Most digital assets are for now in North America. The more interesting this project is: Digishares is a Danish company, whose full cycle platform – in contrast to many – is operational already. Our Chief Editor talks with Dr Claus Skaaning, Digishares Founder:
Q) Digishares is a full cycle platform for digital assets, from issuance of tokens to distribution of income back to investors. Why do you think specialized platforms still exist?
We believe that best of breed platforms will win in the current market. It will be easier for such platforms to make partnerships and generate deal flow.
Q) Who do you target, companies who wish to crowdfund new products or investors interested in tokenized securities?
Both. To conduct successful capital raises, we need to be connected to the investors – and vice versa.
Q) Being a Danish company, how do you deal with different regulatory approaches to digital assets inside the EU?
We are always monitoring regulatory developments closely. For digital assets, we see two main developments:
1) security tokens, defined as tokens with security properties that are not shares, bonds, etc. These are actually currently completely possible and compliant in most EU member states, as long as regulations are followed when they are issued in order to raise capital.
2) tokenized securities, defined as tokenized shares, bonds, etc. These are currently only possible in a few EU member states, due to difficulty of the blockchain implementation. Reasons could be a requirement for a paper-based stock certificate or notarized trades, etc.
Both (1) and (2) seem to be possible in Denmark, for instance, as our securities regulation already has taken into account digital securities – and a completely digital process related to shareholder meetings, shareholder registers, voting, etc. We are currently working with our lawyer and the Danish financial regulator to clarify this.
Q) Again being a Danish company, taxes are always high on the Danish agenda, do you provide solutions to pay taxes on the revenue that originates from sale and, more importantly, from capital gain on tokenized securities. If yes, how do these solutions work?
Our primary client is the issuer of the securities. There would not normally be any tax on the sale of tokenized shares, for instance. Also we take clients from many different countries, not just Denmark. Investors also may be from many different countries so taxation could vary significantly from one to the next. But the suggestion is a good one – we could implement a kind of customized system where the investor could select from a number of countries and then receive tax calculations.
Q) Which standards follow the tokens that you issue?
We are primarily focused on equity tokens for now.
6) Ok, which blockchain then did you choose for your platform and why?
We are blockchain-agnostic, but currently have implementations in Stellar and Ethereum / R-token. We favor open standards with no requirement of being a member of a proprietary ecosystem of a specific vendor.
Q) Please elaborate on Danmark’s regulatory approach to digital assets?
The Danish regulator Finanstilsynet is very constructive and willing to engage in a dialog in order to find best solutions within the current regulatory environment while at the same time maintaining high standards for consumer protection. As mentioned above we are working on developing clarity on the interpretation of digital assets within the current securities regulation.
Q) When STOs are referred to as new ICOs, does it offend you or do you find it to be a positive development?
I’m not offended but I find it to be quite incorrect. ICOs are a form of reward-based crowdfunding, and STOs are basically blockchain-based capital raises (private placements or public offerings). ICOs were targeted towards users of the platform, and STOs are clearly targeted towards investors who expect a future capital gain. There will be a place for both ICOs and STOs in the future, at least in Europe and Asia, though maybe not in the US.