In an interview with Insights Success, Rocelo Lopes, CEO of Stratum Blockchain Tech, shares his journey and his contribution in the Crypto-Currency and Blockchain Technologies. He is innovative and pioneering in the development of technologies using cryptography. He is responsible for the development of Bitcoin’s first vertical operation in Latin America, which ranges from mining to solutions for the end user. Rocelo Lopes has cryptography in his DNA.
Below are the highlights of the interview between Rocelo Lopes and Insights Success.
Kindly elaborate on your journey in becoming the business leader.
My journey started when I was very young, a little boy actually. My family came from a poor region in the northwest of Brazil, and when I was a kid, we moved to São Paulo, looking for opportunities. Since then, I always liked to study and to discover new things. My father, seeing that, taught me how to work in little jobs, like shining shoes to selling potatoes on the free market. When I was 14 years old, I was selected to work in a company where I had the opportunity to learn about entrepreneurship and new technologies. After that, in the ’90s, I’ve started to provide services to other companies such as IBM and Microsoft.
Allying my range of knowledge on entrepreneurship and new technologies, I started to study cryptography, founded Othos Telecom in Brazil and South Africa and became a reference in encrypted telecommunication. Nowadays, we still have operations in more than 20 countries around the world. But, in 2013, I received a payment from one of my clients in bitcoin. I didn’t know at the time what I was dealing with. But, it caught my attention and, again, I started to study about that and then I saw a huge opportunity – it was a coin, but cryptographed! It was when the payment I receive almost multiplied in 10 times its value. So, I founded CoinBR in Brazil and started operations also in South Africa. Soon after, I founded CoinPY, which is a bitcoin mining farm in Paraguay, because of this country policies and the low cost of electricity In 2017 because of CoinBr’s need for growth and internationalization, Stratum was created. From a Hong Kong venture capital firm, a capitalization model through the transfer of technology, customer portfolio and the guarantee of exclusivity in operations of fiduciary currencies was designed. During this transitional period, the operation was called Stratum CoinBR, since both sides – company and investment fund – decided to choose a name without borders. In 2019, the operations were separated: Stratum and CoinBR became business partners. Stratum is the operator of all crypto-currency transactions, portfolio management and funds. CoinBR is the partner that represents the interests of the group in Brazil and South Africa.
How do you diversify your organization’s offerings to appeal to the target audience?
We are always trying to stay ahead, creating new features or developing solutions based on what we already have. In blockchain and cryptocurrencies technologies, is easier to innovate, because it’s a new area, new technology, so we are building the future here. We are creating solutions for those who don’t want to be at the traditional banking and investment markets anymore. For cryptos, for example, we have a SmartWallet, where you can buy, sell, transfer, and also pay your bills and taxes, recharge credits on your prepaid credit cards and prepaid cell phones. Along with that, we have also alternatives for those who are starting in the cryptocurrencies market or just want to diversify their investments, so we can make it easier for them.
What attributes are required to sustain in the cutting-edge competition?
Long sight view, creativity and having no fear to try, to do new and to talk to the regulation leaders. Knowing always that you can do hard, that you can do best.
What your intakes on roles of a leader are with regards to achieve success?
A leader is the one who guides the team towards the future, towards your sight, your vision. I’ve learned to delegate functions and to trust my team is doing their best. Also, I do my best to provide healthy offices, a good place for people to work. In all of my business, I provide job opportunities for those who are starting a career in life, but also, I bring people from the conventional financial market who no longer wants to be part of the old way to do things, to charge taxes and to dismiss clients who don’t fit in the system. Innovate for innovation.
How do you strategize your game plans to tackle the competition in the market?
Definitely focusing on the clients needs, providing usable and good solutions for the customers. We achieve that when we think ahead, when we see clients where no one else have seen before (or didn’t try to reach them).
As per your opinion, what roadblocks or challenges are faced by leaders in a corporate business? And what is your advice to overcome them?
We have so many barriers in any kind of business, rules to follow, governments trying to block what they don’t understand, lots of taxes (and high ones), among other challenges, that I believe that the key is to trust your internal voice, knowing that your work is building the future. My advice is: give people opportunities (not only jobs, but investment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the clients either), do what is right to you and show them why is right. My father once told me: “You have to go there, conquer the world, do your best, try to do your best, and for sure you’re going to succeed”. I always keep that in mind.
How do you upgrade yourself with volatile technological trends to boost your personal growth?
I’m always reading the news, attending to blockchain and cryptocurrencies events around the world – often I’m being invited to speak in events in Latin America, Europe, and Africa. I take these opportunities not only to talk about my company and my projects but also to learn about new features, what has been developed in other countries, I talk to different people and other leaders too. I never stop studying. I never get tired of being curious and productive.
What will be your future endeavors and/or where do you see yourself in the near future?
More than ever, we are getting more and more global. Although, as Brazilian banks are shutting down exchanges bank accounts, we are being pushed to innovate again. So, I can only say: we’ll have big news soon.