The CEO Of NEO Banks On Blockchain To Build A Smart Economy

In recent times, it’s Eastern Europe and Russia which have become a hot-bed of crytpocurrency development. But on a recent trip to Tel Aviv, Israel, I took part in what might well turn out to be a historic lunch.

The lunch took place just after well-known tech investor Moshe Hogeg announced he would invest in every Israeli blockchain that approached him. That investor group, called Alignment, consisted of the Singulariteam Technology Group, together with CoinTree Capital, and BlockchainIL.

Held at Alignment’s new blockchain Hub in Tel Aviv, we got to hear from an array of new companies.

Dubbed by many as “Startup Nation”, Tel Aviv has begun to produce a new breed of tech giants, but it’s now turning its hand to blockchain and crypto companies. In recent months, my mailbox has become inundated with pitches from companies claiming to be the next blockchain phenomenon, with plans to revolutionize the finance world, healthcare landscape, travel industry, you name it. The problem is, which one, if any, can deliver? However, after getting deep into the subject with the companies I met, I realized many were at least ‘on to something’. Whether they would survive or not…

Here’s a run-down of who I met with:


The idea of a blockchain network that works for the average person still seems far off. But Erachain wants to address that. Russian programmer Dmitrii Ermolaev, co-founder and CEO has grown it from a small operation to a distributed organization. Erachain is a decentralized blockchain platform that has incorporated European and World-Wide AML laws, potentially eliminating the need for traditional banks. It ties all coins with physical assets, reduces the cost of normal crypto transactions, and claims to eliminate anonymous transactions by verifying all users upon registration.

It’s been 4 years in development and is all about creating a Proof of Stake system where verified accounts are used as nodes. The use cases are enterprise and government, where using these technologies is often a huge barrier to entry. Right now it’s about document management and digital signatures.

In the future, most applications of large-scale are going to require some kind of verification platform.

Zen Protocol

This team has been involved in the Bitcoin space since 2011. After the DAO hack, founder Adam Perlow wanted to focus on making Bitcoin better, more usable and useful. He has spent the last year creating Zen Protocol, leveraging the blockchain technology and the popularity of Bitcoin to try to decentralize the financial system by building a new protocol purpose-built for finance. Zen’s pitch is that it allows anyone to create financial transactions, at any time, anywhere in the world using Bitcoin. Zen is designed to be open, frictionless, transparent, and completely decentralized across a Proof-of-Work Blockchain. Zen Core is implemented in the .Net stack and uses the F* functional programming language, built by Microsoft Research, to power contracts.

Perlow says: “Today it’s very hard to enforce agreements. You put funds with the exchange and enter an agreement with a broker. But on the blockchain you don’t need a trusted 3rd party. Banks have huge control and too much control over our lives.”

Zen wants to bring the entire financial world onto the blockchain, connecting digital and crypto assets with fiat stocks and commodities. “If we had a mechanism by which to enforce contractual obligations you wouldn’t need this trusted third-party,” he says.


Its global world and commerce is global but it doesn’t tap into the full potential because of trust. Trust is centralized and held by banks, Visa etc. These are centralized, high on fees and the approval rate is not good for rest of the world outside of the G10. Meanwhile, Ethereurm and ripple not designed for payments. So the solution is a system built from the ground up to be payment mechanism which is instant, zero fees, reversible, and has anti-fraud mechanisms.

Founder Nir Gazit says: “Bitcoin is not good for stuff, it’s not reversible, there’s no mediation.” So they are building a full stack, an exchange, a wallet, a credit card.

COTI aims to make the global economy truly global by providing instant, scalable, and secure transactions using the COTIcoin. COTI, which appropriately stands for Currency of the Internet, is aimed at incentivizing honest conduct between sellers and buyers by creating a ‘unique behavior scoring’ feature on the Bitcoin sidechain. Users who achieve an “honest” score, meaning those vendors who ship products on time, or buyers who pay when they’re supposed to, are rewarded. The system lets both buyers and sellers see the score of another user before he or she chooses to interact with them. COTI aims to reduce high checkout abandonment rates and eliminate uncertainty while shopping online.

There are currently over 1,000 digital currencies operating on a decentralized basis, however, none can provide the services leading centralized payment providers can. By combining a centralized mediation process and a decentralized payment process, COTI says it has created a technological solution for the consumer payments sector.


Jelurida is the development company behind Nxt and Ardor blockchain platforms. It creates customized commercial versions of these platforms while continuously supporting and maintaining the decentralized public Nxt blockchain. With the upcoming Ardor platform, Jelurida will be creating custom child chains for its clients and partners as well.

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