By Pavel Cherkashin, managing partner at Mindrock Capital


This article first appeared in Forbes Russia.

In August 2018 I wrote a column for VentureBeat. I named it “Homeland-as-a-Service: how blockchain will disrupt the world order”, by analogy with such IT concepts as “platform-as-a-service”, “software-as-a-service” and others. In this column I described the way our relations with the state are going to change with the development of new technologies and decentralized applications, in particular. Transformation of the state’s role in our life deems inevitable, though it is sure to provoke fierce resistance from all angles. What I did not take into…

By Pavel Cherkashin, managing partner at Mindrock Capital


It seems that this year Facebook has been using its power to censor content and deleting user posts as often and as fiercely as never before. Grounds are easy to find, it is suffice to mention the pandemic conspiracy theories and fake news about the virus. In October, Facebook announced an awareness campaign on coronavirus and influenza vaccination and threatened to ban the posts encouraging people to refuse the vaccination. …


Suppose there are two startups with similar products and other characteristics. But one raises $50m in investments while the other struggles to get noticed. What differentiators led investors to choose one over the other? As someone on the investor side of this equation, I will give you insight into 7 key things that attract me to a startup.


Generating awareness about your startup is important for two big reasons. First, it’s impossible to sell a company for hundreds of million dollars if nobody has ever heard about it. …

By Pavel Cherkashin

There is no 100% guaranteed way to protect yourself in large deals. However, here are some tips that will help minimize some of the risks:

· Limit the number of intermediaries. I shared my observations about intermediaries in the OTC market in an earlier post. At this stage in the market, a lot of people are ready to do anything to cut a lucrative commission on a deal or simply commit fraud. Minimizing the number of intermediaries reduces the risk that the deal involves somebody with bad intentions or poor professional skills.

· Make sure you understand…

By Pavel Cherkashin

The OTC crypto market is huge and growing. Though it is impossible to get exact data on its daily transaction volume, $10B would be a safe estimate. Most of that volume is traded in large transactions. Given the very heterogeneous and often shady and inexperienced crowd involved in the OTC crypto market and the lucrative sizes of the deals happening there, the exposure of both buyers and sellers to fraud is unprecedented. In this post I’m going to talk about the main traps to be aware of.

Common tricks fraudsters use before the deal is closed


By Pavel Cherkashin

Large over-the-counter (OTC) deals in the cryptocurrency market are generally opaque to outsiders. As someone with access to this space, I’m ready to unveil some interesting observations about the main parties involved in these deals and how their interactions lead to a cultural clash.


There are two primary types of large crypto buyers: large exchanges and wealthy families.

Large exchanges are the main buyers. To supply the constant demand for bitcoins, they buy them wholesale at a discount and immediately sell them at market price in many small transactions. If they don’t have enough money to…

By Pavel Cherkashin

You woke up one morning and felt the urge to become an entrepreneur. Or maybe you’ve been dreaming about it your whole life and finally dared to try. Anyway, the decision is here — but the experience and a plan of action are not. Let me give you some advice.

Over the past five years, I’ve heard pitches for thousands of startups. I invested in a few dozen of them; some succeeded and others did not. Before I became an investor, I founded several companies that I successfully sold to global leading corporations. These experiences have enabled…

By Pavel Cherkashin

In a recent post, we explored why the index strategy has been the most successful approach to the traditional financial market and argued that applying this strategy to the highly unpredictable cryptocurrency market makes a lot of sense. Just as a venture investor would never bet on just one startup, a crypto investor should not count on just one cryptocurrency — especially now, when the whole market is a venture.

But what should you look for when choosing an index fund? In this post, we’ll list the key things to look for.

Smaller fees are the biggest…

By Pavel Cherkashin


The article was originally published at on August 19, 2018.

With blockchain-based technologies promising to disrupt nearly all areas of the global economy, I wonder what impact they will have on the global political scene and how we interact with our governments.

The main functions of government include taxation to fund public services, protection of citizens, and social welfare. All of these functions will be transformed by blockchain technology because the distributed independent ledger and smart contracts provided by the technology will enable governments to dramatically improve how these functions are organized and performed.

Indeed, blockchain…

By Pavel Cherkashin

[Almost confidential] Internal instruction for beginning venture analysts on how to quickly sort through incoming deals

Source: Shutterstock

In the previous post, I outlined a triage process for screening incoming startup pitches and building a pipeline of projects that merit further investigation. I mentioned that an analyst should pick only projects that have objective signals, align with the firm’s strategic priorities and exhibit compelling factors, but I didn’t explain what those terms mean. Here, I’m going to review them in detail.

Objective signals

Here are the objective signals to look for as you’re screening incoming deals. …

Mindrock Capital

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