Covesting, a cryptocurrency-based startup, has developed a platform solely to cryptocurrency-asset management services available to every individual.
With the help of the blockchain and smart contracts, the Covesting platform allows investors to grow their portfolio by copying and following the trading activities of another successful trader.
Following the footsteps of real-world copy-trading platforms, Covesting allows regular investors (even small ones) to search and compare the performance of a growing list of over 100 cryptocurrency traders with good performances.
Investors can then select a trader they choose to follow and their portfolio will then be managed automatically based on a mirror of the chosen trader’s strategies.
Find out more about their upcoming ICO here.
Joining us today is the CEO of Covesting himself, Dmitrij Pruglo, a former investment manager at Saxo Bank with over 10 years of experience in the financial market.
Hi Dmitrij, please tell us a bit about yourself.
I started learning FX and equity trading over 15 years ago. I didn’t have any money back then but I liked the idea of capitalizing from financial markets and not being tied to a specific location.
If you are good – you can trade from anywhere in the world. You just need good internet connection. I started learning hard, reading almost every book I could find related to financial markets, technical and fundamental analysis, did a lot of trading on small amounts etc. When I was 21 y/o I started my internship in SEB Bank Lithuania.
Later I passed my exam at Securities Commission and became a full-time Financial advisor. I was the youngest in my team but covered the most important clients of our branch. Even though my career was progressing well at SEB bank I was looking for more trading-oriented company. This is how I started my career at Saxo Bank, Copenhagen.
Saxo Bank was established before such word as fintech even existed and It was pioneering in all areas of online-trading industry. I worked several years at Saxo Bank Head Office, initially as Associate in Sales – and after at Sales Trading department as Senior Account Executive for VIP clients. Position mostly involved execution of options, CFD, Futures, FX, equity and Bond trades through multi-asset platform. Later I relocated to Cyprus office of Saxo Bank, where I continued my trading career. Even though I enjoyed working there I made a decision to quit and run my own fund.
How did the idea of Covesting come up to you? Was it something that suddenly came to you or did you feel like there was no solution to a real problem in the cryptocurrency investment industry?
I started trading cryptocurrency 1,5 years ago and immediately spotted arbitrage opportunities. I recognized market inefficiency as it was many years ago at Forex markets. Volatility and capital migration into digital assets push prices hundreds and sometimes thousands percent. So cryptocurrency market really offers huge profit opportunities which many of novice investors miss due to lack of knowledge or time for research.
So I thought of idea helping these people out and build a synergetic platform where we involve hundreds of experienced traders to trade for them in exchange for part of the profit. With Covesting – everyday investors can “employ” professional traders to make money for them, while traders and earn a good income by allowing such novice traders to follow them. Copy-trading (or peer-2-peer asset management) is a win-win solution which proved to be really successful in traditional markets.
Speaking of problems, why do you think copy-trading is the way to move forward in cryptocurrencies? Why not hedge funds or something like trading bots?
Copy-trading marketplace will include everything – private traders, hedge fund managers, and trading bots. The goal is to create transparency for the investment management market, which currently is a problem because a lot of traders simply misinform investors about their trading profitability in order to attract more funds for their portfolio.
Covesting will provide performance results, reviews, detailed description and information of all previous trading activity for every single strategy, so an investor could pick the one matching his/her goals. Such transparency ensured by decentralization of Covesting platform which will provide peace of mind to every investor, knowing that information provided is legit 100%. Importantly that investors don’t risk becoming a victim of fraud by transferring their assets to a third party account, especially in such little-regulated market. All copy-trades will occur in the comfort of Investor’s own account.
Successful private traders and the Covesting platform provide unique opportunities for private investors and developers of algo-trading robots, who usually have very little access to investors capital, and end up looking for investors in forums or among their friends. Now, they simply connect their account at the external exchange to Covesting and continue trading as they are currently doing by allowing investors to subscribe. We create eBay for Investors and traders, a secure and transparent marketplace with a mutually beneficial ecosystem.
Except for some stable coins, the cryptocurrency market is still volatile compared to real-world markets.For Covesting, what are your benchmarks to determine the success of a manager?
Is it purely based on profits or are there other benchmarks you look at as well (e.g his personality, how he treats his clients, consistency in trading history, etc.)
Yes, volatility is huge! We love volatility. If you know how to deal with it can provide significant profit opportunities. In Covesting there will be a healthy competition among all managers. The most important criteria is profit, of course, and sustainability of such profit.
Meaning that if you have profited +150% for today’s trade, but your average drawdown is 70% – I doubt that such manager will have a lot of investors-followers due to the risky nature of his trading. Apart from performance grading – there will also be the possibility to rate investment manager and leave a review, same way as it happens on other marketplaces unrelated to trading. Every strategy is transparent, representing all necessary details for proper analysis in order to make the right trading decision.
What determines the ecosystem on model managers in Covesting? Do you let it naturally happen by allowing good traders to overtake below-average ones or does your team manually hold or suspend traders who are not performing well?
Well yes. It’s kind of “survival of the fittest” thing. If you are good at trading with a sustainable result – you will be at the top of the list, no matter whether you are a “street” trader or professional manager. Performance and sustainability is the key to become a reputable manager within the Covesting ecosystem.
It is natural, investors want to see good ROI on their assets that is why they will be choosing the best performing managers. We like this because now everyone has a chance to earn success fees in an equally fair environment.
Can you tell me more about the progress of the Covesting app bound to be launched a few days before the ICO?
Why did make the decision to release a beta version before the ICO actually begins in contrast to other ICOs where working applications are usually developed after the ICO.
We are launching the MVP prototype version in November so all users could get familiar with the interface and all features. This would increase the level of trust in our project among community members. The first published version release is scheduled for Q1 2018.
How do you expect the cryptocurrency community to react to Covesting? Do you think investors will react well to it and why?
We already receive a very positive feedback and response from communities around the world. I actually haven’t seen anyone doubting that Covesting is a project with an extreme perspective. Probably everyone understands the need for such an ecosystem (or maybe they already have a plan to be a part of Covesting community :).
What has been the toughest moment for you so far growing Covesting? Is there anything along the way that you were relieved is over? On the flipside, what was the proudest (or happiest) moment you experienced?
When you are preparing for ICO every day is tough. You have to control hundreds of processes at the same time, especially if you are a control freak like me. I track on what happens in all parts of Covesting progress – from PR and community and including product development, IT security issues, smart contracts etc.
Honestly speaking, what do you think is the biggest weakness of Covesting right now and how do you aim to tackle that weakness?
The biggest weakness is that many people don’t understand what copy-trading or peer-2-peer asset management really is. So it is very important for us to explain how such mechanism can be beneficial for both investors and professional traders.
Do you have any interesting partnerships so far with businesses or perhaps other blockchain startups like Aragon, Civic, or Bancor Protocol? If yes, could you explain some of the partnerships and tell us what all of you are working together with at the moment?
Yes, we have preliminary agreed on a partnership with B2Bx, these guys know what they are doing in terms of liquidity aggregation from a bunch of crypto exchanges and we will employ their solutions to make Covesting great. It will also save us a lot of time connecting to crypto exchanges – we get access to all quotes instantly.
Where do you expect to see Covesting in a couple of years from now?
We see ourselves as the leading peer-2-peer asset management platform for crypto assets in two years time. We estimate that over 5000 users will be using our platform for hassle-free and transparent asset management services around the globe.
Moving on to personal stuff, what is your passion outside of your career? Do you enjoy something else like sports or gaming, maybe?
I love traveling. My latest passion is kite surfing.
Finally, what are your personal goals (other than your career) that you want to achieve soon? Any personal milestones in mind?
I would like to help people become more knowledgeable about investments. It is sad that in many countries investment culture is not that developed as in others. I think of writing a book one day. I have a lot of stories to tell about my journey, which could serve as a nice guide for the ones starting their path into trading and investments career.
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