AMA - SPECTRE.ai - Zisis Skouludis, C.O.O

Hello,

We would like to introduce ourselves to the Bitcoin Pub community. Thank you for having us. We are the SPECTRE.ai team, a group of financial engineers based in London who have developed the world’s first financial trading platform that has no broker and it’s own embedded, decentralized liquidity pool. By the removal of a broker, we eliminate financial fraud from trading and allow traders to trade against the market directly, without any intervention. Spectre’s MVP is live and you can test out the technology here: www.spectre.ai. Below is some further information on us. We look forward to your questions.

  • Who you are: I am Zisis, the group’s chief operating officer.
  • Your role: I am responsible for financial forecasting and risk management in SPECTRE’s liquidity pool.
  • The vision of the company: To remove financial fraud from financial trading permanently.
  • The purpose of the technology: To remove the financial broker and allow traders around the world to trade any asset class without any risk of human intervention or moral hazard (Note we are not a crypto currency exchange). We replace the broker with a computerized smart contract on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • The problem it aims to solve: Financial fraud in a trading scenario. This is a multi billion dollar problem each year claiming livelihoods and as of recent after the Fred Turbide incident, even lives.
  • And any more context you can provide so people can be informed in their questioning. Our ICO is on the 27th of October. Our trading platform is functional and you can try it out on our website. Help rid us of broker-related scam.

Zisis

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Glad for you to be here!

Can you tell us more about the other leaders on the team? What’s their story and why did they join this project?

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Hi, actually this project sprung out of our existing business under Neuchatel Ltd. where we have been creating algorithmic solutions to protect traders and teaching them how to trade safer for around 3 years. One of our brands in this space is Blue Sky Binary which has an existing trading community of a few thousand. Our business generates revenues for a while now. The pain point was always clients complaining about how their deposits were being withheld by brokers or brokers would trade on their behalf. As a team, we therefore decided to address this problem once and for all using blockchain tech and SPECTRE was born. So many senior people from the company came over for this project.

The CEO is Kay Khemani, an ex. equity research/investment director at Goldman Sachs (London) and we met eachother at the London School of Economics back in 2005. If you go to our team page www.spectre.ai, you will see the bulk of our senior talent is either in financial engineer, machine learning AI and financial education so we are subject matter experts in the space and truly understand the pain points/points of failure in the broker-trader relationship. My personal passion is mathematics and financial modelling and so for me, the entire concept of decentralized liquidity and risk management of the pool and traders is something right down my alley.

If you have any questions about any individual person on the team, feel free to ask, I’ll delve further!
Zisis

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What unique perspective do you think you and your team has that is fundamentally different than others?

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Hi John,

Here are the fundamental differences:

a) 90% of all brokerages around the world are created and run by former affiliate marketers. They are good at bring users to the platform but understand little about long term retention of traders, ensuring traders have a safe environment to trade in and can earn profit if they invest the time in learning how to do so. We are not affiliate marketers or marketers. A glance at all our linkedin profiles will reveal that we are engineers and traders so we understand the conflict of interest problem first hand. Therefore the solutions we engineer are not gimmicky but actually addressing major pain points in the market.

b) We are not taking the approach that many (not all but more than a handful) ICOs are which is trying to justify a usage of the blockchain in order to raise millions. The replacement of all functions of a human broker by a computerised smart contract is one of the most obvious use-cases of the Ethereum blockchain. The fact that everything can be oraclized proves this point. Trying to fit a square peg in a round hole is not our view; we need the blockchain to solve this major problem of financial fraud. Our trading platform which launched last week in alpha mode has been in engineering for over a year, which proves that well before ICO’s were ICOs, our plans to use blockchain to solve this serious problem were already in motion.

c) Expertise: we have been developing financial technology algorithms (both trade opportunity recognition but also trade entry and risk management) for years. Our skill set is more relevant than the usual marketer skill set that goes into creating some of today’s trading solutions which generally destroy client accounts.

Zisis

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Fantastic! What excites you the most about this new market and industry and what do you think needs to change the most for growth to really explode?

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Hi John,

Is your question in reference to cryptocurrencies or financial trading?

Thanks,
Zisis

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More interested in crypto, but these things are very inter-connected. Love to understand your vision for the greater industry and market and what you feel needs to necessarily change for your project (and the greater market as a whole) to really blow up.

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Hi John,

Cryptomarket: formal regulation needs to come in so that innovation can properly flow. Right now with the SEC and other regulators taking the “guilty until proven innocent route”; this is hurting innovation and forcing entrepreneurs to relocate offshore or structure their tokens in ways which are not necessarily the most optimal for their vision or token holders. Regulators always play catchup, we saw this with Sarbanes Oxley, Dodd Frank, Basel 2 etc. Now they’re late on the game here. A coordinated workgroup, cross border, needs to be setup amongst regulators to create a unified global regulatory whitepaper/framework for all icos and tokens to follow. As for the infrastructure, we are still in the Lycos, Metacrawler, Yahoo phase of blockchain innovation and like Google was unknown then, it is quite possible that no known blockchain we see today will actually end up being the far superior one in a decade from now. For now we feel its Ethereum, but only time will tell. Point being, the ability for the chain to scale is key so that network congestion is limited, otherwise this will limit the appeal of products and solutions built on the ledger.

Financial trading industry: The quicker the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance with the likes of Morgan Stanley etc can move actual settlements of assets (fx, equities etc) on some kind of derived blockchain of their own, the quicker fin-tech innovation on the trading platform front can progress. SPECTRE can disrupt the digital options and FX CFDs industry (a multi billion dollar one) immediately, but it will need to wait for other assets and for EEA to catchup so that it can tackle physical buying/selling of currencies, commodities, equities and so forth as well.

Zisis

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Always have to ask… thoughts and history on the logo and branding? What inspired it and where did it come from?

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Hi John,

This information can be found in our ‘Brand Due Diligence’ document on our website www.spectre.ai or http://www.spectre.ai/media/spectre_brand_due_diligence.pdf?ver=1.6

Thanks,
Zisis

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The group arrived at the SPECTRE brand name by back-solving for what SPECulative
Tokenised TRading Exchange stands for, when reduced to an acronym. The reason
‘Spectrex’ was not used, is because it does not serve the dual purpose of hinting at
the absence of a broker whereby the absence of something that used to be present
and had purpose, would essentially be a ghost or ‘spectre’

Very cool!

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So as I am a US citizen and there are many countries falling into the same governance as the US. Why choose to do an ICO instead of the normal investor route. You have an established business of which I am sure provided the funding up to this point, but why an ICO?

I love the concept and definitely think it is an issue where the block chain technology actually can serve a purpose and start to fix a problem. If you look at other coins this is one of my major pet peeves is people just thinking block chain can be used and solve any problem. Kind of like excel nuts that think they can type a research document in excel vs word or do a presentation in excel vs power point. Need the right tool for the right job and this seems like a fit.

Will the ICO allow US and Singapore citizens to participate as you have a working product?
If so are you implementing KYC and AML measures? Check out the ICON-ICX project as I think they are just a bit ahead of you on timeline. Not a competing coin just talking timelines here.

One last question. Why Ethereum? Why not UBIQ or NEO both are smart contract systems that seem like they would be a good fit for SPECTRE. UBIQ uses the Ethereum code and from all my research is geared more towards decentralization and screen DApp launches. NEO is different code but is following inline more like UBIQ in decentralization and screening of DApp’s. Just a thought as I think Ethereum is heading down a road of centralization as Vitalik has mentioned on several occasions that he is a sole decision maker/dictator. Which when you centralize you are more accustom to fraud the exact problem you are trying to solve.

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Hi Nekko,

Thanks for your question.

The primary reason for the ICO is the DLAP (decentralized autonomous liquidity pool) which acts as counterparty to trades. Liquidity needs to be ample (a few million). An ICO provides this. Instead we could have raised Series A funding from a VC, but they charge 30% of equity on the parent company level and still wouldn’t fund a project with %5-10m just for DLAP reasons. The crowd is far stronger and we reward them with divy.

You are right regarding the pet peeves. The thing is, as our model is explained, this is a solid use of the blockchain, no square peg in a round hole just to ICO. We need smart contracts on the blockchain in order to remove the broker.

Regarding ICO participation, U.S investors are not allowed. Other jurisdictions need to check with their local attorneys.

ETH has the smart contract advantages you mention that other ledgers do as well, however, what makes it opportune at the moment is liquidity. ETH is far more liquid than the other transaction mediums you mention and liquidity for users to be able to convert their profits to and from fiat is important. In the future, we are happy to explore further integrations where users could, in theory, choose which blockchain they wish to have governing transactions in their SPECTRE unit :). I was not aware that Vitalik controls the 25,000 nodes in the ether ledger? Did he mean that jokingly?

Thanks for your questions!
Zisis

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I understand now. I am pretty new to trading and still learning and hopefully if all goes well I will always be learning. Didn’t think about the liquidity of the asset portion.

It wasn’t about controlling the nodes but the ethereum code the nodes run and in all honesty its really hard to tell from my perspective if Vitalik is using sarcasm or not. He reminds me of Sheldon - Big Bang Theory.

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Lol Sheldon.

Ok noted thanks.

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Zisis - welcome to the Pub!!! we’re glad to have you! this is fascinating. When were you all founded?

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What current use cases do you see using your application?

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Hello,

Our company was founded in late 2011 and reached revenues/profits in 2014 August. The Spectre.ai project came into life over the last 12 months.

Zisis

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Hello,

  1. Trading platforms that connect to the decentralized liquidity pool.

  2. D-Apps such as betting, working capital finance, micro finance apps.

So in essence, our engine, the DLAP, can be used for not just disrupting financial fraud in trading but a range of industries.

Zisis

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