A think tank on the movement of value is developing the UK’s first initial coin offering (ICO) within the government’s regulatory framework. But more important, it seeks to bring the value of social concerns to digital currency trading.
The Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance (CCEG) is a British not-for-profit has developed the Seratio Platform and its Seratio Token. Both aim to overcome the eroded trust issues and outlaw status of ICOs by strictly adhering to compliance with UK law. It also purports to be the first Total Value token. capturing the financial and non-financial value in any transaction – the assets, microshares and provenance of any transactions, which allows users to track the value and impact they make. The SER will be used by the Seratio Community, but the broader use will be reflected in the pipeline of future alt-coins planned for next year, including the Women’s Coin, City Coin, Faith Coin, Edu Coin, and Leadership Coin, all under the Seratio umbrella.
Block Tribune talked with Professor Olinga Ta’eed, director of the CCEG Centre, about the plans.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Why has the UK market been slow to adopt the ICO?
OLINGA TA’EED: London is the center of global financial markets and thus, historically, it has had to be conservative, stable, risk-averse and measured to provide reassurance to investors. Cryptocurrencies are the opposite – fluctuate wildly, unregulated until recently, risky, full of hackers and scams, unsettling. Culturally they are worlds apart. In the UK, virtually everything operates within a regulatory framework which dampens speedy changes with the focus on iteration, not revolution.
Those wishing to do an ICO in the UK must be fully aware of its regulatory status, and the need to ensure that they are absolutely confident that they do not stray into the regulatory perimeter, and are not subject to the prospectus regime or the collective investment scheme promotion regime. We had to seek a legal opinion on our regulatory position from Eversheds Sutherlands, one of the world leading law firms. We also hired leading European Union (EU) regulatory experts, and full code audit from the nuclear and transport industries where critical infrastructure matter. Our ICO advisors are prolific investors – Chandler Guo has invested in over 30 in the last 3 months alone.
I think few have the stomach for 18 months of preparation, the associated costs, hence we are the first ICO in the UK under a regulatory framework. Having said this, there are those who claim to be in the UK for reputation reasons, but underneath the hood, they are based in China, Estonia, Gibraltar, etc. While we have offices now in New York, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Zug – the rising silicon valley of the blockchain and ICO world – we are firmly based in the UK and embrace regulation.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What is the mission of your organization?
OLINGA TA’EED: We seek structural change through the use of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. Since 2011 the Centre for Citizenship, Enterprise and Governance has become the leading think tank on the movement of value, and many laws internationally are based on our ability to measure intangible and non-financial value. We have over 60,000 members, including 7000 C-level executives of the world’s largest companies. Essentially, we digitize non-financial value, we convert sentiment into financial value, and we do it through Fast Data.
Last year, through the application of blockchain, our expertise in non-financial value measurement became fully transactable. Payments that record and track the financial value, which we all are very familiar with, became super-enhanced with a record or trade of an additional non-financial value. The non-financial value can be of the organization/ project/product/process/person connected to the seller, the buyer, or a third party. This non-financial value can be considered and recorded on our Seratio platform. This gives transparency to a transaction on a level never before seen. The articulation of the total value of a transaction, which we believe all transactions will recognize in the future.
Imagine, for example, you volunteer for your local NGO and get credited for it in Microshares on your mobile wallet. Go to Starbucks and pay for your coffee in a mixture of cash and Microshares. Go down Google Street and decide to shop here, not at Amazon to their Mechanical Turk ethical standards, decide to buy Ben -amp; Jerry’s made by happy cows in a happy field with happy children, rather than those produced through slave conditions. The dollar is the currency of financial value, we have enabled the currency of non-financial value.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Walk us through how you envision these tokens working in your ecosystem
OLINGA TA’EED: We are issuing Seratio tokens, ‘SER’ on the ethereum network, so benefiting from all the network’s standards, user functionality and familiarity. In addition, we are also issuing a new concept of Microshares as a reward to our contributors. Microshares proportionally represent the non-financial attributes, such as doing good, impact, and other positive sentiment. And thus, the amount of Microshares a person has may be increased by evidencing further attributes and contributions from authorized administrators, such as charity and volunteer organizations. for example.
SERs and Microshares are held initially in a Seratio® Wallet and are fully tradeable. The SER allows Microshares to be considered as part settlement, e.g. offer a discount by spending your Microshares gained from doing good.
The Seratio Wallet itself will calculate and store the Social Earnings score of the owner – that is, their value score – and the wallet will also hold any value preferences of the wallet holder. All the functionality of the Seratio® Wallet is fully configurable and is optional to any transaction. For a particular transaction, the owner may prefer to only transact with another person who shares a value set or has a minimum value score, the wallet can ensure that value preference is met.
The whole area of value based buying and spending decisions is growing exponentially. Individuals who seek transparency of the provenance of the goods they buy and with whom they trade is accelerating. Within the corporate and public services arena, understanding the impact of investments, spend and donations to making purchased contingent upon those impacts is in high demand.
For the first time, we can bring the demand for transparency and the tool of the payment together in one transaction.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Is there a benefit to those participating in the pre-ICO versus the official launch?
OLINGA TA’EED: Early bird offers begin on September 15, starting with a 50% discount. The discount is then reduced on a sliding scale throughout September. It is important to note that early bird is limited to the first GBP£1 million raised. After the first £1m, no discounts will be on offer and the ICO normal rates commence.
We have already achieved significant sums in private placement before we even started the ICO. You will see at www.seratio-coins.world that one of our greatest backers is the prolific investor Chandler Guo, who described the Seratio Token as “higher than bitcoin” at our University of Cambridge Conference on Internet-of-Value. Chandler is one of the biggest bitcoin miners in the world, holds large proportions of ETH/ETC, and has invested in more than 30 ICO’s in the last 3 months alone. We are very proud to be recognized as one of his top investments, and this was in a video posting just after the China crackdown.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Give us your vision of how things will be operating in six months to a year in this ecosystem.
OLINGA TA’EED: The SER is the first token in a series of commissioned future tokens that we have in-plan to launch.
We have been approached by several strong vibrant communities that transact together including women, particular religious faiths, city inhabitants, corporate CSR, educational, water and product provenance, etc. These tokens will each have the aligned values of their community attached to them captured through our S/E metric specifically for that community; S/E is the corollary to the financial instrument the P/E ratio, together they form Total Value. As each new token is promoted and launched, a new market is opened up to the use and potential of cryptocurrency.
Market growth and finding places to spend and transact remains the big challenge to mass adoption of a cryptocurrency. With the SER and all our future coins, the services and benefits of the Microshares will be available to all token holders. This will encourage further adoption, promote acceptance and accelerate wider use. A wider community built on the stability, security and trust of the SER family will develop and grow. Our goal is to become the trusted brand of cryptocurrency, the cryptocurrencies with values. What we want is a circular economy built on our coins.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What is your fundraising goal?
OLINGA TA’EED: We have conservatively targeted a raise of GBP£5million. The Centre for Citizenship Enterprise and Governance is a not-for-profit organization; any funds raised in excess of the £5m will be used in the acceleration of the alt-coins to fuel growth and demand and build the trusted secure brand. Funds will also be used in the creation of our own Seratio Blockchain platform to become a new global cryptocurrency standard. As already mentioned, we are being hailed as being the next bitcoin, higher than bitcoin. We intend to make this happen.
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