Harbor helps businesses legally issue cryptocurrency tokens that represent ownership of real-world assets like real estate, fine art, company equity, and investment funds. This “tokenization” might sound boring, but it could be a big business that unlocks trading of illiquid property.
Harbor’s intention to become a fundamental bridge between the offline and crypto economies has attracted a $28 million strategic round led by Founders Fund and joined by Andreessen Horowitz, Pantera Capital, and more. Following its $10 million Series A in February, Harbor has now raised over $40 million to dissolve the legal barriers to private securities tokenization.
“We think there’s going be a far greater appetite for owning real-world assets using the blockchain” than digital only cryptocurrencies, Harbor CEO Joshua Stein tells me. He expects it be like the impact “email had on snail mail”, but with value instead of content being sent back and forth. Once someone like Harbor handles the technical necessities to make exchanges instant, free, and secure, people will exchange a lot more frequently.
The Harbor team
Here’s how Harbor works. Clients pay it in cash to make their tokenization of an IRL private security legal. Traditional trading of these assets can be complicated and expensive given their are often financial regulations or licensing requirements restricting who can buy and sell them. For example, foreigners or unaccreditted investors without enough net worth aren’t allowed to own certain securities. The lawyers to handle these sales can be expensive, and the process can take weeks.
Normally, businesses have to be very careful about who they let buy these securities because they’re liable for a 20-year criminal sentence if they violate SEC law. With Harbor, a white list of eligible owners is established by an outside law firm that takes responsibility, and Harbor’s …read more
Source:: TechCrunch – Startups