While the ICO market often looks like a Las Vegas casino rather than an intelligent investment decision, there are some projects, like DESICO, with its Security Token Offering (STO), that aim to both protect its investors as well as providing value to the crypto-space as a whole.
In its major announcement today, tokenized securities startup, DESICO, has outlined the plan to offer its STO, introducing its native DESI tokens.
Welcome to a Secure, Compliant Ecosystem
Over the past few months, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has opened the regulatory doors to addressing this space, making it that much more important for companies to adhere to the current regulations in place.
“By raising money via the securities sale ourselves, we are showcasing that our platform to issue and trade security tokens is legally compliant and easy to use. This will demonstrate to our clients how to issue their security tokens in the future.” – Laimonas Noreika, CEO of DESICO.
DESICO, operating in both Paris, France and Vilnius, Lithuania under Lithuanian crowdfunding regulations, is offering a platform that allows for the issuance and active trading of tokenized securities that is in compliance with European Union (EU) member state law.
Born out of the collaborations with Lithuanian regulators, the company’s choice of its location is extremely strategic. DESICO’s business model of issuing and trading tonekized securities has already been endorsed by the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of the Economy of the Republic of Lithuania.
Regulated Tokenized Securities For Retail, Accredited, and Institutional Investors
By announcing its support in complying with EU member state law, DESICO will help to provide a safe and legally compliant solution for STO investments, something unheard of until now. While there are a number of legally compliant STOs in the market, the biggest advantage DESICO brings, is that it is one of very few made accessible to retail investors.
Pursuant to current laws, only U.S. investors are required to be accredited. However, DESICO allows U.S. companies to add the additional $5.75 million USD from non-US retail investors to their security offering.
While most platforms are limiting access to institutional and accredited investors, DESICO creates an opportunity for projects to access said amount per year from Main Street investors.
Breaking Down the System
The total nominal value of DESICO security tokens emission is set at $44,361,793. Due to the laws applicable to STOs issued in Lithuania, the numerical scale of publicly available tokens for retail investors during the DESICO STO is set at $5,750,000 during the period of November 7th 2018 to November 7th 2019.
The remainder of tokens will be offered to institutional investors at nominal price, while providing a lower price to retail investors. DESICO guarantees that all investors will have the same rights when acquiring DESI tokens.
The DESICO security token offering will be divided into two stages:
- November 7th – November 16th 2018: The DESI security token pre-sale. $1,000,000 hard cap. Discount offered to all investors – 15%.
- January 14th – January 25th 2019: The DESI security token crowdsale.Remainder of the tokens will be offered to investors with hard cap of $5,750,000.
The DESI security token will be classified as a Revenue Participation Note (RPN), with quarterly payouts to investors. This type of security token does not constitute as ownership of DESICO. Instead, token owners will receive 12.5% of the total revenue created by DESICO. The total number of DESI security tokens represents a revenue share of 12.5% of DESICO’s total revenue. The number of tokens held by the investor determines how much of that 12.5% of revenue is paid out to the token holder.
The DESI security token price per-token:
- Pre Sale – $0.98
- Crowdsale Part 1 – $1.07
- Crowdsale Part 2 – $1.09
- Hard Cap Price – $1.15
The minimum investment for retail investors will be $230. Accredited investors will have a minimum investment requirement of $143,750 with no cap on their maximum investment.
DESICO will operate under a joint venture with crowdfunding, brokerage, and e-money license holders. There will be no cap on revenue payouts for token holders.
All investors will have to go through Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures in order to acquire DESI security tokens.
Security Token Issuers to Benefit from alliance of ‘Issuance’ and ‘VStock Transfer’
Issuance partners with VStock Transfer
Just announced today, deal marketing platform, Issuance, has partnered with stock transfer agent, VStock Transfer. This alliance was formed as Issuance saw a need on behalf of security token issuers. This was the ease of token registration and transfer.
As a result, partnering with a transfer agent such as VStock Transfer, allows companies having completed a digital security offering the ability to utilize services and experience based upon decades of experience in securities law.
These teams should be able to hit the ground running, as Issuance CEO, Darren Marble, has had previous experience working with VStock Transfer. Through their ability to provide experience, along with cost saving measures, it’s no wonder why Issuance has partnered with VStock Transfer.
The CEOs of each company discussed the partnership at hand.
Yoel Goldfeder, CEO of VStock Transfer, stated, “As an SEC-compliant transfer agent who has had the pleasure of working with a range of companies from private to pre-IPO issuers to NYSE American, NASDAQ and OTC listed companies, it was a seamless pivot into digital securities…We look forward to working with Issuance, an industry pioneer who will help to fuel the capital raising component for our clients.”
Darren Marble, CEO of Issuance, stated, “As digital securities continue to merge with the capital market infrastructure, support from companies such as VStock Transfer are critical to remain compliant throughout the lifespan of a DSO…We are thrilled to add VStock Transfer to our growing network of strategic partners and provide valuable registry and transfer services for our clients and their shareholders.”
VStock Transfer is based out of Woodmere, New York, where they provide services as an SEC registered ‘stock transfer agent’. The company is spearheaded by CEO, Yoel Goldfeder – a seasoned attorney specializing in corporate and securities law.
For a deeper look at what services VStock Transfer is able to provide, make sure to visit their website HERE.
Issuance was founded in 2018, and is based out of Los Angeles, California. Above all, the main purpose of the company is to act as a bridging platform. For example, this means working to connect investors with appropriate digital securities issuers.
Make sure to check securities.io again for future news on Issuance, as they have indicated future plans to tokenize themselves.
Issuance is rapidly developing into a well-rounded company. For instance, this marks just one of various strategic partnerships announced in recent weeks.
Here is a look at a few of our other articles detailing those endeavours.
Interview Series – Dave Hendricks, CEO & cofounder of Vertalo
Dave Hendricks is the CEO and cofounder of Vertalo which is a stakeholder Registry and Cap Table platform for SEC Compliant Security Token offerings. They connect broker-dealers, issuers, exchanges and ATS’s.
AT: Could you share with us what Vertalo does?
DH: Vertalo seeks to help more issuers, tokenize more assets, at lower cost and lower risk. And at less expense. Vertalo’s core offering is a crypto cap table, in other words a ledger of token holders. ICOs didn’t care about cap tables, but equity investors do.
Investors can be added to a Vertalo-built cap table before, during, or after a fundraise or ICO. Vertalo’s wallet registration process is the connective process between issuers – who want to know who owns how much of their company – and investors, who want to know how much they own of the company. Vertalo is glue for the overly confusing STO ecosystem. Vertalo helps issuers manage their investor community and Vertalo helps investor manage their holdings – all via a simple graphical interface that is way better than etherscan.
AT: Is this on a public or private blockchain? If both, could you elaborate what information is on the public versus the private?
DH: Most Security Token issuance development is Ethereum-based, and most smart contracts are written in Solidity, so Vertalo started its work in alignment with the community, but Vertalo was designed to be chain-agnostic. If an issuer wants to write their token using Hyperledger, or Hashgraph, or NEO, or Stellar they can do that and Vertalo’s cap table and investor registration functions will operate the same way. We see benefits of permission-less and permissioned Blockchains for Security Tokens.
AT: Do you perform the KYC/AML accreditation yourselves?
DH: Vertalo partners with major Accredited/Qualified and KYC/AML Services, since there are more than 200 different jurisdictions and we want to focus on what we do best. We are developing a subscription service with several of these vendors to simplify secondary trading (where KYC-AML is so important). More on that later in Q1.
AT: Could you describe how the platform enables issuers to manage the investor community?
DH: Vertalo’s Cap Table combines the features of a traditional ledger with network connectivity. The Vertalo cap table represents a relationship between two parties, determined by consensus. Issuers use the vertalo registration smart contract process to invite and add an investor to the cap table. That registration process creates a ledger which is more than a list of holders, it facilitates communications between the issuer and investor so that tokens, dividends, and documents can be transferred between the parties.
AT: There are many non-blockchain options to manage a cap table. What are the benefits of using a blockchain, and more specifically Vertalo?
DH: Token trading is real-time. If someone trades a security token, the investor ledger by law must be updated with the new address/holder of the token. So a blockchain-based cap table ledger operates at the speed of blockchain, faster than paper and with better record-keeping. Without a blockchain-based ledger for a blockchain based security, who would manage the legal requirements for maintaining a list of shareholders? This was not a concern for ICO issuers, so they didnt create this tech. ICOs just cared about exchanges. STO issuers need to maintain compliance with securities law.
Developing blockchain-based cap tables is also the first and fundamental step towards greater liquidity for private assets, because cap tables are where the investor ownership rights are best enforced. The reason that issuers and investors are tokenizing their offerings is to ultimately achieve greater liquidity by enabling their shareholders to sell on exchanges and ATSs subject to the issuers rules.
No traditional private equity cap table platforms connect to exchanges, and even obtaining a stock certificate from a traditional cap table platform is a days-long effort. And when you receive a paper share from a traditional cap table platform there is no where to sell it, since you have to get permission from the board, and then there are few marketplaces for anything other than Uber or Lyft, etc..
Tokenized offerings are issued on the predication that the tokens/shares will be ‘tradeable/’ after a restriction is lifted. By connecting the Vertalo blockchain-based cap table to exchanges and ATSs, we enable token holders to achieve the liquidity that is main differentiating feature of a security token offering, while complying with basic securities law.
AT: How does the Vertalo registry reduce costs for Broker dealers?
DH: Broker-Dealers have fiduciary requirements to check KYC and AML. Vertalo’s investor registry function, which connects KYC verified email addresses to blockchain wallets, was designed in conjunction with major broker dealers to help them comply with basic AML requirements. Vertalo built its platform to be whitelabeled by broker-dealers so they don’t have to build or manage this process themselves.
AT: You offer investors who register with Vertalo the opportunity to instantaneously share their investor profile with broker-dealers and issuers. How do investors sign up for this?
DH: This feature will be built out later this year. Our focus is on the Picks and Shovels for our business clients.
AT: One of the tools that you offer is the verification of wallet ownership? How is this performed?
DH: The Vertalo Wallet Registration process uses a smart contract to run a process that is similar to the method by which a bank verifies your ownership of an account, by depositing random amounts into an account. We send an email to the registered account holder, with a link to kick off a process. If you can log into that account and verify the amounts, that is the beginning of proven ownership. It’s actually a little more complicated than that, but to the proper owner of a wallet, it is a very smooth process. We use a special utility token (no, you can’t trade or transfer it) and smart contracts for this process.
AT: Are there any notable projects that are currently using the Vertalo platform?
DH: We were our first client. I think that Vertalo issued the third or fourth real, US compliant Security token in March 2018. That is why we built this. We are working with PrimeTrust, Issuance, Entoro, and we will be announcing some Major real estate, fund, and debt issuances that are launching in February and March. By the end of Q1 there should be more than 10 projects or Broker-Dealers using the tech to simplify their token issuances, investor relations and cap table management.
AT: Is there anything else that you would like to share about Vertalo?
DH: Issuers should create a great product, find a great law firm, find a great broker-dealer and call Vertalo. We can stitch all the parts together for you and also help you save a tremendous amount on your overall tokenization costs.
Digital Securities Platform DX.Exchange, Survives First Week Scare
Dx.Exchange has had quite the tumultuous week. As the exchange closes its first week of operation, the team behind the project was able to dodge a potentially damaging situation.
From hordes of investors signing up pre-launch, to potentially disastrous glitches, here is a brief look at the problems that plagued week 1.
Details of the Problem
Upon launch of the platform, an anonymous user took it upon themselves to evaluate DX.Exchange. Shockingly, the user found information leaks that could potentially be harmful to a variety of parties.
Information being leaked ranged from password reset links, to names, email addresses, and more. With this, if someone were so inclined, they would be able to create backdoor entrances to user’s accounts.
It isn’t hard to imagine what kind of havoc a malicious individual could wreak.
In an attempt to allay investor’s fears, Dx.Exchange has reached out the public with the following statement.
“We would like to thank the vigilant reporter, and our supportive community, who together with, brought his issue to our attention. We are happy to report that the vulnerability has been successfully patched, and no user funds were compromised. Our launch was met with a stellar response from our community eager to trade cryptocurrencies and digital stocks. Customer funds were always safe, our multi layer advanced monitoring and defense mechanism was able to avoid any further issue.”
This statement came after the company scheduled platform maintenance within hours of the news breaking.
WE SCHEDULED FOR TODAY AT 11:00 AM (ESTONIA TIME ZONE) A MAINTENANCE UPDATE TO IMPROVE OUR PLATFORM FUNCTIONALITY AND PERFORM SEVERAL BUG FIXES AND UPDATES. THE PLATFORM WILL COME BACK FULLY FUNCTIONAL AFTER FEW MINUTES. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE
— DX.Exchange (@DXdotExchange) January 9, 2019
Caught out Attention
DX.Exchange originally caught our attention due to the manner in which they offer their services. Rather than hosting digital securities of companies that have decided to tokenize, DX.Exchange has taken a different approach.
They are purchasing traditional shares of publically traded companies, and then issuing their own security tokens to investors, representing ownership of the shares. Due to the method in which this transaction takes place, the shares are held by DX.Exchange. However, investors holding the associated security token receive the full range of benefits associated with them (dividends, equity etc.).
Examples of these companies notably include Apple, Tesla, Amazon, and others.
The CEO of DX.Exchange has stated that due to their licencing and region of operation, the SEC has no means in which to stop them from offering these services.
However, there are many skeptics of the exchange that believe it will eventually face due recourse. Through what means is unclear, but there are certainly going to be companies that do not want their shares tokenized in such a fashion.
DX.Exchange is based out of Estonia, and was founded in 2018. Above all, the company acts as an online exchange, providing investors access to a variety of digital assets.
Prior to the events discussed here today, we recently spoke about DX.Exchange and the companies recent launch. To learn more about DX.Exchange, make sure to read the article below.
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- Digital Securities Platform DX.Exchange, Survives First Week Scare January 14, 2019
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