Award-winning Danish blockchain specialist Jack Nikogosian is well-versed in the bitcoin industry and frequently appears in media. After using just Bitcoin to make purchases for a whole month in 2015, he gained notoriety as “Bitcoin Jack” in other countries. He has demonstrated his expertise at several expos and conferences and has an engaging stage presence thanks to his enthusiastic nature and fast thinking.
He started the fintech business ARYZE in 2017 with the goal of making payments quicker, cheaper, and smarter. This business has garnered several honors. Additionally, in 2019 and 2020, Forbes listed Jack as one of the top 100 talents in Denmark and on their list of the 30 under 30.
Below are highlights of the interview conducted between World’s Leaders and ARYZE:
Describe who you are as a person, inside and outside of the workplace.
I am the same person inside and outside of the workplace: a happy, curious man who is playful like a child would be. I have always had an entrepreneurial spirit, ever since I was young. I remember organizing a garage sale to sell all my toys, or my first website, Narek’s World. I got sued over that website because I didn’t know you had to pay for hosting services. Being just a kid, I had no idea you had to pay for stuff like that! As an adult, I had the opportunity to manifest some of my curious ideas into real-life solutions. The conception of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies gave the same kind of liberty and level of disruption as the Internet did when it was invented. I think blockchain technology is one of the most disruptive and amazing technologies the world has ever seen-and I am happy to play my part in it.
Describe your background and what did you do before you started/joined the company?
I am an Armenian diaspora in Denmark. I was born in Armenia, and fled to Denmark with my family during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War in 1994. I first became interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology while working with different crypto startups. I was head of innovation at Coinify, where I got to work on consulting for many kinds of companies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I went to New York at the United Nations General Assembly together with one of the biggest law firms in Denmark and had the opportunity to learn about the crypto industry and explore the potential of blockchain technology. I was hooked from the start and have never looked back since.
Tell us about the inception of the company. How did it all start?
ARYZE is a fintech company on a mission to make dumb money smart. The company was founded in August 2017 to solve some of the biggest problems within the financial sphere, such as lack of inclusiveness, money laundering, and lack of transparency. Every day, new technology is created, and there is so much innovation in crypto. However, the masses do not reap the benefits of this new technology, and that’s what ARYZE wants to change. The company is bridging traditional value and digital currencies by creating Digital Cash, a series of full-reserve stablecoins issued by ARYZE. This will enable people to instantly transfer the ownership of money worldwide at next to zero cost instead of using the intermediary-ridden network of money transfers that we see today.
What has made you successful? What do you value?
For the first time since the Great Depression, we now have the technology to create something that has just been a concept until now. After the Great Depression, economists theorized something they dubbed the Chicago Plan, a research paper looking into the feasibility of full-reserve banking and the advantages it could bring. Last week, ARYZE went into closed beta with our first Digital Cash solution, which is a full-reserve digital euro (eEUR). Digital Cash is a series of full-reserve stablecoins that are essentially a manifestation of the Chicago Plan.
Which are the major services of the company and how do they the company to get ahead in the competition? What value-added services does the company provide?
There is an absolute need for a fully trusted and safe stablecoin solution. This is validated by the fact that even with something like the Terra UST crash and $43 billion lost worldwide, and even when stablecoins like USDT have untraditional backing methods, we’re still seeing stablecoins being used daily, and other stablecoins that are not so great are growing in volume. ARYZE Digital Cash is a stablecoin that doesn’t require you to trust ARYZE to trust the stablecoin.
What are the most important aspects of a company’s culture? What principles do you believe in and how do you build this culture?
At ARYZE, we believe that you can do well by doing good. There are so many issues with money, banking the unbanked, remittances, and everything else related to digital economies that we can become a very profitable company by doing good in the world. We’re creating a culture with room for thinking with the heart and using the brain. Our core mission is to do good, and we like to think that’s reflected in our company culture. What is the significance of innovative ideas in the company? Everything we do at ARYZE is about innovation. There are so many sub-challenges in our mission statement that innovation is of utmost importance, and thinking outside of the box is a requirement to succeed in the tasks at hand.
What are your responsibilities as the Founder/CEO of the company? What is the happiest part of your daily routine?
I take pride in being able to help my team move forward and achieve great things. I am always interested in finding new ways to improve and constantly strive to push the company forward. I may initiate some tasks by myself, but it is always a team effort to see them through to completion. I am happiest when I see my team members proud of their accomplishments. -Knowing that I have helped contribute to making good things happen is an awesome feeling. Besides making sure that the business operates as it should, it is also my job to keep myself motivated and happy, so that my colleagues feel the same.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
Don’t try to become a leader that you yourself look up to. Leading people is different from leading yourself and maintaining your own practices. You have to listen to your heart as well as your mind. People tend to want to work when they are around people who care, and it’s important to care for both your company and your shareholders, but also for your team members, colleagues, and the human aspect of it.