Nasdaq Inc. and Citigroup Inc. are among firms that are investing $20 million in Symbiont.io Inc., a New York-based company that’s applying blockchain technology to capital markets.
Corporations must get permission from Delaware to issue a certain number of authorized shares, say 1 million, said Symbiont Chief Executive Officer Mark Smith. The state collects filing fees and other revenue based on the authorized number of shares, but sometimes companies issue additional shares that Delaware is unaware of, he said. A smart contract eliminates that possibility.
“The smart contract manages the authorized and issued shares,” Smith said. “It’s impossible to issue more than 1 million shares on the blockchain because the smart contract has that as a limitation.”
When Justin Brownhill wants to check up on one of his latest investments through SenaHill Partners LP, he only needs to check the ledger underpinning bitcoin. The address: block 368396. That’s the new digital home for the equity stake his firm made in Symbiont, a startup using bitcoin’s underlying blockchain software to make it quicker and easier to prove ownership of assets or transfer them between buyers and sellers.
Symbiont, which plans to use bitcoin’s underlying technology to make it quicker and cheaper to transfer assets between buyers and sellers, has won the backing of several financial industry heavyweights. The company, according to a statement Tuesday, has raised $1.25 million from a group including former New York Stock Exchange chief Duncan Niederauer, former Citadel LLC executive Matt Andresen, and two co-founders of high-frequency trading firm Getco LLC, Dan Tierney and Stephen Schuler.