Eligma has been making waves in the cryptocurrency community as the blockchain based platform sets out to take the global e-commerce industry to a whole new level. Live Bitcoin News caught up with one of the platform’s co-founder Joze Mermal and asked him a few questions. Apart from playing a crucial role in Eligma, Joze is the visionary behind BTC City and also the President of the Supervisory Board at Krka d.d., a well-known pharmaceutical company.
Q: Joze, you are the co-founder of Eligma and Chairman of a company that has a long operating history. Can you please let us know more about it?
A: 65 years ago, BTC d.d. was the biggest warehouse area in the region. Throughout its history, the company has been driven by constant innovation and that drove its transformation into an open, modern and successful company that builds its business culture on innovation, social responsibility, and sustainable development. The story of the development of BTC d.d. is a model example of long-term investments in realising visions to become a solid and trustworthy business partner. Today, BTC d.d. cooperates with more than 4,000 local and international businesses. Our business scope includes business development, shopping centre management, property and facility management, asset management, digitalization and IT development and logistics operations in an area, larger than 400000 sq meter. We created the unique nature of BTC CITY that stems from an intertwining of modern urbanism and diverse content that creates a new social and public space, which is visited by over 21 million visitors yearly. We strive to create responsible environmental practices and support wider social incentives through our Mission: Green approach.
We have always been open to new ideas, innovations, new collaborations and partnerships. We also firmly believe that we can help to co-create the future and this is definitely the mindset we are integrating into our company and ecosystem.
Our attitude is perhaps most evident in our ABC Accelerator, a start-up accelerator with four locations around the world and countless possibilities for participants, and in our new unique and technology advanced partnership with the ELIGMA project, with which we will transform online commerce by implementing blockchain and AI technology in its sphere.
Q: BTC City is known to operate across multiple verticals, so how does the cryptocurrency and blockchain ventures fit into the grand scheme of things?
A: BTC d.d. represents an open society company, whose main focus has always been the people and the broader society, their well-being and common good. We are creating a unique ecosystem that is based mainly on openness, contemporaneousness, and innovations. We want to offer our visitors and business partners an ecosystem full of opportunities and possibilities, and one of those is definitely the freedom to choose how one would like to make and complete their purchases. People must have the freedom to decide how they want to shop and how they want to pay for their purchases. We moved from standard cash operations and payments to debit and credit card and online payments. Currency exchange became simple and fast, so I think it’s time to see and hear the future and enable people what they want.
Cryptocurrencies are here now and that is why we want to enable all BTC CITY “citizens” to have an option to pay for their purchases according to their needs and according to their wishes. We will be able to do this with the Elipay transactions system, enabling free will and open society to all.
Q: How did the Eligma project start?
A: The idea of Eligma was presented to me in 2017 by Dejan Roljic. I instantly knew Eligma is not just another project, but an opportunity to contribute to the change of commerce as a whole. Eligma resolves a plethora of questions and struggles of the present online ecosystem and most importantly it is user-focused. It will simplify people’s lives and give them exactly what they need. We developed the idea with Dejan and Matej Gregorcic and today Eligma is not just idea anymore, but much more. Our roadmap is established and public and we are committed to bringing Eligma to life.
Q: Tell us more about BTC City’s investment in Eligma, and how do you see the future to pan out for the project?
A: BTC d.d. is ELIGMA’s co-founder and together we are developing and creating the uniqueness of what Eligma will become. The mixture and nature of our knowledge, teams, and backgrounds enable us to be agile, goal-focused and contemporary, and that what I believe is the essence for a successful formula.
Eligma is a global concept and its main features will also be integrated into BTC City Ljubljana. By connecting both we will enable further development of BTC CITY Ljubljana and give Eligma the perfect testing environment where its key individual features and platform as a whole will be tested.
Q: Eligma has an ongoing token sale. How much is the project looking to raise and what will the funds be used for?
A: Eligma is aiming to raise 34180 ETH. There are three main fund distribution phases planned – development, scaling, and marketing. The first phase will be focused on technical development and testing of the platform, second one on establishing Eligma on the market, spreading awareness about the product, partnership negotiations and business development and last phase on gaining worldwide traction, opening new markets, development and marketing.
Q: Can you tell us more about the people who are working on the Eligma project?
A: Eligma is a very ambitious project that requires knowledge and skills from very diverse fields, like AI, blockchain, data security, marketing, design, and others. That is the reason our team is already pretty large and includes experts with very different skillsets. They all have extensive experience in what they do, which is a necessity for a project of this scale.
We are also very proud of our amazing advisory board. It includes some of the world’s most renowned experts in the fields of cryptocurrencies, blockchain, AI, finances, networking, marketing and others. Among the people who joined us are Charlie Shrem, one of the most influential people in the blockchain community, Andy Baynes, who worked at Sony, Apple and Google, Hermann Eul, former vice president of the Intel Corporation and many others. What makes me extremely happy is that these people are not just names in our whitepaper, used for promotional purposes, but are actively helping with the project.
Q: What does Eligma have in store for the community?
A: It is promising to become the central point for your entire shopping experience. Eligma will be made up of three main pillars – Discovery, Inventory and Loyalty. Its AI module will enable users highly personalized searches for best offers in all the online stores on the platform. If users don’t know enough about the product, Eligma’s chatbot will ask them simple questions for refining their search. They will be able to make a purchase in any store from one unified Eligma’s account and even pay with cryptocurrencies.
When they complete a purchase, data on that product will be stored in their blockchain-based inventory, which will ensure that data will be safe, transparent and unchangeable. In this way, users will always know what they own, and our AI will tell them what their item value is and when they should sell it, if they desire to do so. Second-hand sales will be made simple with one-click listings on all selected used goods stores.
We will also introduce our ELI crypto tokens that supporters can buy in Eligma’s crowdsale, which started on April 17th and is ending on May 8th. They will be the foundation of our universal loyalty program, which will allow everyone to earn ELI tokens by performing actions on the platform and buying in stores, partnered with Eligma. What makes the program special is that users will be able to redeem those tokens in any other partnered store, even if they never visited it before!
With all there features combined, you can see why we will help turn every household into a business.
Q: Any launches, collaborations or partnerships in the making?
A: We are starting to test Eligma’s first feature, the cryptocurrency transaction gateway Elipay, in BTC City in April. It will allow our customers to use cryptocurrencies in offline stores. We have already signed letters of intent with six of BTC City’s largest retailers and more will follow soon. Our goal is to present digital currencies to the general public and show that they can be integrated into the everyday shopping experience.
We are constantly in discussions regarding new partnerships and opportunities, but as you can imagine, we cannot disclose them until they are final.