Security Token Academy encourages you to read our
Security Token Insight Featuring STO Spotlight on QuantmRE

Related Videos


Expert Interview


 

Matthew Sullivan

Matthew is the founder and CEO of QuantmRE. He is a serial entrepreneur, author and host of the Hooked On Startups podcast. He worked with Richard Branson’s Corporate Finance Team in the Virgin Group and was a director and trustee of Virgin’s London Air Ambulance.

Matthew went to Westminster School in London, UK and studied Law at Birmingham University before pursuing a career in finance and stockbroking, specializing in the South East Asian markets. In 1997 he founded Europe’s first internet billing application service provider.

Since then he has founded and led companies in the United Kingdom, India, Australia and the United States in the finance, telecommunications, technology, crowdfunding and real estate investment sectors.

Transcript


 

Adam Chapnick:

Welcome to Security Token Insight. Brought to you by the Security Token Academy. The security token industry is here and will provide a key foundation for the evolving financial internet.

Amy Wan:

The Security Token Academy provides insights about this new era for Security Token enthusiasts, investors and issuers. The security token industry is here and you can get involved.

Adam Chapnick:

Hey, everybody, I’m Adam Chapnick.

Amy Wan:

And I’m Amy Wan. Thanks for joining us. Coming up on today’s episode of Security Token Insight, in your security token investment-ese, details on Harbor’s STO. Plus Quantum RE is in this week’s STO Spotlight. We’ll introduce you to the founder, Matthew Sullivan. Also, we’ve got an expert interview with securities attorney, Marty Tate. And we’ll let you know the date of our next security token meet up. That and more is straight ahead.

Adam Chapnick:

Now it’s time for your security token investment news. Security token platform, Harbor, launches it’s STO. The security token offering involves a new multi-million dollar off-campus mega dorm at the University of South Carolina. The Hub at Columbia will be divided into 955 tokens, valued at $21,000 apiece. You can find more details on Harbor’s website, Harbor.com. By the way, Harbor is a gold corporate member of Security Token Academy.

And in other news, STOs are currently illegal in China. But could that change? The Chief of Beijing’s Municipal Bureau of Finance said, “My only advice is to engage in such offerings when the government has legalized them.” You may recall China took measures to ban ICOs last year. We will monitor the latest developments and bring you updates here on Security Token Insight. And by the way, you can learn about the latest regulatory rulings from around the world on our website. Just click on the LEARN tab and select REGULATORY.

Amy Wan:

Now it’s time for our STO Spotlight. This is where we introduce you to a company that has launched or will be launching a security token offering.

Adam Chapnick:

Quantum RE is in this week’s STO spotlight. The company enables home owners to release the value of the equity that’s locked up in their homes without taking on more debt. Before we meet the founder, let’s learn a little more about Quantum RE.

Matthew Sullivan:

Hello, my name is Matthew Sullivan. And I’m the Founder and Chief Executive of Quantum RE. I’m excited to tell you about how we are revolutionizing real estate by bringing it onto the block chain with cryptic currency. Let me tell you about how we started, what we’re doing, and where we’re going.

I started Quantum RE because there was something critical missing in cryptic currencies. And what was missing was the fact that they’re not backed by anything. So if you take real estate, people understand real estate. You can touch it, you can feel it. It’s physical, it’s real. There are so many benefits with cryptic currencies, but to marry the two together, that to me, seemed the ultimate solution.

Amy Wan:

Joining us now is the Founder of Quantum RE, Matthew Sullivan.

Adam Chapnick:

Thanks so much for being here today, Matthew!

Matthew Sullivan:

Thank you for having me. It’s a pleasure to be on.

Adam Chapnick:

Yes, so returning champion to the show. So a lot’s been going on since the last time we talked to you. I think it was at a meet up.

Matthew Sullivan:

Yes.

Adam Chapnick:

But before we get to all the big news, why don’t you tell everybody how exactly does Quantum RE go about tokenizing residential real estate?

Matthew Sullivan:

Well, what we do is, we help home owners release the equity that’s tied up in their homes. And what that does, is that creates a real estate asset. And in order to enable people to invest in that asset, we put it into a real estate investment trust structure. And rather than issuing shares, which are traditional securities, we issue tokens. And those token can then be traded on platforms nationally and internationally. So if you go through that process, the token represents ownership in that pool of equity interests in single family homes.

Adam Chapnick:

You know, in many of our interviews you’ve often mentioned the phrase, equity freedom. What does that phrase mean?

Matthew Sullivan:

It’s something that really bothered us. Because as a home owner, having spent years paying off your mortgage, to be able to go back and have to go to a bank on bended knee to borrow money to release some of the value, just seemed to us to be an entirely inappropriate way of releasing the equity that’s locked up in your home. So the concept of freedom just emerged out of when we were discussing what we were doing, trying to find words that describe what we’re doing, and freedom was the more appropriate word. Because it’s the freedom of having to be tied up with banks and having to go back and borrow money. It’s freedom to spend the money on whatever you want. And it’s really the freedom to use the value you’ve built up over those years without having to take on additional debt or have those monstrous interest payments every month.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah, so you guys recently announced that you’re partnering with Securrency to accomplish a whole bunch of things.

Matthew Sullivan:

Yes.

Adam Chapnick:

Can you tell us a little bit more about that partnership?

Matthew Sullivan:

Yes, now securities is a rather complicated business.

Adam Chapnick:

Yes.

Matthew Sullivan:

And we went into this with our eyes open. So on the team we have a number of highly experienced people in securities and real estate. So none of this was a surprise to us. But effectively, what we’re doing, along with many other people in the security space, is building a parallel securities environment. We’re not trying to replace the existing 69 trillion dollar global stock market. But if you were ever going to build a new settlement system, and a new securities system, you’d probably build it on block chain.

Now, in order to do that, we need partners. We can’t do all of it on our own. And Securrency provides us with some critical components that enable our tokens to trade and move from owner to owner globally in a compliant way. So that’s a massive undertaking. So we’re delighted to be working with some of the smartest people that I’ve met, to help us achieve that objective.

Adam Chapnick:

Are you familiar with their structure that involves a stable coin in that process? Are you familiar with that?

Matthew Sullivan:

Yes. I mean, these are some of the smartest guys that we’ve up with.

Adam Chapnick:

We love them, yes.

Matthew Sullivan:

But the mechanism of changing and swapping dynamically one token with another token, happening at the speed of light, that enables you to be compliant in one jurisdiction, then if you sell in the UK to a US person, being able to dynamically swap those tokens behind the scenes ... That’s a really smart technology there. So we’re using that technology, they help us get to market. And that’s really the benefit of that true partnership.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah, absolutely.

Amy Wan:

Very complex, very difficult sounding. You’re also partnering with Prime Trust, which is a custodian. And the reason for that is so that your investors can buy security tokens without needing a digital wallet. Can you tell us a little bit more about that partnership?

Matthew Sullivan:

Yes, one of the main reasons we’re partnering with Prime Trust is to solve one of the biggest challenges as an owner of cryptic currency. In other words, where do I put this stuff? If I own cash, it goes in the bank. But if you’re an institutional investor or any type of investor, in order to be able to buy a tokenized security, you have to set up a wallet. You then have to become involved in all of the security issues associated with that.

Now you don’t need to do that in the traditional world with shares, because you have companies like Prime Trust that hold the shares for you. So what we’re doing is we’re really simplifying the process. And we’re applying methodologies that are used in every day securities. And thankfully, Prime Trust are at the forefront of these types of developments. And they’ve created a system that allows our investors to hold their shares in a regulated, insured custodian account. So they don’t have to worry about the security issue of finding their own wallet.

Adam Chapnick:

So, let’s talk about the STO and perse, it’s now live.

Matthew Sullivan:

Yes.

Adam Chapnick:

So, who’s able to invest and how much are you trying to raise?

Matthew Sullivan:

Any accredited investor based in the United States, as part of phase one of our platform. And the reason there are a number of phases, is we’re working in conjunction with the SEC and there are various roles that obviously we have to adhere to. That means there’s a stage process. So today, any accredited investor in the US can go online, can go through the process and they can buy EQRE, which is our asset backed token.

We have our regulation A+ filing with the SEC. It’s been cooking there in the background for the last two months. So as soon as that’s qualified, any non-accredited investor can also participate. And between those two dates, we’ll be opening up the market to non-US persons. So we’ve got a few challenges that we’ve set ourselves over the next few months, but there will be this cascade of opportunities for people around the world to be able to buy into this asset class with what we hope will be a liquidity traded instrument, which would be our asset backed token.

Amy Wan:

So, you are primarily working in the single family residential real estate space?

Matthew Sullivan:

Yes.

Amy Wan:

What makes that space so prime for an investment? And how does all this differ from commercial real estate?

Matthew Sullivan:

For a start, residential real estate is a huge asset class. So there’s over 32 trillion dollars-worth of single family, owner occupied real estate in the United States. It’s also an asset class that’s very well understood. There’s a number of industries, like the Kay Shiller Index that report on the movement of house prices. And also, it’s an asset that people understand themselves. I live in a home.

From an equity perspective, nearly half of that 32 trillion dollars is in equity. So there’s over 15 trillion dollars-worth of equity that’s locked up in people’s homes. So for a start, there’s a big enough asset class to keep us busy for some time. Secondly, and most importantly, is scalability. In any commercial deal, it’s very difficult to get good quality deal time after time after time. The smaller deals tend to be low quality and you have all sorts of issues with adverse selection. In other words, is this a great deal? Or am I doing it because I’ve got so much cash, I need to find a home for it?

The thing with residential properties, with the way that our contract works, is that we can crank the handle and literally have house after house after house coming through our process, where each one of those deals, having gone through an origination process, is a high quality deal. Because we don’t need to find 10 million dollar or 100 million dollar investments. We can put $100,000 or $200,000 there. And it represents an interest in a performing asset. So scalability is critical. It’s ideally suited to us in that respect. And also, there’s the social impact. In other words, let’s do something that actually creates a movement, that creates this freedom for people. So single family equity solves all of those problems and achieves all of those objectives for us.

Adam Chapnick:

I’ve had some questions as I’ve talked about this, as you know from the past. This was always one of those things ... When is someone going to do this? But I think when I talked about it, we used the term shared equity release, right?

Matthew Sullivan:

Yes.

Adam Chapnick:

So, people ask me, how is that different from a reverse mortgage? Can you speak to that?

Matthew Sullivan:

Yes. The fundamental difference is that there’s no debt. And people view debt in a number of different ways. And debt is a very useful thing as part of the overall economy. But most people, if you ask them the question, “Is debt a good thing?” The overall answer is, “There’s no such thing as good debt.” So if there is a way of helping people take some chips off the table, take some value in their home without adding a debt component, then that’s the optimal solution.

Now a reverse mortgage is a debt mechanism. So what it does is defer the debt. The debt is still ticking away there in the background. You’re still adding interest, but it’s being hidden. It’s accrued. You don’t have to pay it. It’s buy now or pay later. It’s that scenario. But without a program with equity release, you’re simply selling something that you already own at today’s price. So that means you’re not adding debt. And that factor makes it so different in terms of how it’s viewed by people. In other words, I don’t want to take on more debt. Well, in our situation, you don’t have to. And that’s the fundamental difference.

Amy Wan:

So, can these home owners actually one day be able to buy back their shared equity?

Matthew Sullivan:

Yes, they can. Absolutely. What we don’t want to do is put a home owner in any position where they are worse off because of what we’re doing.

Amy Wan:

Right.

Matthew Sullivan:

Now for us, we run a business. So we’re saying we’re giving you some money in exchange for an asset. But obviously, if you wanted to buy that asset back, you’re able to do so as long as we don’t lose out. So there’s a minimum period. If you pay us back within the first two years, we fix the price, which there’s a 10% pre-payment charge to you. But anytime between that period and 30 years, so you’ve got 30 years to either sell or refinance your home. You refinance at the market price and we decide that market price by sending an appraiser.

Amy Wan:

Interesting. And so, let’s say that a home actually sells for a profit. What percentage does Quantum RE take?

Matthew Sullivan:

So we take a ... It’s a calculation that’s based on the percentage of the value of the home at the time that the contract is written. So for the sake of argument, if you have a million dollar home and we buy $100,000 worth of equity, that represents a potential future appreciation. But it’s 10% of the value of your home. So that $100,000, we write you a check for $100,000, we take that asset. When you sell your home ... Let’s say you sell your home for 1.1 million. When you sell the home, $100,000 of the sales proceeds comes to us. That pays us back. We then take 2.5 times the percentage that we originally released, so that’s 25% and we apply that to the increase in value.

So if your house has gone up by $100,000 we take 25% of that $100,000. So our return is to get our $100,000 back plus our profit is that $25,000. So that’s our return on investment, because we’re sharing in the property. If you sold your house five years later and it didn’t go up, we don’t make any money. And that’s another real difference between what we do and debt. So it is a real partnership.

Adam Chapnick:

So, what’s the responsibility of the home owner to pay the property tax and maintain the property? What happens if, let’s say, the owner is negligent and doesn’t fulfill?

Matthew Sullivan:

Well, we’re partners, so we start off as silent partners. If a home owner stops paying the mortgage, stops paying the property taxes, it effectively puts our asset in jeopardy. We stop being silent partners and we start saying, “Look, as part of our agreement, we’re actually co-owners. Although we’re not owners in your home, we have a shared interest in your property. So part of the agreement is that you have to keep up these payments.”

Now things happen to people, and we want to understand that circumstances change. So we have the right within our contract to be able to step in and help you out. So if you’re running short of capital, maybe we can help you release more equity that gets you over that hump. If you’re really in dire straights, maybe we can help by taking over the mortgage payments whilst you’re trying to find a buyer at a market price, rather than having to sell your house at a much lower price. So there’s a number of protections that we have that are built into the contract, but it’s up to us to decide how we apply those. And every case is different.

Amy Wan:

Very interesting. So I’m an attorney, so forgive the morbid question, but it’s one I have to ask, right?

Matthew Sullivan:

Yes.

Amy Wan:

So, what happens if the home owner dies?

Matthew Sullivan:

That’s an event that triggers the close of the contract. So in other words, at that point, the contract terminates as if it was sold and we send an appraiser as part of the normal process when houses are sold or normally change hands. So we do ... And this comes from the experience that the team has over the last 10 years of originating over 300 of these transactions. So we’ve been through all these different scenarios. And the best scenario for everyone in terms of clarity, is to say that if there is unfortunately a death in that situation, then let’s try and have a clean break. And obviously, we’ll try and assist you as far as possible in that process.

Adam Chapnick:

Fantastic. Well, Matthew Sullivan, CEO and Founder of Quantum RE, thanks again for being with us. We wish you guys the best of luck. You’ll have to come back and tell us all about how the STO is going.

Matthew Sullivan:

Adam Chapnick, thank you for having me on. It’s been a pleasure.

Adam Chapnick:

You can find out more information on Quantum RE on their website, QuantumRE.com.

Amy Wan:

The Security Token Academy is on the leading edge of the security token industry. We’ve interviewed the top experts, lawyers and business leaders from around the world. Today’s expert interview is with securities attorney, Marty Tate. He’s partner at Carman, Tate, Lenhof, Israelsen LLP. He specializes in corporate finance, fintech and securities and has a unique insight into security token regulations and more. Take a look.

You are an attorney. What firm are you at?

Marty Tate:

So I’m with Carman, Tate, Lenhof, Israelsen. We’re a boutique securities finance firm based in Salt Lake City. We have offices in Palo Alto and Portland, Oregon as well.

Amy Wan:

Fantastic. So the SEC and the CFTC have in some ways are almost going a little head to head. Each are coming out with their own clarification and guidance. Can you give us an up to date primer on the CFTC’s position on security tokens or the token industry in general?

Marty Tate:

Yeah, so the CFTC has been pretty consistent. And I think there’s a little bit of a turf war that’s happened between regulators. You see, not only the SEC but the IRS has a position, as well as the CFTC. And they’ve been pretty constant. I think since 2015, they’ve said virtual currencies constitute a commodity. That position has been reiterated multiple times over the past few years. And there’s been a recent course case within the last month, where a district court basically confirmed that ruling that virtual currencies or digital assets are commodities for CFTC purposes.

Now when that happened, I had a lot of clients call me and say, “What does this mean? How does this affect us?” It doesn’t ... My first reaction was, “I’m not sure. Let’s figure that out.” Because it depends on what they’re doing. But the CFTC really only cares, that really only matters if you’re engaging in some sort of derivative contract, a future contract. It doesn’t relate to spot sales, which is what’s happening on most exchanges. So from that aspect, you don’t need to go out and worry that you’re complying with the commodities rules.

The other spot where it does come into effect, and this is where we’ve seen action by the CFTC, is if there’s been fraud. And in a number of cases in some of these lawsuits that we’ve seen or enforcement actions, there’s been fraud by the issuer. And the CFTC says, in those cases, we’ll come in and we can bring an action. I think that, again, there’s a little bit of a turf war. I don’t know how much the SEC really cares about that. I’m sure they’re happy to have the help. And juxtapose that with what Commissioner Clayton has said, I have yet to see an ICO that’s not a security. And we’ve had clients say, “Is it a security? Is it a commodity? Is it a currency?” And the fact is, it could be all of those things, or none.

Amy Wan:

It’s not mutually exclusive, right?

Marty Tate:

Correct, yeah. You could have an offering that’s done and issues a token sale. And that could start off by a sale of a security. The CFTC could say, “Hey, there’s fraud. We think it’s a commodity. We’re going to investigate.” And in New York, they might say, “Hey, that’s a currency and you need a bit license.” So yeah. It’s clear as mud.

Amy Wan:

I mean, this is all very much regulatory soup. And I think for smaller companies, privately held companies, start-ups, it can be very confusing. But also become very costly to figure out, “How do I comply with all these regulations? When do I know if I’m a commodity, a security, if all these different regulators apply? What gives?”

Marty Tate:

That is a great question, Amy Wan. What does give? And we get this a lot. I have a client that’s doing an offering now and they ... We went through this analysis and for all intents and purposes, their token, it functions like a currency. It has value within their eco system, you can buy products, it’s used to basically engage in commerce on their platform. It looks like a currency. The sale of that, though, could be deemed as a sale of security. And as you can imagine, that not only creates confusion, but it creates a lot of frustration.

What laws do we have to comply with? And even if it was a currency, then we have to say, “Okay, well where can you sell a currency? And what do you need to sell a currency? What licenses? So it is, it’s insanely unclear.

Amy Wan:

So, let’s switch gears for a second and talk Reg A pluses, right? There are a stack of STO-related Reg A pluses on the SEC’s table, but none have been qualified. Why? And how long is it going to take for the first one to get qualified?

Marty Tate:

I don’t know. I have a few of those in the stack. And I would love for those to get through. One of the offerings that we have is almost identical to a regular preferred stock offering that we did for REIT. The only thing that’s really different is that instead of the preferred stock being Series B, it’s Series T for tokens and the company plans on tokenizing it. And you would think that would be something that they would just look at and say, “Great.”

Amy Wan:

That’s an easy one.

Marty Tate:

We’ve already approved this format. We know you guys, all the players are the same. But it’s sitting on their desk. We heard earlier today that former Commissioner Cox said that I guess he’s got one on the SEC’s table as well. And he says it’s been in there for almost a year, the better part of 2018. And he says we’ve answered all the questions, we’ve done everything right, and they’re just afraid to approve it.

I think once they do, you would think those flood gates would open. I think they’re just afraid to ...

Amy Wan:

Open the flood gates.

Marty Tate:

Open the flood gates, yeah. But I think they’ll have to at some point.

Amy Wan:

Yeah.

Marty Tate:

And once they do, I think that will be a big change in the industry. I think you’ll see in addition to the stacks that are on their table, you’ll see a lot more files. Because of the promise of what a tokenized equity could bring as far as liquidity.

Amy Wan:

So, we are nearing now the end of 2018, so how do you think the space is going to evolve next year in 2019? And do you have a wish for the industry in 2019?

To hear Marty’s answer and the full interview, go to our website SecurityTokenAcademy.com and click on the INTERVIEWS page.

Adam Chapnick:

Thousands of people from around the world attended World Crypto Con in Las Vegas back in October. Security Token Academy was there conducting interviews with some of the biggest names in the security token industry. That’s where we met Juan Cappello. Juan is Co-Founder of Private Advising Group as well as Miami Lab Ventures. He has insight into the big differences between utility and security tokens and more.

What really is the difference between a utility token and a security token now, in light of all of the edicts from Jay Clayton or whoever. Where do we stand?

Juan Pablo Capello:

Well, where we stand is, I think utility tokens are somewhere in the SEC’s mind as likely as finding a unicorn out in the wild. I think the reality is, there is a real case to be made, that you can structure a product and really keep it as a utility token. But that nomenclature doesn’t work anymore. And what you need to do, is you have to say, “Hey, am I pre-selling a product?”

If I’m pre-selling sneakers or Spotify wanted to issue a spot and each spot was worth a song and it was consumable, and most of the people consumed it, no problem.

Adam Chapnick:

Right.

Juan Pablo Capello:

You can do general solicitation, you can have billboards talking about it, you can have 50 Cent tweeting about it, no problem.

Adam Chapnick:

But is that no problem? Is that truly consensus? Or it seems to be no problem?

Juan Pablo Capello:

I’ve 26 years of practicing securities law. I was a principal shareholder at a 2,000 lawyer law firm. And I ran a whole department. And I can tell you that if you work with a capable lawyer who’s actually been a securities lawyer most of his career, not chasing ambulances or doing mortgage foreclosures a few years ago.

Adam Chapnick:

Not that we don’t love personal injury attorneys as well.

Juan Pablo Capello:

Right, but the point is yes. You can definitely structure something as a utility token.

Adam Chapnick:

Okay.

Juan Pablo Capello:

The issue is, it’s not nearly as much fun. Because what you’re not going to be able to do is… raise money. You can do a pre-sale, but you’re not going to be able to raise money, you’re not going to list it on an exchange.

Adam Chapnick:

Right.

Juan Pablo Capello:

The laws of gravity are going to apply to that product.

Adam Chapnick:

Got it, okay. So that’s clear. Now, in the work that you do ... You work with a lot of the high profile players in our tiny, little, but soon to be enormous niche. What are you seeing as sort of the sticking points? Whether it’s regulatory, or if it’s in the formation of a company? Or maybe it’s even in the understanding in the public. Where are the sticking points?

Juan Pablo Capello:

The biggest thing is, there’s been a lot of static or bad advice out there. And so you still have people making mistakes that are very predictable. It’s very difficult to predict who’s going to be successful. But it’s very easy to predict who’s going to crash against the wall.

Adam Chapnick:

Really? Okay, so ...

Juan Pablo Capello:

And the people who are today, US based, the mind of management is in the US. And they’re trying to go to Switzerland to create a foundation to do an ICO. Or they’ll tell me, “I’ve been talking to this amazing lawyer in Malta who says we can just do it there.” They’re missing the big point, which is in the United States, the Securities and Exchange Commission is a bit old fashioned. They have the Securities Act of 1933, the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934. Those acts have not needed giant amendments in the last 80+ years. They’ve worked just fine. And anyone who thinks today that the SEC feels that there needs to be whole sale changes to their rules hasn’t dealt with the SEC.

And so, what I’m seeing from entrepreneurs is, smart entrepreneurs who are working with platforms like Securitize and understand compliance, etc. are really able to take advantage of this market. The people who are trying to position themselves too much as pioneers, they’re going to keep getting the arrows. And those arrows are going to be increasingly painful. Whereas the settlers, the people who are going to do things the compliant way, they really are going to get the land. And they’re not going to have to worry so much about the arrows.

Adam Chapnick:

That is a great metaphor that I have not heard. It’s easy to see it that way, isn’t it?

Juan Pablo Capello:

You don’t want to be a pioneer. You want to be a settler, exactly.

Adam Chapnick:

That’s right. That’s really interesting. So what about in terms of when you’re advising these sorts of core companies that are the building blocks of the industry? Are they running into problems because of some issues with the laws?

Juan Pablo Capello:

Yes. For issuers, for companies that want to issue tokens or issue coins, the rules are fairly clear. We might not like the rules. We might be hoping that the SEC will get off this enforcement kick they’re on and move much more to a compliance. So right now, they’re trying to shut the bad actors down. And people like me are really betting that the SEC is going to start using the crowd funding regs, Rule A+, Rule CF and say basically, “You want to do the equivalent of a quasi ICO? Here’s a path to compliance.”

So for the issuers, things I think are fairly clear. For the people who are trying to create the infrastructure, the trading platforms, the settlement platforms, it’s a mess. That’s a reality that you can spend hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars with the brightest minds who lobby the SEC, etc. And you will get very inconsistent advice. And that’s not good for the industry.

Adam Chapnick:

Right. We want clarity.

Juan Pablo Capello:

And so people like, whether it’s Securitize or Bred, who’s a client of mine... People who are coin based. People like that who are really trying to do things right and create smart infrastructure for this industry, they are really being hampered by a lack of clarity in the rules. But for the issuers, for the actual companies that want to issue tokens, I think the rules are fairly clear at this point.

Adam Chapnick:

Right, well it seems like we would need that clarity to come from the infrastructure so that everybody can ...

Juan Pablo Capello:

One hundred percent.

Adam Chapnick:

We need the tracks for the trains to drive on, right?

Juan Pablo Capello:

The dirty secret is that there’s a lot of vested interest in terms of keeping the financial systems and the regulations as they are.

Adam Chapnick:

Okay.

Juan Pablo Capello:

And most intermediaries don’t love to be disrupted. And one of the things that I think this industry, in its exuberance has sometimes talked a little too much about how it’s going to disintermediate all of the…

Adam Chapnick:

Oh, funny.

Juan Pablo Capello:

What’s the first thing those people do when they hear that?

Adam Chapnick:

Retrench.

Juan Pablo Capello:

They retrench. They do have lobbyists. They are very well connected with the SEC and with a lot of other institutions in Washington. And they’re sending a message that, “Hey, let’s move very slowly here, etc.” I do believe that this industry is going to revolutionize things and dis-intermediate a lot of the current actors, be it the large credit card processing companies, the large exchanges, etc. But those people are going to put up a fight. They’re putting up a fight now by just sending a message to the regulators that things need to move slowly. And I think we’re going to see them retrench even a bit more.

Adam Chapnick:

So given exactly what you’re saying, what do you think the timeline is on that? They’re going to fight back, they’re going to retrench, but then they’re going to get beaten.

Juan Pablo Capello:

Well, let me be optimistic.

Adam Chapnick:

Yeah, let’s be optimistic. What do you think?

Juan Pablo Capello:

So optimistic, I think for issuers and the SEC and the crowd funding Regs and the SEC moving from its enforcement posture to more compliance ... Here’s a path to compliance, I think we’re looking six to nine months. I think that’s going to move reasonably quick.

Adam Chapnick:

That’s very fast.

To watch the full interview with Juan, go to our website, SecurityTokenAcademy.com and click on the INTERVIEWS page.

Amy Wan:

Back in October, the Security Token Academy held events around the nation to signal the kick off of the security token industry. We held security token meet ups in Los Angeles and also in New York City. Attendees who purchased tickets to our two day cruise and conference in New York boarded the Spirit of New York yacht from Chelsea Harbor for an evening cruise along the Hudson River. That was followed by the security token industry launch event inside the Conrad New York. Hundreds of people were in attendance as industry leaders rang the opening bell to signal the official kick off to the security token industry.

Adam Chapnick:

To view all of the videos from Security Token Industry Launch Week, go to our website, SecurityTokenAcademy.com and click on the EVENTS tab and select LAUNCH EVENT VIDEO LIBRARY.

The best part? It’s free and contains a wealth of information. And mark your calendars for our next security token meet up. It takes place Thursday, January 31st inside Magianno’s at the Grove in Los Angeles. Free food, drinks, networking and more. You can find all the details on our website, just click on the EVENTS page.

Amy Wan:

Alright, that’s it for today’s episode. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Telegram and Medium. And don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube page, so you don’t miss out on any of our videos and expert interviews. I’m Amy Wan Juan.

Adam Chapnick:

And I’m Adam Chapnick. And before we go, a big thank you to our platinum corporate members, Merrill Lynch and Securrency. We invite you to learn more about our corporate members by clicking on the DIRECTORY page on our website.

Okay, for everyone here at Security Token Academy, thanks again for watching.

Amy Wan:

Learn about regulations governing crypto currencies and security tokens from around the world with our regulatory review. It’s on our website, SecurityTokenAcademy.com. Click on the LEARN page so you can stay informed.