Changelly Interview with Shingo Lavine, CEO Ethos


At Changelly we remain confident that after winter always comes spring. And to accelerate its coming we keep on introducing our readers with the most prominent personalities in crypto space to strengthen your faith in blockchain limitless power. So, today’s guest of Crypto Talks on Changelly is Shingo Lavine – a 20-year-old blockchain expert who has already achieved remarkable highs, including the creation of Ethos – financial ecosystem of a new generation. It also worth noting that BQX, Ethos native token is now available for seamless exchange on Changelly

Hey Shingo, thanks for the interview with Changelly! Such personalities like you – young and successful inspire the generation of young and curious. Tell us a story of your entering blockchain industry. Was it 100% consciously or there was some set of circumstances?

Thank you for the opportunity! Getting into the blockchain space wasn’t so much a conscious decision so much as a process of discovery. My background is in computer science and ever since I was young I knew I wanted to work in some “computer-related” field. I learned to program in middle school and found a passion for it. I also always had a passion for finance. I grew up hearing about 2008 and the profoundly unfair impact it had on people all across the world. I knew that I wanted to “help others help themselves” by building services that gave people new opportunities or allowed them to better themselves as the people who lacked access to opportunity were hit the hardest in the aftermath of 2008.

My first venture was in the educational space called “Jobs University” that sought to make people more valuable to employers by teaching them marketable job skills. The online school’s motto “scientia sit potentia” translates to “let knowledge be power”. I believe, and still believe, that much of the inequality in the world is due to lack of access to proper education and opportunity. This service grew to over 22,000 students in 168 countries.

I started learning about Bitcoin in late 2014/early 2015 and found the concept fascinating. I saw decentralization as a force for democratizing the stranglehold that the few had over the financial system and a way to avoid the injustices that occurred in 2008. I read everything that I could and immediately knew that the intersection of finance and computer science to incite sweeping change was irresistible for me. It was at that point I knew I wanted to work in the blockchain field.

So how did it all begin? The ICO that grew into the powerful ecosystem and a 60K community on Twitter? Could you share the story with us?

Ethos started when my aunt came to me asking for help to buy Ethereum. The blockchain space was too difficult to decipher and for many like my aunt, they come interested only to walk away confused and not understanding the importance or potential impact of cryptocurrencies. I knew that there needed to be a simple and accessible way for people like my aunt to learn, store, track, receive and buy crypto and Ethos was born.

This mission of building a financial ecosystem that is open, safe and fair for everyone resonated with a lot of people. Crypto technology had the potential unleash this democratizing force, but there wasn’t anyone in the space that could package it up and make it accessible to people around the world. The community was truly built from the ground up by people who believed in what we were trying to achieve.

A community is a very strong and powerful force, especially when talking about the crypto industry. The loyal and friendly community can raise the brand to the new highs, while the hostile community can destroy it in the bud. What are the main secrets of consolidating a loyal community to your personal view?

We always make a point to interact closely with the community, garner their feedback and provide frequent updates. We provided a lot of venues for the community to interact with us through initiatives such as the moderator program and the product council. We also actively do surveys and integrate community feedback into our development process and prioritization. Making the community feel like they are a part of the movement, and integrating them in a way that is meaningful and important to both building a sense of community and creating products which serve them.

To scale the product line and provide stable working mechanism a company should have a solid dev team holding company’s back. ETHOS website even has a dev-diary which seems to be a great idea as those who do all the core work are usually left behind the scenes, which is quite unfair. Could you tell us how ETHOS dev team was taking shape? Was it a group of geeks in a dad’s garage or a team of the best pros from all around the globe.

We like to keep our development team lean and mean. We quickly realized that scaling the development team to too many people, especially with the highly ambitious and complex system that we envisioned, required a small team, but extremely talented, core group of individuals. Our team is distributed because we want to find the best talent wherever it happens to be. We are lucky to have the talent that we have which has made the whole vision possible.

Recently we issued material on hardware cryptocurrency wallets. To date, this type of wallets is the most encouraging for security reasons. However, blockchain technologies are developing rapidly. What innovative tools provide a high-security level for ETHOS universal wallet?

Security is a mix of best practices and risk minimization. We believe that mobile is actually one of the most secure environments for a crypto application due to the strict permissioning and sandboxing that mobile devices have. On top of that, we use best-practices for crypto security, requiring users to have a physical copy of their key and passing the seed into the encrypted secure enclave with the additional encryption of a salt + pin + bio keeping the seed safe and secure.

Any crypto newbie can confirm that entering the blockchain market leaves an unfortunate impression due to the high fees for the fiat-to-crypto transaction. It is also worth noting that fiat-to-crypto gateways are provided by just a few major market players, in other words, this niche is almost monopolized to date. What are the ways out of this situation? Do you agree that lower commissions for fiat-to-crypto will speed cryptocurrency mass adoption?

I think there is a big opportunity both in reducing costs for consumers, but also in improving execution. Many people in the space are familiar with the cost of purchasing cryptos, but these are often just the “service fees” which don’t include the opportunity cost of not getting the best price that you could be. We are pursuing solution with our partners that would both reduce the “service fee” associated with the transaction, but also improve the execution creating a frictionless solution that is required for mass adoption.

At Changelly we appreciate those projects that help involving blockchain in familiar mass-adopted niches. So, Bedrock is one of those. Tell us what the primary purpose of this project is in simple terms?

Bedrock was made with the vision of making blockchain protocols as easy to use as internet protocols. We realized that in building a complex blockchain application like the Universal Wallet, we needed an easy-to-use developer interface for first ourselves and then for other institutions who want to build next-generation blockchain-based financial applications. We believe that as blockchain grows as an industry, so will the infrastructure needs and that Bedrock can play a role in powering the applications of tomorrow.

That’s it for today. Email us at [email protected] to become a hero of the day at Crypto Talks or to share your perspective on blockchain development. And don’t forget to follow Changelly on social media:


Nice swaps, #Changellions!