Blockchain technology play Symbiont recently rolled out smart contract-based financial instruments that are built on the Bitcoin Blockchain.
That should not be surprising as three of the four co-founders of Symbiont, Robbie Dermody, Evan Wagner, and Adam Krellenstein, launched the Counterparty open source protocol on the Blockchain back in January 2014.
Although Symbiont’s smart contract technology is inspired by Counterparty, the company says it is distinct in its optimization for private networks with known participants.
As Symbiont yesterday informed the Counterparty community, the open source peer-to-peer financial platform is not in its pure form suited for the firm’s customer base:
Symbiont as a business is, as it has always been, a separate entity from Counterparty. We build products to match our clients’ needs, and Counterparty (as an open, public platform) cannot service all use-cases. However, Counterparty is a core part of the Symbiont “tech stack”, with entirely complementary technology to the other systems we are developing. In cases where public network on public blockchain (Bitcoin) solutions are most appropriate, Counterparty is the prime tool in our toolbelt.
The New York City-based firm is even using its technology to digitize and publish equity purchases on the blockchain made by investors like SenaHill Partners LP.
Justin Brownhill, SenaHill’s managing partner at New York-based SenaHill, indicated that the merchant bank would promote the benefits of such smart securities to all of its portfolio companies.
Symbiont has in turn converted its founders’ stakes and shares as well as employees’ options into encrypted virtual assets that sit on the Bitcoin Blockchain.
The company raised $1.25 million in June from a investors that included former NYSE chief Duncan Niederauer, former Citadel LLC executive Matt Andresen, two co-founders of Getco LLC, Dan Tierney and Stephen Schuler, and SenaHill.
Symbiont stated yesterday that it was still dedicated to supporting Counterparty:
Effectively, nothing has changed with respect to our enthusiasm for the potential of Counterparty, and permissioned ledgers will augment Symbiont’s platform offerings, not compete with the many market uses for Counterparty. We will continue to support the Counterparty ecosystem by providing development resources, funding Ivana Zuber in her position as Executive Director of the Counterparty Foundation and handling incoming business development inquiries. However, as we onboard more clients and partners, and develop more products, we will not be able to discuss if, why or how that client product uses or does not use Counterparty.
Symbiont is attempting to position itself as the pioneer in smart contract-based investment vehicles, even claiming “Smart Securities” as its trademark.
Mark Smith, Symbiont’s other co-founder and CEO, noted:
We are proud to be on the leading edge of this blockchain and distributed ledger movement. With interest in distributed ledger technology growing rapidly, financial institutions are exploring how to leverage it to improve the efficiency and security of trading and processing financial transactions. Smart Securities will ultimately change the way that financial instruments are issued, managed, and traded.