Aibek Esengulov on Keeping Control of Your Money and the Power of BlockchainMar 29, 2021
Aibek Esengulov suffered the consequences of centralized financial systems -- so he decided to fix the problem.
In 2017, while developing messaging software, Aibek realized that he was never fully in control of his company's finances. "Our corporate bank account got frozen. As I later found out, this was along with 30 thousand other bank accounts," Aibek said in the latest episode of the Follow the White Rabbit podcast. The account was not frozen because of anything the company did, but because of the bank's involvement in some external issue. "Long story short, it was due to some geopolitical conflict," Aibek explained.
Aibek's experience illustrates the risk in depending on centralized financial systems. Centralized banks control an account's assets and can restrict a client's access without justification. Like Aibek, account holders can get caught in the crossfire of extraneous complications. "Something like that can really break your business because your operations stop when someone freezes your corporate bank account," Aibek said.
Aibek sought a solution and co-founded Horizontal Systems, a company that seeks to remove boundaries from financial systems by building applications that provide open, unconditional access to cryptocurrency markets. Currently, Horizontal Systems' main focus is developing the Unstoppable Wallet, a decentralized multi-blockchain wallet for all major cryptocurrencies and hundreds of crypto tokens. As the name implies, the wallet's purpose is to give users control over their crypto assets in a way that cannot be 'stopped'. That means users can never fully be locked out of accessing their assets.
Today, most digital wallets are centralized, 'custodial' wallets which hold users' private keys and are therefore able to lock users out of their assets. By giving users control of their keys, 'non-custodial' wallets, like Unstoppable, ensure users can transfer their assets even if they are locked out of an app. The problem is, at the moment, "a lot of non-custodial wallets may expose your data," Aibeck said.
Understanding the growing need for digital privacy, Horizontal Systems is developing a wallet that is truly private. To Aibeck, privacy is the logical next step in the digital world. "People don't like being tracked and it is a fact that we are being tracked," he said. "We think the next two years are going to be about privacy ... I think ultimately the business model where data is collected and sold will die out. When it dies out, centralized systems will not be mainstream."
As Aibeck puts it, "If you want to build world-changing ideas, the blockchain is a perfect place to deliver that." What better way is there to change the digital world than to start making it private?
To learn more about Aibek's mission to decentralize financial control, follow us down the rabbit hole. Listen to the conversation here or on your favorite streaming service.