Jamie Finn is the President and co-founder of Securitize Inc., one of the fastest growing companies in issuing security tokens. During his nearly 20-year career, he has worked in six countries with startups and corporations and participated in more than $750m worth of transactions including Kontera, Sansa Security, Jajah, Tokbox, RingRing Media and Zingy.
Before co-founding Securitize, Jamie helped grow Aki Technologies from $1m in revenue and eight staffers to one with more than 60 people and tens of millions in revenue. Prior to that, he held executive roles at Ericsson, Telefònica o2, and AT&T.
Securitize An end-to-end platform for issuers that are seeking to tokenize assets
It's me, Adam Chapnick with the Security Token Academy, and we are here with friend of the show, CEO of Securitize, the one and only, Mr. Jamie Finn.
How's it going?
It's been fantastic. Just got in this morning, and it's been quite interesting to see everybody.
Yeah. We're at World Crypto Con in Las Vegas. You guys have done an interesting thing. You've taken over a whole section with a big event that's piggybacking on this for later. How are you feeling about that?
Yeah, this is something we've done. Now it's our second time doing it and we really want to create focus content around the security token industry. We feel like it's slightly different than the traditional crypto market. Actually, I feel kind of weird saying traditional crypto. But we do feel like pulling it into a smaller room and having a more focused dialogue creates a lot of value for everybody.
Absolutely. What's the plan in terms of this afternoon's event? It's pretty comprehensive. It's a great program. I hate to editorialize, but it seems like it's going to be great.
Yeah, what we really want to do here is show the whole eco system and really bring everybody to the forefront of who's participating in this eco system. It's not a one company thing. And it's definitely not a winner-take-all market. It takes a whole bunch of people working together to make this market happen. What we're trying to do with this event in particular is to show the eco system and show how all the pieces are there.
Yeah, it's very wise I think to do it that way. I think if you look at a lot of the early new markets that emerge in entrepreneurial, the next generation of anything, there tends to be an it's-all-going-to-be-mine attitude. But then you look at the mature things, like just the financial sector, there's tons of winners. They can compete but they all make tons of money doing very well. I think it's wise to understand that you stay in your lane, you can have all of the success in the world and you need each other. What are some of the components that you're going to include in today's event?
It's kind of the whole life cycle. You start all the way from the actual investor all the way through to the issuer, bringing in custodians, marketplaces, places to trade these things, places to keep them safe, so bringing in the whole eco system together, so that you can show how everything's actually there, and now, what we really need to do is scale the industry.
Right. And so how do you see Securitize's place in that whole ... for people maybe who aren't as familiar with you as anybody else? Where are you guys?
Yes. We're a company that started by issuing our own digital security as Spice VC last summer. What we really see ourselves as is a bit of a trailblazer in so far as we're shipping products, getting it into people's hands. We saw today actually the first trade happen-
Yeah, big deal right.
... which was pretty cool. We're really excited about that happening. We're excited to see how it all develops and so for us, that's a natural next step is let's start to pull the industry together so we can all pool together and really make it happen.
While we're giving you a chance to brag about Securitize, I think deservedly so, there has been a couple developments I thought were interesting in terms of those orig-, sort of the OGs of tokenization, there were a few funds that did it. Spice obviously was one, but there was developments with those other funds. Not to announce it for you but what happened with those that was significant to you guys?
We've been speaking, for example, Blockchain Capital is one of the funds, so they moved over to our platform recently and we did an upgrade of their token for all their token holders. What they were really looking for is as technology evolves it naturally new features and functionality came along, so we develop some new technology in our digital securities protocol that they felt was necessary from a compliance point of view. They came over and asked us to upgrade that which we've done and now, we're looking to do some additional upgrades. Science was announced recently at another event. That's exciting. We'll probably see a couple of the other OGs as you put it on the Security Token Space move over.
I think for us it's a real endorsement-
... of our platform and how far we've come. But there is so much further to go.
Of course, of course. But you've got to take your wins when they happen. That's exciting. Now, in terms of how you see this sort of education impacting the ecosystem, something that I think is interesting is I get to sit ... I often say I'm a caveman among geniuses ... and it's fun because everybody I've talked to is generally an inch wide and a mile deep. You guys do one thing incredibly deeply, and I get to sit an inch deep and a mile wide. But most people in this ecosystem know nothing about something in the ecosystem. I wonder if this might even be the first time that we're getting the whole lifecycle together in a room and trying to say, "oh, that's what you do? We could work together on that," or "We need that." I think it's exciting. Is that part of what you're thinking?
Yeah, we definitely brought a bunch of partners here, but we expect a bunch more partnerships will come out of it. We've invited folks who other people might see as our competitors to come and join the event.
Yeah, I think that's great.
It's very encompassing and inclusive. That's where we need to be right now.
Great. So once this has happened, how do you see that benefiting the space let's say six months from now?
Well, hopefully, we'll have a much more robust market where everybody's roles will be clearly understood and so we'll be able to work more quickly to get these things going.
Right. Now, looking into the thin crystal ball, let's say 12 to 18 months, is the security token, the ecosystem going to be one zillion dollars, is it going to be exactly where it is today, is it going to dry up and go away because of overbearing regulation? What's going to happen?
No, I think realistically it will probably be in the billions of dollars. Just with the issuances that we've been working on, you'll get to those types of numbers. I think what will be interesting in that window, that 18-month window, is how much liquidity gets created and how people create new really creative ways for liquidity. We had a conversation recently with the company that's doing ... they want to basically lend against securities, which makes sense.
Because in the real world today, you can borrow against a real security. Why wouldn't you be able to borrow against a digital security?
That's a huge industry in fact.
Exactly. That's something we think we'll start to see happen, and that's another type of liquidity that maybe people aren't thinking about.
Amazing. Well, you heard it here first. Thank you so much again for joining us. And keep coming back and letting us know what you're seeing.
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