Vigen Arushanyan: The current use of blockchain is evolution, however I expect a revolution
When are cryptocurrencies to be legalised in Armenia and how profitable is mining in the country? These and other questions were answered by the president of the Armenian Blockchain Association Nooor Vigen Arushanyan in his interview for LetKnow.News.
- Tell us about the Armenian Blockchain Association. What are its functions and goals?
- The Armenian association of the Nooor blockchain (Nur - “pomegranate” in Armenian) was founded as a non-profit organisation which goal is to develop and promote the technology of distributed registries in Armenia, to support the development and implementation of projects based on it in the country's economy. As well as positioning Armenia as a significant world center of knowledge and competencies in the development of blockchain technology. Today we are actively focusing on the following four areas:
1. Development of a professional community. We can say, we are creating the community from scratch, find enthusiasts and specialists, people who are not indifferent to this new industry and bring everyone together through various events: from local meetings to our annual international ChainPoint conference.
2. Educational projects. We conduct seminars, workshops and in-depth courses for 7 weeks, like The Blockchain Challenger, for students and specialists from various industries. Also, together with the world's leading universities, in which it is already possible to obtain a degree in the field of blockchain, we are developing more fundamental educational courses for local universities.
3. Development of regulatory legislation. We at Nooor drafted and introduced a bill that is now being considered by the government. If adopted, Armenia will become one of the most attractive jurisdictions for blockchain projects in the world.
4. Business support. Over the past 2 years, Nooor has developed a wide network of partners, consisting of individual professionals, active communities, industry associations, investment funds and service providers from more than 40 countries of the world, which we are putting in place to support startups and companies that come to us appeal.
- How has the attitude to blockchain changed in recent years in Armenia?
- Interest in the blockchain, as, probably, everywhere, undeservedly, but slightly fell. This was largely due to the fact that people often view blockchain and cryptocurrencies in a single dimension, and their attitude towards the blockchain reflects the situation on the
crypto assets market. Of course, a huge number of dummy projects also contributed. Hype together with euphoria passed, now it's a period of disappointment. However, it also has led to the fact that those who intend to engage and develop the technology seriously and for the years ahead - remained on the market.
As for the quality of coding in Armenia, I’ll just say that regardless of technology, the quality of work of our developers is well known throughout the world. I will support my answer with just one example: a part of the Ripple code was written here by local specialists.
- How favourable are the conditions for mining in Armenia?
- I would not say that the conditions for mining are the most favourable, since the price of electricity is quite high - about $0.08 per kilowatt. There are also pluses here: clean and cool mountain air can save on cooling.
- How is the free economic zone for mining developing now?
- The free economic zone is naturally developing. There are residents who already successfully operate and enjoy tax benefits. By the way, at the moment, only one company is engaged in mining among residents.
- At what level is the legalisation of cryptocurrencies in Armenia and is mining taxed?
- As I underlined, we prepared and submitted for discussion a package of proposals for the legalisation of cryptocurrencies. Very soon the position of the government in this regard will be announced. Mining is not taxed right now, and the bill is also likely to not be taxed.
- How does the central bank of Armenia sees cryptocurrencies?
- The attitude towards cryptocurrencies of the vast majority of central banks in the world is negative. Armenia is no exception in this regard. In our case, however, the central bank is open to discussions and listens to weighty and reasonable arguments.
- What contribution has the blockchain made to the development of fin-tech and what to expect from this technology in the future?
- At the moment, it is difficult to assess the contribution that fin-tech blockchain made, but it is obvious that the process has already begun and in the future we are waiting for completely new models of cooperation and financing. The way blockchain is being used in today's financial services can be called evolution. I expect a revolution.