More than 20 companies expect to tokenize securities on the Tezos blockchain, representing some $200 million in deals, through a new partnership with fintech merchant bank DealBox and software provider Vertalo.
Announced Monday, the partnership will see Vertalo tokenize 22 different securities issued by DealBox’s clients, providing data management services and providing liquidity, Vertalo CEO and co-founder Dave Hendricks said. His firm is also a registered transfer agent with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Hendricks told CoinDesk his company is essentially a technology provider for this partnership, while DealBox is the actual intermediary between the clients and the tech firm. This is preferable, he said, because, while Vertalo can work directly with issuers, the company prefers to work with “channel partners.”
The move more than doubles the number of customers using Vertalo for digital security issuance. The company had 18 customers as of January 2020.
“The private assets are a bigger market than public securities. Because of the antiquated methods for asset management, and for ownership of private assets, owners of private assets cannot obtain liquidity,” Hendricks said, saying tokenizing might be able to boost liquidity.
The move comes a month and a half after Vertalo formally picked the Tezos network as its default blockchain for issuing securities. The company supports securities issued on Tezos and Ethereum, but said in January it would encourage customers to switch to the former when possible.
John Nance, DealBox’s president and chief investment officer, told CoinDesk the partnership would help build out market infrastructure for digital investments.
“This idea of crowdfunding and using online investment platforms is pretty new,” Nance said, adding that more established companies might not have the necessary plumbing to support these types of securities issuance.
DealBox previously saw two securities issued on the Stellar blockchain, but is hoping to potentially migrate to Tezos. “We’re going to be bringing a significant amount of capital to the Tezos platform,” Nance said.
The integration has already begun, according to Hendricks, and is expected to continue through the second quarter.