The Cryptonomist interviewed Federico Monti, CEO of Notarify, on the topic of the recently launched equity crowdfunding campaign, which appears to be progressing well with major sponsors and partners such as Confcommercio.
How is the Equity Crowdfunding campaign going?
The campaign is progressing in a truly sensational way: as I’m answering, we are almost at 200%. In other words, we are on the verge of almost doubling the amount of money we were aiming for. There are still a few days to go and the enthusiasm of overfunding could lead us to an even more interesting level.
In addition to this, I’m loving the support received from everyone: individuals, companies, public administrations. The more I talk about the project, the more we get support. Word of mouth, even in the social era, makes the difference.
At the level of technological innovation, what developments are planned?
The Notarify platform has been designed from the outset to be rapidly upgraded, both horizontally (with the inclusion of non-blockchain-based LegalTech services) and vertically, with the implementation of evolutionary features with respect to our leading-edge technology: certification – including identity with biometric data – traceability (in ways not yet tested by other operators in the sector), tokenisation, smart contracts, etc. …
Our ultimate goal is to provide most of the alternative services that are traditionally offered by institutional entities such as banks and insurance companies, thus becoming the number one in the sector in Italy (and beyond).
What is the customer target of your services?
In February, Confcommercio became our partner, providing capital from the thriving SEAC Spa. It was natural to devise solutions capable of solving problems that historically afflict customers, which include professionals such as accountants, lawyers, notaries and companies in general.
At the moment, Notarify is finding interesting applications especially for the first two categories mentioned. Let me give you an example: there’s an accountant who, for a few months now, has been certifying the identity of the animals and their pedigree for some of his clients with dog farms. I know that similar projects have been promoted in recent days, but our client got there first!
I like the creativity that people are capable of when they have the right tools in their hands.
When do you expect mass adoption?
For crypto, we are still quite far away. My estimate? Three years before people who are less accustomed to cryptocurrencies begin to think about them for non-speculative purposes, namely those for which cryptocurrencies are intended, as tools for freedom, more than for wealth.
However, the unconscious use could happen much earlier. As an example, we provide these services through the Bitcoin blockchain. So anyone who uses our platform is, in some way, using a cryptocurrency.
My idea is this: let’s first experiment with the potential of these technologies so that, when they hear about them, they won’t have the bias to distort their perception.
What led you to want to venture into this new world?
I’ve heard about bitcoin in 2010/2011: a dear friend of mine, much nerdier than me, had it and explained its advantages to me. Unfortunately, I didn’t manage to buy it until 2016 thanks to Marco Amadori, who I feel I can call my mentor.
I must be honest: sometimes we argue, but I love him and I am grateful to him for the wealth of knowledge he has passed on to me, at least at an early stage.
I was so passionate about these technologies that, after having experimented with him and other guys with the first startup in the sector – Comproeuro, I founded ZBX (at the time Zerobanks) to pursue my mission.
How has your project changed over time?
Initially, we wanted to specialise in payment tools and things related to the crypto world, such as the creation of a token for the Province of Trento, Trade and Tourism, but with the arrival of SEAC Spa, we opted to change the order of things: hence, Zerobanks became ZBX Blockchain Smart Solutions, which offers services for a much wider range of scenarios.
As I said before, I am convinced that one day we will really change the logic of local trade with this token, with the help of our network of members.
Perhaps when the time (and the rules) will be more mature we could opt for an ICO/STO.
What advice would you give to those like you, young entrepreneurs, who want to invest in this world?
It is a new world that, and as such, it unfortunately tends to collect the scum that after failing, migrates to other places. I encounter a multitude of projects launched by people who obviously don’t understand anything about them. Sometimes I hear of “private Blockchains”, even from companies with a high capitalisation. And I shudder.
My advice is: if you’re young, study (but take serious courses ), gain experience in some proven company – if you have the opportunity to find them since there are very few. Keep on learning, researching, reading, and differentiating between those who are knowledgeable (very few) and those who aren’t. Read and reread Antonopoulos, if you like philosophy, read Taleb. Then look for partnerships with important companies: knowing how to develop is important, but it is also important to have distribution channels.
Going off the rails has never helped anyone, so plan everything and get help from expert consultants. Finally, never identify yourself with what you do, for better or for worse: if you make a mistake, value the experience, if you do well don’t let it go to your head. Stay detached from the result and enjoy every moment, so that the passion you put into following this path is perceived and helps you to create a strong team, with which you will surely – sooner or later – do great things.