Vertalo, the cap-table company making waves in blockchain, has announced the release of its ‘V-Token’ software.
This software, V-Token, is a described by Vertalo as a ‘placeholder’, which will allow for issuers to issue digital securities at a later point in the issuance cycle. Until now, this software has only been available to Vertalo. For those interested, access to V-Token is now open to all token issuers.
The purpose of V-Token is to make life easier for potential issuers of digital securities. As it stands, one of the larger hurdles in the space remains the cost associated with the creation of said tokens. The issue is amplified by the fact that this step often takes place prior to a company raising any capital – meaning the company had best be sure that their capital raise is successful, and their token creation wasn’t done in vain.
With this in mind, Vertalo created V-Token for their own usage in 2018. V-Token allows for token creation to occur POST-raise. In doing so, this form of delayed tokenization provides issuers with greater flexibility in their operations.
This token is structured as ERC-20 compliant, while offering various traits, vital to digital securities. This includes trade restrictions, and other measure necessary to be compliant with regulations.
Along with their announcing the availability of V-Token, Dave Hendricks, CEO of Vertalo, took the time to comment. The following is what he had to say on the matter.
“The current high cost of tokenization is the main impediment to widespread adoption and roll out of digital assets. Today, Issuers who are interested in digital approaches are being asked to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to design and produce tokens before they have successfully raised capital. The unit economics need to change.”
“Free Tokenization is a logical next step in the evolution of the digital asset industry. But as we have seen with previous protocol standards like Ethernet and TCP/IP, it’s difficult to monetize the standards themselves. The role of tokens is naturally subordinate to actually raising capital. It’s been amply demonstrated that investors don’t invest in tokens, or in token standards, rather they invest in companies, assets, access to liquidity, and revenue streams. Free token issuance reduces the risk and complexity of tokenizing assets. Delaying the choice of which security token standard to use until the infrastructure is more fully developed lowers the cost and risk of token implementation.”
Vertalo is a United States based company, which was founded in 2017. Above all, Vertalo functions as a capitalization table specialist, while providing services for investor onboarding and compliance adherence.
Company operations are overseen by CEO, Dave Hendricks. We had the pleasure of interviewing Dave Hendricks earlier this year. Check out this discussion to learn more about Vertalo and their goals.
In Other News
Vertalo has found themselves a mainstay in our newsfeed over the past few months. Whether providing services which facilitate the completion on an STO, or forming partnerships to advance the industry, Vertalo keeps busy. Here are a few articles detailing what they have been up to lately.
Aaron Kaplan, CEO of Prometheum – Interview Series
Prior to Prometheum you were the Founder of EquityArcade, a platform that enabled consumers to buy shares in video game startups. Can you let us know how your experience at EquityArcade transitioned over to Prometheum?
EquityArcade was a Reg CF equity crowdfunding platform that allowed consumers (investors) to invest in the future revenue generated from indie game funded on the platform. Reg CF is part of the JOBS Act, which also contains the Reg A+ crowdfunding rules. Prometheum uses Reg A+ as a means to allow the general public to invest in blockchain securities. All JOBS Act regulations relate to online equity crowdfunding. As a result, we have been able to leverage many of the experiences and lessons from EquityArcade in building Prometheum’s Reg A+ offering platform.
Prometheum enables companies to raise capital by offering their own Smart Security Tokens (SSTs). Can you share with us how SSTs differentiate themselves from other industry standards such as STOs (Security Token Offerings) or DSOs (Digital Security Offerings)?
SSTs, STOs and DSOs are all different protocols that are attempting to solve the same problem. Until there’s complete regulatory clarity around certain critical components – including custody – of the blockchain securities ecosystem, it’s not possible to conclude which protocol provides the best foundation.
What’s the process for a company to launch an SST?
An issuer looking to issue a SST will submit an application for an offering to Prometheum. At that point, the issuer will submit all relevant documents that will allow Prometheum to conduct the requisite due diligence in order to determine whether the company is qualified to issue an SST. Upon passing the due diligence process, the issuer will complete the Reg A+ offering circular and submit that document to the SEC for qualification. Once qualified by the SEC, the offering will be listed on Prometheum’s offering platform and begin their capital formation activities. When the stated amount of capital is raised, there will be a closing and distribution of the SST into the investors’ Prometheum brokerage account. Upon distribution of an SST, Prometheum’s issuance platform coordinates the multi-signature, multi-stage process that is used to place investors’ SSTs in either their Master or Personal Wallet. Once the distribution occurs, Prometheum will list the SST on our retail based (i.e. open to all investors) Alternative Trading System (ATS), and secondary market trading will begin in the issuer’s SST.
What type of fees should companies expect from launching an SST and hosting it on your platform?
Our goal is to allow companies to raise up to $50m in the most efficient way possible: faster, less expensive, and easier than any other legal capital raising method. In terms of direct fees, we plan on charging issuers a small percentage of the total amount they raise (1-3% dependent on the total raised). Once a token has been distributed and is trading on the ATS, companies are charged a quarterly membership fee of $2,500 for maintaining their order book.
Indirect fees not charged by Prometheum can vary and are related to legal and prep for the creation of the Reg A documents, accounting, auditing, marketing, and other possible professional services.
SST will be Reg A+ issued. For investors who are not familiar with this legislation and what does it mean? Could you explain the benefits?
Regulation A+ allows issuers to raise up to $50 million from the general public annually, and such securities, when issued, are freely tradeable on a secondary market. Reg A+ is really the perfect regulation for issuing blockchain securities as it meets the spirit that was initially conceived by the crypto community- it allows the general public to invest, and the asset is freely tradeable upon distribution but in a regulated manner (unlike many historical token investments).
Tokens that are created on your platform will then be tradeable on a custom ATS (Alternative Trading System). Could you elaborate on how your ATS will operate?
On the surface, the ATS operates just like a traditional equities electronic market. Every token has as order book representing supply and demand for that token – bids (what buyers are willing to pay, and the number of tokens they want) and asks (offers to sell, or what sellers are willing to sell for, and the number of tokens they want to sell). This order book is managed by the matching engine which uses an algorithm to arrange the bids and asks into a price, upon the price quote the engine then utilizes time priority, and ultimately “matches” buyers and sellers when they meet at the same price. There is an online trading platform, similar to Etrade or Schwabb, which allows traders and investors to see the order book, look at charts, enter orders and see their account status and previous transactions. Through the use of omnibus accounts, other broker-dealers will be able to offer their customers access to SSTs. Our ATS intends to operate 2 sessions everyday, both 11 ½ hours long with two 30 minute breaks for settlement. When there is an executed trade, meaning an order between a buyer and seller is matched, the trade is written to the blockchain, as well as recorded to a database to ensure compliance with traditional record keeping.
Are SST tokens launched on your platform tradeable on regular security token trading exchanges such as OpenFinance and tZERO?
SSTs are compatible with Prometheum’s ATS and work as both securities and utility tokens in the Prometheum ecosystem. It may be possible for SST issuers to create a bridge to other exchanges or blockchains by building smart contracts on the Prometheum Utility Blockchain. As the equivalent of a national market system for digital assets develops it will likely be necessary for digital assets to have the ability to trade across security token exchanges and alternative trading systems.
What are Ember (MBR) tokens and what role do they play in this project?
The Ember SST fuels all SST transactions and allows holders to provide services at the protocol and application layers. Prometheum’s Ember token has both profit-making utility (work/access) and proprietary payment currency features. Ember provides the fuel for the Prometheum blockchain Network and demonstrates the versatility and value provided by a modern approach to using securities to transfer value in a decentralized, blockchain based environment. Ember is the first SST issued on the Prometheum Blockchain and sets the legal and technical precedent for further SSTs.
It seems like you are building everything from scratch, why not use an existing blockchain?
The Prometheum blockchain is required in order to ensure that regulatory requirements are met while also providing a viable method for the use of blockchain securities as utility tokens. This includes direct interaction with distributed applications as well as processes for moving blockchain securities in and out of brokerage accounts when a user wishes to trade them on the Prometheum ATS.
Is there anything else that you would like to tell us about Prometheum?
Prometheum is creating the market infrastructure needed for digital assets to go mainstream. When the SEC essentially declared that tokens were securities in the 2017 DAO report, such infrastructure didn’t exist, which meant that there were no compliant facilities for the issuance, trading, clearing, settlement and custody of token securities. Prometheum sought to fill that void and is creating the infrastructure that will allow the general public to invest and trade in digital assets, while also providing mechanisms for clearance, settlement and custody after trades are made. The Prometheum Network is meant to allow the general public to participate, which is required in order for digital assets to go from a new asset class to a mainstream asset class.
DACS to Provide Custodial Services for Fundament Group
In an announcement issued by Fundament Group and Digital Asset Custody Services (DACS), it has been divulged that the pair will soon provide digital asset custody services.
More specifically, DACS will act as custodians on behalf of investors holding Fundament Group’s ‘Real Estate Security Token’.
Institutional grade custodial services have long been noted as one of the major hurdles between where the digital securities sector currently stands, and its potential.
DACS notes, in their announcement, that the services which they offer are specifically aimed towards large clients. They list the following groups as examples of those they expect to serve.
- Insurance Providers
- Pension Funds
- Family Offices
The technology used, in making these services possible, were developed through a strategic partnership between DACS and IBM. When this took place, DACS Cofounder, Brad Chun, commented,
“As adoption of crypto custody, exchange and blockchain-as-a-service increases, our potential market will only expand. We’re teaming up with IBM to take the DACS platform to market fast, opening up entirely new value proposition for both of our organization worldwide.”
Upon announcing this new partnership, DACS Cofounder, Neil Fillary, took the time to comment. The following is what he had to say on the matter.
“Fundament Securities is on track to bring institutional players into the space of decentralized finance. Smart contracts and digital-asset technologies are set to transform the way enterprises across industries do business. Now with our digital asset custody solution, Fundament’s underlying infrastructure can help bring security, and accessibility in the crypto-asset market to new heights.”
Fundament Group is a Berlin, Germany, based company, which was founded in 2018. Above all, the team at Fundament Group has worked to develop a suite of services meant to act as a comprehensive tokenization platform.
CEO, Thomas Ermel, currently oversees company operations.
Digital Asset Custody Services
Operating out of Boat Quay, Singapore, DACS is a custody service provider which was founded in 2018. In their short time in operation, the company has managed to establish multiple high profile relationships with companies such as IBM, and LG, on route to developing their custodial platform.
In Other News
Over the past few months, we have reported on Fundament Group’s actions various times. This includes multiple events which will see hundreds of millions worth of real estate undergo tokenization through their platform. The following articles take a look at these events, and the role that Fundament Group will place.
Knabu to Utilize IdentityMind and Factom in Pilot Program
It was recently announced, in a statement made to CoinDesk, that a trio of blockchain based companies will be taking part in an upcoming pilot program together. Factom, Knabu, and IdentityMind, will each play their respective roles in the pilot, which will test the viability for blockchain as a replacement traditional banking technologies.
In this alliance, Knabu will facilitate the pilot, while records are recorded on the Factom blockchain, with IdentityMind mind performing KYC and KYB checks.
The purpose of the pilot is based upon the elimination of efficiencies inherent to the banking system’s current method of doing things. These inefficiencies arise in the various functions still reliant upon manual completion – such as client onboarding measures, like KYC checks.
Knabu CEO, Gabrielle Patrick told CoinDesk that, “…the average cost of regulatory compliance for a bank is about 30% of its budget…We’re a blockchain-first company and felt that it was necessary to demonstrate the features that can remodel that.”
UK Banking Licence
While this endeavour is simply a pilot, it sheds light upon how Knabu will approach finance if successfully approved as a licenced U.K bank.
Knabu indicates that the goal of becoming a bank stems from, what can only be interpreted as, a shunning of the blockchain and DLT sectors by traditional banks. With companies worldwide involved in these sectors often being denied financial services, Knabu believes that they not only require, but deserve, an advocate that will serve them.
In announcing the launch of this pilot program, representatives from each, Factom and Knabu, took the time to comment. The following is what each had to say on the development discussed here today.
Gabrielle Patrick, CEO of Knabu, stated,
“The purpose of the pilot is to start proving some of the efficiencies that blockchain brings – specifically as core infrastructure for a bank. The average cost of regulatory compliance for a bank is about 30 percent of its budget. We’re a blockchain-first company and felt that it was necessary to demonstrate the features that can remodel that.”
Carl DiClementi, VP of Product at Factom, stated,
“This allows us to be able to borrow the security that you get from the power of the bitcoin and ethereum blockchains to verify that your data is what you claim it to be.”
While the announcement of this pilot program is a very positive development, Factom has experienced negative news this month, as well.
Unfortunately, a large majority of the trading volume for their utility token, FCT or ‘Factoids’, took place on the popular cryptocurrency exchange, Poloniex. This is unfortunate, because it was recently announced by the exchange that they would be ‘spinning-out’ from Boston based, Circle, and that this would see the company cease offering its services for U.S. based clients. This move had a greater effect on FCT than most, as the token is listed on very few exchanges.
While this news was definitely not positive in nature, Factom remains a very interesting, and potential laden company, – as made evident through their continued relationships with government entities such as DHS, large grant programs, and now a, soon-to-be, U.K. based bank.
Operating out of London, Knabu is a blockchain company which was founded in 2017. Above all, the team at Knabu is working to develop services to help ‘bank the unbanked’.
CEO, Gabrielle Patrick, currently oversees company operations.
Founded in 2014, Factom is a ‘blockchain innovations’ company, which maintains operations in Austin, Texas. Since their inception, Factom has managed to establish themselves as an industry fixture. This has been achieved through various impressive achievements over the years, which include partnerships with, not only government entities, but large private companies. Their efforts have also resulted in them being the recipients of high-profile grants, such as that from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
CEO, Paul Snow, currently oversees company operations.
Based in Palo Alto, California, IdentityMind was founded in 2013. Above all, the company works towards developing, and providing, services aimed towards the prevention of fraud and nefarious activity.
CEO, Garrett Gafke, currently oversees company operations.