February 9, 2018

Interviewing our Fintech Advisor, Lex Sokolin

With growth, comes good things.

As we continue on our mission to reach our goals, it’s important that we’re open to valuable insights. As our business evolves, so does the experience and expertise within our team.

With that said, we’d like to introduce you to a valuable member of our advisory team – Lex Sokolin.

With a professional background that includes a number of roles on Wall Street, Lex is an entrepreneur and futurist at heart. Already a well-established influencer in the crypto community, Lex brings a wealth of knowledge to the Debitum Network team.

As the Global Director of Fintech Strategy & a Partner at leading financial research firm Autonomous NEXT, as well as the Managing Director and Co-Founder of LightShed, Lex is an astute analyst and a key communicator.

With an impressive 222,673 followers on LinkedIn, Lex is known to talk current affairs in the crypto world, and strongly believes in a decentralized future.

In our latest video, Monika Varkalyte interviews Lex Sokolin and hears his thoughts on our Debitum Network project, the future of blockchain technology, and his predictions about the cryptoeconomy in 2018.


Hi. I am Monika from Debitum Network, and today I have an online guest, Debitum Fintech Advisor, Lex Sokolin.

Hi, Lex.

Lex Sokolin:
Thanks so much for having me.

Yes, it’s nice to have you here.

Lex is a fintech entrepreneur and futurist. He’s the Digital Director of Fintech Strategy at Autonomous Research, and is the author of The Keystone Analysis, Token Mania.

Lex, would you like to add something about yourself?

Lex Sokolin:
Yeah, sure. I think of myself as a Fintech entrepreneur, so, I build companies in the space. I really love learning about new technologies and new companies, so, I do a lot of research for my work at Autonomous Next, and then I also have a visual arts streak that I try to play up. So, I try to think about finance and technology as this big art project that we’re all embarking on, that makes it a little bit more creative and free.

That sounds amazing.

In your Fintech predictions for 2018, you have said that 2018 will be the year of crypto‘18. I find it very exciting, and could you tell more about that?

Lex Sokolin:
Yeah, so, I think it’s important to make puns when you make predictions, because everything is so up in the air that you have to have a little bit of humour in it. But, I do think that the cryptoconomy, in this coming year, will really hit the real world.

So, 2017 was all about bitcoin and price appreciation and these huge, imaginary landscapes that people painted, and 2018 is about making it happen. So, you see that across asset managers and broker dealers, and regulators, and start-ups, and I think we’re going to see a lot of actual gears, and code, and infrastructure being put together, and it’s a cool year. It’s gonna be a very exciting year.

So, we talk about the huge potential and big technological change. How can people and industries smoothly move to the new technology and infrastructure?

Lex Sokolin:
So, the key is that we’re not gonna move there neatly. It will be a lot of creative destruction. Regulators will make it difficult to do certain things, but there will be answers that come out on the other side. Older companies that don’t go the blockchain way, and don’t adopt the technology, may fail to compete and go out of business. New companies that don’t have a real, good, and tangible idea may also fall apart. So, it’ll be very messy. But, at the end of the day, out of that will come the next version of Google, Amazon, and Netflix that will define the decade to come.

So, let’s talk about the Debitum Network project. Debitum is building a platform for global small business financing. Would you say Debitum Network is an example of this new infrastructure?

Lex Sokolin:
Yeah. I think there a couple of things about the project that really makes sense to me. Of course, digital lending is something that Fintech entrepreneurs have tried to make happen for a while, and I know that the parent company that’s involved with Debitum Network has a Fintech lending business, which informs the crypto version of that. But, I think that the project unlocks something that wasn’t available before.

So, the first thing is you have a global audience for both capital on the lending side as well as the contribution side, right? So, you can have both lenders, as well as providers, from all over the world, from any country that has demand, and then the same thing for small businesses. So, I think this kind of decentralization really plays into the business model.

And then, the other part that really makes sense to me, and that I like, is the integration of real world service providers into the network. There’s a lot of stuff out there that’s crypto only, or that’s traditional only. And, so, I think there’s this really key piece in Debitum Network where different service providers in the value chain can get paid in Fiat, can contribute their services, can do selection. So, I think that that’s a really nice bridge of the two.

Yes, definitely.

And, talking about small companies financing, what do you think can really change here?

Lex Sokolin:
I think we’re moving into a world where, or, in many places, we are in a world where people live in their phone. I think, if you look five years from now, people live in their virtual assistant – Alexa, or something like that – or in their self-driving operating car system. And, the interactions that people have are shifting, in a large way, from interpersonal relationships with bankers, or I know somebody who knows somebody – this kind of personal networking – to a lot more transparency and a lot more availability of access, and that is because we now can get anything through the phone, or through the assistant, or through the web, ’cause it’s like a remote control for our life.

So, I think that, for small businesses, as for everybody else in the world, more and more financial decisions and financial products will be, and have to be, purchased through a very web-enabled world. And, if you look out far enough, it’s clear to me that a web-enabled world and a crypto-enabled world, at the end of the day, will be the same thing. And what you guys are doing is at the very forefront of getting there.

So, what do you like about Debitum Network? You have mentioned, already, several things, can you summarize what value do you see in it and what are the key elements that attracted you to become our advisor?

Lex Sokolin:

So, I think, to go back to those strengths, if you think about digital lending, you can have retail or institutional. So, here’s institutional digital lending, which is kind of a more realistic business model, in a lot of ways, than just the pure retail version. So, the credit risk is easier to assess, and things like that. So, I like that it’s institutional digital lending. I think, as a Fintech theme, that makes sense.

I like that it’s much more global than prior approaches to doing the same thing, and it’s global by the nature of being a crypto project, because crypto doesn’t really follow borders. As long as you’re okay with regulations in every country, you’re good. But, at the same time, from a technology perspective, you can be global. So, that’s great for both small businesses that need the financing, as well as investors that are willing to put up the capital, as well as service providers that are willing to put up introductions and services throughout the system. So, that makes a lot of sense to me.

And, the final piece that really attracted me to the project is this real world experience building a digital lending Fintech. ‘Cause, if you look at a lot of ICOs today, it feels like people are opportunistic about the ability to raise money, and haven’t had the traction to show that they’ve done this before, and that’s not the case here. There’s experience of a real Fintech company behind it.

Yes. And, what do you wish for Debitum project and crypto community for this crypto’18?

Lex Sokolin:
It’s gonna sound sorta silly, but I’d love to see 2018 to be a lot of work, a lot of progress in terms of building the things that people are talking about. ‘Cause, we’re in a place where it’s really exciting, and anything is possible, and there is a ton of talk and dreams, and I really hope that, for the entire crypto ecosystem, a lot of the rails will be put in place for actual projects, and businesses, and things that function to exist. ‘Cause, end of the day, all this stuff is about helping people, right? It’s not about some kind of abstract thing, it’s about how does this impact the life a human being that needs a loan, or needs a good, or needs a credit card, and so on.

So, I really hope to see a lot of that stuff being built, and, for the project specifically, I’m excited to see what it’s gonna look like and, when all of these things fit together, how it actually functions.

Yeah, that sounds great. And, okay, let’s go to the end.

So, thank you Lex, and thank you all for watching, and I wish you an amazing crypto year 2018, and visit debitum.network and join for further discussion on our telegram channel.

See you soon.

Lex Sokolin:
Take care.