How KoreChain Helps Companies Raise Capital Compliantly

Recently, KoreConX’s CEO Oscar Jofre was a guest on Fintech.TV’s Digital Asset Report to discuss the KoreChain Infrastructure. Watch the full video on YouTube.

 

What is KoreChain?

The KoreChain infrastructure is a blockchain technology that can be leveraged by companies qualified with the SEC to help them raise capital. It is the first fully SEC-compliant blockchain technology to connect broker-dealers, investors, companies, secondary market alternative trading systems, banking whales,  and all stakeholders in private capital markets.

 

KoreChain overview:

  • KoreChain is a permissioned blockchain.
  • KoreChain is built on enterprise-class industrial-strength hyper ledger fabric.
  • KoreChain is safe and secure: hosted on IBMs servers with the highest level of security (FIPS 140-2 level 4).
  • KoreChain is wholly focused on tokenized securities for global private capital markets. 

 

The technology enables a roadmap that others can adopt as long as they go through the qualification process to create fully SEC-compliant stable coins, NFTs, or other blockchain offerings. By being fully SEC-compliant, KoreChain offered by KoreConX is putting best practices forward, supplying the industry with standardization about market infrastructure, regulation, and how the latest and best technology can collaborate for the best outcome.

 

Why Utilize KoreChain?

The new SEC commissioner is not against cryptocurrencies; instead, he wants these offerings to utilize regulations instead of accessing these technologies through the side or back door. Using SEC regulations provides efficiency, transparency, and secondary liquidity, particularly helpful in private markets. The KoreChain technology allows you to offer all of this when creating assets on the blockchain.

 

The characters that differentiate KoreChain from other blockchains are: 

  • Permissioned 
  • Governed (including separate audit chain)
  • Complete lifecycle management of contracts
  • Event management
  • Artificial Intelligience 
  • Modular
  • APIs that integrate with the ecosystem

 

The KoreChain is the first fully SEC-compliant blockchain that meets regulations, encouraging understanding of SEC rules, regulations, and participants. The blockchain provides added confidence, so those using blockchain technologies find the process more efficient, from the investor to everyone involved. The KoreChain is a transparent solution that shortens the cycle of creation for anyone involved because investors can follow a fully SEC-compliant playbook through the entire process. 

What is an NFT?

A non-fungible token, more commonly known as NFTs, is a unique cryptographic asset that cannot be replicated and stored on a blockchain. By definition, fungibility is when an asset can be exchanged with more of the same good or asset–think of a dollar that can be easily exchanged into pennies or nickels and retain the same value. This means that by being non-fungible, NFTs cannot be traded or exchanged for an identical asset; one NFT cannot be exchanged for another NFT.

Throughout 2021, we have seen the meteoric rise in popularity of NFT, which can represent assets from artwork to videos and even real estate. In the case of artwork, it may be hard for someone to understand the value of buying a digital asset. The importance is ownership; the blockchain on which the NFT is stored verifies the identity of the asset’s owner in an immutable ledger. 

In the discussion on NFTs, it is essential to consider that not all digital assets are classified as securities. Based on the Supreme Court’s Howey case, the Howey Test helps determine whether an investment contract exists and is used to classify digital assets. With this test, an investment contract typically exists “there is the investment of money in a common enterprise with a reasonable expectation of profits to be derived from the efforts of others.” If a digital asset meets these requirements and is classified as a digital security, it must be registered with the SEC or exempt from registration. With registration, issuers are required to disclose certain complete, non-misleading information to investors. 

If an NFT can meet the digital security requirements, they can be offered through raises that happen under exemptions like Regulation A+. NFTs are not bound by federal securities laws and pose a potential investment risk without meeting these requirements. 

What makes an NFT a good investment is its resale potential. If there is no market for the asset and it cannot be resold, it loses its value. It is not like other digital attests like cryptocurrencies, where one bitcoin is always equal in value to another. As the landscape of cryptocurrencies, NFTs, and digital securities continue to evolve, it will be interesting to see their role in the future private capital markets.

 

Understanding Digital Assets

There has been a lot of talk in recent years about crypto, tokens, blockchain, ICOs, STOs, Digital Securities, etc.  What does it all mean and why should you care?  In order to navigate the new financial digital world, it is important to first understand the terminology.  Below, I have broken down the typical terms being used in this current digital environment.   In certain sections, I have provided the example of the USA, and its primary regulator, but this is globally applicable.

Distinguishing the types of secondary markets or exchanges where you can trade digital or traditional assets also seems to be confusing.  I have created the following chart to try to distinguish these.

Now, why should you care?  What does this mean to you?  Despite what some people say in the press, blockchain is here to stay.  So understanding the types of digital assets that it hosts is going to be important in making business and investment decisions.

As a co-founder of a company that is focused on revolutionizing the private capital markets, I am not going to get into cryptocurrencies as this is not my area of expertise.  This is for currency experts to discuss.  Similarly, while I know the public listed markets well and how they operate, there are plenty of people who know these markets far better than I.

My background is geared towards the issues faced by private companies. Thus, I will elaborate on the fragmented ecosystem of the private capital markets that sorely need solutions.

Since the SEC and other government regulators around the world started stepping in to ban ICO’s, other alternatives have evolved.  The security token offering or STO is one such term that got some wings in 2018. However, the institutional and traditional investment communities were still leary of the idea of a token or blockchain solution being provided by people without an appropriate understanding of the entire market they are trying to disrupt. Many people from the ICO space were just changing the name and using STO as a new hype to sell the same ideas.

Many of the players (intentional choice of word) in the ICO space were trying to circumvent securities regulations saying they know better how the ecosystem should work.  After decades of scams, the securities regulators know that the current system has built-in checks and balances for a reason.  We all understand there are issues and inefficiencies in the private capital markets, but in order to change securities rules you better have a big budget and strong case for it. As an example, the JOBS Act took well over five and likely closer to ten years to come into place.  The use of blockchain has valuable applications that can certainly provide more efficient and cost-effective solutions to current private capital markets, as long as you work within the existing securities regulations.

There is a lot of exciting stuff being built with blockchain technology. I believe that if you are looking at this as a solution to the private capital markets, you need to consider a few things if you are looking at public chains as a potential solution:

  1. Use of private wallets for sole custody of financial instruments will not work. Securities law requires the use of transfer agents in many situations and transfer agents need to have custody of assets in order to manage them. If the digital securities are being held by individuals in their own wallet, there is no way the transfer agents can have custody of them. Think of public markets: you do not hold the securities (share certificates) yourself, they are digitally represented in your brokerage account and held by transfer agents.
  2. Mining of securities: It is generally not acceptable for unknown miners to verify transactions; even known miners must be eligible to perform business validation of a transaction either because they are parties to the transaction, have fiduciary responsibility, or certified subject matter credentials or otherwise registered and regulated entities.

Gas prices are not acceptable when it comes to securities.  In order for a token to move on some blockchains, a gas price needs to be paid to miners. Transaction fees must be contractually fixed in advance and cannot be uncertain or subject to an auction style of payment (which leads to a form of ad-hoc discrimination). For individual investors, transaction prices need to be certain  and follow execution guarantees.