What about the corruption that plagues this country and could scare off potential emigrants? Future governments may not allow tech companies to thrive without raids and seizures. Russia threatens from the east. There are also revolutions to worry about. Since 2004 there have been two.
Even without another revolution, Steven Hanke, professor of applied economics at Johns Hopkins University and a vocal bitcoin skeptic, argues that the combination of Ukraine and crypto sounds like a fiasco in the making. Most of the studies he’s seen have found that about half of all Bitcoin transactions serve an illegal purpose. For him, this is not an industry that Kiev should be tempted to target.
“The country has endemic corruption and criminal syndicates swarming all over the place,” he said. “Ukraine will appeal to shady characters because shady characters like to invade countries like Ukraine.”
Mr. Bornyakov disagrees, although he offers a special form of reassurance. No matter who is in charge, foreigners will have some kind of protection built in simply because they are foreigners.
“You can go to Egypt and I know there are a lot of problems there too,” he said. “But if you are a tourist no one will harm you, no one will touch you because the people there know at the DNA level that tourists bring them money. We want to create a similar situation here. “
As Mr. Chobanian has shown after a police raid on his house, the most important assets of a technology company cannot be confiscated in the same way that a malicious gamer could take over a power plant or a nickel mine, for example. It would be a challenge to acquire a knowledge company like Hacken from Kiev, for example, a cybersecurity company specializing in blockchain work. Its worth lies in a cadre of white hat hackers scattered around the world.
Co-founder Evgenia Broshevan sat in a conference room in Creative States pondering how she became a leader in such a male-dominated industry. All the honor goes to her grandmother, a math teacher who seems to have given her a talent for practical thinking, which is clearly a requirement in Ukraine.