After a career spent in the financial tech industry and cryptocurrency, Miroslav Vegh is well-versed in both sides of the industry.
He first became involved in cryptocurrency around five years ago and had previously worked in IT for two decades, with around seven years spent in fin tech.
He describes himself as a “tech-freak, free thinker, eternal wanderer for better and blockchain addict.” It’s a good summary showing lots of self-awareness.
“I have seen both sides of the financial industry,” he tells me. “Where there is a problem is at the beginning most of the people involved were visionaries but it has since grown from just the people who want to change the world.”
Unfortunately in the last three or four years, cryptocurrency has been targeted by what he describes as “criminals, crooks and fraudsters,” as the price gained traction and more and more people started to become interested in crypto.
Many ICOs have disappeared with peoples’ money for a variety of reasons, not all nefarious. “When criminals realised they could make a lot of money, everybody jumped in,” he says.
“The regulators were not able to catch up and it became a lawless space, like the crypto Wild West.”
Now, as the prices of cryptocurrency continue to fall, despite the weakest of bounce backs, he says only the “early adapters and people who believe in crypto will stick with it.”
The coin sniffer element of his Dilig.io site is already live, with the rest of the site about to launch. It will provide an international crypto ICO fraud database and a bitcoin transaction tracker, to benefit those who have previously been defrauded.
The data on the site can eventually be used to claw back the money. With the coin sniffer element, it can literally sniff out doctored coins.
“One of the most important laws is that you can catch fraudsters retroactively,” he points out. “Even five or 10 years down the line, because the blockchain cannot delete that information, ever.”
The problem, at the moment, he says is no law firm will take action against someone who has stolen, say the equivalent of $10,000 as the criminals work internationally and “it’s too expensive for them to pursue.”
The ICO fraud database he’s establishing will be free to use and is there for people to report fraudulent activity. If large numbers of investors make claims against the same company, then it will eventually become “financially viable to pursue the perpetrators” he says as the sums involved will have increased considerably to multimillion dollars.
He realistically doesn’t expect it to be an instant, overnight success and says it will take time to build up the site. Eventually he envisages a subscription service with a modest payment of around £10 a month to access reports.
It’s likely to appeal to both small and medium businesses and investors.
Vegh says there’s currently only one company doing a similar thing at the moment, but on “a much smaller scale in France and relates only to frauds in France – whereas it’s an international problem.”
“Investing in cryptocurrency can make you quite paranoid about the security of investing,” he admits. “I have been scammed – and some of the scammers are extremely good at what they do.”
He becomes quite annoyed by the fact that “people who are hard-working in 9-to-5 jobs who are working their asses off to achieve something and make the world a better place are targeted by these crooks who don’t care about anyone.”
Their only goal, he adds, is to “take money. They would do it from a dying child – they would do anything.”
By creating his site, he’s making it “a little bit harder for the bad people” to operate in the space.
The long-term goal of Dilig.io is they want to create a system that governments and regulators will find useful and will help spur them on to act when they encounter problems with fraud.
It should provide “hard evidence” for the law firms who are pursuing the fraudsters, is the ultimate ambition. It aims to be live by the end of the year.
Vegh wants to make blockchain and ICOs simple and transparent and hopes to help “shape the future of crypto and fin tech.”
The current state of the cryptocurrency markets is a cyclical pattern which repeats itself every two or three years. He points out that: “Bitcoin has already died 200 or 300 times already.
“The people who are shouting and screaming that crypto is dead are not investors and are not educated about it.”