DECENT Opened Blockchain R&D Hub in Armenia

November 04, 2016

The race for championship in putting the best blockchain solutions to service masses intensifies, with industry leaders broadening geography of engagement by investing and bringing in new talents in research and technology development from around the globe. Notably, blockchain startup DECENT continues advancing its challenging mission by introducing a new valuable member to its family, the Blockchain Research and Development Hub in Armenia, lead by a Harvard grad CEO and co-founder Gagik Yeghiazarian.  The new residence is in s.c. Silicon Valley of Transcaucasia, Yerevan, which currently accommodates hundreds of tech companies, from startups, to established giants, quickly becoming a global source for AI, machine learning, big data and cloud solutions.

At an event organized by Hive Seed Fund on 15th October, specialists and surrogates of major international tech companies introduced their agendas and future plans. The list of esteemed guests included Paul Asoyan from Google, Marc Hedlund, CEO of Skyliner and trio Raffi Krikorian, Chris Valasek & Robbie Sedgewick from Uber. Besides their soon-to-be-realized endeavours, they elaborated in length about Yerevan expansion as the main “beast” in region and its thriving business atmosphere with plethora of various entities and talents. While pointing at AI and machine learning direction as the future, Rafi Krikorian, Engineering Director at Uber Advanced Technologies Center (self-driving car) shared his enthusiasm about Armenia’s prospects and the pace of development: “Armenian IT shows rather strong progress. You notice it when you follow the works of various IT companies, which apply for consultation. Armenian tech products are rich and mature.”

Amongst the heavy players like VMware, National Instruments, Synopsys, Mentor Graphics, and local champions like Picsart and Joomag, DECENT has found a sweet spot of emergent new blockchain principles, previously absent from portfolio of Yerevan booming FinTech industry – decentralised distribution platform for digital content. Its goals is simple – cut off the middleman between author and the consumer.

DECENT protocol allows  unrestricted and uncensored exchange of unique digital products facilitated by efficient and fee-less peer-to-peer payment method. Without third party being allowed to obtain its cut, author decides himself how to price the final digital content while potential buyer decides, whether s/he is willing to purchase that content. On top of that, every transaction is recorded onto immutable data storage unit, protected by cryptography intensive cyber-security against unwanted intruders.

Every DECENT Network project down the line will use the exact architecture. DECENT Web, DECENT Music, DECENT Books – applications, expected to be released in the near future. DECENT Stream is definitely the most ambitious one; combining author-consumer relationship with immediate access to thousands of films and TV shows.  Co-Founder Arman Aleksanian is certain, that “the new Blockchain R&D Hub of DECENT will significantly accelerate product-to-market timing.  No doubts, we all will soon witness new wave of major disruptions in  most of the traditional industries: the pace of blockchain powered development is amazing – great that we can contribute to making it happen”.

Currently, DECENT is focusing on its ongoing ICO event. Since its launch, nearly 4000 sponsors participated with stunning amount of $3’500’000 USD equivalent Bitcoins. What pleases the founder and CEO, Matej Michalko, is that majority of participants were small contributors. He concludes that “the strength of DECENT base lies in its community and the idea of empowerment and omittance of publishers authority.” With three weeks left, DECENT is looking at a successful venture, that will help realize roadmap plans and spread its influence further.

Reason for this expansion is not only from open windows of opportunity, provided by the needs of individuals, or private companies to digitalize or cyber-secure themselves, but also from overall growing acceptance and support by the governments.  More and more countries realize and start nurturing the potential for sustainable job creation and competitive edge that next generation of young-blooded companies bring.

Use cases of this slowly appearing paradigm shift are mushrooming. Luxembourgian Finance Minister, Pierre Gramegna, boldly claims “blockchain will replace the word ‘Internet’”, while emphasizing the need of “keen regulator to apply rules, but at the same time, is innovative.”  In September, the Chinese government was revealed to be working on developing and eventually using blockchain-based solutions for social security payments.  Early this year, the Bank of Russia has announced plans to “analyse and evaluate” potential applications of blockchain technology within finance. Following the trend, Ukrainian government announced Auction 3.0, a blockchain-based auction trade system to oversee transparent sell of the state assets, while Armenia’s close neighbor, Georgia, has announced development of a new system for registering land titles using the blockchain.

Bolstering the notion, the new Minister of Transport, Communication and IT of Armenia, Vahan Martirosyan commended the efforts of blockchain alliance in “bringing important new knowledge and investment opportunities to our country. Armenian government considers high-tech and ICT as priority sector for country’s development: we will continue providing significant tax concessions and much wider support in partnering for success”.