Zug, Switzerland, 5 September 2018 - SMART VALOR AG, a Swiss-based blockchain startup, announced that, following acceptance as a Financial Intermediary by a SRO in Switzerland, it will be launching the VALOR Platform in Q4 2018. The VALOR Platform will be a first global marketplace for tokenized alternative investments.
Founded by CEO Olga Feldmeier, a leading figure in the blockchain space, and security and cryptography expert Dr. Julien Bringer, jointly with two other co-founders, SMART VALOR AG has been developing the VALOR Platform in stealth-mode in the heart of the Swiss Crypto Valley, Canton Zug.
The VALOR platform is the first global marketplace for tokenized alternative investments. It will be launched in two stages. The first stage will be implemented with the public launch of the VALOR Platform scheduled for Q4 2018, which will focus on cryptocurrencies and non-security tokens in accordance with SMART VALOR´s status as financial intermediary. In the second stage, pending regulatory approval, the VALOR platform will expand its offering to asset-backed tokens, such as equity in blockchain companies, blockchain-related infrastructure projects, real estate, crypto funds, venture capital, and private equity funds.
“The mission of the SMART VALOR is to give access to digital assets to people around the world in an easy, secure and compliant way. Beyond native digital assets like cryptocurrencies, tokenization applied to alternative investments can fundamentally transform the way they are issued and distributed today. Most of these investments have previously only been available to a small elite of high-net-worth individuals (HNWI) and institutional investors. Tokenization transforms the way people own things, it improves liquidity, and makes investment opportunities accessible to a broader audience of investors. We utilize blockchain technology to democratize access to wealth,” says Olga Feldmeier CEO of SMART VALOR AG.
SMART VALOR will offer a range of services to asset issuers, such as any type of private company, fund or even real estate developer, including simple issuance of their tokens as well as initial listing and secondary trading on the VALOR Platform with direct access to the global investor audience, once regulatory approvals have been confirmed.
“SMART VALOR will now be able to publicly launch its platform given its recent admission as a member of the Association for the Quality Assurance of Financial Services (VQF), an officially recognized self-regulatory organization (SRO) pursuant to the Swiss Anti-Money-Laundering Act. Through this membership, the company received the status of Financial Intermediary in Switzerland and can start operations in compliance with the Swiss Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) for certain tokenized investments,” said Alexandra Sowa, Head of Legal and Compliance at SMART VALOR AG, who previously served as Regulatory Requirements and Policies expert for various aspects of financial services regulations at HSBC Private Bank and Head of Group Compliance Operations at Zurich Group.
The second stage of the platform roll-out is aimed to introduce security tokens and is planned for the Q2 of 2019. Within the security tokens space, the focus will lie on tokens backed by equity in blockchain companies, infrastructure projects, crypto funds, real estate, and venture capital. SMART VALOR is currently paving the way for this by working on obtaining a banking license.
Olga Feldmeier, who previously pioneered the Bitcoin regulatory solution in Switzerland as Commercial Managing Partner of renowned Bitcoin custodian company Xapo, said: “It is good to see that what we managed to achieve for Xapo has provided the proven path for other cryptocurrency businesses."
Currently, SMART VALOR has 26 full-time contributors with offices in Munich, Paris and Zug, where the majority of its staff is working out of Thomson Reuters Incubator. Out of hundreds of applicants, Thomson Reuters selected SMART VALOR to become one of the five startups to be hosted by the Incubator, benefiting from office space, support, and potential collaboration on several blockchain-related topics.
“We have been looking for startups who are exploring the application of blockchain technology to evolve financial marketplaces and we have been particularly impressed with the vision and talent of the SMART VALOR team,” said Sam Chadwick, Director of Strategy and Innovation, Financial Risk at Thomson Reuters.
“Being based in Switzerland and following the full regulatory approval path, we aim at bringing in legitimacy and trust into the crypto space,” said Dr. Julien Bringer. “Adding secure infrastructure and a compliant regulatory approach to protect investors is one of our priorities.” Earlier this year the company announced a partnership with Ledger, the global leader in hardware security developing an enterprise-grade vault custody solution.