An Exclusive Interview with Ksenia Semenova, Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Cindicator
Ksenia Semenova spoke exclusively to CryptoNewsZ and discussed the Cindicator platform with us in this interview.
Founded in 2015, Cindicator is a leading fintech company which builds predictive analytics by merging collective intelligence and machine learning models. The Cindicator community today comprises of 125,000+ decentralized analysts and 17,000+ token holders from 135+ countries, which in itself shows how rapidly it is expanding its business and operations across the globe.
CryptoNewsZ: Please tell us more about yourself and the journey that got you to establish Cindicator?
Ksenia Semenova: Cindicator was established in 2015 by three co-founders: Mike Brusov, Yuri Lobyntsev, and Artem Baranov. I joined them more than a year ago, as a Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer. My background is quite varied. A journalist by training, I have more than 15 years of experience in PR and Marketing, and almost seven years of business development. Being editor-in-chief of TheQuestion, a fast-growing online media platform with more than 15mln users, in 2017 I have fallen down the crypto rabbit hole, charmed by the promises of new decentralized world and trust in code. New York City’s blockchain and the crypto community at that time were particularly welcoming, I’ve made a lot of new friends there, meanwhile research blockchain deeper for TheQuestion readers and for my personal interest. That’s how I also met Mike Brusov, CEO and co-founder of Cindicator.
CryptoNewsZ: Cindicator has been working to develop its Hybrid Intelligence platform. Please tell us a bit about the project and your plans regarding it.
Ksenia Semenova: Cindicator is creating Hybrid Intelligence, it’s the combination of collective intelligence and AI. The human or the collective elements (our raw data) come from the forecasts created by over 125,000 analysts registered on our platform. Every day, they answer hundreds of questions about digital and traditional assets: Bitcoin, ETH, altcoins, stocks, gold futures, and so on. These forecasts are then enhanced by several layers of machine learning models to create predictive indicators for the assets. Every forecaster has a different weight on our platform, making our predictive analytical products more valuable. The only way to get access to these products is through holding our ecosystem token, CND. Asset management is the prime use case for Hybrid Intelligence, but it can be also applied in any field where people need to make decisions amid high uncertainty.
Our plans are to improve user experience with the web application that will deliver the products in more convenient way and will have more features for the traders, to develop the asset management part of our ecosystem, and to continue grow and nourish our community of forecasters and token holders – the most important part of our ecosystem.
CryptoNewsZ: Cindicator has earned great recognition as a creator of predictive analytical products based on Hybrid Intelligence. Please enlighten us about your products.
Ksenia Semenova: Currently, we have several types of predictive analytical products for traders and investors. First, there are short-term indicators for digital assets and traditional assets. These Hybrid Intelligence indicators essentially provide an estimate of the probability of some event happening. For example, will the price of Bitcoin go up by 5% in the next 5 days? Or would EOS trade 2% up from the current price before trading 2% down? Our team constantly monitors the market to identify relevant opportunities and create the most relevant questions for our platform. We then gather forecasts, apply our ML models, and create a high accuracy estimate.
Second, we also have weekly Support and Resistance indicators for a range of digital assets. These indicators help traders enter and exit positions.
Finally, we create medium-and long-term analytical reports about different phenomena in the markets. For example, we have explored the behavior of crypto watchers and found that there is typically a 2-months lag between the onset of the new market stage and the shift in how people perceive the market.
CryptoNewsZ: Tell us more about the technology and the architectural side of Cindicator.
Ksenia Semenova: At a higher level, the architecture is quite straightforward.
Our collective intelligence platform consists of the consumer-facing apps for iOS, Android, and the web. The interface is very intuitive and removes all the friction from making forecasts. Of course, the users still need to do the difficult analytical work to create the most accurate forecasts possible, but we’ve simplified the process of identifying which assets to watch, recording the forecast, and monitoring the progress. To incentivize them to be as accurate as possible we reward them every month with CND and also create non-monetary incentives, like job offers, certificates of excellence in forecasting, access to the products. The element of competition also plays a big role.
In the back-end, we keep a detailed record of all forecasts made by all analysts. This history allows us to apply Machine Learning to eliminate biases, identify patterns, weigh every user differently, to distinguish the most valuable part of the crowd – superforecasters, we also track those who are constantly wrong on something – their forecasts are great to use in reverse, and increase accuracy as compared to the simple average of all forecasts.
When indicators are ready, we send them to our token holders via a Telegram chatbot. Token holders need to verify their holdings by registering with their ETH address and sending a transaction — they still get to keep all their tokens, it’s just to prove that they have access to the address. This set up has helped us to decentralize the distribution of value. The traders see the value of our CND token not in its speculative growth but in the usage of Hybrid Intelligence to create useful indicators for far more efficient trading and investing. We constantly work on improving our clients’ experience and soon will launch a new platform with more features for them.
CryptoNewsZ: What do you consider the biggest accomplishments of Cindicator?
Ksenia Semenova: One of our biggest accomplishments is the community that we’ve built. Even in this bear market, when interest in crypto has declined significantly, our community is active, supportive, and engaged. We haven’t done much marketing, focusing on organic growth. Every week, hundreds of new people sign up to forecast on our platform. Thousands make forecasts daily. And over 16000 traders hold our token to access analytical products.
Last year we also validated the value of Hybrid Intelligence indicators by hosting trading competitions for our token holders: on average they generated a return of 21.53% in BTC in eight weeks. We continue to validate the value through other challenges and competitions, both for traditional and digital assets. The competition with the biggest East-European stock exchange MOEX attracted traditional traders, the challenge with one of the most reputable Korean exchange GOPAX widened our Korean community and showed some interesting results.
CryptoNewsZ: In what way is Cindicator unique from its peers. How do you think Cindicator will change the landscape of the fintech space?
Ksenia Semenova: Financial services in general and asset management, in particular, are a very closed industry. It’s hard for the outsiders to break in without prestigious degrees and internships if you’re based outside of major financial hubs. As a result, there is little diversity of views and financial analysis is plagued by biases that distort forecasts — this is the easiest to see in the earnings coverage where most companies beat consensus estimates.
Cindicator challenges this idea by giving everybody a chance to prove their analytical and market forecasting skills. If you understand the market and its movement, that’s the only prerequisite that you need. Similarly, anybody can access our products by holding the CND token. At a later stage, we also aim to open up our ecosystem to decentralized data scientists to increase the speed of innovation in our ML stack. This would strengthen and introduce more positive feedback loops: more valuable products would increase the rewards pool, attracting more analysts, who will create more data, leading to more valuable products… We also share strategies amongst out traders and learn a lot from them as well. This multi-layered, symbiotic collaboration between traders, forecasters, investors, data scientists, analysts, and artificial intelligence make Cindicator quite unique. And we do not focus on digital assets, we see that, with smart implementation, the analytics that we produce show great results on global market assets as well.
CryptoNewsZ: Recently, you started your office in Seoul. Do you think that will benefit the local traders and analysts there? If yes, then how?
Ksenia Semenova: Yes, we already localized all our products for the Korean market — both the collective intelligence platform (including all questions) and the Cindicator bot and Cryptometer, the arbitrage bot, are available in Korean since our day one (which was in October) in Seoul. CND is also listed on GOPAX and Allbit, a DEX by Upbit, so it’s very easy for Korean analysts and traders to interact with the Cindicator ecosystem.
CryptoNewsZ: Can you tell us something about Cindicator’s team and the work culture over there?
Ksenia Semenova: First of all, I love our team. It’s distributed all other the globe but sometimes we gather together and it has the feeling of being in the family. The team has grown rapidly since the token sale was completed in October 2017 — we have about 70 people in 8 timezones right now. There is a great mix of skills in our team: developers, analysts, traders, data scientists, quant researchers, marketers, and more. One of the things that bind us together is that we are very self-aware about human impact on the planet, we are mindful and pay attention to self-development, and all together we are building the tools for the future. The world is changing rapidly, soon we will be traveling to space, building new cities on Earth orbit and other planets. We might need as well to create new rules for governance, new approaches to decision making amid growing uncertainty, as well as a new economy. Artificial intelligence’s development is rocketing. We believe that only symbiosis between machines and humans, the right mix of centralization and decentralization, a smart distributed community with tools for self-governance and decision-making will help the progress to continue successfully and healthy. Our vision goes far beyond just finance, it’s about paving the way towards the bigger impact, towards a healthier society and better world — I think that’s a big part of our culture.
CryptoNewsZ: What do you think is the biggest challenge or obstacle Cindicator will face? How do you plan to tackle that challenge?
Ksenia Semenova: Challenges are constant but we do not focus on them, we have the goals that we want to achieve. Planning them carefully, we move towards them step by step. Now we are applying our unique data to managing assets process. This means creating financial products that are using Hybrid Intelligence as a tool. We have great alpha so far. I’d love to tell more, but it’s too early right now. We’ll share more soon, I promise.
CryptoNewsZ: So, what are Cindicator’s plans for 2019 and how will the team work on that?
Ksenia Semenova: In 2019, the Cindicator team is focusing on laying the groundwork for decentralized financial products that use Hybrid Intelligence. This means strengthening the collective intelligence platform, tuning and refining the ML pipeline, building out a trading suite, researching and testing investment strategies, generating alpha, building out risk management frameworks and much more. A lot of this work is done quietly and behind the scene because that’s what building is.