Dean “Sakis” Karakitsos is the perfect illustration of an entrepreneur and cryptocurrency mastermind.
Born in Athens, Dean turned his passion for deep technology into several successful enterprises.
He possesses over two decades of expertise in designing and launching unconventional and Cryptocurrency industry-changing products, innovating Blockchain technology, and assisting companies to solve blockchain data problems.
Dean is the founder and current CEO of Bitquery, a blockchain data and analytics company based in New York City.
He is also the founder and the driving force behind Bloqchain Science, one of the leading authorities on Blockchain technology.
Greek City Times is proud to have connected with this visionary innovator, whose remarkable concepts have changed the world of Cryptocurrency and business management forever.
Despina Karpathiou sat down virtually with Dean to talk about Cryptocurrencies, Artificial Intelligence and his expert opinion for the future of world currencies in this exclusive interview.
Thank you for giving your time, today Dean! Can you tell our readers a little about yourself?
I am a tech entrepreneur, I formed my first company in the late ’90s in Athens, Greece.
Origin was my first company and it was the biggest market data vendor in Greece, broadcasting real-time market data to banks, investors, and financial institutions.
I am the inventor of the vertical ticker where you can see even today on every trading terminal. After the market crash in 2000, I formed fleamarket.gr with a friend which was the first electronic auction site in Greece and I also moved to the telecom industry by creating a competitive VoIP (Voice over IP) carrier with our proprietary technology.
Since the Greek market was so small I decided to move to New York in 2005 to expand my company.
I had a successful exit in 2015 and after that, I was fully focused on blockchain technology and my new venture Bitquery.io which is a blockchain data, analytics company and that is my journey from Voice over IP to Money over IP.
What first sparked your interest in Cryptocurrency and Blockchains?
Well, I am an engineer, People trust engineers. Blockchain is an engineering breakthrough.
On a blockchain, engineers are running the monetary system perfectly designed backed by mathematics. The first engineered monetary system in our history and the best anti-corrupt system in the world. That’s what sparked my interest.
What is a blockchain and what is its main purpose?
This is a great question and I am usually answering this question depending on who’s asking.
On a higher level, I would answer like: Blockchain is a stack of technologies that creates an accounting system for an automated world with no intermediaries.
A technical answer to the same question, what is blockchain, would be: Blockchain is a public digital decentralized infrastructure that you can build systems of trust based on mathematics. You can build any system like a central bank, a monetary system, or a decentralized voting system. Blockchains have many use cases but prominently it’s getting used for building an alternative financial infrastructure.
The most well-known system built on blockchain is bitcoin. Bitcoin is not a currency or commodity but a whole new asset class underpinned by math and cryptography with no central authority.
A technical answer to what bitcoin will be: Bitcoin is the first protocol layer of the internet that anyone can buy a piece of!
Bitcoin is underpinned by math and cryptography.
Like gravity, Bitcoin works, whether you believe in it or not.
Please give our GCT readers some insight into your company Bitquery?
Sure. Bitquery is a blockchain data company that builds tools to solve blockchain data problems.
Today Bitquery supports more than 30 blockchains like Bitcoin, Ethereum, EOS, Binance Smart Chain, Cello, Algorand to name a few.
Our customers are Banks, Fintech Companies, Blockchain projects, Government organizations or near Government organizations, Exchanges.
Bitquery is one of the Top 5 Blockchain Analytics Companies globally in terms of on-chain (API) daily requests.
Our vision on Bitquery is to become the Google of blockchains as the need for on-chain data is increasing exponentially.
Bitcoin has recently passed the US$50,000 mark in value, before drastically dropping again. What is driving this growth and what’s your prediction for Bitcoin for 2021?
A combination of facts driving that growth like bitcoin’s scarcity feature of limited supply, there will be only 21 million bitcoins, not even a penny more, the adoption of bitcoin as institutional investors are jumping in, the devaluation of fiat money is some of these factors.
By applying simple technical analysis indicators to my prediction, bitcoin is increasing its price by 7% every 2 weeks. I expect bitcoin to reach $110,000 this year.
As a technology pioneer and Founder of Bloqchain Science, what are your thoughts on Bitcoin becoming a real and user-friendly currency in major world economies such as the US? And how will technology impact the way currencies are exchanged around the world?
Well, people don’t use Wikipedia because it’s crowdsourced. They use it because it’s a better encyclopaedia.
People won’t use open finance because it’s decentralized, they’ll use it because it’s better to finance for everyone. The word “everyone” here is so important if you imagine that 1.7 billion adults on earth are unbanked because of systems limitations, lack of IDs or even luck of banks. You don’t need a bank to use bitcoin, you are the bank.
Bitcoin is not Facebook or any other internet app, it’s the internet protocol. Bitcoin is not a Mercedes or any other road vehicle, it’s the Road System.
But let’s see the pros and cons of each one on an “interview level analysis”.
On one hand, we have Bitcoin, a digital currency with limited and known supply, no borders and no central group controlling it.
On the other hand, we have a US Dollar, a digital currency with unlimited and unknown supply, border restrictions and control by the state bank.
What do you think the future holds?
Cryptocurrencies will significantly change things. In the next decades, we will see, all monetary transactions will move on blockchains everywhere in the world because it’s user-friendly, sustainable, and efficient for a cross-border global economy.
It has been predicted by many financial experts that the US dollar is on the way out, how long do you think before crypto-currency will take over?
I don’t think the US dollar is on the way out. Is it losing its value? Yes.
What is happening with fiat money like the US Dollar is that governments are printing infinite money that no longer reflects economic output risking hyperinflation.
How would you feel if I tell you that the dollars in your bank account have lost 21% of their value because of inflation since Bitcoin was created (2009)?
As we speak Bitcoin stands as the 14th largest currency in the world. It just passed the Russian Ruble and the Thai Baht by market capitalization.
We are heading to an era where money and state will be separated. How long it will take, I can’t predict that.
What are your thoughts on artificial intelligence? Is it a real threat?
Another great question!
Stories about exponential machine learning fuel speculation that artificial intelligence will eventually dominate humans and take over the world.
People rarely understand that higher productivity is a good thing and results in higher unemployment is a bad thing.
The result is that the value of most human capital will drop in the years ahead. People with true leadership qualities—creativity, compassion, agility, and communication skills—will be paid well. Everyone else will compete for table scraps, further widening the division between the rich and poor.
In the 1700s, agriculture accounted for over 90% of jobs. Today, it accounts for less than 2%. Where did all those jobs go? What are we doing now? Well, that transition was easier to absorb because it took place over 200 years. Similar transitions will happen on a decade depth. Human beings need to adapt faster to these changes.
Other new occupations will emerge as well. People are creative, and people want to work.
I believe in human ingenuity, we always find a way to defeat the threat which can be problematic for our survival. However, I see a greater threat of AI misused by governments and big tech in order to control and suppress the population.
What’s your advice for beginners who are interested in purchasing Bitcoin? Is there a more affordable Cryptocurrency you can recommend for those who can’t afford Bitcoin?
Everyone can afford Bitcoin, you don’t need to buy 1 whole Bitcoin. You can buy a fraction of it. Bitcoin is divisible by 8 decimal points.
So you can buy bitcoin for $10 US dollars. And if you are new to space, don’t invest what you can’t afford and buy Bitcoin.
Within 5 years, the vast majority of non-crypto people won’t even be able to afford 0.01 bitcoins. That means at these levels bitcoin is still at a big discount.
There are lots of scammers out there dwindling people of their money by ‘selling bitcoin’ online. Where’s the best and most secure place to buy bitcoin right now?
Unfortunately scammers are looking after opportunities where there is a huge demand.
Today similar schemes are available in all types of transactions from trading on foreign exchange, binary options, buying gold or even at immigration lotteries.
By utilizing social engineering, scammers can get access to your account or they can charge your credit card or get access to your bank account.
Social engineering is the art of manipulating people so they give up confidential information, like personal information, passwords etc. Securing your system is your number one skill you should advance in our days.
Similar threats might be fake exchanges, fake cryptocurrencies, ponzi schemes trying to raise funds.
You need to be very careful in selecting your exchange.
Depending on the geographical region you leave you have to make your research and decide which online authorities to trust. For example, in the US and Europe, Coinbase is the number 1 trusted authority to purchase crypto and exchange crypto. In Asia, Binance. You also have to check around about the commission each exchange they charge.
However, the best way to gain cryptocurrencies is to accept this type of payment in your work.
Lastly, Greek authorities are becoming increasingly worried about the amount of Bitcoin ATM’S popping up all over Greece, why do you think Cryptocurrency is becoming more and more popular in Greece?
Since fiat money is a surveillance tool I understand why they are worried as they are losing control.
Bitcoin ATMs are used with limited amounts of funds at limited locations in Greece according to population.
I don’t believe that cryptocurrencies are becoming popular in Greece. I don’t feel that way.
Greek media are representing cryptocurrencies as tools of criminals. A Deja Vu moment we see whenever a new technology evolves, like the internet “The internet is just for gambling and porn” or e-commerce “People will never trust a website with their credit card”.
I believe Greece will lose any potential opportunity from this innovation in terms of using blockchain as an infrastructure tool or an investment opportunity and this is unfortunate since we have a very impressive human capital back home.
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