Vladislav Alimpiev is the Head of Business Development at LocalBitcoins. He develops new products and services, establishes partnerships, and creates community and event marketing strategies for the brand. He will be speaking at the upcoming World Blockchain Summit in Dubai.
The CoinQuora team asked him some questions to help us get to know him, what he does in LocalBitcoins, and to tell us some things about the company. Without further ado, here’s the interview.
Q. Please give us an introduction of yourself. What’s your background?
My name is Vladislav Alimpiev and I work for LocalBitcoins as the Head of Business Development. I am responsible for the development of new products and services, establishing strategic partnerships, as well as our community and event marketing strategy.
I was born in St. Petersburg, Russia, but I’ve been living in Finland for many years now and I’m happy to call Finland my home! Personally, I am very interested in the future of financial technology. Fintech and crypto, in particular, have positively affected the lives of many people by, e.g. revolutionizing the way remittances work, and I expect the disruption to only accelerate in the years to come – and it’s so exciting to be part of it!
Q. How did you get into cryptocurrency? What’s your motivation?
I started working for LocalBitcoins first as a customer support administrator. When I started working, I wasn’t that well aware of the potential power of cryptocurrencies to provide financial empowerment to people around the world. But while I was helping LocalBitcoins’ customers through their trading and investment journeys, the world of crypto really opened up to me and also opened my eyes, or widened my eyes actually. Every day I wake up, I’m fascinated by what the day will bring and how I can be part of the cryptocurrency revolution by coming up with better services for people using LocalBitcoins’ platform.
Q. How did you start with your current company? Could you tell us about the business?
As I wrote in the previous answer, I started in customer support, without at first realizing where I dipped my toes in! The company has grown a lot since I started in 2019. It has more than doubled in the number of staff, from about 40 to a little below 100.
LocalBitcoins is one of the oldest cryptocurrency companies that are still operating. The company was founded way back in 2012 as a website for anyone who wanted to trade bitcoin peer-to-peer. At that time, the website localbitcoins.com was just that, a website. The company wasn’t making any money from the trades. A bit later, an escrow was added to the platform to pave the way for secure trading and, of course, monetize the service, charging a 1% for every trade.
Now, in 2021, the company is very different. It has over 9 million customers around the world and the platform supports over 100 different national currencies to buy bitcoin. Besides that it has over 100 different payment methods. LocalBitcoins has a Virtual Asset Service Provider license and is regulated by the Finnish Financial Supervisory Authority. This means that LocalBitcoins adheres to strict KYC/AML procedures in order to make the platform safe and secure to use for all.
Q. What would you say is the unique selling point of your company? What makes it different from other blockchains/crypto businesses?
Our fee structure is very clear for our customers and one of the lowest in the industry. If you’re a casual user, let’s say you want to buy or sell bitcoin sometimes, and just respond to other users’ ads, there are no fees for you. We only take fees from advertisers. However, if you’re placing ads, you can set your own price with which you’re selling your bitcoin. If you’re a skillful advertiser, you might find some arbitrage opportunities on our platform. And of course, we support many national currencies, so buying bitcoin with some less used fiat currency is possible on LocalBitcoins. Last but certainly not least, as one of the oldest crypto firms out there, our liquidity is unparalleled in most markets worldwide.
Q. What do you personally think about current crypto market trends?
Cryptocurrencies are becoming popular, as we can see from the rising trend in the prices of many cryptocurrencies. The volatility is common, however, which reflects the nascent stage of the industry. A part of the trend is also the real-word usage of cryptocurrencies. I would say the all-time highs are not only due to speculation, but also because people in countries with a volatile and inflating currency are protecting their savings by investing in crypto, which may be in many cases less volatile than their national currencies. Peer-to-peer trading has also been a way to make extra income for many during the pandemic months when many young people have gotten laid off from their jobs.
Q. Please share your thoughts on the future of Blockchain technology and Fintech evolution.
I see blockchain technology revolutionizing the financial industry and we have already seen some of that with Bitcoin, Ethereum and decentralized finance. However, I believe that we have only scratched the surface and in the coming years we will see even more disruption. Banks, institutions, fintechs will all realize that they will be left out if they don’t offer cryptocurrency services to their customers. Besides customer needs, blockchain technology also has the potential to streamline the internal processes of many financial institutions by automatizing many processes.
Q. Do you have anything specific to share about your projects?
Yes! LocalBitcoins has launched a mobile application recently. This has been something our customers have been waiting for. Almost everybody in the world walks around with a smartphone in their bag or a pocket these days and Bitcoin trading is much more handy with an App!
Also, new products are in the making and I would also encourage all LocalBitcoins customers to come up with ideas on how to make our service better. We are all ears!
Q. How does it feel to be a part of Dubai Blockchain ecosystem by taking part at 19th Edition of World Blockchain Summit in Dubai on Oct 13 – 14?
I’m super excited to take part! The World Blockchain Summit Series is one of the key conferences in the crypto industry and not just a conference, but I think it’s more like a whole crypto ecosystem of startups, regional businesses, government authorities, IT leaders, tech entrepreneurs, investors, blockchain developers. This provides great networking opportunities. I’m happy too that I can give my own speech in this environment to help educate people about our service – LocalBitcoins – and share some exciting insights from our experience as one of the oldest cryptocurrency companies that are still operating.