa, a varied continent that is still suffering from major infrastructure problems. The people who would need our services the most are also the least likely to find out about us, unfortunately. On top of that, being a politically diverse continent, regulations often change significantly from country to country and even from one year to the next, so keeping up with that is not easy.
The other problem is that both Blockchain and Biometrics, which we based our system on, are quite immature technologies overall. We had to create a lot of workarounds and proprietary systems to make them work, which took away valuable development time.
What about the legal restrictions? What are your thoughts on the subject?
As mentioned before, they’re a significant issue for our expansion strategy. It’s not just the token that gives trouble, but also the data handling aspect. We do hold a lot of sensitive user data, and there’s little standardization among African countries. Some countries are wary of crypto or outright banned it. We need to establish ad-hoc relationships with regulators in any country that’s complicated to expand to, and that takes away time and resources, and might not always be possible.
Describe your team in a few sentences? What do you value in your colleagues?
They’re all extremely hardworking and talented people, of course. I think the best thing about our team is how everyone cares deeply about our mission, it’s not just a life-sucking job for them, and I’m really happy that we built this atmosphere at Humaniq.
Could you tell us about one error in project’s development that provided a great lesson to your team?
The entire saga with emission fraud, I’d say. Basically, some people exploited our emission system based on referrals to give themselves large amounts of money. They used all sorts of tricks including registering fake accounts, modifying the source code and exploiting bugs in the system. The moral of the story is that no good deed goes unpunished, which is honestly a bit depressing, but it made us reconsider our biometric system and in general how we think of our technology stack. We’ve made a lot of improvements since then.
What are your thoughts about the future of the blockchain in the world? What industries will be influenced most of all?
I think we need to wait for the full maturity of the ecosystem, which includes implementing some strong scaling solutions. I still think that the biggest possible impact of Blockchain technology lies in the financial industry, where innovative tools such as security tokens and tokenization can impact a multi-trillion industry, while the efficiency and security of Blockchain can form the basis of new settlement layers and payment systems such as ours.
Can you give a piece of advice to our readers?
Don’t treat money as the goal, treat it as a tool. Seek to provide as much value to the world as possible, and riches will follow naturally. It doesn’t matter how ambitious your goals are, the principle remains the same. That’s the essence of Humanitarian Capitalism.