Blockchain, ICO

Post-ICO Interview with BitClave CEO Alex Bessonov


BitClave, a decentralized search engine that directly connects businesses and consumers through Ethereum-based smart contracts, recently ended its token sale with massive fanfare.

BitClave achieved its hard cap of $25.5 million in just over 30 seconds after the start of the public token sale.

We caught up with Alex Bessonov, the CEO of BitClave, a while ago to talk about their ICO launch.

We recently sat down with him again in another interview to talk about how the ICO went as well as gathering his thoughts on it.

Hi, Alex. Congratulations on running your token launch! Can you let us know how you felt after the launch?

Happy and a little bit tired :). It was a long journey, the whole team worked really hard to make this happen, and we were extremely excited about the result.

Let’s talk about the most impressive part of the ICO; it sold out in less than 1 minute! Did this surprise you at all?

Since the presale was a great success, we were expecting the token sale event to be smooth and fast, but of course, we didn’t think it would be that fast. We were sold out in 32 seconds which is a tremendous result.

bitclave logo

What were some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learnt while running the ICO? Can you share those with us?

The crowdsale is all about community. Having a great idea or an innovative technology is not enough to execute a successful crowdsale or deliver a valuable service. You have to be able to explain it to people, convince them, and make them believe in what you are doing. We saw many good projects built by experienced engineers but, due to a lack of understanding of marketing and communications, having a difficult time building the community around the idea. Focusing exclusively on the tech is a quite common miscalculation, which without doubt can be easily avoided. I’m absolutely certain we would be nothing without the support of our community. We received a lot of good feedback from our users. They continue to help us with tasks ranging from fixing typos in press releases and finding security issues on our website to promoting our product through news media and youtube channels. They were involved in all major decisions by voting or sharing feedback with us.

During the ICO, what were the problems you encountered which affected BitClave? How did you overcome them?

Blockchain is still in its nascent stage and the market is very immature and volatile. Everything changes so quickly and it’s still difficult to predict some events that affect the market and ICOs in particular. For instance, we were forced to reschedule the token sale because of the Bitcoin fork in November. While it was a tough decision for us, it was based on the request of our community and our desire to maximize benefits for our supporters. Later the fork was officially canceled, however, lots of rumors and speculations were affecting the market for a long time. The situation was unclear for a while, and we had to wait until everything is settled down to announce the launch of the token sale.

bitclave fintech team

What do you think was the most important factor for your ICO’s success? Was it your team? The marketing? The community you’ve built?

I’d say it was a mix of factors. We have the best team of great professionals with decent experience in blockchain, security, marketing, business development. Our advisors also helped us a lot and provided very valuable recommendations. And the community of course. Without the support of our community, we would be nothing. We are very grateful for this continued support we’ve been receiving throughout the whole token sale campaign.

Let’s talk about the post-ICO process. A common problem after ICOs are the overwhelming amounts of questions and concerns from investors. Is BitClave facing a similar problem and are you and your team dealing with it well?

We have always been receiving many questions from the community, and I believe it’s a good thing. If people ask something that means they are interested, they want to be involved, and that’s what is the community about. We are doing our best to answer all the questions from our contributors and provide as much information as possible. Being transparent is the best way to deal with any kind of concerns.

bitclave decentralized search engine blockchain

What was the biggest weakness or vulnerability of your ICO that can be improved should you launch another ICO next time? What could’ve been done better?

I do not regret anything. The result we’ve achieved says it all – everything was made just right. Of course, every next token sale campaign would be easier than the previous one, since you already have a decent experience. Like many other projects, we didn’t have the crowdsale background before, so we were learning by doing, and without a doubt, we did have some minor mishaps. These mistakes didn’t affect the campaign, but gave us invaluable experience and made us even stronger.

Editors Pick: BitClave ICO

After your experience, what do you think is the biggest misconception of running ICOs that you want to clarify?

Raising money while building a product is challenging thing for any startup. The new model of ICO helps with a quicker access to the communities around the globe. However, with lack of regulations, there is still a major hurdle for many startups to enter the raise. Many of the projects that we see today will fail, but those that will succeed will undeniably move us closer to our goal – decentralization!

Let’s talk about partnerships. Aside from the ones you already have, are there any exciting partnerships in the future for BitClave? Can you explain more on that, if possible?

Our technical team is constantly researching scalable solutions that enable us to deliver an excellent product and extend the boundaries of what is possible on blockchain. With that goal in mind, we have made several key partnership announcements in 2017. Most recently, we have announced partnerships with blockchain technology providers, including QTUM, Bancor, Storj, and others.

2018 will focus primarily on building out the full network both in terms of software development and business development. You can expect more commercial partnerships, aimed at bootstrapping and growing the network.

bitclave decentralized search engine blockchain

What is a piece of advice that you would give to other startups who are planning to launch their ICOs?

To run a successful crowdsale you need just a few things – come up with a really innovative and pioneering idea, be truly passionate about it and be able to communicate and explain it to other people to make them support you and believe in what you are doing. And of course, you need to be absolutely transparent with your community, share as much information as possible, keep users updated and involved. It may sound easy, but actually, it’s not :).

Any last words before we end the interview?
You can say anything here; a brief comment about BitClave, a shoutout, words of encouragement – anything works.

I just want to thank everybody who participated in the crowd sale event! The whole team is incredibly grateful and overwhelmed by the support and the trust placed in our project. We look forward to making the decentralized search a reality and create a paradigm shift in user data privacy!

That wraps up our post-ICO interview with BitClave’s CEO, Alex Bessonov.

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