Maltese blockchain company Palladium is building a new platform in partnership with Bittrex to platform what it considers to be the ICO 2.0 model: the Initial Convertible Coin Offering, or ICCO. The new model takes ideas from both standard token offerings and more traditional IPOs. It is also completely regulated.
Described by Professor Paolo Catalfamo, Palladium’s founder, as a “historic landmark” and a way to “bridge the gap between traditional financial services and cryptocurrencies,” the ICCO is regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) and the European Union, and allows investors the right to convert tokens into Palladium shares three years after issue.
Catalfamo sees the lack of regulatory clarity as the biggest obstacle preventing the widespread embrace of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. Institutional investors, he says, “recognize the scale of the opportunity” but a “lack of regulation has kept them watching from the sidelines.” The new ICCO model will “allow customers to use regulation-compliant, multi-asset accounts to manage fiat and crypto currencies.”
The sale aims to raise €150 million to fund the purchase of a controlling interest in an EU bank, the creation of a regulated digital assets exchange, and the development of a clearing and settlement platform.
Of these, the exchange is perhaps the most significant development and it will be powered by technology provided by US crypto platform Bittrex. Bill Shihara, Bittrex’s CEO, said that this project will both “help further increase adoption of blockchain technology” and also enable his exchange “to expand our business globally.”
Malta is fast becoming one of the world’s leading hubs for cryptocurrency and ICO-related projects. Professor Catalfamo credited the government for its welcoming attitude to the new technology, saying that specialist legislation and a blockchain unit at the Malta FSA was “attracting talent and creating a vibrant environment” on the island.