We present the design of Abacus, a permissionless protocol for services that facilitate the issuance, administration, and settlement of tokenized financial instruments on the blockchain. The protocol re-places what central middlemen do in today's finance industry with smaller, more modular services such as identity verification, compliance checks, and collateral appraisal. These services are executed through smart contracts on the protocol, lowering fees and reducing transaction times. Abacus keeps track of data attested by the aforementioned services through an on-chain storage layer, which allows data to be reused across all assets, services and marketplaces within the Abacus Ecosystem. The protocol itself does not impose any costs on its users— fees are only incurred when users request rent-seeking services per-formed outside of the blockchain. Decentralized governance is used for the curation of service providers on Abacus and ensures that the expansion of the protocol aligns with the needs of its stakeholders.
Abacus enables a third liquidity option for companies, funds, and REITs to give to their employees, LPs, and investors: through secondary markets for tokenized securities.