Polymath — the future of Finance
Hello there! Thanks a lot for joining us today! We would love to get to know more about Polymath and educate our readers on it as well.
But first up, can you tell me a bit about yourself? How did you get involved with crypto and blockchain?
My name is Heslin Kim. I am the VP of business development at Polymath. As of now, I’ve helped Polymath to accelerate across 10+ countries in the Asia Pacific region over the last nine months. I lead up business development and account management operations for both global and regional partnerships based in Korea, Hong Kong, China, Japan, Singapore, Philippines, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Taiwan.
I’ve been involved in crypto/blockchain since early 2017. I got involved initially as a day trader and investor, and slowly became more intertwined in the space as I learned about the origins of blockchain and delved deeper into the technology itself. I worked at a friends startup for several months which was aiming to do something very similar to Polymath. I eventually began at Polymath in March 2018.
Give us a quick rundown of Polymath. Imagine you only had a minute to pitch.
The Polymath network is a turn-key securities platform similar to Ethereum, but with a focus on government compliance. Companies have been creating financial securities for many, many years and the laws are very clearly defined. You can do X. You cannot do Y. All we are proposing at Polymath is that a financial security can be represented as a token on a blockchain, rather than a piece of paper. Blockchain-based securities are programmable, so you can automate much of the back-office functions like voting and dividends, and they are much more transparent than their legacy, paper counterparts. And interestingly enough, the securities we are creating have regulatory compliance built into them, which make them more attractive from a regulatory standpoint than paper share certificates. In the legacy world, transfers of securities to unauthorized parties are prevented by someone in the physical world saying, “Hey, you can’t do that”, which is a flawed system. In our blockchain-based system, transfers of securities to unauthorized parties are prevented through technological means. Unauthorized transfers cannot occur, because the technology does not allow them to occur.
Could you please name a few main use cases for Polymath and its users?
Let me pose a scenario. You are an investor looking at two deals that are identical in every single way, except one. In deal A, the security you receive is an illiquid piece of paper that costs a lot of money to trade, takes days to trade, and cannot be traded during the evening, on weekends, or holidays. In deal B, the security you receive is a security token that is liquid, essentially free to trade, it trades and settles instantly, and can be traded 24/7/365. Which deal would you prefer…? Investors and companies are starting to see the value of security tokens and it is only a matter of time before they become the default.
How do you compare yourself to your closest competitors?
We do not look at other players in this space as competitors as no one is doing quite what Polymath is doing. Other players seem to be looking at this space through a traditional lens functioning as investment banks providing end-to-end advisory service for clients. Polymath functions purely as a technology layer. Polymath is an issuance platform that makes it easy to create security tokens. You are able to take a tangible traditional securities filing, digitalize it, and then put it on the blockchain with our technology. However, everything else is up to issuer to figure out off-chain in regards to legal, advisory, fundraising, etc. We also provide a marketplace for these services in order to aid them if they happen to need it. We are much more scalable this way than other players in the space and are able to avoid liabilities.
How easy is it to create your own security token using Polymath’s solution?
Have you ever used a WordPress? Imagine the simplicity of WordPress applied to the creation of security tokens. We try to make Polymath as frictionless and accessible as possible. A token can be deployed in under 10 minutes. It’s incredibly easy.
What has been the greatest challenge in the history of the project, and what is your greatest achievement so far?
The greatest challenge thus far has been time and resources. Everything is happening a bit slower than expected. Securities are no joke. It takes a long time to fundraise, and an even longer time for legal work to be done.
Our greatest achievement? Our greatest achievement? 167 token symbols have been reserved and 75 security tokens have been created since August 2018. We are seeing real use of the platform which is incredible to see and watch flourish — the stampede is picking up steam!
How is Polymath positioning itself going into 2019? What will you bring to market and how will it change the industry?
Polymath is the technology leader in security tokens. There are no other decentralized applications that allow a user to quickly and easily create their own security token with built-in transfer restrictions.
2019 is all about additional functionality, interoperability, and liquidity. The first security token trading venue (Open Finance Network) is now live and ready to trade. We will see what the power of liquidity for private securities really does. Polymath is ensuring interoperability with trading venues like OFN.
Along with that, our globalization efforts are ramping up heavily. We are thrilled with the demand in partnerships and issuance across all continents, heavily focused on Asia, with lots of momentum building in Europe and South America.
What is your next big milestone, and what’s your vision going beyond it?
We expect security tokens to become the default form factor for financial securities, and Polymath will be the go-to place to create security tokens. As Fortune 500 companies start to inquire and traditional stock exchanges look into entering this industry, we are happy to welcome them. As far as our standard is concerned and the growth of the entire security token ecosystem we hope for ERC1400/ERC1411 to be adopted further by industry participants much like ERC-20 making the current financial system much more efficient.
Are you looking for partnerships of any kind? And could you please name a few of your most noticeable ongoing partnerships?
We want to partner with more broker-dealers/advisors that can help issuers looking to create security tokens with structuring and fundraising. Since Polymath is purely a technology layer to create and power security tokens, we rely on these partnerships to use Polymath as their tech back-end, which allows us to achieve massive scale.
As I mentioned, we are happy to cooperate and create strategic partnerships with Fortune 500 companies and traditional stock exchanges. The scope of what the security token market will cover is still quite limited in scope, but I think we will see a tremendous shift in traditional financial industries once this nascent market blooms. We are ready with open arms to educate, cooperate, and build with partners coming from these pre-blockchain sectors.
If our readers should read more about you, what are some of the best articles to be found about Polymath?
Sure, here’s a few:
Security Token Roundtable — Recap
From the 12th to the 14th of July, Polymath hosted the Security Token Roundtable.
ERC-1400: Evolution of a Security Token Standard
The team at Polymath, along with Fabian Vogelsteller and Stephane Gosselin published ERC-1400 around two months ago.
If you had to give props to one other cryptocurrency project, company or personality, who really changed the industry, or has been a great asset to your project, who would it be and why?
Jor Law, David A. Johnston, and Fabian Vogelsteller among many others have been instrumental in the growth of Polymath and helping to execute the vision at large. We are hugely appreciative for everything they’ve done and continue to do.
Where can we connect with you and Polymath or in other ways support your journey?
Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/polymathnetwork/
Twitter — https://twitter.com/polymathnetwork
Medium — https://blog.polymath.network/
Github — https://github.com/PolymathNetwork
Thank you for your time!
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