NewsBTC recently got an opportunity to interact with Chris Horlacher, who is part of the Canadian Bitcoin ecosystem and the founder of Equibit — a decentralized securities platform. We asked a few questions and got him talking about his upcoming product.
NewsBTC: You have been in various positions, donning multiple hats. Can you tell us a bit about the things you have been involved in so far?
Chris: I have been doing a lot of things over the past few years. I have been writing and blogging for years, lot of them are getting republished on other platforms these days. Some of my articles also get published in The Dollar Vigilante. I am the board member of Mises Institute of Canada. Currently I am doing less writing and more business building and development for Equibit.
NewsBTC: Can you tell us a bit more about your association with Bitcoin Alliance of Canada?
Chris: I happened to meet Anthony DeOrio, the founder of Bitcoin Alliance of Canada at the Mises Institute meetups. He used to be a regular audience in the meetups. Anthony was already involved in Bitcoin and he had been organizing meetups etc. Once he approached me and shared his plans to start a bitcoin non-profit to represent bitcoin industry in Canada. I used to meet him frequently and advise him though the process of setting up Bitcoin alliance of Canada. I haven’t been doing much with BAC for a while now. Even Anthony has stepped down and he is focusing more on other for-profit ventures including Ethereum, Rush wallet etc.
NewsBTC: What made you start Equibit?
Chris: The idea of Equibit started soon after I understood Bitcoin, sometime in the late 2010. I realized the possibility of creating an asset register on decentralized platform using Blockchain technology which can run without a server. Once I got the concept clear, I spoke with developers at Bitcoin Alliance of Canada to find out the best way to create it.
NewsBTC: Can you explain the concept behind Equibit?
Chris: As I have mentioned earlier, Equibit is a decentralized asset register. Similar to Bitcoin, which covers monetary assets, Equibit covers for stocks and securities. In Equibit, stocks are tagged, and these tags are entered onto the Blockchain, each stock will have a unique key, which will be associated with the buyer’s other public keys for bitcoin wallet, communications client etc.
These tags are used as a proxy for equity, it can’t be forged by anyone. The Equibit platform works with multiple blockchains. A routing block created on Equibit Blockchain will have reference to all the relevant private keys of the stock owner and the issuing company having access to Equibit system can access that information and conduct transactions, polls, issue dividends, initiate communications etc. with the stock owner.
Issuing companies will have to create accounts with Equibit and receive a verified public key which will be displayed on the company website and used for communications with equity owners and potential investors in OTC stocks. Equibit aims to replace stock transfer agents and depositories with a decentralized system.
Equibit is similar to a multicoin wallet system, it works seamlessly with multiple blockchains at the same time. In the process of development, we have cracked the multicoin system to create a full-fledged decentralized securities platform.
NewsBTC: How is Equibit different from other cryptoequity platforms currently available in the market?
Chris: All cryptoequity platforms currently available in the market leave out most of the functionalities needed by the industry. It is not enough to create units of equity as there is lot of important ancillary services which these platforms leave out. Unlike Equibit, these cryptoequity platforms don’t provide options to communicate with shareholders, ways to handle voting, sending out meeting notices, conduct polls for shareholder resolution, issuing dividends etc. In the absence of these features, these cryptoequity platforms fail to offer a complete solution for issuing companies.
NewsBTC: How do you see Equibit changing the OTC equity industry?
Chris: Equibit will replace stock transfer agents and depositaries who are currently entitled to stocks. These transfer agents and depositaries act as middlemen handling transfer and settlements of quadrillions worth in stocks and securities every year. Depositaries make billions of dollars by just handing stock transfers, shareholder communications, quotes, and other core services for corporations. They currently don’t face any competition while issuers and brokers don’t have a choice, but to deal with them. Equibit will change the way the whole system works. By decentralizing equity management, issuers and brokers will be able to directly deal with investors without having to go through these middlemen.
NewsBTC: What do you think about adoption of Equibit?
Chris: Equibit caters to the needs of the securities industry. The key to widespread adoption is simplicity of operation. Even though these are lot of technical stuff that goes into the platform, for end users should be a simple platform which can be easily understood and used by anyone. The Equibit client system will be a human user friendly system with all the technical stuff hidden under the hood. Operating it will be as simple as using a CRM or sending out emails.
Like Apple devices which anyone without prior knowledge about computers can operate right out of the box and learn as they go, we have made the learning curve for Equibit as shallow and simple as possible. It will help gain mass adoption.
NewsBTC: How do you connect the anonymity aspect to Equibit?
Chris: Equibit is similar to the bitcoin system. It has the same levels of anonymity associated with it. However, not all parties on Equibit will prefer to be anonymous. Investors may prefer to be anonymous. For issuers, it is not Equibit, but their name on Equibit which gives the value. So issuers wouldn’t want to buy anonymous for those purchasing on Equibit.
The Issuer Verification System on Equibit is similar to the Verisign seal. Issuers can submit their public key to the system. Once submitted, Equibit will conduct due diligence and upon clearance the issuer can embed on their website.
NewsBTC: When can we expect Equibit to launch?
Chris: Equibit will be launched early next year. We are currently setting up the process to raise investments. Investments will be utilized to hire more developers so that we can accelerate the development process. We will be offering partnership units soon, subscribing to these partnership units will give access to premine.
NewsBTC: Can you tell us more about the Equibit team?
Chris: I am the founder and managing partner at Equibit, we have 3 development partners
Marc Godard is a front end web developer who has been coding since he was a teenager. He is the child of the internet who is capable of developing wonderful things.
Brent Kylar is a PhD in Cognitive Sciences and Artificial Intelligence. He is very good with cryptography and game systems. He is instrumental in cracking the codes and putting the blockchain together.
David Mondrus is an expert in Blockchain technology. He has been involved with the BitNation project, iNation project and more. He has partnered with Nathan Wosnack who is the communications partner in charge of marketing. They both form Blockchain Factory. In other words, we are working with Blockchain Factory to develop Equibit. Both of them are partners at Equibit.
Equibit is all set to revolutionize the way securities are dealt with. By democratizing the OTC securities industry, Equibit gives back more control to issuers, brokers and investors.