Since blockchain technologies appeared people have been trying to figure out how to put traditional assets like currencies, bonds and other financial instruments on to it in a way which has regulatory compliance and is secure. If you could do that you could sell securities in a legitimate way, thus disrupting large swathes of the asset management industry. In case you didn’t happen to know, the asset management industry is worth around $69 trillion or more, globally. But you have to hold these assets in wallets. And it’s not easy getting it right.
There are already a number of players in this space. Tether is a cryptocurrency issued on the Bitcoin blockchain via the Omni Layer Protocol. This allows users to trade and use digital tokens backed by the US Dollar. Each of their ‘USDT’ cryptocurrency tokens is allegedly backed by this real currency held in Tether’s reserves and can be redeemed through the Tether Platform. LAToken is a blockchain protocol and platform for creating and trading listed equity asset tokens. And Blackmoon Crypto is designed to enable traditional asset managers create and manage tokenized funds in a legally compliant manner (i.e. not go to jail!).
But this world is not easy and is fraught with problems. Tether recently claimed it was robbed of $31 million in tokens after a malicious attack.
And just recently the leading Ethereum developer, Parity, accidentally permanently froze over $160 million worth of user funds because of a fault in its wallet. Oops!
Now a new company claims it will be able to fix some of these problems, especially as concerns wallets.
Jibrel Network, a company registered in the so-called “crypto-valley” of the Swiss canton of Zug, specializes in blockchain implementations for banks and so-called ‘Non-Bank Financial Institutions’. It recently raised $3 million from crypto investors including TaaS Fund, Tech Squared, Aurora Partners, Arabian Chain, among others.
With few robust Ethereum wallets available, and hacks continuing, the team decided to build its own.
It’s now launched the jWallet, a product aimed at consumers which, the company says, can store financial assets such as currencies, commodities, bonds and equities, on the Ethereum blockchain. The Alpha version of the wallet, which provides a simple way to store, transfer and convert ERC20 tokens, comes out today. jWallet holds no user data and all keys are stored locally.
Most wallets have to make the decision to either sacrifice security or usability. But the jWallet can be run locally, is open source and a mobile version is also available.
“There is a growing need for reliable, enterprise-grade wallet solutions, that deliver the highest levels of user-friendliness, without sacrificing security,” says Victor Mezrin, CTO.
Unlike Tether, which provides only USD in the form of ERC-20 tokens, Jibrel has created tokens for six fiat currencies (USD, GBP, EUR, RUB, AED, CNY).
Yazanz’s Barghuthi (project lead at Jibrel Networks) criticised Tether’s approach: “As it stands, Tether requires centralization with reliance on traditional banking… Simply put, in tether, users purchased USDT directly from an exchange, whereas in Jibrel, one purchases JNT and then uses that to purchase asset-backed tokens from the Jibrel DAO.”
Jibrel’s advisory board includes Don Tapscott (of Thinkers50 and author of ‘Blockchain Revolution’) and Eddy Zuaiter (former COO Soros Fund).