About us

The project founder

The project founder, Heikki Niemelä, is a futurist, visionary and Fintech entrepreneur. After finishing his academic studies for BBA (International Business) and MBA (Finance) in Finland and the US with honors, he started his career in the late 1990’s in Nordic investment banking by joining a securities firm, to head its corporate finance and business development functions. At the age of 26, soon after having completed his obligatory military service at the defense HQ and Ministry of Defense in between, he was nominated CEO of the investment bank, and expanded its business volume and operations manifold in the space of a few years, becoming probably the fastest growing business operation among its local peers, which was widely recognized. He turned an investment banking and securities firm into a fully fledged commercial bank, comprising investment banking, corporate banking, private banking, retail deposit banking, securities brokerage, wealth and asset management, custody, fund management, and investment, fund and securities research, thus gaining wide-ranging and comprehensive experience in building and managing a fully-fledged, dynamic financial services business. Subsequently, he leveraged this experience by co-founding a Fintech business, a pure play international online bank for retail and business clients across borders and without any branch offices at all, to take a pioneering position at European bank digitalization and to build a real showcase of what banks of the future can be and become. He planned and designed an in-house operating platform for the bank, a modern, streamlined, state-of-the art banking system and realized the project with the developer team that eventually grew into 15 people. The system was robust, stable and without flaws - it never crashed and enabled smooth automated running of the business, and a convenient, simple use of its web application through any device in multiple languages: smartphones, tablets or PCs. This was indeed in line with fulfilling the mission of making global financial services faster, cheaper, easier, more convenient and accessible, and offering them with style and substance.
While starting his career as banker and corporate financier nearly 20 years ago, the project founder has evolved into technologist by not only planning and designing new advanced platforms but also doing hands-on coding with Java, Javascript, PHP, HTML5, CSS, MySQL, and more recently also in Solidity when working on blockchain-related work like Ethereum-based smart contracts as well as the related technologies for the front end such as Web3 and node.js, and gaining experience in direct 'full-stack' blockchain development as well, and learning about the advantages and challenges or deficiencies of existing blockchains, their pluses and minuses in contrast with the objectives and specification of the Argentas project, its blockchain protocol and software platform. This all gives him a deep and wide understanding of the underlying technologies combined with the extensive financial services substance mastered, something that many startup teams lack entirely among their core team members – they cannot ‘disrupt’ or ‘transform’ something they do not even know as the subject matter, but we do. Hands-on programming experience with the most modern languages and tools coupled with the underlying deep financial expertise has also given the founder the capacity to prepare the design for our proprietary blockchain that will be realized in full with the development team focusing on its various dimensions, backed by the real-life experience in creating and running robust financial technology platforms, of which this DLT (distributed ledger technology) platform will be the most modern and advanced. Previous application development experience also helps to develop the decentralized applications (dapps) for the blockchain as well as their user-friendly interfaces, and connect them to native (blockchain) and non-native (network bridge entities such as banks holding some fiat money balances for settling transactions) entities.

Background to the Argentas Project: from centralized and closed to distributed and open ledger platform

It is ironic, in a way, that we did have the concept of a proprietary digital currency included in our plans already in 2008, when Satoshi was working to quietly introduce bitcoin. The technology was experimental at that stage, and it took almost 10 years for it to reach the mainstream awareness, spiking only at the end of 2017 by way of global media frenzy, so it was not yet the time back then, but it is the time now, when DLT’s have in a way come of age. We did develop an instant payment product many years ago already - a payment product that basically enabled free real-time global payments, but it was within the closed ledger system, not in the open distributed ledger of the blockchain, as it was too early for that. But if we had done that, the platform would have been much safer in the end of the day, because a decentralized blockchain infrastructure is much more resilient against any centralized attack and abuse – and we are not talking about information security risk, which can normally be contained.
While many blockchain projects try to set up a traditional bank, for which there is also a need in terms of serving the cryptocurrency users and investors that are badly treated and rejected by most existing banks, our approach is different: since (1) we see that the progress and increased implementation of distributed ledger i.e. blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies will eventually lead to the disappearance of banks and bank accounts we know them now anyway, and since (2) we have had to experience and go through the exact concerns of Satoshi Nakamoto in creating bitcoin out of worry for the risks of attacks on centralized closer ledger entities and their vulnerability, and risk of abuse of centralized public powers such as regulators, our route is the opposite: from the centralized, closed ledger bank environment to the decentralized distributed ledger blockchain environment, to be able to create a safe, sound, robust platform for the global financial services of the new era of open global financial architecture. We have seen that to be centralized and closed ledger is not safe, as we have had to go through the nightmare of illegal abuse of centralized power for political and personal agendas, of having been singled out as a target of deeply mentally deranged persons abusing their powers and position and going to the wrong side of the law.
Satoshi was right in his foresight in creating the bitcoin: a fully decentralized blockchain of the bitcoin without any centralized authority, counterparty or control. That is the safest ‘banking’ and finance possible. And that is the future direction that will lead to banks and bank accounts as we know to eventually disappear, and morph into the blockchain, where they will be indestructible, and no criminal attacks by insane people in positions of power can destroy them. Our experience guides us towards sustainable solutions by way of smarter and more advanced innovation: while those clinging to the past and abusing their powers in the wrong side of the law try their everything to destroy, we do our everything to continue to innovate, to build, to create things for a better future, for a better world of open financial system that gives access to all and lowers the barriers to practice economic activity, do business and generate wealth. Everyone will benefit, and what we know now as the crypto economy, will eventually merge with the traditional economy, as eventually cryptocurrencies and their underlying architecture with the distributed ledger technology will eclipse fiat money as we know it today. Technological progress cannot be stopped – if someone imagines that by ‘regulating’ something it can be stifled and the status quo of those in power preserved, they are sorely mistaken – it will find ways and gain momentum, and not least for the simple reason that this all is for the better of the world, and such technologies, when fully implemented, will certainly improve the state of the world. Trying to stop them will earn merit to no one – by encouraging, cherishing and advocating them instead will enable everyone to give their contribution for a better tomorrow.
Defined by our experiences, our project also has its ideological side very close to certain core ideas behind key cryptocurrencies such as the bitcoin, which ideology is in brief described in the Manifesto, because the project is not only about technological innovation and helping the world through implementation of the technological innovation into well-functioning cryptoeconomic platforms forming a new open global financial system, but also about working on the same objectives Satoshi created bitcoin for, to help bring down excess centralized power and prevent massive abuse of centralized power, to help create a system of sensible checks and balances ensuring appropriate but not excessive centralized authorities and powers, and to maximise the freedom, liberty and privacy of individual citizens everywhere, to which they are entitled. Both on the concrete and on the ideological/philosophical level, the project will enable financial inclusion and access to global financial services in ways never seen before, and everybody knows that by enabling new and more efficient economic activity, entrepreneurship, building of businesses and financing thereof, and the creation of wealth resulting from new and growing economic activity is for the good of the world. In the the blockchain and cryptocurrency sphere, what is also magnificent is that one is not limited to a single country or region, but the technology transcends geographical and political borders, enabling truly global generation of economic activity and wealth through better access to and means of financial services worldwide.
Those trying to cling to the incumbency and the powers of the past often condemn cryptocurrencies single-handedly – often having little or no understanding of them at all and thus ridiculing themselves in front of people with expertise in the matter – and proclaim that they are only used by those that are involved in criminal activities like money laundering, tax evasion or financing of other illegal activities. Statistics show that this is definitely true, and in fact, the portion of cryptocurrencies used for such activities is much smaller than that of fiat money, so anybody ignorant making such statements to demonize cryptocurrencies should clean their own backyard first. The truth, in fact, is directly opposite to what they claim: through better financial access and inclusion, millions of people are and will be able to participate in the economy and practice economic activity in ways never seen before. The old exclusive financial infrastructure with high barriers to entry could not do this, but the advances in the ever evolving blockchain technologies make financial inclusion, access to global financial services and wealth creation possible unlike ever before. We see it very easily, when we compare what could be done in the centralized closed ledger banking environment vs. what can be done with the most modern blockchain technologies, to truly enable seamless global transactions that are virtually real-time and cost virtually nothing. Blockchain helps us to finish off with the idea of free real-time global payments that we implemented in the closed ledger environment, and not only that but much more, in terms of building up a global online value transfer system that enables the transfer of any item of value in ways never seen before, representing the 3rd level of internet, the internet of value.
There are vast blue oceans ahead: there are many projects with good ideas, but a lots of uncharted and unoccupied territory, as no one has established their project as ‘the’ project for global financial services blockchain and value transfer, commercial transaction and global financial services application platform. There is a lot of space to grow, but the race is on and one must progress fast. The future is on our side - and on everybody's side who is supportive of the crpytocurrencies, crypto economy and the intelligent development and implementation of DLTs.

The team - business and development

The full development and business teams evolve into a mix of people having worked together in the past and those who join the teams as entirely new members. Core team members have 5-10 years of experience in building scalable projects for back and front end. The backend team specializes in networking, cryptographic, and database engine software running on HydraNet servers, and the front end develops advanced, streamlined and user-friendly interfaces and user-driven applications that help to gain popularity among users and fulfil our mission in making global financial services, among others, easy and convenient, and offering them with style and substance – for us, it is not only the achievement of certain functionality, but high quality design inside out – something like Apple that has its physical devices beautifully designed from inside out, with easy-to-use and intuitive user interfaces of its devices and applications running on their platforms. We indeed take pride in delivering quality throughout, as that is the only way to create sustainable, resilient and robust outcomes. If you are interested in joining us, check out the job opportunities on our Careers page.