Meet Maciej Krasowski, the co-founder and Chief Revenue Officer at BinarApps, a software company from Łódź, Poland. He is also a founding member and organizer of the Blockchain Polska Association. We talked to Maciej about his company and the challenges of blockchain development, Blockchain’s situation in Poland, and the Blockchain Polska Association.
What is your background, how did you get into the blockchain industry?
Around four years ago, I got interested in blockchain. My adventure started, of course, with Bitcoin, but then I got familiar with Dash (today Dash is one of my favourite projects – we even built our platform called Dash Taxi). Then were other projects like Ethereum, Hyperledger, Cardano. I have a technical background, so I tried to understand all of them from a technical perspective. 3 years ago, I convinced my business partner to add blockchain technology to our portfolio. We bet on this technology in our company and we have to create that experience in BinarApps. We did it. Today one-quarter of yearly revenue in our company comes from blockchain-based projects. We won the bet I would say.
Can you tell us a bit more about some of the BinarApps projects?
One of the most exciting projects is Everest.org from California. Those guys are creating a digital identity and new ways of transferring goods between people, especially the poorest parts of the world. For example, our latest implementation was in Samoa, where the people who are working in Australia can easily send money to their families. Another one is the project that we built for the Brave Experiments, and it’s called Mjolnir. This is a DevOps tooling to enable the Brave team to rapidly deploy Ethereum Proof of Authority (PoA) clusters across different Ethereum Clients for benchmarking. We also built some crypto exchanges, mobile wallets, payment processors.
Are most of your blockchain development abroad or in Poland?
Mostly abroad. Right now, we have clients in Norway, Sweden, Austria, Germany, and the USA. We are helping a couple of Polish projects with the architecture, but that’s my personal time that I am sharing with some co-founders.
What is the situation of blockchain in Poland?
When it comes to cryptocurrency adoption, the situation is really good. We have a lot of users and supporters in Poland. When it comes to blockchain technology – our government’s perception is not on the highest level. It is not taken seriously. We did cooperate with one group at the Ministry of Digital Affairs, but I am not involved personally. Bartek, our association’s CEO was, but I believe it has ended with no successes. It’s a shame. In Poland, we have a couple of great projects, but none of them is a Polish company anymore. Political and taxation environment is the blocker to exist here. You can see what’s going on in Western Europe’s countries like Germany, Austria, Benelux. They all work on implementing blockchain, in some parts of the ecosystem, of the processes, of the banking industry. Our country is focused on saving the coal mining industry, not to be in the future. For two years already, I’ve been trying a lot to share blockchain’s knowledge to tell the people that this technology can change our lives. It will take a couple more years.
How do you think the foreign companies perceive you as Poland based blockchain developers?
I believe that we have a good opinion all over the world. Generally, Polish programmers are one of the best in the world. For our clients, it does not matter from which country we are. Polish people speak English fluently and are great specialists. We are also cheaper than local programmers in Western Europe or the US market. The time difference is not a problem.
For you personally, what has been the most difficult with your blockchain journey?
I’m a technical guy, I finished technical studies, so it wasn’t that hard to understand how blockchain works for me. But from an economic perspective, it took me a while to understand how it works. Today as a cryptocurrency user in general – I’m a hodler. I buy whenever I believe in a project and whenever I have some spare money. Dash is the only crypto I use daily. It is designed to be digital cash, and I love it. In terms of BinarApps, when we started building a blockchain experience, it was hard to convince people to join me. I really wanted to develop my team, so we gave them time to learn it. Right now, we’ve got a strong internal team. We can do exciting things ourselves. The most difficult was to start.
You are also a co-founder of the Blockchain Polska Association. Can you tell us more about it?
Our main goal is to educate people. We created Blockchain Business meetups, then Blockchain Girls meetups, and then some hackathons. It happens around all of the biggest cities in Poland.
The second goal is to help build networks. We’ve got some next ideas, we have some great connections to other associations in Germany, Czech Republic, Netherlands.
What are the most typical misunderstandings in blockchain customer projects?
To be honest, all of our clients understand blockchain well. If they decide to use blockchain, they know what they’re doing. Whenever a client doesn’t understand blockchain, it means that we need to help him to understand it. It’s a game of pros and cons. We have to explain why it is good to take a look at blockchain and potentially implement it into the system. Our latest client from Norway produces food and sells it to China. We are building a blockchain-based system for him. The goal is to create the most trusted way of selling his products (especially that his products are costly).
What would be the top three success criteria for a blockchain project?
First of all, you have to solve a problem with your project. Not every problem, but the one that blockchain can solve. It’s important to understand what blockchain gives you that other technologies don’t. E.g. Dash is digital cash – decentralized, secure, fast and with no central authority on top. Money for everyone on your mobile phone. Next one: Do not create another problem with your product. I mean that your project should not be a revolutionary one, but an evolutionary one. People won’t leave their safehouses. Just agree that there is a legacy world and support it. Third one: focus on user experience. Only a small percentage understands Blockchain. Do not make it hard for customers to use your product. Follow your users and listen to them.
What, in your opinion, are clear signals that the project is facing issues?
Using blockchain for everything as a standard database and bad UX
With which technologies are you developing blockchain projects?
Right now, most projects are based on Ethereum or Ethereum side chains. Secondly, we have C++ based blockchains, forks of Bitcoin. And the third one, the fresh one that we started learning ourselves is Cardano. In addition to that list – Hyperledger
We have observed that in the Nordics, despite the fact that crypto and blockchain start-ups have been established already some years ago, they still have not been able to grow as much as could be expected. Do you think what we have seen in Nordic is also true elsewhere, and why is it so?
It is everywhere. I’ve noticed that most of such companies are trying to make the revolution instead of doing it step by step. If you want to disrupt the world, then stay in contact with it. Unless you want to be the next Satoshi Nakamoto.
Thank you Maciej. We appreciate you taking the time for this interview and sharing insights from your company and your blockchain expertise. We wish you the best for the future.
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