Today Khvicha Kopinadze joins us to discuss how Cryptal is your key to the global crypto market in a secure and simple way.
Khvicha Kopinadze is a Experienced Finance and Management professional with a demonstrated history of working in the venture, fin-tech, and financial industries. Currently CEO at Cryptal Exchange, a cryptocurrency exchange platform. Interested in ventures operating in Fin-tech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrency, Cyber-Security, Artificial Intelligence, Biotechnology, E-commerce, Internet Software & Service industries.
The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence. There will be some grammatical errors below.
00:00:04:19 – 00:00:31:02
Richard Carthon: Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Crypto Current, your host here, Richard Carthon, and today I got a very special guest working on a project you might already be familiar with. If you are familiar, back on Episode 166, we had George Cryptx come on the show and they had a lot of projects that they were working on. One of the main ones was Cryptal. So, today we have Khvicha coming to tell us a little bit more about that all the way out in Georgia. How are you doing today?
00:00:33:12 – 00:00:48:19
Khvicha Kopinadze: Hi. Hi. Fine, fine, thank you. I’m very excited to be here and spending a little bit more on what George started and gain more insights from the critical perspective and thank you for inviting.
00:00:49:06 – 00:00:56:26
Richard Carthon: Of course. We’ll definitely looking forward to it. Before we dive into that, let’s just first learn a little bit more about you. Give us some background on yourself.
00:00:58:24 – 00:01:32:12
Khvicha Kopinadze: Yeah. I would like to describe my background from two perspectives, from the Cryptocurrency side and the more traditional and professional side. So, from the Crypto perspective, I learned about Bitcoin back in 2014. I have first made my investment back in 2017. I have seen the market crash, but I have remained into the Bitcoin since then and till now I have all those purchased Bitcoins in my pocket. And yeah.
00:01:32:14 – 00:02:53:15
Khvicha Kopinadze: And I have joined back again this industry in 2020 as a CEO of The Cryptal, Crypto exchange here in Georgia. Before that, back in 2013, I was into the finance industry mostly. Later on I moved to startups and venture funds, and I was the business and finance adviser in Georgian startup accelerator working with some of the greatest startups here in Georgia. Later on, I moved to the venture capital firm Mission Gate. Reaching out to the startups in the United States, Silicon Valley, in Latin America and Europe as well. One of the investments that Mission Gate has made was Cryptal and as you know, some of the you know, there are two exit opportunities from the ventures. One of which is to like, transition to the university company, which I followed and I was offered the great opportunity to work on this project and lead the exchange here in Georgia. And this has been a good decision from my side to be taking on.
00:02:54:10 – 00:02:54:25
Richard Carthon: No doubt.
00:02:54:27 – 00:02:58:04
Khvicha Kopinadze: Basically, this is the proof that yeah.
00:02:58:06 – 00:03:31:22
Richard Carthon: No, I was going to say, I mean, that’s pretty amazing. The fact that you were able to get into the space when you did, being in the venture space, seeing a lot of different projects and then seeing different entry points to keep working in this space. Pretty remarkable. And we were definitely going to spend some time on Crypto, but I just want to spend a little bit more time on a question of as you were kind of going through this phase from traditional finance over into Cryptocurrency being a part of different VCs and accelerated programs, what made Cryptal stand out that you’re like, Okay, this is a project that I really want to get behind?
00:03:34:23 – 00:04:21:19
Khvicha Kopinadze: Yeah. Basically what I saw in the Cryptocurrency market was growing rapidly. Back in 2017, like, it was a starting point, but eventually it didn’t grow and it declined. As it grew as quickly as it grew, it declined. But in 2017, I saw the market was growing, users in the Crypto community was growing at a rapid pace and I saw the opportunity that this market is going to grow and become larger.
00:04:21:21 – 00:05:07:07
Khvicha Kopinadze: And as you see now in 2020 and following to 2021, how the market has grown and how the world is talking about Cryptocurrencies and how the different companies, one of the largest companies, such as PayPal joining the Visa, MasterCard joining the market. So, I think I saw some kind of opportunity as a guy that was walking into VC, like I had to have some kind of vision of the future and one of those visions was Cryptocurrency. And that’s why it’s like. appeals to me as a great industry to follow and champion. So basically, that’s why.
00:05:07:20 – 00:05:30:03
Richard Carthon: Yeah, absolutely. And I kind of felt the same way as soon as I first learned about Crypto. My thought was always one of two ways, this is going to crash and burn and be absolutely nothing or it’s going to be the next greatest, biggest thing ever, right? And I was very confident it was going to be the latter and so, far it’s looking that it’s going in that direction. So, you know, fast forward to today, now you’re working at Cryptal. Tell us a little bit more about Cryptal and what you are creating there.
00:05:33:25 – 00:06:16:09
Khvicha Kopinadze: So, Cryptal is a Cryptocurrency exchange to say so. We were launched to global customers since January 21 as an exchange here in Georgia. We have been operating since 2020. Basically before Cryptal, we have been operating the Potosí desk since 2018 here in Georgia, serving some of the largest institutional investors, Crypto investors in Georgia. And it has proved to be like, a working concept, a working business.
00:06:16:17 – 00:07:29:09
Khvicha Kopinadze: And as we like, moved into 2019 and later on 2020, we saw this retail market growing rapidly, so, we saw the Georgian Crypto community growing rapidly and we decided to jump in and create this Cryptocurrency exchange. At first, we started with the local focus on Georgia market, and we were called back, then Checks. So, it’s our abbreviation for Georgia in exchange. And for some period of time, we were operating under this thing. Later on, as we grew here in Georgia, we mainly target the Georgian customers, but as we grew, we saw some of the international customers from the region and from Eastern Europe joining without us targeting them. So, as we saw the number growing, we saw that opportunity that the business is internationally minded, not local. So, why not go international?
00:07:29:29 – 00:08:21:14
Khvicha Kopinadze: And that’s when we started thinking about this new name, Cryptal and then we moved towards international expansion. And we have started this in 2021 and we are doing it quite well and we are growing at some good phases. And to be honest, it is a very interesting journey. It has been a very interesting journey for us. And like, we are constantly monitoring the market, constantly trying to find all the new features that the market is in demand right now. As you know, like the Cryptocurrency exchanges, there are a lot of Cryptocurrency exchanges that we understand all of them offer mostly the same service, yeah?
00:08:21:16 – 00:09:22:29
Khvicha Kopinadze: What we want currently is to have the stocks. We have some standard offers that is the standard global standard for Crypto exchange, but we want to offer some new features that I personally want to think ahead of other Crypto exchanges and like, be the first to offer. And in this regard, we are making some very interesting steps and moves. One of which I think is we are now working on offering the Crypto cards, so, which is only offered by Binance and Coinbase now and not many other exchanges to support that. And it will be basically our customers will be able to pay with their Crypto hold on Crypto and like, using their debit card at their favorite shops or e-commerce and so on.
00:09:23:22 – 00:10:23:09
Khvicha Kopinadze: This is the product that I see is how to say, an additional feature that is now in demand, but there are other kinds of features that we are looking and we want to offer our customers. And we want to differentiate somehow. We have to differentiate because otherwise the market, the Crypto market is like, heavy now in terms of a lot of companies offer the same services. So, that’s why we are like, me personally, I’m thinking all the time to see what the future holds. And like, try out different things and different features. And I hope that we will be able to do that to our customers, both that we currently have, and for our potential ones as well.
00:10:24:04 – 00:10:46:23
Richard Carthon: Definitely, man. And you brought up a lot of good points, one being that, of course, you launched at the beginning of this year, you’re already growing very fastly. It helps when the market at large is continuing to grow and they’re also willing to put in a lot of money as this expands. Some of the things that you brought up that I thought were really cool, one, that people can just come on and trade. I think that’s always a good thing. Just another access point to be able to access Crypto.
00:10:47:28 – 00:11:14:11
Richard Carthon: Another is, Crypto card that you can use. So, you’re out and about and you want to pay for your transactions in Crypto, having that tool to be able to do that. Very powerful and very cool. And like you said, you have your ear to the ground of listening to what the market wants and then building it so that you can appeal to that current audience that you have, but as your growing audience as well. And as you said, there are some other exchanges out there that kind of offer different things and you’re trying to make your differentiators.
00:11:14:15 – 00:11:31:03
Richard Carthon: You know, what are some of the, if you’re able to share, what are some of the other like, things on the product roadmap that you think a lot of people are going to be very excited to come and use Cryptal for? Like, what would you say are some of like, some other differentiators that Cryptal is able to offer that some of these other exchanges are not?
00:11:34:04 – 00:12:34:00
Khvicha Kopinadze: Yeah. Basically what I see currently is that some of the newbies come to this world, they lack a knowledge of how to do different things and we are like, constantly also they lack the knowledge, how to do different things, then also they don’t usually understand how the Crypto exchanges work. So, for example, Binance has become so sophisticated for a newbie and newcomer, it may become very tough to learn how to buy Crypto. So, that’s why the number one thing that we are doing is to like, the customer journey, to be as easy as possible and as smooth as possible. The other thing that is very interesting and that we are now also working in algorithmic trading.
00:12:34:27 – 00:13:43:02
Khvicha Kopinadze: I don’t think any of the exchanges now offer this opportunity and we are now thinking of implementing and developing to implement the bot system into the Crypto exchange. So, to let our customers use the algorithmic trading opportunity and like, make their trading activities more easy. And apart from that, we have secured some of the partnership here in Georgia that let us serve our current customers like, those who want to come and invest with their money. So, USD, Euro and so on, to do that as smoothly as possible and as easy as possible, so to say, without any difficulties. And basically there’s some other features that, of course, we can’t talk about.
00:13:43:04 – 00:13:43:19
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:13:43:21 – 00:13:46:12
Khvicha Kopinadze: But it will take us. Yeah.
00:13:46:24 – 00:14:28:00
Richard Carthon: Yeah. I mean, even the features that you just described are extremely useful and practical. I mean, you’re right, there’s not too many algo trading exchanges out there and even some of the other features that you mentioned like, those are going to be very essential. The path of just the customer journey, as soon as you come on having an easy way for someone to come and buy. I agree that I think Binance has kind of become a little too sophisticated for your brand new Crypto enthusiasts coming on the platform that simply wants to buy something as simple as Bitcoin or Ethereum. There’s quite a few steps that you would have to take or needing to like, watch videos on how to do it.
00:14:28:07 – 00:14:42:10
Richard Carthon: And the easier that you can do where you come on, you’re able to attach a way to bring in some money and then pay for it and now you have the Crypto, the easier the better, right? And it sounds like, that y’all have that at the forefront of your mind creating this out.
00:14:43:24 – 00:15:18:20
Khvicha Kopinadze: Yeah. And another thing that I would add here is that our decision was not to be like a Binance who offers a lot of the Cryptocurrencies. And usually the general public has this approach to invest into the Crypto space that they do not have a lot of knowledge about. And most of the time they are a lot of coins that they invest invested. They don’t know what are those coins and what they do and what are their economic usage.
00:15:19:00 – 00:16:00:21
Khvicha Kopinadze: So, what we are doing and what we are offering our customers is those Cryptos that we first believe to have the technology behind, to stay here with us and not to disappear tomorrow. So, and also to educate our customers on that, that there is some real economic usage behind and there is some technology behind this that might work and some future technologies have some future usage. So, that’s also one thing that I wanted to add to give perspective so.
00:16:00:24 – 00:16:01:09
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:16:01:11 – 00:16:02:24
Khvicha Kopinadze: On how we deal.
00:16:03:08 – 00:17:03:06
Richard Carthon: But that is an important perspective to give, is that by having that sense of being able to only bring on platforms that you as a company feel firmly that these Cryptos are here to stay and that they’re not, you know, here to try to make a bunch of money, then disappear in a couple weeks is very important because I feel there are unfortunately, because there are so many Crypto projects, a good portion of them want to actually be here for the next couple of years. Some are just trying to make as much money as possible during this bull cycle and if you just put every Crypto available on your exchange and then a lot of newbies go and put in a ton of money to get the rug pulled out of them and lose all their money very quickly, now, they’re not going to trust your exchange anymore. So, even if you pick some of these higher caliber projects that are planning to be here for the future and they have some volatility, the volatility just won’t be as potentially sharp as some of these, as you said, coins that are out there that really are not here to survive.
00:17:05:18 – 00:17:42:02
Khvicha Kopinadze: Yeah, yeah. Basically, we see a lot of coins later times. And anyone who knows coding and anyone who knows how to create Crypto, they are doing so, these kind of projects that general public gets very amazed at. And usually in the end, they find out that this is a learning process for them. And it is a good process, to be honest, because anyway, if you invest in a coin, you get some exposure to the Cryptocurrencies.
00:17:42:11 – 00:19:17:17
Khvicha Kopinadze: And in the end, it might be a good lesson for you in terms that you learn not to invest in something that you don’t know about. And it gives them opportunity to explore the Cryptocurrency more, Cryptocurrencies, and Blockchain more and to find out what are the good projects and invest in them so to learn on their mistakes. And that is also a great thing to be honest. And even, for example, the Dogecoin or the meme coins, so, anyone who invested and so many public has invested into the into the coin and these increases, I believe the demand for the Cryptocurrencies as a whole. This public may learn in the end, for example, I don’t know when, but maybe two months later, maybe one or two years later, that Dogecoin might not be a good investment, yeah? In terms of economics and real usage test, so, but in the end, like, it is a learning curve for anyone that comes to this world. So, basically, that’s cool though, so, from this perspective, it’s good that such Cryptocurrencies exists, but of course, for the general public, it might be a pain to lose a lot of money. And we see that during this downturn, we have seen a lot of people lose.
00:19:17:19 – 00:19:19:18
Richard Carthon: Losing their money.
00:19:19:20 – 00:19:20:05
Khvicha Kopinadze: Portfolios.
00:19:20:07 – 00:19:20:22
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:19:20:24 – 00:19:21:09
Khvicha Kopinadze: Yeah.
00:19:21:11 – 00:20:02:12
Richard Carthon: Unfortunately, yeah, because they got caught in these memecoin economics where they thought they could get rich quick and, you know, get a lot of money. You know, I’m not going to go too deep into Dogecoin because I definitely feel some type of way about Dogecoin, but ultimately, when it becomes a top 10 Crypto purely from market circulation and people wanting it, it’s supply and demand. You can’t ignore it. But like you said, in the long term, I think people are going to learn a fine lesson. I think right now in this moment, there is money to be made and there’s been plenty of money that’s already been made. But as you play the long game in it, people are going to eventually realize that, again, was not ever to have true value. But if enough people are bought in.
00:20:02:14 – 00:20:02:29
Khvicha Kopinadze: Exactly.
00:20:03:01 – 00:20:34:07
Richard Carthon: And, they’re trying to create it now, then it might find a way. But on that subject, man, there’s so much that’s already happened this year and just the six months, you know? I was looking back and doing some research from December to basically April, we were in a straight six month bull run with market capitalization each month, closing higher than the month before and then May was the first down month that we had. We saw a pretty big correction. What are you seeing as we kind of look at the rest of this year? What are some things that are on your mind that you think other people should be aware of or that they should be looking out for as well?
00:20:36:25 – 00:21:27:24
Khvicha Kopinadze: So, to be honest. I am a true believer in Bitcoin, and I do believe that Bitcoin, in the long term, that Bitcoin is going to stay with us. So, I don’t think there is any other Cryptocurrency that is more decentralized and more trustful than Bitcoin. So, and it is one of the first contact Cryptocurrencies. And I see like, in the long term, it’s going to stay. For other Cryptocurrencies, there are some good use cases, but again, it’s very difficult to judge because the market is like, growing rapidly.
00:21:28:01 – 00:22:17:10
Khvicha Kopinadze: And I guess it is up to the Cryptocurrency community to decide which is going to stay. But from my personal perspective, Bitcoin is going to stay with us for so long time. It’s going to change a lot. And for other Cryptos, like Ethereum, I look at Ethereum as a how to say, the technology provider, like Google. I would look at Google. It provides the technology on which people can do alot of the different projects So, and after all, it has some kind of centralization, some point of centralization in terms of it’s not as decentralized. Bitcoin is the most centralized one.
00:22:17:19 – 00:22:59:28
Khvicha Kopinadze: So, I don’t know, Ethereum has some good use cases, but it’s difficult for me to judge from here because the market is very unpredictable. And again, this unpredictability increases as the government tries to interfere, yeah? As they try to regulate the market, which is another pain for us and for the Cryptocurrency world, which some might say is good, but I personally think it’s not good at all for a Cryptocurrency world. So, to get any duration from any third party.
00:23:00:00 – 00:23:00:15
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:23:00:17 – 00:23:08:22
Khvicha Kopinadze: Body that has no understanding of the market. So, let’s see. It’s quite interesting, so.
00:23:08:24 – 00:23:09:09
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:23:09:11 – 00:23:17:00
Khvicha Kopinadze: I think Bitcoin is going to stay. As for others, yeah. I’m very curious to find out how it evolves.
00:23:17:20 – 00:23:36:02
Richard Carthon: Gotcha. Well, thanks for breaking that down. Just to kind of recap that, you think that Bitcoin is still going to be the poster child and lead the way for a lot of these alts that you’re looking at. We’ll see. Ethereum has a lot of use cases. I also think that Ethereum’s really awesome, because it is a platform, a lot’s being built on it, it has a ton of use case.
00:23:36:10 – 00:24:10:24
Richard Carthon: And I think, hot take, that in the long run, it could give Bitcoin a run for its money. I don’t think it’s going to happen in this bull cycle, but that’s a conversation for another day. But, you know, and another thing is that you talked about the government. So, keeping an eye on how governments are starting to interact with Bitcoin and Crypto in general and just how they’re going to regulate it. I think that’s also something that we all need to be cautious of and continue to look at because it will have impacts on the greater Crypto universe, if you will, as we continue to grow and expand into this next decade.
00:24:11:06 – 00:24:31:26
Richard Carthon: But Khvicha, you’ve dropped a ton of really good knowledge on us. As we kind of wrap this up, I have two more fun questions for you. The first one just being like, you know, you were in this, I believe since you said 2014, you’ve been in this game for almost seven years, if you could take all the knowledge that you have right now and could impart two or three pieces of wisdom to yourself when you first got started, what would you tell yourself?
00:24:34:07 – 00:25:26:02
Khvicha Kopinadze: Yeah. I would tell myself, I got back into this, I got into the Bitcoin investment in 2017, so, it was when I first found out. It was in 2014 when I found out about Bitcoin, but invested first in 2017. And I would say to myself, to be more of a risk taker and to invest a little bit more in 2017, because in the end I invested, but not as much as I wanted to. But of course, not the whole portfolio and a whole lot was meant to be tied into the Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, but a little bit more.
00:25:26:11 – 00:26:36:26
Khvicha Kopinadze: What I would say also to myself is that I would like, back in 2017, I only looked into the Bitcoin, I didn’t explore all other Cryptos and the Blockchain, the world itself. So, after 2017, we have seen a lot of great projects that we are developed and are now in demand. So, I think that some of the decentralized exchanges we are due back in 2018, so, I would say to myself, to explore the world a little bit more, Crypto world a little bit more, and to jump into like, developing some or investing some projects that might have a good opportunity to operate in the market and to be popular and so on. And that’s basically the two things. The one thing to invest a little bit more and the second thing, to gain more knowledge and explore the industry a little bit more.
00:26:37:12 – 00:26:37:27
Richard Carthon: Right.
00:26:37:29 – 00:26:40:09
Khvicha Kopinadze: Back then, like, I didn’t do it.
00:26:40:11 – 00:27:03:22
Richard Carthon: Yeah. Those are two really, really great pieces of advice, rather. Some people kind of, you know, they need a lot of information before they first dive in. And of course, we always tell people on the show only be willing to put what you’re willing to invest or even what you’re willing to lose, but be confident. And then once you have your confidence, go for it.
00:27:03:24 – 00:27:50:18
Richard Carthon: And if you play the long game, typically things work out pretty well. And then secondly, expand. Don’t just go very narrow, try to go wide, learn as much as you can about all the different opportunities in Crypto. Back in 2017 and 18, there was only a couple of hundred Cryptos. You look now there’s over 10,000, that’s in four years and there’s probably more that’s going to be made, right? So, there are so many Crypto opportunities that like, yeah, you could feel like you’re looking at too many options but again, as you kind of just go a little bit deeper into it, that means there’s a lot of home runs that are in there and you just got to do your own research, try to find them and keep that moving. But again, Khvicha, I really do appreciate all the time you spent with us today. What is a final thought that you want to leave with all of our listeners?
00:27:54:11 – 00:29:19:18
Khvicha Kopinadze: A final thought I will give to your listeners is that the first thing that your mission right now is to educate yourself, learn about the space and like, to make the investments, knowledgeable investments and knowledgeable steps, so, like you can play with Cryptocurrencies instead, but with only a small portion of your portfolio. As for all the rest of the portion that I will see, I will say that it’s better to make an informed decision rather than drop some coins and so on and so on. And after all, all the train is like, going forward, the Cryptocurrency is moving forward. And I will say that in the future we’re going to see more of the Cryptocurrencies, Cryptocurrency usage increasing and more people using it on a daily basis. So, I will say that it’s time for you guys to like, asking your employers to to be paid in Bitcoin and other Cryptos and like, to demand all the big e-commerce platforms and all the shops that you go to accept the Cryptocurrency.
00:29:19:20 – 00:29:56:22
Khvicha Kopinadze: And let’s like, eliminate the need for those middlemen that make our every day a little bit less efficient. And like, why to have someone in the middle where we can trust the technology. And like, we really live in the technology era. And like, let’s say that it should be normal to have a technology rather than a lot of intermediaries doing stuff. And that’s it, so.
00:29:56:24 – 00:29:57:09
Richard Carthon: Yeah.
00:29:57:11 – 00:30:12:02
Khvicha Kopinadze: That’s basically what I would say, to ask everyone and every shop you go to accept the Cryptocurrency, also the demand to be paid into the Cryptocurrencies as this is going to stay with us. I believe very long time.
00:30:13:01 – 00:30:31:06
Richard Carthon: I agree. I think Crypto’s here to stay. Just like you said, Bitcoin is definitely here to stay, too. So, if you want to get paid in Crypto, might not be a bad look and it might just make a world of difference in the long run. But again, thank you so much for spending time with us. What are some ways that people can learn more about Cryptal and also connect with you?
00:30:33:09 – 00:31:17:04
Khvicha Kopinadze: Yeah. People can find us on Facebook, Twitter. They can directly go to Cryptal.com and sign up and see what we offer and maybe invest a little bit. So, as for me, you can directly connect me on LinkedIn. We can explore and talk about this world a little bit more. So thank you. Thank you, Richard, again for such an interesting podcast. And I hope that Crypto will grow even more in the upcoming year.
00:31:17:17 – 00:31:24:20
Richard Carthon: Absolutely. I’m confident it will. And thank you again so much Khvicha for spending some time with us today. And of course, for everyone listening, stay Crypto Current.
Crypto Current will be guiding all of you who are new to the cryptocurrency world to becoming a cryptocurrency and blockchain expert. Crypto Current was founded to give access to information to everyone on current events occurring in cryptocurrency and blockchain in a digestible way. Since its creation, we have created content that impacted thousands of people through its podcast, blog, and social media.