As we understand, you started your business as a cryptocurrency exchange, including ICO coins. Now you run your own platform for the release and conduct of STO. What is the reason for such business expansion? Is it dictated by the hype wave or do you really see the potential in the tokenization of assets?
The post-ICO landscape is marked by new, very important trends. One of those is Security Token Offerings — probably the strongest trend for 2019. And we’re doing everything to embrace it. In fact, LATOKEN is one of the first cryptocurrency trading platforms allowing companies to launch STOs for accredited investors outside the US and some other countries. We’ve partnered up with a licensed broker to make it all possible. Secondary trading of security tokens is also available on LATOKEN. At the moment, there are four security tokens already being traded on our platform. Moreover, we’re about to launch the very first full STO. You can read more about it here.
Currently, not everyone has access to a wide range of assets to invest. Tokenization will certainly change that, providing investors with plenty of new investment opportunities. For example, Apple shares could be tokenized, and Chinese investors could buy them, something barely impossible in today’s world. We expect the field of tokenized assets to grow rapidly within the next five years. The reason? Their great convenience to investors.
ICOs were in great demand among ordinary people, not professionals. How to explain to the same ordinary person in a short and comprehensible way what is STO and Security Tokens?
I think ICO model is still actual. But if you attach equity to your token then it will make it more attractive for the investors. The guys who invested in utility tokens they anticipated these currencies to conquer future global market. It is like a .com bubble. Thousands of companies and one of them will be the biggest one in the world in terms of capitalisation. The same is with blockchain. I believe that among all of these startups there is a leader for the future. To be more concrete: the security token you have will guarantee that you will get significant benefits as soon as company becomes a market leader. It is what makes security tokens a more safe way of investments in comparison with ICOs.
What are the technical features and differences of STO tokens from ICO tokens. Can you say that the release of new tokens is more difficult or is it a similar procedure? Do you plan to introduce your own type of tokens?
Actually the biggest difference is on the legal side. From this point of view it is more difficult to conduct STO than ICO as you have to bypass SEC’s “Reg D” or “Reg S” regulation. But at the same time the legal side makes security tokens more attractive to investors as their rights are protected. Yes, we are going to introduce our own type of tokens soon. They are going to be built on our own blockchain protocol named “LACHAIN”.
Since you are also an exchange – will you place security tokens on the exchange for trading? Maybe you run a separate exchange for their trade, because they have some legal differences.
From the legal point of view, there should be a broker dealer partner to issue security token and secondly there should be qualified investors. This works for most of the countries. We have this infrastructure within a LATOKEN ecosystem. There are already 5 listed security tokens on our exchange. We are one of the pioneers in security tokens listings. Moreover we can provide client with a full service of security token launching on LATOKEN.
What are your plans for the near future?
We want to be #1 exchange for transborder money and assets market. We build infrastructure which is can afford to reach this place within such a huge market. We are also developing our own blockchain which can serve this transborder payment system.
A few words about you. What is your role in the company? How did you find yourself in this company and in the blockchain field in particular?
Being a CEO and founder of LATOKEN my role is to define our objectives and to inspire our team to reach them. Speaking about crypto community generally – as for me it is a big pleasure to be in center of blockchain technology development and implementation throughout the World. On behalf of LATOKEN we annually organize BEF (Blockchain Economic Forum). The last one was held in Davos in January during the same dates as World and gathered such distinguished participants as: Rosen Plevneliev, Nouriel Roubini, Laura Tyson, Alex Cukierman, Anthony Scaramucci, Tim Draper and many others. I am determined that we bring a significant value to cryptocommunity worldwide by providing such events.
If you had the opportunity to tokenize the shares of any company in the world, what kind of company would it be and why?
There is another big trend this year – it is stablecoins. Nowadays, people need fiat currency to purchase food and goods in most countries. If they have crypto, they are forced to exchange it, rather than use it directly for day-to-day operations. Here is where stablecoins come into play. Their stability makes them a great digital alternative for the regular user, to send and receive money. LATOKEN has already listed 7 different currencies: US Dollar (USDL), Euro (EURL), Indian Rupee (RUPL), British Pound (GBPL) Swiss Franc (CHFL), Argentinean Peso (ARSL), Brazilian Real (BRLL). Users can simply log in, put British Pounds, get Rupees or exchange them for any other currencies on our marketplace, no matter where they are, and it’s all done at the blink of an eye. Stablecoins are extremely convenient and useful for the transborder transactions.
To answer your question: choosing the company to tokenize I would prefer to tokenize fiat currencies. And it is what we are already doing in LATOKEN.