The rapid developments on the crypto market constantly raise new questions about the future of Bitcoin and co. In order to answer these questions, experts are needed who have dealt with the market at an early stage and understand its structure and behaviour. One of them is Daniel Horak, co-founder of Conda, the largest Austrian crowdinvesting platform. They themselves describe Conda as the link between companies and investors in order to realise great things together. Since the beginning of 2018, they have been pursuing the implementation of their own CRWD (crowd) token, which will digitally transfer assets to the blockchain. In our interview Daniel shares his experiences and developments at Conda, his assumptions about Bitcoin's future and his expectations of the Austrian crypto scene.
Blockpit: Thank you for your time, Daniel. Crowdinvesting meets Blockchain - what's this concept all about and why do these areas fit so well?
Daniel: At first we approached this topic from a purely technological point of view, since we have been operating crowdinvesting platforms ourselves for some years now, but we also make them available to others as whitelabel solutions. It became necessary to think about an infrastructure that would take account of this increasingly decentralized and globalized aspect of our business model. With the ICO hype in 2017 (which is actually "only" a special form of crowdfunding), it was clear to us that we were on the right track.
Conda is the leading crowdinvesting platform in Austria. When did the time come to explore the area of security/equity tokens?
When the ICO hype started it was clear to us that our goal was to combine existing financial market products such as loans, profit participation rights, shares, etc. with the advantages of the blockchain - the first step for us was that we brought CONDA AG to the Ethereum blockchain ourselves and thus created the first equity token in Austria (and probably in the EU). For us, equity and security tokens are actually the logical development of crowdinvesting - so this step was very obvious.
How innovative would you consider the Austrian crypto and blockchain space? Can we keep up with nations like Switzerland, Malta, USA etc?
I am absolutely convinced that in Austria are really well positioned in terms of talent / know-how, technology and also frame conditions - what I feel is that the global crypto market and especially the mentioned nations are much better in the marketing and communication of their markets. Nevertheless, initiatives such as the Fintech Advisory Board of the Ministry of Finance, a large number of exciting blockchain projects or the newly founded Digital Asset Austria Association show that there is serious commitment in Austria.
How do you see the relationship between utility and security token now and in a year? What major businesses will be affected?
In the area of utility tokens there will certainly be a drastic market adjustments, because after all it is about utility and many of the projects/companies could not show that their tokens serve any purpose. Nevertheless, I don't think that the market will disappear completely and that there are areas where utility tokens have their right to exist - we want to show this with the CRWD token. But what is also apparent to us is that security tokens will become increasingly important in the coming years, especially in the area of corporate financing - not only in the area of innovative start-ups, but also for small and medium-sized companies. This is an area on which we are working strongly with the CRWD network.
To end it up, what are your goals for 2019? What chances do you see in the crypto market and how do you plan to use these chances?
We clearly see the chance to prove that security and equity tokens are legally and technically possible in Austria and Europe. We are currently preparing several projects which will launch the first security and equity token offerings next year, based on our CRWD network protocol (and using the CRWD token). We see a lot of similarities with the crowdfunding/investing market from 5 - 6 years ago and are therefore convinced that we are well prepared to be a pioneer in Europe again.
Thank you very much for your insights, Daniel. We are looking forward to next year.