10:57 | 08.02.18 | Interviews | exclusive 112072

Nick Spanos: Cryptocurrencies could transform Armenia’s future

Blockchain Technologies Corporation CEO Nick Spanos visited Armenia in late January as a head of the delegation of international experts on bitcoin in order to get familiar with blockchain, crypto potential and prospects of the country.

In 2013, Nick Spanos founded Bitcoin Center in New York as the first physical bitcoin exchange located right next to the New York Stock Exchange.

During the stay in Armenia, the delegation held plenty of meetings and paid visits to the National Assembly of Armenia, Tumo Center for Creative Technologies, and the American University of Armenia.

The visit was co-organized in collaboration with the Embassy of Armenia to Denmark and The Danish-Armenian association led by Anna Karapetyan.

Itel.am has made an exclusive interview with Nick Spanos.

This is your first visit to the region. What brings you to Armenia?

We are in Armenia out of interest. We’ve come here because we saw Armenians becoming champions in Chess Olympiads for many times now. This is a small country with only a couple of million people living here, so we want to know how you’ve managed to succeed.

What are your short-term plans for Armenia?

I want to import bitcoin ATM machines into Armenia. We have them distributed all over the world.

I have a factory of bitcoin ATM machines, now we are looking for a right local partner to make it a reality, and we have interviewed potential partners during our visit.

Nick Spanos and Narine Daneghyan Nick Spanos and Narine Daneghyan
photo © Mediamax

The bitcoin ATM serves two functions: you can insert local currency and create a wallet and BUY bitcoin (AKA load it up on your wallet) or you can sell bitcoin to the ATM and receive local currency back in return.

What are Armenia’s prospects as a blockchain and crypto country?  

Armenia is ready for blockchain and crypto future. It’s the future that is guided by people’s agenda only. We are here to unleash the power of peer-to-peer transactions in cryptocurrencies.

I am certain that cryptocurrencies can transform Armenia’s future.

How should people prepare for buying bitcoin?

First, you need to understand what bitcoin is before actually buying it. People need to invest into education on understanding how bitcoin works.

These new technologies are here to stay. In the end bitcoin always keeps going up, and more up then down.

You attended Yerevan blockchain hackathon, organized by Hero House, Zap and YLedger during your visit to Yerevan. How do you assess Armenian startups’ readiness for the new technology?

I am impressed with the smart ideas I saw at the hackathon. That is why we doubled the prize fund. There were several truly wonderful ideas, so we decided to give the teams around a half-month to develop them and present the perfected versions.

My last question, of course, is about your visit to Tumo Center for Creative Technologies. What are your impressions?

I delivered a speech for around 60 students, we talked about crypto brands. I was surprised to see how well-informed those teens were, I have never been to a place like Tumo. The education system is so well organized and advanced there! The children are learning great methods and they have big chances to succeed.

Tumo is a good model and the kids are our future. Having similar centers all over the world would be a real investment.

Nick Spanos was interviewed by Narine Daneghyan