Luc Falempin (Tokeny): making blockchain compliant
After selling his first company, Luc Falempin co-founded Tokeny to turn blockchain into a compliant and more transparent technology. The Luxembourgish company has just raised €5 million from Euronext. Interview.
Can you briefly present Tokeny?
Tokeny is a technology provider which enables financial institutions to issue, manage and transfer securities in blockchain. It helps to reduce operational costs, to increase distribution and to improve liquidity by using a shared IT infrastructure. After studying for an MBA in Canada, I co-founded Izberg, a transactional platform for e-commerce. When it was sold, I saw a great opportunity to put my experience to use in finance for 3 reasons:
1. The many similarities between finance and e-commerce; in the latter, the asset transferred is digital and people want to avoid double spending – receiving a copy of the asset.
2. The emergence of blockchain technology.
3. The fact that the front office has been digitised while the back office hasn’t.
”We are the first to integrate the owner’s identity in the token.”
What is the impact of Euronext’s €5 million investment in Tokeny?
We can already feel the impact. We signed on 29th June but Euronext has been investing in companies like ours for the last 5 years. Euronext is used to helping start-ups while protecting them from the political influence of a big group. To give you an example, they’re supervised by 7 regulators! As a start-up, we have easy access to people who are able to provide very constructive dialogue about the industry’s pain points and to organise workshops with great contacts. The focus is clear: becoming profitable! We plan to achieve this without any other round of financing. As a company based in Luxembourg, we enjoy a precious proximity to the government and the regulator. Lhoft and its CEO Nazir are working hard to turn Luxembourg into a global hub for securities and token offerings. It’s a natural step for a country which has managed to become the back office of finance.
How will blockchain technology have an impact on our lives in the near future?
Financial products are undergoing significant change: end users want direct ownership to reduce the number of intermediaries and the opaque nature of processes and prices. That being said, blockchain technology is disruptive by nature. Tokeny is simply an enabler for financial institutions: some will get involved, with or without Tokeny, while others won’t. In the end, all securities and money transfers will become automatic and fully compliant. This will help professionals to save time and to focus on new ways to add value for their clients. Tokeny’s mission statement is to develop interfaces on top of blockchain to make it easy to use, fully compliant and more transparent. For example, if people lose their wallet, Tokeny makes it possible to delete their old one and to generate a new one with the same value. This creates a new role for custodians. Other sectors will be impacted, particularly sectors in which there is a need for shared information and a strong need for compliance.