Disclosure: Smith + Crown was a compensated advisor to this project.
Bnk To The Future (BF) is an online investment platform for trading securities tokens and traditional equity that aims to fill a wide range of investment roles. BF provides access to an array of traditional equity offerings in fintech, cryptocurrency, and blockchain-focused companies as well as token offerings. The platform is accessible to accredited investors and plans to become more accessible to retail investors. The project’s membership and rewards token, BFT, is intended to create market incentives to increase transparency in such dealings and rewards ecosystem participants for efforts towards that end. BF is led by CEO and co-founder Simon Dixon, a former investment banker and early advocate for Bitcoin and decentralized systems. Bliss Dixon, the project's second co-founder, serves as COO of Bnk To The Future.
Bnk To The Future is an online venue marketing a curated selection of private equity and securities tokens offerings to high net worth investors. Registered as a business in the Cayman Islands, BF invests in fundamental cryptocurrency companies’ equity, and employs a unique structure for these transactions, with the larger equity holding being placed into a dedicated special-purpose vehicle (SPV) before being parceled to investors purchasing a stake in individual SPVs. Portfolio investments included companies like Kraken, Shapeshift, and Factom, as well as token investments in Ethereum, Maidsafe, and others.
With the growth of 2017’s token sale market, many of these high net worth investors exited private equities holdings in favor of tokens. This motivated BF to establish a liquid secondary market, where individuals could trade their private equity holdings for tokens. BF’s special purpose vehicles (SPVs) allow private equity investors to tokenize their individual positions upon the platform, with tradable tokens representing equity shares. The result brings increased liquidity to traditionally illiquid private equity positions. Given the requirement of securities laws, only qualified investors are eligible for these transactions, whether as buyers or sellers.
BF intends to expand its reach beyond just qualified investors through a token that incentivizes broader community participation in deal selection, evaluation, and updates. While non-accredited investors still cannot participate in deals, they can benefit from the information produced and earn rewards. BF typically is not the sole fundraising platform for its deals (it will take some percentage of a round and sell to its members), so companies and projects may have other avenues of participation that non-accredited investors can use. Non-accredited investors have the same rights to earn tokens by successfully fulfilling roles, such as providing third-party research.
For the current platform, BF has acquired regulatory approval to host a range of products, including tokenized equity holdings, securities tokens, SAFTs, SAFEs, and Convertible Note agreements, in addition to both securities tokens and equities. Blockchain-based trading allows for rapid settlement and increased transparency relative to traditional venues for the trading of securities, while a wide range of cryptocurrencies are available and more than twenty-five fiat currencies are supported. By establishing this core infrastructure, but also embedding a decentralized, participatory model where individual platform users can contribute to the overall functioning of the platform, and be rewarded for it, BF is attempting to creating a hybrid securities market and decentralized ecosystem.
Bnk to the Future’s token, BFT, offers a range of access, payment, and contribution (ability to play key roles) rights. The BF ecosystem includes several tiered memberships systems, and BFT confers users the right to play certain roles within these systems. The token is intended to create market incentives for increased transparency in the trade of securities tokens and traditional equities, and rewards ecosystem participants for efforts towards that end.
The platform requires companies listing on the platform to stake tokens and incentivizes best practices by rewarding these companies with tokens for sharing regular investor updates on the platform. Platform members that share press releases, participate in forum discussions, or comment are also rewarded, with ill behavior, such as providing misleading or poor quality information, being punishable in a manner commensurate with the rewards allocated to useful information. Token holders can also nominate projects for platform listing by staking tokens. After nomination, the core BF team evaluates the basic company materials for suitability, while members contributing to additional due diligence efforts can be rewarded with BFT.
Platform users can source, research, perform due diligence upon, and monitor the platform’s investment opportunities, staking tokens for the right to contribute in this manner. Members are compensated in BFT for the value of their contribution, which is determined by other members in a peer evaluation process. Anyone can stake tokens to access the platform’s research and other data, including that which the BF community produces.
Several reward pools are responsible for distributing the platform rewards for useful contributions at regular intervals. These pools are periodically refilled whenever BF completes a deal—so rewards releases track platform growth— or when BF decides to ‘top it up’ with their tokens to spur more community activity. As BF builds out its community and adds features, it intends to iterate on the rewards parameters and has reserved the right to add new token functionality to both accredited investors and the broader community.