People Fundamentals #12: Nikolay Angelov – Buried in the Best of Blockchain
We approached the Head of Blockchain this week for a People Fundamentals interview and we received responses that were so prompt, sharp, and precise that one could almost say they resembled code. Through his short responses, our blockchain genius Nikolay Angelov gave us a sharp-shooter view of his blockchain journey from cashing checks with his grandma, to falling headfirst into the blockchain rabbit hole and what it’s like being the Head of Blockchain at a leading crypto-native company.
Nikolay Angelov – Buried in the Best of Blockchain
1) Who are you? Describe yourself in a few words.
I’m Niki. I’d like to think of myself as a good person. :) I’m highly adaptable, and I learn from my mistakes. This helps me turn my gigantic stubbornness into a weaponized and targeted positive trait and use it as an endless source of energy.
2) How would you describe your digital personality #Meta-Identity? (Ex. Internet Aficionado, Social Recluse, Digital Doggo Freak)?
“Privacy Freak” definitely describes me best.
3) You have all the resources you need. What do you want to create?
A time machine so I can go back to ancient times and see how the pyramids were built.
4) How did you get into crypto? What’s your Nexo story?
Everything started when I needed to order crack on Silk Road… kidding, of course. I’ve always been interested in tech and innovation. Blockchain combines these two things – it’s “technovation”. It also gives me the opportunity to take part in this technological advancement. I’m one of the first employees at Nexo, and my story is long, it probably belongs in the another blog (*smiles @ the People Fundamentals Team).
(Sidenote from PF Team: We made him tell us anyway. 👇)
It all started when I was a kid – not even a teenager yet. I started coding and mimicking code from websites, then I started creating my own websites. It didn’t take long for me to realise I could make money out of what was then still a niche hobby. Things escalated quickly from there. By the time I was fourteen, I was receiving checks for my work from the likes of Google.
Funny story here: since I wasn’t old enough to manage my own bank account my granny had to go cash my checks at the bank and then give me my earnings. It was a trip every time the two of us had to tackle this operation of ours since the bank employees were always somewhat skeptical as to why Google was sending an old lady in Eastern Europe money.
There’s so much more to say, but to keep things succinct, in my twenties I was trying to make it as a developer but there was already so much dev talent around me, including people who had already been in the industry for decades and were far more experienced than me. That’s why I went in search of something brand new, my own niche. Blockchain was perfect since it had only been around for a few years, there was hardly anyone who knew how to work in the field – almost no one to learn from or compete with, just me and the code.
After some time buried in blockchain, I got to Nexo. Suffice it to say, I love it here because we build awesome products leveraging sophisticated tech.
5) What is your biggest challenge?
To drag myself out of my comfort zone.
6) What is your biggest failure?
I mess up every day, every hour, every minute, and I have no time to rank what is the biggest, just time to learn from those “mess-ups”.
7) How many hours do you sleep?
<Insert a pseudo-random number here>
8) What’s in your crypto survival kit?
DD (due diligence)
9) What coin are you most curious about?
Not interested in any. I would prefer it for coins not to exist. That said, they are currently needed to protect the network. Hopefully, one day this will change, till then, I am in search.
10) Who’s on your must-follow list on Twitter?
@nikolaytech is someone to follow, though he is not very active.
11) Who are you outside of work?
Why would someone waste energy being somebody different at work?!
To me, blockchain is… what I'd call a "lightball" – the light in the tunnel and innovation that will soon be a part of everything in our lives.