Founded in 2017 by Chris Housser and Trever Koverko, Polymath is the company behind the security tokens platform polymath, which is built on the Ethereum blockchain.
More precisely, the polymath platform allows users to issue tradable tokens that are specifically designed to comply with securities laws to "know-your-customer" (KYC) compliant investors via smart contracts.
Security tokens are specifically intended to represent a complete or fractional ownership in an asset (i.e company, real estate, intellectual property). These tokenized, tradable representations of stakes are released through smart contracts and available to strictly KYC compliant investors.
The polymath network raised nearly $59 million through an initial coin offering (ICO) in January 2018, the same month the platform went live. It has a native token, POLY, which is spent and earned through the process of smart contract creation, issuance, and legal validation. POLY tokens are ERC-20 utility tokens, but security tokens that are issued on the polymath network must be "ST-20," a created standard that allows token issuers to maintain regulatory compliance through specified transfer restrictions.
In 2019, Polymath announced it planned to launch a new platform specifically for security tokens, polymesh, which will run on its own blockchain rather than on Ethereum. Polymesh will be built in collaboration with Charles Hoskinson, a co-founder of both Ethereum and Cardano. Hoskinson has argued that because financial markets, their participants and securities have a specific set of requirements, security token protocols and public ledgers can be optimized by having their own blockchain.
Polymath claims the polymesh platform will not interfere with its current polymath network. Additionally, the company says the polymesh platform will not restrict any specific type of assets and will likely retain the POLY token without the launch of an alternative token.