EXCLUSIVE: Q&A with Graeme Moore, VP of Marketing at Polymath
Cryptovest.com was a media partner at EDCON 2018 in Toronto last week and we had a chance to catch up with Graeme Moore to discuss the future of Polymath, the ST-20 token standard, and some challenges Polymath is currently facing.
Graeme Moore is the VP of Marketing at Polymath working alongside the CEO, Trevor Koverko. Polymath is looking to be the main blockchain platform for STOs (Security Token Offerings) to launch, and is looking to pioneer the ST-20 token standard similar to how the Ethereum community has adopted the ERC-20 token standard.
CV: So I’m here at Edcon with Graeme, VP of Marketing at Polymath. So Graeme, why don’t you tell us a little bit about how you got involved with Polymath.
Graeme: Yeah, so I had known Trevor, who is the CEO and co-founder of Polymath, for a couple of years, just being involved in the Bitcoin and Ethereum space in Toronto. I was actually playing hockey against him as well in the league, and I‘ve seen him on social media going around doing all these crazy things talking about cryptocurrency and the company he was building, and so I messaged him asking ‘what’s Polymath all about?’. So I went to the website, checked out the whitepaper, saw the PowerPoint, and I was like, ‘wow…okay, this is something that is definitely going to change the world and something that, based on my background, being from the finance world, was something I really, really wanted to be a part of and something that I feel that I can contribute to. So I said “Alright Trevor, I’m in …I’m coming to work tomorrow and I’m going to start helping out,”….and that’s how I got involved.
CV: So what is Polymath focused on completing by the end of 2018 and where do you see Polymath in the next two years?
Graeme: End of 2018, we want to have, I would say, five securities tokens launched off the platform. So we’re looking like we’re going to have our first securities token launched around summer time, so around July or August, is what we’re aiming for right now. That’s kind of our goal, and I’m hoping to have five out by the end of 2018. For the next two years… the livestream I was on two days ago, I said I want to see one trillion dollars of securities tokens on a blockchain by the end of 2019, so that is kind of where we see Polymath going, kind of facilitating this huge jump in the market cap of security tokens.
CV: Yeah, I think we are definitely on that path. So, I know Polymath is trying to pioneer the ST-20 token standard; so you can tell us a bit about the ST-20 token standard that you are working on and how you plan to get other firms to adopt it?
Graeme: So the way we see that is, we look at ERC-20 and the ICO boom and the utility token boom and the reason why utility tokens are so prevalent right now and why there are so many tokens, there are over a thousand utility tokens right now that are ERC-20 tokens. The reason why that is the case is because there was a standard adopted called the ERC 20 where everybody looked at this thing called the ERC-20 and said wow…this thing works really well for creating tokens, they don’t break, and people are able to send them around perfectly and everything is all good. So what we’re doing is we’re taking that standard, the ERC-20 token standard that clearly works and then extending that so it can work for the world of securities, and so what the ST-20 protocol and the standard does right now is it has the ability to restrict trading of ERC-20 tokens. So because in financial securities, you need to know who has your securities at any time and you also need to prevent them (the token) from getting into the “wrong hands” (like someone on an OFAC list or someone who is not allowed to have a certain security based on their accreditation status, you need to be able to restrict that, and that is what the ST-20 protocol and ST-20 standard does. As far as getting other people to adopt it, we feel like we’re a few months ahead of almost any other organization or entity or standard coming right now, so we’re really excited about being first to market, and the first to really spread this around. So if we can talk to as many companies as possible, in getting them to get on board with saying ‘hey, I’m going to use this ST-20 token standard for my security token,” then that’s what we’re really focused on right now.
CV: Do you guys have any, I mean obviously the plan is to get S&P 500 companies to tokenize at some point right, is there anyone that you guys are talking to currently in that space, that you can mention at all?
Graeme: In the S&P 500, not today. Where we are seeing a huge amount of demand today is from Private Companies. So these are companies that have shares that are literally pieces of paper, and so they are really excited about going from that world where it is really hard to trade any amount of their securities because they have to make phone calls, they have to get lawyers involved, there is a huge amount of paperwork involved in transferring those kinds of securities….and so they’re looking at the option of having tokens instead of pieces of paper, going ‘wow…that makes a lot of sense for us’. So we’re seeing a huge amount of demand right now from private companies… and the public companies are going to come once they realize how this technology is better, but I don’t think that’s the first market that we’re going after.
CV: What is one of your holdings outside of the Polymath token that you currently hold in your portfolio?
Graeme: Yeah so, I don’t hold too many coins. I am a big fan of Bitcoin and a big fan of Ether. Those are what I am really excited about and I get really excited about those things that are protocols and standards that are adopted by the whole entire world. So that’s kind of what I see with Poly as well, being this other standard, like Ethereum, so we consider Ethereum that launch pad and that fuel for ICOs, we see Poly as that fuel and that Launchpad for STO’s, Security Token Offerings, so those are the three kinds of tokens or coins that I’m really excited about.
CV: What are some challenges you’re finding with getting Polymath out there right now? What are some main challenges you are facing and plan to face this year?
Graeme: A main challenge is just not having enough people to get these things launched. So I mean, It takes a lot of time...especially right now with how manual the process is in issuing a security, it takes a lot of time. There still are lawyers involved, it takes 4-6 months at least, from the legal side to get things done. So that is really where we see the hinderance right now...it takes time. The platform is built, it is live, but it’s just its really only able to be used by developers, and right now we’re focused on making sure that we can build out those really nice looking, easy to use, use-interfaces so that you don’t necessarily have to be a developer to issue a security token.
CV: Ok, just to touch on that, with the regulatory environment around security tokens, are you working with the SEC and OSC right now?
Graeme: So we’ve have some calls with them, we’ve talked to them and have had a couple meetings but wouldn’t describe it as working with them. But we are working within all regulatory rules and regulatory boundaries. So what we’re doing is, we’re kind of changing the way that the cryptocurrency market works and so we’re going from this world of utility token sales, which are generally done in an unregulated way, that regulators aren’t really too happy about, and we’re saying ‘ok if really you’re a company and all you want to do is raise capital, you should be issuing a financial security, and so we’re helping companies do that, and so regulators are actually really excited about what we’re doing and this transition toward security tokens from utility tokens.
CV: Ok, so just one more question, how do you feel about the current state of the crypto market right now and how the market tends to move around the time of the EDCON and CONSENSUS conference? Do you think we are preparing for a big bull run for the rest of 2018 or what are your thoughts on that?
Graeme: I have no idea as I don’t like to speculate on the price of things but I do like to speculate on the amount of innovation that is happening, so that is really what excites me. I got into Bitcoin a while ago because I was very excited about decentralization and the decentralization of all the things that kind of Vitalik talks about as well. The fact that we now have programmable money and what that is going to do to the world. So I am really really excited about all the innovation and everything that is happening in the space, the prices I really don’t care. Bitcoin could go to five dollars, but as long as people can send money from anyone to anyone, anywhere in the world at any time for essentially free, that’s what gets me excited.
Security tokens are considered the next main trend in cryptocurrencies and Polymath has some great plans to help pioneer the future in a regulated and compliant manner.