Interview with Bridge Protocol CEO Stephen Hyduchak
To start things off, can you tell us how you got involved in Blockchain?
A few years back, I gained interest in the blockchain for the emerging technology that was being exhibited. As you may know, I am also the founder of ProjectICO. After studying blockchain technology and the vast market for ICO’s I founded ProjectICO with an in-house team to help startups launch their own token sales. Some of the services we offered were legal, consulting, marketing and some engineering. we had many successful clients such as Loci, ICO Alert and Elastos to name a few.
Can you tell us exactly how the idea for Bridge was started?
Bridge Protocol is the solution for a problem that was consistently encountered during consulting practices as a business. Many of the projects that we worked on could not handle the process of KYC / AML in a timely or cost-effective manner. After observing the growing demand and the ever-tightening grasp of regulation in the space; we wanted to create a digital identity that appeased the blockchain community by keeping it anonymous, but a compliant enough ID for regulators.
Why was Neo the choice for Bridge? Do you guys plan to build your own blockchain eventually?
While operating under ProjectICO, I had made the ultimate decision to switch from Ethereum to NEO for a few reasons. One of the main reasons why we chose to launch Bridge Protocol on the NEO blockchain is that their protocol was not designed to be an ICO portal but digitization of assets and so much more. We may build our own blockchain in the future, however our plan and current position is to remain using NEO framework. We are coupling the NEO framework to handle TOLL and payment for microservices. Bridge will run blockchain agnostic and design for use on other chains, as well as our own is in the works for our enterprise minded goals.
How is the functionality of your product coming along?
We are currently ahead of schedule and under controlled development as we continue progress. Our partnership with Onfido is still intact and growing stronger as they will continue to be our KYC provider. We are talking to many other backend providers who are excited to join our marketplace to offer their services with our added blockchain tool. Recent developments have displayed the early stages of our identity platform demonstration video that we released to the public. The video demonstrates a quick overview of our Google Chrome extension for the Bridge Passport. The functionality of this will allow users to simply download the extension to their browser and have a fully operational digital passport at their fingertips.
Seems like the Ico space has recently started to die down. What do you guys think about that and do you have a plan if Icos start to die down?
With a $700 billion reduction in the total market cap this year, it is quite obvious that the elements for crowd funding are not ideal at this time. The positive sentiment and hope that the majority of the crypto community has had in 2017, and early 2018, has reduced dramatically. In addition to this, the interest for token sales is not present either due to lack of token functionality for business operations. Our business plan remains unchanged for use of the blockchain technology for our framework and building a product that works on/off chain. Tokens that will change the world and go to space are a fallacy in my opinion; we need to use this technology to better software services and reduce costs. Once we do that, then we can focus on the “moon” talk again.
What is the plan of action during this bear market? Are you guys operating the same as you normally would?
We are operating as we originally planned to be during this time. During this bear market we have essentially gone into “stealth mode”. The main goal for our team is to build and deliver a working product as one of the first in this space. This task has been being executed by our remarkable engineering division and we have even added two new engineers to our team this month. We brought trading of our token to a top 10 exchange and continue to listen to our communities voice and needs.
Are there any other important factors that you would like to throw out there?
We are excited to share some of our “secret sauce” with public testing very soon. We want to emphasize that not only can we verify an identity in a new way, but the Bridge Protocol will allow businesses to vet any type of credentials all through our Chrome Extension. Easily verify things like user resumes, health records, digital media rights and more. We are very proud to offer more than just KYC/AML in our marketplace and TOLL will be the driving network fee for businesses using our API.