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Meet the Boss – Exclusive Interview with 108 Token Founder Aditya Mishra

The world of crypto investing is moving almost as fast as the world of banking.

In fact, some industry experts believe that this new technology will completely reset if not reinvent the vertical within the next several years.

We recently sat down with 108Token’s CEO, Aditya Mishra, to have a chat with him about the project as well as finding out his thoughts and insights.

Q: Hey Aditya, Thanks for joining us today. Can you tell us more about yourself and 108 Token?

Aditya Mishra

108 Token is an ETF-style index token that tracks the market performance of the Top 15 cryptocurrencies. The underlying index for the token is rebalanced on a monthly basis and has a cap weight of 20% on index constituents in order to provide a diversified exposure. Unlike many of the  Index-style investment opportunities in the crypto space, our 108 Token is a liquid token which can be traded in secondary markets.

  1. How did you come up with the idea and what was the thought process behind it?

Several of our friends started reaching out to us in the summer of 2017 trying to figure out the best cryptocurrencies to buy. During that process, they started mentioning some projects which were clearly scams.

This prompted us to go to the drawing board to try and create the easiest possible way for someone to access the fast growing asset class. We tested for several variables and permutations with our team of in house data analysts to create the 108 token.

Q: What is the biggest problem with the industry or do you think there is a gap in the market for 108 Token to fill?

We see two key issues where 108 token plays a key role:

  • The simplicity of access to a basket of crypto networks via fiat, BTC or ETH simplifies the problem of buying, storing and selling several crypto currencies.
  • Several ICOs have raised large sums of money, but are unable to manage treasury effectively. 108 token is a simple way of allocating 5-10% of holdings as part of an ICO raise for efficient. Low cost treasury management.

Q: What do you think is the biggest problem 108 Token will solve and why is the problem important to solve?

108 Token simplifies access to crypto for the masses. Just as true with any asset class, we expect passive capital inflows into cryptocurrencies to grow at a high pace as the adoption rate increases. Diligent investing in cryptocurrencies demands a thorough understanding of the technical sophistication of the asset class and the complexities of wallet management. 108 Token abstracts out the complexities of cryptocurrency investing and helps users to invest in a safe and secure manner. To ensure that cryptocurrencies mature into a mainstream asset class, access to cryptocurrencies should be made easy and simple for all kinds of investors, and 108 Token does exactly that.

Q: Regulation-wise, what are the toughest challenges you will have to overcome? Per region which is the hardest market for you to crack or stay in compliance with? The US? Asia? Europe?

We spent more than 8 months in zeroing down upon the best jurisdiction for the token. By rule of thumb & lack of clarity from the SEC, we consciously decided to not accept capital from any US persons. In addition we have restricted purchases from Singapore to Accredited/ Qualified investors only.

Q: Where do you expect this model and your customer base to grow the fastest and why? Is it the U.S? Or do you see another region that you expect to switch to this kind of service en masse first?

108 Token does not have a special focus on a particular geography, and we want to make cryptocurrency investing easy and simple for everyone across the globe. However, given the regulatory uncertainty, we decided not to issue tokens to US and Singapore persons. In addition, because of our strong and deep networks in Singapore and Indonesia, we are expecting greater demand for 108 Token in SE Asia.

Q: What are the services you plan to offer that excite you the most?

Our holding company ZPX offers a full stack of crypto products and services including but not restricted to token creation- 108token, asset management, research & a decentralized exchange(zenrelay).

Q: What has been your happiest moment so far working on 108 Token?

Our ability to simplify access to this fast emerging crypto asset class while delivering a best in class return profile.

Q: On the flipside, what has been the most painful, or perhaps the most regretful decision you’ve made with 108 Token?

One of the many reasons for us to do something like 108token was to understand the various nuances of running an ICO including the regulatory stack, technical stack & marketing and distribution. We have learnt many things in the process which at times was painful but fruitful nonetheless

Q: What is the indicator you are looking for to tell you that you have begun to achieve your mission?

We are looking for means of increasing community engagement and customer feedback as we make iterations to exiting products and launch new ones.

Q: What are the selling points and what does it do in the system? There is quite a lot, so maybe you could summarize this in three to four points.

  1. 108token is a low risk entry point for someone interested in the cryptocurrency space.
    2.108token helps reduce the volatility associated with one cryptocurrency and helps the buyers to get exposure to the top currencies.
    3. The token is different from other index tokens in the approach that it uses the supply adjusted marketcap to arrive at the top 15 currencies.

Q: Do you have any existing strategic partnerships you would like to talk about?

We have several key partnerships in place with market makers, exchanges and ecosystem builders. Some of them include QCP & XSQ from Singapore, Coindelta from India and Bancor from Israel. We are continuously onboarding partners in several key jurisdictions.

Q: Moving on to more personal stuff, what does a typical day in your life look like?

These days it is all about block chain and crypto! I usually try to get my meditation in early in the morning & then review the various channels to get up to date on crypto action. We get requests for hosting educational seminars with various executives throughout the week as well. I consciously take some time out to think about the various nuances of the crypto industry – so much to read and learn.

Q: Can you express one personal opinion of yours about the blockchain? It doesn’t matter if it’s negative or positive, we just want to hear your thoughts on it.

Blockchain technology marks a new paradigm in technological innovation. Blockchain is a transformative technology that helps the internet realize its true potential by enabling peer-to-peer exchange of information and commerce in a private, secure and permissionless manner. We are witnessing a huge wave of innovation in the field of public blockchains, and we firmly believe that the successful and proven blockchains will be embedded into corporate business models.

Q: What’s something that you believed to be true for a long time until you found out that you were wrong, or if you don’t like that dichotomy of right versus wrong, what’s something significant that you really changed your mind about over time?

When we first started investing in Bitcoin, we were Bitcoin maximalists. We expected Bitcoin to become the universal platform for transfer of value, smart contracts and complete privacy. That being said, as we saw the pace at which innovation is happening in the blockchain space and got a better understanding of the theoretical and practical tradeoffs between privacy, scalability and efficiency, we realized that blockchains should have specialized approaches to solve unique problems and one blockchain cannot solve everything. In future, we expect there to be a handful of blockchains solving unique problems but with overlapping communities. So, that changed our fundamental view on the space from bitcoin maximalism to blockchain maximalism.

Q: Finally, what other personal goals (besides your career) do you have in life? Is there anything else in life you want to achieve?

Besides my job, I am very committed to driving up the blockchain adoption in Asia. One of the use cases of blockchain is that it can easily put a bank in everyone’s pocket with low fixed costs. This opportunity is particularly very advantageous to people in geographies like Asia where the proportion of unbanked population is very significant and the costs of opening a bank account are very high. In the light of growing focus on digital financial inclusion in Asia, I want to educate different stakeholders and regulators in the community on the blockchain technology and closely collaborate with them to bring blockchain to the mainstream.

Social Profiles of Aditya:

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About the author

Eleni Steinman

Eleni worked as a business consultant in Yale. She believes that new technologies have tremendous impact on everyone’s life and poses big opportunities for businesses. She got into cryptocurrencies soon after Ethereum showcased various applications of blockchain.