Oleg Kurchenko is a serial tech entrepreneur, investor and business executive with over 10-years of experience in the blockchain industry. Currently, he is serving as Founder and CEO of Binaryx, digital asset exchange. In 2012 he founded his first software development company. He got acquainted with cryptocurrencies in 2014, and in 2016 assembled a mining farm. Oleg started developing FinTech projects in 2017. Binaryx is his second FinTech company. Prior to launching Binaryx, he created a financial services company called Paytion in 2016.
Where did the idea for Binaryx come from?
Working on my project Paytion, predecessor of Binaryx, me and my team came to realize that cryptocurrencies are more likely to be used as assets, not as a medium of exchange for goods or services. Therefore, we came up with the idea of creating a digital asset exchange called Binaryx. The name implies that we are developing a digital product (Binary), and “x” stands for versatility, meaning we can digitalize anything. We decided to pair a trading platform with other services instrumental for entrepreneurs within our company. Currently, Binaryx combines a digital asset exchange and asset tokenization platform. By tokenizing their assets, the users of Binaryx, owners of small and medium businesses, can encourage private investors from all over the globe to support their projects financially.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
The most exciting part is that there is no such thing as a “typical” day. One day I would be busy with back-to-back meetings, and the other day I would be engaged in supervising my team. I appreciate the inherent flexibility of the growing company. And it’s great that I am free of the standard office routine, because Binaryx is a truly innovative company. So, every day is unpredictable, just like the crypto market.
How do you bring ideas to life?
I always have several time slots throughout the day when I work alone, which provides fertile ground for new ideas, even if it’s not relevant to business. Usually, I write down all insights that come to my mind so I can keep track of every thought and ultimately produce a novel idea. Sometimes, even one sentence a day can do wonders.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Asset tokenization on blockchain, of course. Blockchain brings about irreversible changes that in the future will transform the world we are used to. It’s incredibly satisfying to observe that large companies and even some countries have decided to carry out secure transactions and save important data in the blockchain. What’s more, blockchain opens new avenues both for small and medium businesses, as well as for private investors by asset tokenization. Asset tokenization removes any geographical boundaries between companies and investors.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’m committed to only one acquired habit – I start my day by making the bed. This minor action gives me a sense of accomplishment and leads to greater performance during the day.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Admit your insecurity in advance. Accept the fleetingness of all challenges you face. Remember that self-doubt can bring some benefits. It can unleash your creativity and build resilience.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I believe that anyone can retire early through aggressive savings. For example, the F.I.R.E. (Financial Independence, Retire Early) movement is gaining momentum in the U.S. But still, it doesn’t have many followers. Its representatives live by the rule “spend much less than you earn, and invest the difference.” Depending on earnings, savings, and deposits, it is possible to retire as early as 35-40 years. The main principle (and for someone a barrier) of F.I.R.E. is an aggressive economy. It means avoiding unnecessary spending before going out to restaurants and saving at least 50%, ideally 75% of your salary.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Never give up. It may sound trivial, but it is the major thing about success. There are so many obstructions on your way, and stopping won’t lead you to victory. Even great ideas with remarkable performance might not be enough if the timing is not good or the market mood is wrong, or for many other reasons. It is important to continue implementing new things with passion, despite adverse circumstances. And trying new approaches all the time is the key to success.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
I have chosen a product development strategy. In the crypto market, we have not only exchanges and trading platforms in operation. So, I decided to launch a platform for asset tokenization coupled with the digital asset exchange. The first project in the pipeline is an EdTech company from Eastern Europe. Currently, the Binaryx team is working hard to facilitate the first case of tokenization.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
In 2017, I lost $100,000. I sold my car and bought mining equipment, mobilizing all my savings. I mined a certain amount of money and then started trading. After a series of successful trades, I opened another position in BTC, acting on emotions. I started making a profit and was very excited about that. However, I didn’t close the deal in time and lost almost everything. That case taught me that you should keep a cool head in trading.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
Apart from the crypto market and blockchain industry, I would advise to take a closer look at the IoT. The market is booming, and the demand for connected devices is extremely high. As the world is digitizing at a dizzying speed, there are IoT opportunities everywhere — from manufacturing and retail, automotive, medical devices to supply chain management. Creating an IoT app is worth trying as demand for IoT solutions will continue to increase exponentially.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
The best investment is the one you make in yourself, so my most recent buy is a couple of business books. I am convinced that constant learning is an integral part of success. The world is changing rapidly. Things that are relevant today may be off the map tomorrow. To keep afloat, you need to learn something new every day.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
In my work, I often practice the Pomodoro Technique and use the Pomodoro Timer app for iOS. It helps me concentrate on essential tasks and manage my time effectively. Moreover, we use G-Suite and Jira at our company. G-Suite is integrated with all services and has a number of tools to effectively manage emails, timetables, and all docs within one system. Jira helps with tracking tasks. Collaboration between these two services leads to great productivity of the team.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend “The 12 Week Year” by Brian Moran and Michael Lennington. Why? We usually set goals for the upcoming year. By tradition, this happens with the chime of bells on New Year’s eve. We set goals and then procrastinate, thinking that we have plenty of time left. Therefore, success often remains an unattainable dream. But this process can be accelerated by reducing your year to 12 weeks.
What is your favorite quote?
“Everything can always be done better than it is being done” – Henry Ford
- Write down all your ideas
- Never give up
- Keep learning new things
- Don’t fall for the FOMO (fear of missing out) syndrome
- Best investment is the investment in your own skills and development
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.