Bleumi is a company based out of Andover that is creating blockchain-based products, with their first one being BlockMyTalent.com, an eCommerce solution for freelance workers that is using the ever-popular blockchain technology.
We spoke with Bleumi Co-Founder Thomas Arul about how the company's platform is making finding work easier and more efficient. Arul also spoke about Boston's growing blockchain space and how his company fits into it.
Colin Barry [CB]: What are your thoughts on the blockchain/cryptocurrency space in the Boston tech scene? What are some of your predictions of what is going to happen to it?
Thomas Arul [TA]: Boston has some great companies in Blockchain like Circle, Cambridge Blockchain, Adjoint, Learning Machine, Alt-Options, Airfox, etc. However, I am finding far, and fewer companies in Boston on blockchain and crypto space compared to New York and Silicon Valley.
Blockchain has tremendous potential & it will disrupt a lot of companies across industries. I am not a big fan of using ICOs to raise money since there is no incentive to develop the product, unlike traditional funding. Sooner or later most of the companies that raised money through ICO will fold if they don’t have a business model that requires Blockchain along with Utility or Security Token.
CB: I’m a big fan of the phrase “origin story.” What are the origins behind Bleumi?
TA: I co-founded Expicient 10 years back, and we scaled it over 300 employees worldwide and generated $150 million in revenue since inception without any funding. We sold Expicient to Publicis.Sapient, a leading French ad agency.
My brother (John Melvin) and I started Bleumi (which started as an AI and eventually Blockchain products & services firm) and began hiring developers from all over the world. But, it was a tedious process of paying our developers worldwide owing to the numerous challenges such as surcharges by the middleman, currency conversion rate, etc. We asked ourselves if there's a better way to do it. BlockMyTalent.com, a freelancing marketplace using blockchain and cryptos was conceptualized. While most freelancing platforms promise low fee and charge users at various stages (like post job, submit proposals, hire, and so on) up to 30% commission, BlockMyTalent.com charges as low as 1.25% of the project budget for payments executed on our platform.
CB: What is the ultimate goal of your startup?
TA: We want BlockMyTalent.com to be the one-stop solution for the future of work in delivering fair, hassle-free & cost-effective engagement to both employers and freelancers across the world by using the power of blockchain and cryptos. Our ultimate goal is to see our company listed in NASDAQ within 10 years.
CB: Explain what your company does. How does the first product, BlockMyTalent, work? How long was the development process on this product? What is the ultimate goal?
TA: BlockMyTalent.com connects employers and freelancers from all over the world to execute projects effectively using blockchain technologies (smart contracts, cryptos, and immutability).
An employer can post any requirement (from Software Development to Mobile & Web Development to Blockchain Development, Logo & Business Card Design to Explainer Video, Translation Service to Ghostwriting and so on) on a fixed budget or hire experts on the hourly basis. Once an Employer receives & accepts a bid from a Freelancer, based on the negotiated terms, a tamper-proof Smart Contract is executed between the Employer and Freelancer on Ethereum Blockchain via BlockMyTalent.com. Both Employer and Freelancer can then manage & track their work using this Smart Contract on BlockMyTalent.com. When it is time for payment, both Employer & Freelancer can execute quick & secure global payment with ease using Ethereum (ETH), Dai (DAI) or Tether (USDT) Cryptos for a low transaction fee.
It took us a year to research & develop the first version of BlockMyTalent.com, and we are constantly adding new features and functionalities.
CB: BlockMyTalent.com uses Ethereum for payments. Why Etheruem? Can BlockMyTalent use other cryptocurrencies?
TA: One of the significant contention in using Ethereum for payments is its market volatility in US Dollar exchange rate. We solved that by supporting stablecoins (DAI & USDT which are pegged to the US Dollar) for payments.
CB: Who are the ideal clients of BlockMyTalent?
TA: Our platform supports employers, freelancers and businesses to enable frictionless work at a low cost. It empowers employers to find the right talent across the globe. Freelancers worldwide can post their skill and find diverse work. Our B2B platform under development will enable companies to create & execute smart contracts for projects seamlessly.
CB: What are some other ideas your company has in mind? Or can you not share?
TA: We are also examining the B2B space where companies can leverage from Blockchain technologies to create & exchange business goods, services, property, money, shares or anything of value in a transparent and conflict-free way.
CB: How big is the team? Looking to hire any particular position in the upcoming months?
TA: We are a global team of 10, and we are always looking for talented, creative and passionate people to join our journey.
CB: Has your company participated in any blockchain trade shows/meetup events in the Boston area? What about events outside of Boston?
TA: I was a speaker for the Blockchain World Conference 2018 at the Atlanta City, NJ and the team attended Blockchain Expo Europe 2018.I was a speaker at Society for Physician Entrepreneurs Boston (SOPE) with their Blockchain initiative. Underscore.VC Blockchain Core Summit was a premier event for BlockChain in Boston. I am speaking at Global Big Data Analytics, AI, Blockchain Annual Conference - Boston – Sep 25-27.
I am excited about the upcoming Token Fest in Boston as well.