A new firm is opening a marketplace for accredited investors to trade equity stakes into blockchain startups.
The marketplace will join other ways to put money into blockchain startups, including investing in tokens issued by the companies or in various indexes and funds tracking the digital currencies. It will also compete with the NASDAQ Private Market, although its focus will be on blockchain and FinTech companies.
“By year-end, we could have 50 percent of the major companies in the sector on our platform,” said CEO Simon Dixon.
BnkToTheFuture has already helped some 45,000 accredited investors from around the world invest more than $200 million. In addition, the company has allowed investors to buy equity in more than 100 companies and projects, including Ethereum and Storj, although selling those stakes can be difficult. The new secondary market will use the blockchain to allow such trading.
Equity-backed tokens will be bought and sold via a technology built on top of the Ethereum blockchain. Next year, BnkToTheFuture will issue a token that is expected to allow people to pay for deal analysis, due diligence and investor relations.
BnkToTheFuture, which hopes to raise as much as $33 million in an ICO planned for next February, is registered in the Cayman Islands and holds a stake in a broker-dealer. The company also holds equity in companies, such as cryptocurrency exchanges Bitstamp and Kraken, trading on its platform.
“Their investment opportunities are vetted quite extensively, and it seems only very few get accepted judging from the amount of investments that pass through their platform,” said Majid Shah, co-founder of CoinSchedule and a longtime user of BnkToTheFuture. “I would say they provide a lower-return but lower-risk way of investing into the blockchain space, whereas ICOs are more high return, high risk.”