The Maltese Islands keeps exercising leadership on the crypto and blockchain projects with new tech advances. On Tuesday, a company called Palladium announced the launch of the project called as the world’s first Initial Convertible Coin Offering (ICCO) platform.
This platform is termed as the ‘tokenized convertible warrant’ and regulated by a prospectus to be approved by the Malta Financial Services Authority. The eventual issuance will give investors the right to convert these tokens into Palladium shares three years after they are issued.
“We expect this project, which will create more than 100 job opportunities, to be a historic landmark and to bridge the gap between traditional financial services and cryptocurrencies,” Palladium founder and chairman Paolo Catalfamo stated at the press conference marking the ICCO’s launch.
Catalfamo’s company Investar, which owns 85% of the shares in Palladium, also has a controlling stake in Global Capital plc., a Maltese financial services firm. The other shareholders in Palladium are Unikrn Inc., Las Vegas-based e-sports betting company founded by Rahul Sood, a former CEO of Microsoft Ventures.
Malta’s Prime Minister Joseph Muscat noted a new economic niche for Malta would be created by that blockchain technology, which would generate more jobs and wealth. The government and all other stakeholders in the industry are leading the way for Malta to be a blockchain island, the Prime Minister said.
“The three pieces of Blockchain legislation which were passed in Parliament recently form the start of a new exciting journey putting Malta in the frontline,” he added.
Catalfamo was also enthusiastic about the Maltese government’s approach to regulating the crypto sector, adding that the ICCO method was one of the most unique investment opportunities in the blockchain world.
“Institutional investors recognize the scale of the opportunity, but the lack of regulation has kept them watching from the sidelines. We expect Palladium’s solution will change this. Cutting-edge blockchain technology will allow customers to use regulation-compliant, multi-asset accounts to manage fiat and cryptocurrencies.”, Catalfamo added.
Parliamentary secretary Silvio Schembri emphasized that Malta now had a legal framework for Blockchain. He also announced the launch of a “blockchain lab”, aimed at training civil servants in this technology.
Schembri added the University of Malta would be starting new degree courses on the new technology this year in order to train those working in the sector.
Palladium’s fundraising target is €150 million. The pre-sale of tokens starts on July 12. The offering period for subscription of the tokenized securities will run from 25 July to 30 September.
The company said that funds will be used to “support the three core blocks of Palladium’s solution: 50% will go towards the acquisition of a controlling interest in a European bank; 35% into the formation of a regulated crypto exchange and the development of a clearing and settlement blockchain platform; and 15% into strategic investments in financial services and blockchain companies”.
The Palladium crypto exchange will be the result of a partnership between Palladium, Unikrn and Bittrex, a US-based digital trading platform and blockchain company.
Bittrex CEO Bill Shihara said that the company worked on the project and was going to introduce the new exchange which would be making use of the plethora of digital tokens available on its platform.
He stated: “Our partnership will launch a new trading platform powered by Bittrex technology, and its customers will have access to the large selection of innovative utility tokens listed on Bittrex, which we chose using our industry-leading token review process.”
Shihara said the project would help further increase adoption of blockchain technology while continuing to expand Bittrex’s business globally.
Rahul Sood, in his turn, said that there was nothing like the platform in the history of banking or cryptocurrency. “Palladium has found a way to solve some of cryptocurrency’s biggest drawbacks with a single solution within existing regulations”, he claimed.