Dimitri Yantchenkov is an art and antiques aficionado with a keen interest in crypto and NFTs. He studied business at the International University of Monaco and started his first business when he was 20 years old. Yantchenkov also founded BitMedia, which is a global NFT distribution company for art.
In this interview, Yantchenkov talks about a wide variety of topics. Among others, he talks about his childhood, his love for art, his entrepreneurial spirit, and his interest in crypto and NFTs.
You moved from Russia to Sweden when you were just seven years old, which means you moved to a completely different country, with different cultures, and so on. How did you settle in there?
Dimitri Yantchenkov: Well, back then, I was still a child, which made adapting easier. I quickly made new friends and, all things considered, felt very comfortable. Today, I call Sweden my second home country because I have all my friends and relationships here.
Since you went to school in Sweden, you had to learn the local language. How did you do that?
Yantchenkov: If you move to a country as a child and live there, you learn the language very quickly. Fortunately, I settled in pretty quickly.
You didn’t just go to school in Sweden, you also graduated. What was your goal at the time, and what did you want to learn?
Yantchenkov: Even back then, my goal was to become self-employed. That’s why I decided to go to the International University of Monaco to study business.
You say that you started your own business when you were just 20 years old. How did that happen?
Yantchenkov: I had a friend whose father was active in the international art trade. Since I was already interested in art at that time, I opened my own business with said friend.
What exactly did you do, and what were your goals?
Yantchenkov: My job was to buy and sell paintings and sculptures internationally. My goal was to establish myself in the art market. We got all of the know-how we had from my friend’s father.
As you already said earlier, you have had a passion for art for a long time, how did this come about?
Yantchenkov: Look, for me, it’s not just about technique, how to paint a picture or create a sculpture, it’s about passion. When you look at art, you feel the passion behind it. Holding a painting or sculpture in my hands that an artist created decades or centuries ago has always fascinated me.
Now, allegedly, you had a run-in with the law at one point in your life. What happened there?
Yantchenkov: Yeah, that’s true. It’s not a pretty story. I was helping a friend and letting him live with me, but he hid illicit substances in my apartment.
What I also didn’t know at the time was that this friend was wanted by the police, so the police found his substances at my place. Unfortunately, my so-called friend did not tell the truth and tried to blame me. Therefore, the court did not believe me, and I received a fine. Since then, I have never seen this person, who called himself my friend, again.
Supposedly, there was also an assault case that was brought up against you?
Yantchenkov: Yes, that’s true, and I would do the same thing again. At the time, someone harassed my then partner, and I went between them to resolve the situation. Then it came to an argument.
While I am a peace-loving person, I have to intervene when something is being done to someone.
You invested in the crypto market a few years ago, what motivated you to do that?
Yantchenkov: In 2017, I had a client who bought art from me. He told me about Bitcoin and Ethereum and that he is invested himself. After that, I got involved with the crypto market and invested myself.
By now, everyone has noticed how the crypto market has developed. Therefore, I am very happy that I received this tip from my customer and followed through on it.
There has been a new market in the crypto space for some time, namely the NFT market. Tell us a little more about it.
Yantchenkov: First of all, the NFT market is a huge market. It enables you to buy digital art and own it. When I heard about it, I was very excited. Finally, regular people can buy an expensive art piece that is worth millions of dollars.
Most people don’t have a million dollars in their bank account, so how does this work?
Yantchenkov: That’s exactly the point. Through NFTs, everyone can participate. The picture is divided into shares, and everyone can buy a share of the picture.
So, a normal person can also participate. However, the most important aspect of this is that you become the legal owner of the share when you purchase it, which entitles you to its returns.
Does this mean that anyone can buy a Rembrandt or a Picasso today, or at least secure a share?
Yantchenkov: Yes, this is possible due to the blockchain, and it is already happening. For example, a Swiss bank has offered shares of a Picasso that are $5,000 each. Anthony Hopkins has produced a film in which you can participate by buying an NFT. A lot will happen here, and I predict that this will be a multi-trillion dollar market.
So, do you also have access to international high-priced art that you are now offering as NFTs?
Yantchenkov: Yes, I have the rights for NFTs of various paintings, including high-priced artworks from artists such as Picasso and Van Gogh.
How will you distribute these NFTs?
Yantchenkov: BitMedia was founded for this purpose. We will offer NFTs globally through our direct distribution system. The advantage of this is that everyone around the world can participate and even has the opportunity to earn money.
Thank you for your time, and the best of luck for you and your projects in the future.