After a week of scheduling and rescheduling, NewsBTC finally sat across with Vladimir Smerkis, the co-founder of Tokenbox, and discussed the future of tokenized funds in the new age markets. As the conversation matured, Vladimir opened up about the practicality, as well as the legal structure around the tokenized fund market. He also elaborated Tokenbox in a nutshell. Here are some of the key excerpts from our interview:
Yashu Gola: Before we begin, could you tell us a bit about your professional background?
Vladimir Smerkis: I am the co-founder of Tokenbox and of its sister company, The Token Fund, and is a managing partner in both.
During The Token Fund’s six months of trading, I have overseen the fund’s appreciation of more than 450%. My statements have been widely quoted in the trade and general media, including Cointelegraph and Forbes Russia. I was described by Forbes last month as one of the top cryptocurrency investment experts in the market.
I previously founded a digital media agency in 2012, and a broader product development/marketing consultancy in 2016. I have held high level positions in agency, media, and marketing companies for the past 15 years. I am the former deputy vice-president for international development at one of the biggest European internet holdings Mail.ru Group. I have a vast experience in digital technology and marketing.
What prompted you to launch Tokenbox?
In March 2017, we launched The Token Fund, one of the first coin-traded funds on the market. The model proved successful, fast. Hedge funds and investors worldwide,from Switzerland to Kazakhstan began reaching out, asking to white-label the system for use on their local markets.
The feedback got us thinking. As opposed to licensing the software out to foreign investors and institutions, why not just build a turnkey platform for international users? That is exactly what we are doing.
But you’re not exactly the first one to propose a tokenized fund. How is your platform different from others?
There are certain projects that already exist. What we need to work on is the legal functionality, like creating entities that will enable issuing sub-licenses to traders and funds that want to use the platform, this is what people’s been asking quite a lot for. And in the end, tarting up the UI of it all. We’re aimed to become a cross-platform solution that works on all operating systems and all phones.
TBX advantage is a combination of those 4 put together:
Legal transparency and KYC
New trading terminal for a perfectly balanced portfolio
Market liquidity solution
Could you give us a quick overview of the tools Tokenbox offers?
Tokenbox is an ecosystem aiming to solve all these current crypto market issues and insecurities at one place.
Traders and funds will be tokenized through the system’s web interface and be legalized through the system’s umbrella license. They will then gain access to a large community of already Know-Your-Customer, or KYC, authorized investors. Meanwhile, for their part, investors will get access to a wide range of funds and traders, which have already gone through all the Tokenbox’s strict due-diligence procedures. Some of the key features of our platform include: Access to umbrella fund; KYC/AML Compliance; Mutual Settlements; Greater Liquidity; Software for investment management; Access to the market of ICO-campaigns; Marketing support; Rating System; Secure, integrated gateway to the fiat banking system; Multi-currency wallet; Multi-level security; Client protection; Advisory service; amongst many others.
How do you propose to tackle the regulatory challenges, as you expand? How do you ensure that the funds you are working with are legally-compliant?
There is of course the issue of legality: it’s hard to legalize them completely. We’re planning to solve this problem by registering an umbrella fund that will sublicense to other funds and individual traders. Traders and other funds that want in will have to pass KYC verifications etc., so it’s not going to be like eToro where anyone can start their own fund or become a trader on the system. Our approach solves this issue.
Now, on the tech side of things. It’s obvious that terminals like MetaTrader that are used in classic trading aren’t suitable for crypto-trading. There’s also the issue of liquidity. Crypto exchanges set rather tight input/output limits, even after KYC checks — can be as low as $25,000. When we’re talking about large players that want to be in this business, this amount is laughably tiny, and this is a real problem that we solve. Of course, there’s a global issue of fiat money input and banking transactions within the economy. We’re planning to solve that, too. So, we’re talking tech, legal issues, market liquidity, and tokenization.
In your opinion what is the current health of the global cryptocurrency system? Are there hidden stress points which have not been priced in by the markets?
Right now, the market is still is in its infancy. Some great minds have made great strides and people are making enormous returns on modest investments. But we need to look beyond individuals and build a system that the wider world can buy into. We can make new products and perfect the process, turning blockchain into a secure system that can adapt to property deals, banking and more. Blockchain has the potential to change the world on so many levels, and now it’s the time for big business to embrace it. We have to make that easy.
How does one join Tokenbox?
Now, prior to out TGE event to join the crowdsale go to tokenbox.io and click on “Join” button to subscribe.
Once the Alpha version is ready (Q2 2018) for investors it would be 4 easy steps: 1) KYC procedure; 2) Сreate a wallet on the platform; 3) Top-up; and 4) Choose the funds from our rating that matches your strategy and start investing.