I am Mike Kalomeni (@KalomeniM), cofounder of elementus.io and former rocket scientist at Caltech. Ask me anything! 05/23 @ 12pm PST

Hi Hacker Noon community! :wave:

My name is Mike Kalomeni. I did research at Caltech to complete my aerospace degree, focus on the aerodynamics of hypersonic planes. I then did management consulting at Capgemini where I was Scrum Master working on Airbus Big Data laboratory.

This led me to join Max Galka, with Nuria Gutierrez, to cofound Elementus, a blockchain query engine used during the Cryptopia hack and to solve the Quadriga’s mystery.

I will be answering your questions live on May 23, 2019 12:00 PM PST. Looking forward to it as everyone speaks highly of the Hacker Noon community!

Feel free to add this to you calendar or ask a question below. See you soon :smiley:

EDIT: Thank you everyone for your questions, I had a lot of fun and hope for you too! See you soon!


Hey Mike, thanks for taking the time to do a Hacker Noon AMA. Just watched your talk, Lack of Transparency in Crypto: The Irony, I enjoyed how you shined light on ICO scams and spam token transfers. And like you, I think there is an emerging market around indexing and searching blockchain data and activity.

However, I am more curious about your career path. How did you go from Caltech rocket scientist to blockchain entrepreneur? Do you think more rocket scientists will follow suit?


Who is your target market and why will they want to use your product besides the fact you are a rocket scientist :slight_smile:

Who are your competitors and how will you differentiate yourselves?

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Hi @mike.kalomeni, very cool project! I’m interested as to what is the most interesting of Elementus for data analytics that you’ve seen (or considered)?

Also, I imagine you guys must see some really interesting stuff WRT compliance and fraud analyses… any good stories?

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Thanks for taking the time to do a Hacker Noon AMA @mike.kalomeni!

I often find a stark difference between the problems you encounter in the real world and what I think of as “academic problems”. Academic problems usually have well-defined boundaries which neatly isolate a problem from external influences.

The real world is far messier. Boundaries are not always easily understood or defined. Say you are building a business and trying to determine your market and its size. There are so many different ways to slice the data and no definitive right or wrong answer.

What is the most satisfying real-world problem you’ve worked on?

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Hey Mike,

Looks like you are always ahead of the curve, between rocket science and blockchain. I am curious of what led you to blockchain, but I have more interesting questions : since the price of bitcoin has climbed up recently, have you seen anything interesting going on analyzing the blockchain ?

Hey Mike! Thank you for doing an AMA. Wow Quadriga’s mystery was a big deal. What did you discover about the funds? Also, if you see that some weird movement happen on the blockchain, who do alert?

Do you work with the government to help them with anti-money laundering?
Looking forward to your answer!!

Hi Mike,
what will be 3 of the top blockchain applications in the next 2 years?

Hi Mike,

I appreciate you making a company in the blockchain industry with what appears to be a more traditional SaaS-based approach instead of an ICO with a questionable token.

Why did you choose a non-token approach to creating a business?

Does Elementus have any plans to make their own token?

Are you investigating building any financial analysis tools to help investors post-ICO make smarter choices? For example, I would love to see blockchain monitoring tools incorporate more intelligent data about the types of transactions so I can see and invest into chains that are not mostly spam.

Thanks in advance!

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Hi Mike, thanks for doing this AMA! Rocket science, and space travel, have always fascinated me – one of my dreams is to work for the JPL. However, it’s scary to think that a bug in my code could cost someone their life. So my question is: how do you build reasonable confidence that a given rocket is going to launch without a hitch? In other words, what sort of practices do you put into place to ensure that the crew and the payload will be safe?

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Hey Mike! How is the rocket science industry? Is it really hard to get jobs in this field?
Thanks much.

Hey Mike, thank you for sharing your experience.
What type of crypto companies do you work with and do you feel they realize he need for blockchain data analysis?
thank you!

Hey Mike, congrats for funding Elementus! I feel that one of the struggle of new start ups is always to get their first clients. Who was your first client and how did you manage to convince them to work with you?

Hey Mike! What was your biggest challenge running Elementus?
Grazie :slight_smile:

Thanks for the AMA Mike.

I see Elementus aims for the ability to query all non-private chains, which I’m assuming is a big feat since it seems like you guys are creating an inter-blockchain solution.
What sort of challenges do you face when creating a query engine across all of these vastly different Blockchains?

Hi Mike,

Thanks for taking the time for an AMA!

It seems there’s a heavy focus on competitive forces with the blockchain in the West. Any insights into what’s happening with blockchain/cryptocurrency in the APAC region?


Hi David, thank you for the invitation to share few thoughts with the Hacker Noon community!

When I was doing research in Pasadena, we were 3 people in the lab and our instruments were taking the entire last floor of the building. So even though I loved the daily challenge and long term goal, it felt too lonely (I’m an extravert) so I was looking for a more social environment. It appears that management consulting is a very rational field and suited well my way of thinking so I joined Capgemini in Paris. There, I was assessing the payment’s system of a European bank and how to re-build from scratch a state-of-the-art system. Capgemini is a leader in payments so I had access to the best solution at that time. At the same moment (early 2017), my best friend from San Francisco showed me the Bitcoin whitepaper when he was visiting me. We spent the whole week-end reading it and making sense of it. So when I compared both reports, it was very clear to me that Bitcoin was far superior, and a disruption as massive as Internet was on-going. So I dedicated 1y of reading and talking to people about it, up to the point where I was comfortable going full-time into the industry. I quit my job, and later on, the same friend introduced me to Max Galka, my cofounder and CEO of Elementus, who was looking for a partner to build the company. Cryptoassets has the potential to improve the life of people in third world countries in so many drastic ways that I felt I needed to contribute how I could.

On your second question, I think there are no similarities from a tech perspective between both worlds so it’s more about having a broad interest in so many things that could lead to a shift. In my case, it really feels like serendipity.

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Thank you for your time!
I’m a part of Ukrainian-Russian astro community.
So my questions will be about space.

  1. Made in Space. I’m curious to hear some “insights” about companies that creating robots, that will build space stations/space structions from raw materials or building blocks.
  2. By reading about your experience and moving from space into crypto market - I realize that I saw a similar situation before. I remember time when a lot of chess grandmasters start to play in poker sucessfully. Do you think that other STEM professionals will lead soon this crypto wave?

Thanks for this opportunity and good luck!

Hi! Thank you for the very direct, business, question! I just went through fundraising so excited to share few thoughts on it :slight_smile:

Elementus is building a blockchain data index to build the foundation from which businesses and people can rely on to adopt massively cryptoassets. We believe that professionals, wether they are investors, SMBs, corporations, decentralized communities or researchers, need to be comfortable before adopting new habits, especially when it’s linked to money. And to be comfortable, understanding blockchain activity is key.

We think that removing the fear of not being compliant, and helping businesses react against bad actors like hackers, is the necessary first step for the crypto community to build organically a sustainable ecosystem.
Our direct competitor is mainly Chainalysis. We differentiate ourselves through our expertise in data science. Our products are real-time and accurate, which is not the case of the other solutions. We already helped exchanges freeze stolen assets as the hacks happened, with the hope that the victims will be paid back.

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Hi Chocolatesoymilk :slight_smile:

I think it is fascinating to be able to take a snapshot of Ethereum activity and being able to grasp the dynamics of the dApps and services. For example, the landscape picture of our blog is the visualization of 1 day of Ethereum transactions: https://elementus.io/blog/ and I can tell you that with that graph, you can infer on the cybersecurity strategy of Coinbase!

Sad story: seeing an exchange being hacked in live denying the existence of the hack publicly. We try to help as much as we can by sharing with the crypto community these information on our twitter, but at the end it’s the ecosystem of exchanges and services that can act to retrieve stolen funds to their customers.

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