Spurred by private conferences and high-profile investments from leading Wall Street firms, interest in blockchain applications in the capital markets has become a driving trend in 2015.
This year has already seen US stock market giant Nasdaq and online retailer Overstock announce or launch products aimed at bringing the efficiencies of the blockchain to certain sectors of the market, most prominently private equities. Among these two household names, however, is another, newer entrant: New York-based Symbiont.
Though it lacks the name recognition, Symbiont is building its own buzz, having raised $1.25m in June with backing from former NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer. Further, its team may have the most experience in blockchain applications among its peers, as it boasts Robbie Dermody, Evan Wagner and Adam Krellenstein, the developers behind Counterparty, a protocol that allows the bitcoin blockchain to be used for asset trading, on its roster.
Symbiont launched its first blockchain-based private security earlier this month, converting its founders’ shares, convertible preferred shares and convertible note terms to function on the blockchain. Though it made the headlines, less clear was how the firm will seek to develop this ‘smart securities’ technology into a market strategy.
In a new interview, however, Symbiont CEO Mark Smith opened up on the firm and its market strategy, suggesting that the private equities market will be its main focus. The FX trading veteran and founder of early E*Trade alternative MatchBookFX called a robust private securities market “the only future” given that many startups are avoiding public offerings.