SwissBorg is a decentralized cryptofinance ecosystem in Switzerland, that is, the services are executed by an algorithm, thus avoiding the corruption of big companies and the bureaucratic part. The financial crisis in the United States has shown the limits of centralized banks that have almost destroyed the global financial system by, among other things, abusing loans. As wealth managers were unable to change strategies or save their clients' funds, Bitcoin matured in the following years.
Decentralized financial management would therefore be a huge step in the right direction, but there was still no sophisticated wealth management service in the cryptosphere. That's what SwissBorg offers.
Its goal is to create a democratic, decentralized and professional financial ecosystem to manage your cryptographic asset portfolio. We interviewed Cyrus Fazel, co-founder of this promising Fintech startup that has just completed its ICO brilliantly.
If some terms used in this article are unknown to you, see our article => Fintech: a glossary to understand the world of blockchain and crypto-currencies
The big idea of the SwissBorg project is: how to combine a wealth management platform and blockchain technology, really optimize it through this smart contract technology, and transform it by the blockchain philosophy? That is, a platform that is managed by a community.
In this wealth management platform we offer crypto asset portfolios, we manage crypto funds, we will offer payment solutions and later, cryptocurrency exchange solutions to make purchases and sales of different cryptos.
We are 15 people based in Switzerland, Tokyo and Toronto. We have just finished the ICO and reached our "hard cap", which is quite rare.We raised the equivalent of 50 million francs in cryptocurrencies and Swiss francs.
Like many people in the team, I started working in wealth management 12 years ago. We all have backgrounds in banking, fund management and investment banking. 2/3 years ago I left my job in a hedge fund and with Anthony Lesoismier, the co-founder, we started talking about designing a robo-advisor project and thinking about how we could set up a platform to offer anybody tailor-made funds based on their risk profile. A robo-advisor much more intelligent, driver by algorithms that would optimize everything that is portfolio management. Today robo-advisors only rent, but do not go further. We started with this business and we noticed at the end of 2016 that Ethereum, through the blockchain and its protocol, could both invest in it, and especially to design investment vehicles. And at SwissBorg we had the problem that every time we wanted to develop a new investment portfolio, we had to either create a fund or make a weighting. Developing a business on it was complicated. We realized that blockchain technology really made it possible to develop tailored mandates and that it would not only be an asset class, but this technology could really revolutionize our industry.
Then we saw that the ICO system could allow us to raise funds much more easily, that the technology was incredible and that the philosophy really conveyed what we wanted to do from the beginning, ie to build something Community. And end of February 2017 we decided to make an ICO, which took a lot of time.
Today she represents more than 30,000 people all over the world. There are individuals, blockchain companies, family offices, investment funds, a bank. We do not have a typical profile. There is no more work for us if the investment mandate is a dime or a billion. There is not really any difference. Smart contracts make it possible to optimize everything and do everything at a lower cost.
If I want to create a new investment fund I do not need to go see a nego counselor, an administrator, sign a lot of papers and then go out and meet the exit brokers ... We need no one, we just have to take our rating on GitHub (note: Social Network around web and techno development). We put codes in open source, we only need to copy and paste and smart contracts are ready. So there is more entity to say "Are we going to be BtoC or BtoB?" Today, we can do for everyone.
Our ICO shows it well. One person has invested $ 4 and a bank $ 5 million. And they had the same deal. I imagine one will earn more in the long run than the other. But Swissborg is really for everyone.
The blockchain makes it possible to make transactions and to democratize the processes. And what is great and strong, which becomes interesting, is that it is done by and for the community. For example, for our ICO, we have created a token that people can buy. Called CHSB (CH for Switzerland and SB for SwissBorg), it allows our community to take part in referendums. We will organize every 2/3 months on our various projects, technology or otherwise. People with Tokens will be able to participate and will be paid. This is the best way to create a community based on meritocracy. Every individual who contributes to the platform is paid and access is democratic.
We have allocated CHF 700,000 in direct and indirect bounties (bonuses). That is to say, there are over a million tokens that have been distributed to people who have just helped us. If you have served us in the past on a logo, an article, sharing on social networks, we will give you free tokens. That's where it helps to vote. It is possible to participate only if your wallet is credited with CHSB token.
The most important thing in an ICO is to succeed in creating a community. And for that, you have to find a problem in the blockchain community. Contrary to what one sometimes hears of the type "I have a restaurant, I will make an ICO", it concerns especially the people who are in the blockchain. As long as you can not "tokenize" or "decentralize" this movement, it is useless. Everyone who invests in crypto is crypto. There are more and more communities, but they are people who want to get involved to make their lives better. One writes a whitepaper, similar to a thesis, in which one raises a problem. Then we send it to the community that approves the interest or not of the project.
We were lucky that our idea was very well taken from the start. From there, we engaged a lot with the community through social media (Telegram, GitHub, ...), we published articles everywhere and made videos. We have traveled the world to meet the public, and exchange at meet-ups in Geneva, Lausanne, Paris, London, Seoul, Tokyo, Hong Kong ... It's very important. Because even if some people like to be behind their computer, there are some for whom it is essential to have meetings in reality. That's how we started collaborating with a lot of people.
We had a spike at the beginning of the ICO and then we saw a real evolution of the participations from January 1st, more than 35 million francs in the space of 5/6 days. We optimized the site based on results to improve conversions. By observing the data, we were able to maximize targeting and results. We kept all the news for the end so that every day people say "ah, yes, there is that". This shows a great success in team. It's really important work that represents a lot of investment.
There is also a decisive point in the ICOs around sentiment and financial behavior. That is to say: the perception of the project, who will lead it, how it will do it, and who will participate. And after that, it becomes madness. For example, we finished 24 hours in advance. There are people crying to me saying "I could not participate, please ...". While they will just buy more at the exit on February 1, it's not that bad.
I will not give advice, but in general, I think there are 6 factors to watch:
1. The object, the problem it attacks. How tokenization and decentralization can make this project work.
2. The market cap and the distribution of tokens: How many tokens are there, how is the allocation divided between the team and the participants and how much (the market cap).
3. The team: see if there is a certain diversity, if there is a technological team and a business team that makes sense. In general, it is very difficult to find both at the same time.
4. The whitepaper: if it is well written, it puts the problem well and we can quickly understand where they want to go and where they come from.
5. The partners and advisors: who are the backers in the projects, the advisors who support them, do they already have links with other DAOs like us?
6. Visibility and social media: see if the Githubs are filled, how have people reacted, the number of contributors and interest on Telegram, Facebook, YouTube ...
If they turn out well, participate in many events, and see them in the press.
The future for Swissborg is to have all the licenses that will allow us to distribute our different products and services in each country, in Europe, Japan and Switzerland. There is therefore a very important legal part to be sure of being appreciated by the regulators like FINMA. Then after that, we will be able to enter the distribution phase, recruiting people from Toronto, surely from Zurich and Japan. After, our goal is to offer services to both crypto people (onchain) and people who are not part of it (offchain) in family offices, banks ... And everyone will have adapted services. For family offices and banks, for example, we are going to create a traditional crypto background. For people onchain, we can have investment strategies directly through smart contracts.
We are doing the KYC / AML (anti-money laundering), the newer customer money lendering of our community. We will hope that all people pass.
Since February 1st we are listed on various exchanges (including HitBTC and livecoin) where people will be able to sell or buy their CHSB tokens.
We are specialized on blockchain companies. We have not communicated it yet, but we have partnered with Fuze for payment. They offer an incredible map. Technologically, these are very strong people who have, among other things, created Apple Pay NFC technology. This card makes payments between crypto and FIAT (Swiss francs and others). We will also do this with the Swiss fintech SmartLink. We have other partnerships that we've already talked about, for example: ETHlend, BountyOx, ZeropointX. We have come closer to them because we are exactly in the same state of mind.
We are in the process of creating a Swiss association called the Decentralized Autonomous Organization Association (DAOA) whose goal is to have all CAD like us central. We want to create a lot of partnerships between different fintech blockchain to help on all that is legal, technological and marketing, and to accompany the regulators by informing them.
After meeting most market authorities like FINMA, we realized that no one is against the blockchain because they are well aware of the potential. However, they do not want bad behavior. So we have both a goal of education and support for the various counterparts so that if we detect misbehavior, we can self regulate this market.
Unfortunately, I believe that for Fintech in Switzerland it isn't easy, especially to raise funds. It seems to me that Business Angels invested 25 million last year in Switzerland. Which is half of our ICO. There is very good Fintech, but it is not so obvious, there is no real ease as is the case in England for example.
However, if the crypto and the blockchain took well in Switzerland, it is because the technology is Switzerland. And why the blockchain is Switzerland? Because it's the only country that is really decentralized like the blockchain. This is the only country that has been a free threshold for 2 or 3 centuries. Switzerland legalized digital financial contracts a few years ago (indirectly smart contracts), it has always had a peer-to-peer relationship, a referendum system similar to ours. Finally, how could Switzerland not say yes to the blockchain? Zug is for example a canton that has always been very smart. And they quickly replaced hedge funds with crypto and accepted Ethereum.
In short, SwissBorg is a project with a promising future that democratizes access to cryptocurrencies by relying on a committed community. To learn more, visit the site and the blog.