For the first time in the history of finance, it is now possible to obtain shares of a corporation directly via its website. No tough registration process nor other preconditions. Thanks to blockchain technology, a share can be simply bought by sending Cryptofrancs to a piece of code, a smart contract. The smart contract will, in turn, dispenses shares directly into the shareholder’s crypto wallet. No financial intermediaries needed throughout.
“Out of the more than 600’000 companies in Switzerland, only a few hundred are publicly traded. Our vision is to change this. The Share Dispenser is an important step into this direction”MARKUS HARTMANN, CEO OF ALETHENA
Cryptoshares, what are they?
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Additionally, the names and addresses of the shareholders are kept in a traditional shareholder registry. The registry is hosted by partner Ledgy.com. While the enjoyment of shareholder rights such as receiving dividends or voting in the general assembly requires a registration, the latter is not necessary for short-term trading.
“Worldwide electronic transferability is not of much use if no one ends up making use of it. We do so with our Share Dispenser, allowing visitors of our website to swap cryptocurrency for shares”
However, a certain level of technical know-how is still required. Know how particularly related to MetaMask. The browser must be installed as most web-browsers cannot interact with a blockchain yet. Furthermore, a potential buyer also requires XCHF. XCHF is a cryptocurrency pegged to the Swiss Franc and issued by Swiss Crypto Token AG. Lastly, the entire process is documented comprehensively in an accompanying video.
Eventually, in the aftermath of the hype surrounding initial coin offerings (ICOs) and the ensuing sell-off in cryptocurrency markets, current developments are pointing towards a more stable environment.
Indeed, Luzius Meisser who has supported the project from the beginning remarks: “For successful startups, the tokenization of their shares could become an interesting alternative to exits or IPOs”.
Finally, more information with respect to the Share Dispenser can be found at www.sharedispenser.ch
Alethena (alethena.com) is a Swiss fintech company. It specializes on blockchain-applications and digitalization. It offers technological solutions in the area of tokenisation of company shares and their tradability.
Ledgy (ledgy.com) is a Zurich based startup. It offers a digital share registry with more than 100 active clients. With respect to tokenised shares, Ledgy can automatically adjust blockchain transactions in the registry, given the receiver has completed his registration.
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