Ukrainian Volodymyr Nosov, WhiteBIT CEO
Ukrainian Volodymyr Nosov, WhiteBIT CEO Ukrainian Volodymyr Nosov, WhiteBIT CEO

Inflation, war, recession… Volodymyr Nosov, the CEO of Europe’s largest crypto exchange WhiteBIT, boldly looks modern threats straight in the face. Self-made man and workaholic, philosopher and a person with a great sense of humor. An inspiring speaker, Nosov motivates better than any business coach, but at the same time calls coaching a “profanity”. He knows that blockchain technologies will be a lifeline that will help businesses ride the recession that is about to sweep the global economy. “Business will definitely emerge victorious from all the battles of our time. But we must unite and act as a united front against the Evil that has raised its head and challenged all of humanity,” Nosov repeats over and over again, whose company seeks to popularize blockchain around the world, despite all the hardships that courageous Ukrainians bear today.

In recent years, our familiar picture of the world has undergone dramatic changes. And today, the war that Russia started in Ukraine risks escalating into a global conflict. How, in your opinion, did all these events affect the psychological state of people, the economic situation in Ukraine and the world?

I, like many other Ukrainians, are shocked by the unfolding humanitarian tragedy and the consequences of this brutal war. The invasion of Russian occupation troops into Ukraine led to the biggest crisis on the European continent since the Second World War. Thousands of Ukrainians have been killed, millions have lost their homes, jobs and livelihoods. The uncertainty is very high. No one knows how the military situation will develop, and what other sacrifices the Ukrainian people will have to make in the struggle for their independence.

However, it is already very clear that the war will have negative consequences both for the European economy and for the global economic situation.

Volodymyr Nosov
Volodymyr Nosov Volodymyr Nosov

I know that WhiteBIT has been helping compatriots since the first days of the war.

Part of our team works on the territory of Ukraine. They are in constant contact with volunteers from the areas most affected by the Russian occupiers. Do you know that today about a million people support the activities of the security and defense sector of our country? But there are still millions of Ukrainians who are fighting on the economic front, creating jobs, paying taxes, volunteering.

It seems that the French philosopher de Chardin said that there is no future for a person outside of his association with other people. Indeed, the combined efforts of business are no less important than the daily exploits of our Armed Forces. Not a single war has yet been won without the coordinated work of the rear structures. Since February 24, the WhiteBIT team has raised and donated $4 million to Ukrainians affected by the war. We have become a partner of United24, an initiative by President Volodymyr Zelensky to raise funds for military and humanitarian support, as well as the reconstruction of Ukraine..

Let's not forget that the war in Ukraine began at a time when the global economy was still very vulnerable due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic...

Yes, COVID-19 is in retreat in many parts of the world, but it hasn't completely gone yet. The possibility of a more severe variant of the virus cannot be discounted. In addition, inflation continues to gain momentum in most countries of the world. In some places, its rate has reached multi-year highs. Supply chains disrupted during pandemic restrictions have never recovered. The degree of violation of the usual world order is growing.

In fact, this war has already brought a lot of devastation. We see how business leaders are trying to adapt to new conditions, to get away from situational reactions to emerging challenges. How to build a more stable foundation for management in a situation of constant uncertainty?

Indeed, according to the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), by the end of 2022, the Ukrainian economy will shrink by almost a third. Due to Russian aggression, the world economy will lose a trillion dollars this year alone.

But, you know, no matter how slowly you go, the main thing is that you don't stop. Despite the complexity of the situation, from the first days of the war we completely excluded the Russian market from our business processes. It was not an easy decision, but the only possible one in terms of the values I believe in. We acted on principle, and gained more than we lost.

And despite the war, do you continue to scale your business not only on the Australian continent, but also in European countries?

Right. We have always dreamed of the global adoption of blockchain technology. In recent months, we have managed to open representative offices around the world - in Australia, where we have already received a license, in Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Georgia. WhiteBIT builds mutually beneficial partnerships with the government, banking sector and telecommunications companies in the countries of presence. We also began to actively cooperate with football clubs, we are negotiating sponsorship of popular tournaments. After all, sport is always development and striving for new achievements, will and self-confidence. The same can be said about a person who dives into the limitless world of blockchain. In total, the WhiteBIT team has already united more than 3 million users from 150 countries around the world.

I got the impression that blockchain is the tool that will help businesses mitigate the impact of the global crisis in the future?

It's already happening. A few years ago, the crypto market was just being formed, there were many fears and misunderstandings. Today, digital assets are becoming a symbol of the security and reliability of saving funds. From a toy of high-browed IT people, crypto has evolved into a widely used technology worth trillions of dollars.

Digital assets create a window of opportunity for those who are no longer willing to pay for the mistakes of fiat regulators and Wall Street. The crypt is completely decentralized: it can be transferred instantly and anonymously, it does not require the participation of a bank - no commissions, no borders. Cryptocurrencies are often called digital gold because this asset can be stored for a long time. In addition, you can safely consider the crypt as a protection against inflationary processes. Its supply is limited, unlike fiat currencies, the mass of which can be increased indefinitely by central banks.

And what are the advantages of companies that are starting to integrate cryptocurrency and blockchain technology into their activities?

They are obvious. Cryptocurrency can be used not only to form an investment portfolio, but also, relatively speaking, to buy beer in the nearest supermarket. This is the creation of new opportunities for generating income and attracting customers who are loyal to this payment method. Entering the world of cryptocurrencies before other market players is today one of the biggest competitive advantages a company can get. People from anywhere in the world can become your customers: there are no trading restrictions, and only a smartphone is needed to make a payment. You can also mention the reduction in transaction costs, instant payments.

By the way, now WhiteBIT, together with Mastercard, is creating a new global digital payment system. We also joined the exchanges integrated with the Weld crypto card. In addition, WhiteBIT launched its own WBT token, a useful and reliable asset. All these steps are designed to provide even more freedom for our users, to enable the use of digital assets in their daily lives. If someone had told me, when we were just starting to deal with cryptocurrency, that in four years we would have our own token, I would not have believed it. Today it is a reality and the result of the incredible work of the entire WhiteBIT team.

Getting started is always hard. And even the most resolute and internally strong people have moments of weakness. Then we want to give up - whether it's business, training for competitions or personal relationships. Do you know this feeling?

Back when I was a distributor, there was a poster on the wall of my office. There was a photo of the miners who were walking from their shift. Their hands and faces were black, the coal forever ingrained into their skin. And the caption “Tell them how hard it is for you at work.” Most of the important things in the world have been achieved by people who keep trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.

A few years ago, I had a moment of insight. I realized that my job in the trade sector could provide me with a comfortable life, but nothing more. Then I was very sorry that I was not destined to stand at the origins of the Internet. But I took the chance - I read a lot, studied everything related to cryptocurrencies. Sold a stake in a distribution company and started the WhiteBIT project. White, transparent, honest. Antoine de Saint-Exupery once wrote: “If you want to build a ship, do not call on people to collect timber, divide labor and give orders. Instead, first teach them to yearn for the vast and boundless sea.” I and my like-minded people felt like crypto fanatics, it was nightly vigils, sometimes we even forgot to eat. A new business is always about effort, creativity and, inevitably, sacrifice. We sacrificed not only sleep and food, personal relationships suffered. We didn't have the luxury of being distracted, thinking about something other than the project. All this is necessary in order to become what you are capable of becoming, to achieve what you are capable of achieving. But, to be honest, I still work 20 hours a day.

What has kept you going all these years?

Simple food, quiet evening with family. Humor and books. Laughter allows me to deal with stress. While someone takes antidepressants, goes to the mountains, or walks darker than the clouds, I laugh. It is the ability to see funny moments when you are uncomfortable or even when circumstances are tragic.

Fiction is my main teacher. The experience of thousands of people is concentrated in the books, all possible types and situations are collected. After the many books I've read, it's almost impossible for me to be knocked down in a negotiation. After all, I know everything or almost everything about the interlocutors in advance, they are well known to me from literary works.

However, I will add a little spark. Motorsport has always inspired me. It's pure adrenaline, pure joy and the thrill of victory that you can feel again and again. The beauty of life itself, which I love madly.