Hosam Mazawi: Launching ICO from zero to hero

Hello Hosam, please tell me who are you and what are you working on?

Hosam MazawiI should go to where everything started. In the beginning of 2017, I came across an article talking about bitcoin. Back then I just wanted to understand why the price of bitcoin was actually skyrocketing, because it didn’t make sense that the price just kept doubling and going up so fast. It  seemed like there was a big opportunity to explore something new, so I started learning what the blockchain was, because at the time I had no idea. I really made it my mission for the next couple of months to understand what it was about. I was watching videos, reading articles, and I found one very interesting concept behind bitcoin, that was the whole decentralized model and this option to own your assets.

Later on I started to look into Ethereum, too. During the time that I was doing all of this research I was employed by a company in Poland. I didn’t want to stay with this company for a long time. I found this emerging cryptocurrency industry very interesting, and I found myself on a daily basis spending at least 6 to 8 hours after work, reading and watching videos to educate myself. At some point I decided that I wanted to master everything that was related to this industry. I went at it from a business and marketing perspective along with the general knowledge, just getting out to network, meeting and talking with people in the industry. I knew from my previous work that connections always open doors for you.

Where were you looking for people?

At first I started to look for people on LinkedIn, adding them to my network. I invited them for Skype calls just to know what they were doing and working on. Then I started learning about ICOs, and I realized, “Okay, there is a hype wave around it” and I started learning how to launch an ICO from zero to hero.

The next step was to explore what existing coins/tokens are doing, so I went to Coinmarketcap. I actually went over each one of the coins, back then around 800 coins, that are listed on coinmarketcap one by one. I checked their websites to see if they had whitepaper and to see what they were doing. A lot of these projects had no products or no business model, and they were raising  a lot of money without any actual need, or money for something that didn’t have any future. While I was learning this I was still connecting with people, later on entering Telegram groups and engaging in discussions. Slowly around August-September ,I started getting offers from companies that wanted to launch their ICO. I didn’t have any experience but I had the knowledge, and I needed someone to just give me the opening and to show me what I should do with what I had acquired. Back then I started my journey with Geon Network, It’s a startup that began from a room with 4 people to 15 people company these days.  

Then I started attending crypto events, meeting people, connecting offline and online. A lot of connections came from LinkedIn, Telegram groups or from people that know other people. As well while doing marketing, I approached websites that basically offered advertising, so also connections from these websites and at some point everything connected into a nice huge network.

Around end of June and beginning of July when I went full time to explore the crypto industry, I was working through my savings. My first income came in January 2018 but for me, investing my own savings and my own money was really worthwhile, because the outcome was huge. From nothing to currently advising three startups in the crypto space. As well I have become the CSO, Chief Strategy Officer, at Cointelligence. We hunt scams and do data research and analysis focused on ICOs, STOs, coins, and exchanges. We do ICO ratings in-house, we have analysts who do ratings based on specific metrics that we built.

In addition, I’m the co-founder of LemonUnit which is a software house placed in Rzeszów, Poland. It’s a boutique software house that is targeting long terms clients, our vision is to build a “Commando Team” that will provide the highest standards in the IT industry. My role is mainly coordinating the business and speaking with future clients, as well the development of the company as a startup.

I am wondering if you are able to have a private life with this amount of work everyday?

Not much actually. I told my wife at the beginning of 2018 that she could expect that I might not have time for private life. I knew that work would be falling from the sky. Let’s say my priority is work, then life, and then anything else. It’s time to use what I worked for. I believe there is a time frame of 2 to 3 years for this hype and after three years the industry will settle down like any other industry. It’s like a typical path of hype but blockchain will get more money than any other industry in my opinion.

How are you doing today and what are your plans for the future?

I split my life into three: LemonUnit, Cointelligence and the consulting part for ICOs. As for the future? I don’t know. Things change, the industry is going so fast that maybe in two months I will decide that none of this is actually relevant anymore and something new will need to happen.

 

I suppose you are investing in cryptocurrencies. Can you tell me which ones?

Yes, I am investing. Basically I am like most people in this industry, holding bitcoin and ethereum. Previously I invested in BankToTheFuture ICO which I believe is a very good platform, they had a real working product. I also invested in they Hyperion Fund by Invictus Capital. They basically tokenized the fund. Of course other smaller investments which are not relevant but more like experiments.

One of the funniest stories that basically happened when I started exploring the industry, I wanted to play with trading, I put $75 on XRP, after 2 months the $75 grown to about $5000 which was very creepy and this was my red flag. I knew that it happened by luck. I saw a lot of hype around it and I didn’t expect to turn $75 to $5000 because no one could expect that. I understood that there was something not right. There’s a lot of hype in the industry but its not really justified. I didn’t actually know what I was buying. I did some research but I didn’t know details about it. It was just lucky move.

It could happen to anybody, but it was you on time! Do you have any favourite tools to manage your crypto assets?

I am using Blockfolio to track prices. In terms of wallets I am using hardware wallet, Trezor. I am not doing a lot of mobile trading, mostly desktop if I want to trade. I don’t leave any funds on centralized exchanges. I am signed up for about 50 exchanges I think. Because of curiosity. Let’s say when you have more than one point of view you can see what is the difference, what is the quality, and also trends and changes. For centralized exchanges I was using Bittrex, from time to time Poloniex.

Can you tell me how do you decide to sell or buy?

When I was in college about 5 years ago I took a course in technical analysis which was a private course so I was basically in college but I took and I payed for courses from a different college, because I was curious and I wanted to learn more about the finance industry. Then I applied what I learned to the crypto industry. I was doing technical analysis, buying and trading. I had nice success rate but at some point I decided to stop it because I didn’t have time when I started working on other projects. I started to pull out and decided to go the long term path, basically to find assets that I believe in few years will still have any value. In cryptocurrency you can’t predict what will happen. Or let’s say you can predict but it doesn’t have to happen.

Can you give some advices for people who want to start investing?

I would say first of all to learn the basics. I mean understand the technology. At the very least you have to know basics. What is blockchain, what are the functions, why is it called blockchain, how the transactions operate, how to secure your own wallets, why you shouldn’t leave any opened assets on the centralized exchanges. All the basics of security, technology, the industry that you will put your money on. If you don’t understand the basics, you shouldn’t invest. Spend at least couple of weeks to educate yourself.

Do you have some influential podcasts or books that you can recommend?

In early days I was watching a lot of videos from Andreas Antonopoulos which was significant in terms of knowledge. I also followed a lot of big influencers, one of them was Gary Vaynerchuk, I watched a lot of his videos over the last two years. For life advice I followed Simon Sinek, I learned from his videos how to deal with situations in life and many important things about leadership. I am also a fan of Tony Robbins. I don’t read books so I listened to almost all of his books, I am just too lazy to read. I can also recommend one book by Ray Dalio, Principles, this is very strong book, talking about principles and how he built his own company and how many times he felt down until he was able to build his own company. Dalio also shows what was his key factor to a successful company which is basically radical transparency. Listen to his book because it is worth your time!

That’s a lot of authors and interesting books! I hope I will find enough time to read them all. Going back to Cointelligence and LemonUnit Software House… are you going to hire someone?

We are open to hire people who are looking for job as analysts in the crypto industry. For the software house, we are always open to get more developers on board but it is also related to project so we need to have very steady projects in order for us to expand. I’m also planning with my team in 2019 to open a fund which will basically focus on investments in the crypto industry. We want to take a different approach, actually getting to startups that we see they have potential but are currently mismanaged or they are not being handled very well.

Wow, that’s such a great idea! 2019 will be a busy year for sure… I wish you luck! Thank you for telling me your story.

Thank you!

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