IOB: Frequently Asked Questions — FAQ
The IOB Shanghai team has collected some of the most common questions asked throughout our many social media platforms (Telegram, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc…). We’ll keep them updated and include new commonly asked questions as they come along. The following sections will help you find the answers you are looking for with links to guides that give further explanations:
IOB is a fintech holding company and a system developer. IOB Smart VC™ and Smart Trading™ build a new financial model on blockchain.
What is IOB LLC?
Legal definition: IOB LLC is an active investment holding company registered in Delaware, USA. IOB currently has two fully-owned subsidiaries: IOB Mesh Technology GmbH in Cologne, Germany and IOB Shanghai Ltd in Shanghai, China.
Business description: IOB is a dynamic fintech company. Starting with its core “traditional” financial business line, the Smart VC™, IOB is evolving from a startup investment vehicle to a full-featured P2P exchange (SmX), to an open-source, permissioned, and peer-to-peer financial network integrator of the ONE Finance Network (the IOB Mesh).
What does IOB do?
- Now — Smart VC™: IOB invests in startups, with a focus on regulated financial, legal, accounting, tax services companies and dApps developers, with the help our Social Investment Platform (SIP);
- Late 2018 — Adding Smart Trading: High-performance algorithmic trading strategies to take advantage of the volatility of crypto markets, and to protect existing holdings by hedging. We currently manage our own funds through our Smart Trading™ System;
- 2019 — Adding Smart Exchange (SmX): P2P exchange trading platform built for sophisticated, experienced and qualified traders. Standard proprietary trading strategies are built-in for automatic trading. Traders can execute their own strategies on the software platform, and also mirror their trades with other ‘top traders’ or 3rd-party trading strategies;
- Late 2019 — Adding IREN: A crypto business alliance of regulated, licensed and legal broker-dealers, trading systems and clearing agents in North America, Europe and Asia;
- 2020 — Adding the IOB Mesh: It is a distributed, rule-based peer-to-peer network that enables all blockchain-based financial transactions fully comply with various local and international regulations.
What does IOB stand for?
The Internet of Bi. Bi is ‘money’ in Chinese.
How did all these get started?
While developing high frequency trading strategies with coders and IT specialists, Yale ReiSoleil discovered something called Bitcoin in early 2013. He was intrigued by it, but not smart enough to buy a load of it when it was dirty cheap. Yale’s conviction in cryptos came when he
published a post on Steemit titled “bitcoin goes to US$50,000–1,000,000 in 10 to 20 years!” in Jul 2016.
He later discussed things related to the venture capital business, cryptocurrencies, and China with JM. They registered ReiSoleil McAfee Zhu Ventures LLC. It was later re-branded as IOB LLC.
In October 2017, while chatting with investors online, Yale was deeply impressed by the knowledge, experience and local influence evidenced by Uwe Zimmer, a financial expert who was one of the earliest champions of cryptos in Germany. They got together and decided to form IOB Mesh Technology GmbH in Cologne, Germany.
Yale feels lucky once again by having another person who is much smarter than himself to help him build the business together.
What are the existing problems IOB is trying to solve?
1.) The old VC model.
The venture capital system has been an integral force in the rapid wave of innovation that has taken place over the last 30 years. Household names like Amazon, Google, Facebook and Uber are all success stories that began as startups with venture capital funding. The model is sound, but the system is starting to show its age. And while the success stories have been amplified for all to observe, the increasing failure of the system to deliver on promises is being swept under the rug.
And what about the funds themselves? The reality is that they aren’t much better at generating returns than the majority of the startups they fund. For more than a decade the stock markets have outperformed most of them, and since 1999 venture capital funds on average have barely broken even. If this trend continues, venture capital will become an increasingly unattractive avenue for investment. Many fund management companies are in the business to make that 2.5% annual fee.
Yale ReiSoleil and the team understand what needs to change. IOB Smart VC™ leverages the power of the crowd wisdom with thousands of community members participating in the investment decision making process through its Social Investment Platform. By managing the investment vehicle like a publicly traded company on the blockchain, IOB eliminates the decades-old management fee scheme.
2.) Crypto trading.
Like any other new financial instrument and emerging market, the cryptocurrency market has been extremely volatile. However, before the first BTC futures contracts were offered by CME, there were virtually no hedging tools available.
We also noticed that majority of the crypto traders were newbies of the financial markets. They are extremely inexperienced but feverishly enthusiastic. We realize the opportunity here, and will move the Smart Trading ahead of our original launching schedule of 2019
3.) Crypto exchanges.
There have been many trading systems/platforms that match buy and sell orders for their customers. They called themselves “exchanges” but up until now, very few are properly licensed or regulated. There is no way to audit their order books, order matching practices, and many of them do not even have a customer service phone number or a physical address listed on their website. The exchanges are not serving their customers properly. Oh, and they are constantly being hacked and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of customers funds were literally lost (some may even be ‘inside jobs,’ as speculated by many people.)
When I was forced to close my account with Coinbase, my ETHs were practically ‘lost’ for 3 days. Luckily, Coinbase was one of the more ‘reputable’ ones. This is madness!
We were also frustrated by the lack of tools in managing our own crypto funds on any exchange, even the new CME futures contracts cannot be adequately used for portfolio hedging due to its high margin requirements, and the lack of futures options.
Out of necessity, we want to build a trading platform that is specifically suitable for sophisticated high frequency traders and institutions.
4.) The old investment banking model.
For centuries, money transfer and financial transactions have remained the opaquest aspects of business and economy, while the cost and timeliness of finance have been prohibitive for most companies and individuals. These costs consist of not only banking, but also legal, accounting, auditing and compliance, and are further multiplied by the extremely fragmented local jurisdiction requirements and practices that are often duplicated and contradictory in nature.
The first application of blockchain technology has been in finance. Yet, the financial institutions refrain from the structural transformation opportunities available and cling to inefficient and arcane operating models which retain profits and pass operating risk on to the individuals and government.
We are building a new open-source, permissioned and secure decentralized and distributed global public finance blockchain that over time will be transformed into a world mesh system for all forms financial transactions: Equity issuance, debt issuance, P2P, corporate finance, investment banking, equity trading, debt trading, crypto trading, loan originating, trading clearing, custodial services etc. All are on the public ledger through the most comprehensive financial smart contracts.
This will be a true open-source, permissioned, secure, decentralized and distributed network that balances the needs of the consumer, the regulator and the service providers.
next: IOB FAQ Part 2: Smart VC ™