A marketplace lender that boasts $100 million in deal volume is launching an ethereum platform for "tokenized investment vehicles."
Released by Blackmoon Financial Group today, Blackmoon Crypto is designed to enable verified asset managers to create and manage tokenized funds in a legally compliant manner. Operating in nine countries, Blackmoon has attracted $2.5 million to date in investment from firms including Target Global and Flint Capital.
The company, which operates the Blackmoon Lending Marketplace, launched in the U.S. last year, and has offices in New York and Cyprus. Blackmoon Crypto is incorporated in Singapore.
While tokens may seem like a departure for a business focused on marketplace lending, Oleg Seydak, CEO of Blackmoon Financial Group, described it as "complementary."
In interview, Seydak argued that tokenized funds simply need an industry standard for private and institutional investors.
"The main idea of Blackmoon Crypto is provide a legal and technical framework for asset managers to create and continuously manage tokenized investment funds," he told CoinDesk, adding:
"Blackmoon will issue crypto tokens that [asset managers] will be able to distribute among investors in a new vehicle. At the same time, we'll provide [them] with the legal framework to effectively incorporate as a legal entity."
What about the SEC?
In context, however, the announcement for Russia-based Blackmoon comes at an interesting time.
For one, last week was a tumultuous one for the crypto token sector, with the SEC issuing guidance that said tokens can be considered securities. While expected, the guidance has created an air of uncertainty around the legal future of token issuance - and what is compliant and what is not.
However, Blackmoon has clarified that it will not be operating with U.S. investors. "Such an organization should be licensed as a broker dealer," explained Seydak.
Blackmoon will, however, apply for a broker dealer license and aims to have that in place within the next nine to 12 months.
"Then we will be able to sell securities to sophisticated and accredited investors in the U.S," Seydak said.
For now, he noted that U.S. investment managers will be able to participate if they are selling to investors outside the country.
Timeline to launch
Overall, this means that Blackmoon has a timeline in place to have three funds on the platform by early 2018.
Going forward, the company will issue its first ethereum-based tokens, called Blackmoon Crypto tokens (BMC), on the platform in September.
"The first two funds on the platform are based on asset classes we operate within the original Blackmoon," Seydak explained.
With this step kicking off the operation, Blackmoon Crypto aims to introduce its first external manager to the platform in Q1 2018.
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