BitNovosti found out that a popular p2p exchange HodlHodl – the organizer of the series of well-known in bitcoin space Baltic Honeybadger conferences – has successfully closed its investment round and getting ready to launch a bunch of new projects. We were eager to question CEO HodlHodl Maxim Keidun about the details of latest events and forthcoming projects.
BN: Hi, Maxim! The investment round is now closed: great job! But how much did you manage to raise all in all?
Maxim: Hi! Yes, the round is closed, but we cannot disclose the information about how much did we raise by agreement with our investors.
BN: What exactly the money raised will be spent on and within what time frame?
Maxim: At the moment, we hope that our operational costs are covered for the next 1.5-2 years. The funds will be spent on the following:
1. Optimization of our current product, namely, Hodl Hodl exchange. This includes functional improvements, adding new languages (with consequential expansion to new markets), and improved security (the latter being our standing priority). We also plan to launch API in 2019, this move being much anticipated by many of our business partners. We will also present crypto-to-crypto trading in December. This is already possible via our escrow accounts, but new options for more convenient trading are almost here to come already. For example, what we see is that XMR/BTC pair is in great demand, and so we want to enter this market.
2. Launch of the new product – P2P prediction market on bitcoin. We plan to present this platform already in February.
3. Development of our brokerage division and OTC trading. Our platform is already in high demand with large traders. We plan to expand our services.
4. The launch of Househodl – a real estate trading platform based on Bitcoin smart contracts. We’re planning to wheel this product out in the second half of the next year.
BN: Were there any adjustments to you roadmap due to BTC price downfall?
Maxim: The only adjustment we made was that we had speeded up the P2P predictions market development, as we know that traders will always try to guess the market trend – whether it is going to fall or rise.
In that regard, we had to postpone the launch of Houshold a little, as our small team needs some time to strengthen its staffing structure. By the way, some of the funds will be allocated to hiring new staff and marketing.
BN: Do you prefer to freeze the raised funds in fiat currencies or leave them in crypto?
Maxim: We’re going to spend this money on our team. It therefore goes without saying that we try not to put it at risk too much and not to toy with exchange rates. We mostly store it in fiat.
BN: Is there going to be another investment round? If so, will it be an open round or a closed one?
Maxim: We hope that there will be no other round, though it is always an issue of negotiating, of course. In case it happens, we hope that it will be a closed one, as privacy is really very important for us.
BN: How did you manage to catch Whale Panda’s, Ambroid’s and Marsmensch’s attention?
Maxim: We know each other since the very first Baltic Honeybadger. Our investors have been looking closely at the development of our platform. They like what we do and see a great potential behind our projects and our team. They are also quite happy with our development plan. Thus, this was quite a logical step on our part.
Also, many crypto traders understand the importance of investing in infrastructure projects, given the current situation on the market. This is a strategically right move.
BN: Tell us more about Househodl project. What is your target audience?
Maxim: Househodl is a global real estate trading platform powered by Bitcoin smart contracts. The platform uses cryptocurrency transaction accounts instead of bank accounts, thus allowing its users to cut transaction costs and time, while also providing for remote transaction control.
Our platform will enable users to list the real estate objects of their own or search for some new ones through concluding contracts remotely. But the most important thing is that the platform provides for convenient and secure settlement via Bitcoin network. As I said, we’re planning to launch the platform in the second half of 2019. At the moment, we are negotiating with our partners and potential clients. Brokers and developers from the U.S., Asia and the Middle East (namely, from the UAE and Bahrain) have been showing the greatest interest in our platform.
Our target audience is global: it is not limited to some particular regions. It includes both crypto investors who want to purchase real estate without the need to go from crypto to fiat, and those who want to use BTC as a convenient means of settling their deals: as we know, the major problem often lies in intermediary banks. This problem can be alleviated by using Bitcoin.
BN: Have you ever run across any KYC/AML requirements imposed by authorities? Do you have any plan of action for such cases?
Maxim: No, we haven’t. We try to be one step ahead in this respect. For instance, we have recently sealed off users from the U.S., as we understand that the risks for KYC/AML-free exchanges are too high there. We always have a plan, but it changes depending on the situation. We try to keep our plans to ourselves, however, and hold our cards close.
BN: How are you going to make it through these challenging times for crypto? Do you see any changes in user activity? Do they sell/buy more (or less), as compared to the earlier months of this year?
Maxim: We did pretty good at our investment round, so there is nothing to really worry about. We work hard, we have our long-term vision and our development strategy – so, step-by-step, we are moving along the way we’ve envisaged. Users, offers and trades are growing in number, there is no decline here at all. Nowadays sales prevail over purchases. It was vice-versa in the past.
BN: Can you give some piece of advice to investors and traders?
1. One shouldn’t invest more than he or she can afford to lose.
2. Do not invest if you don’t understand, don’t believe or have some doubts.
3. One should go for long – 3 years at minimum, better 5.
4. One should have a clear goal: how and at what price to withdraw.
5. One shouldn’t think he or she is smarter than the market and speculate with playing short. Even if you win, you will waste a lot of time and nerve.