Nash was one of the first FMA-approved STOs in Europe. The company has raised $25 million from its public token sale. In hindsight, launching the business in Liechtenstein was the right decision.
“We want to empower the world to invest in, trade and manage digital assets,” reads the official website of Neon Exchange AG, or short “Nash.” The project was launched by five open-source blockchain developers to create a decentralized, non-custodial crypto trading platform.
It has opened the platform for beta testing in April. Nash offers self-custody solutions and a browser extension that enables users to pay on external websites that support Nash’s payment solution NashPay or its dApps. The browser extension has already been installed more than 50,000 times. Nash also runs its own identity management system and offers a fund management solution.
Prospectus approval required a team of more than 20 lawyers; in the meantime, processes have become smoother
Nash is registered in Liechtenstein. It launched one of the first Security Token Offerings (STO) in Europe after its token (NEX) received approval from the Liechtenstein Financial Market Authority (FMA) in late 2018. Nash’s security token is a form of profit-share agreement, paying a dividend to investors through fees taken by the exchange.
The company has raised $25 million from its public STO and $12.25 million from traditional Venture Capital investors. Ethan Fast, the co-founder of Nash, tweeted at the time, “It is the first regulated exchange security token and will set a precedent for many future security tokens in the European markets.” Indeed, it did set a precedent, and many things have changed since then.
Fast explained that when applying for prospectus approval, the FMA required a legal opinion detailing the properties of crypto tokens and potential regulations the token might fall under. Therefore, Nash worked with an interdisciplinary team of more than twenty lawyers who understood international law and blockchain technology. After many months of back and forth, the FMA finally accepted the prospectus.
In the meantime, Liechtenstein has drafted unique token regulations, the so-called Blockchain Act, which is about to be introduced within the next months. Also, processes for FMA approval have become a lot smoother as the regulatory authority has already approved multiple STO prospectuses and enhanced its Fintech expertise.
Liechtenstein an excellent base for firms with global blockchain ambitions
While Nash is registered in Liechtenstein, the company employs staff all around the world and has global ambitions. Eventually, Nash wants to build a worldwide bank offering a wide range of services. The decentralized exchange is just the first of several components.
In the future, Nash wants to build up its fund management section, and offer trading and payments services that operate across multiple blockchains and can handle complex transactions such as market and limit orders and margin trading.
Nash co-founder Fabio Canesin says that being based in Liechtenstein gives the company competitive advantages, as the country embraces blockchain technology. Institutions were receptive to Nash’s ideas and understood the legal and regulatory requirements.
Canesin says, “That’s something the United States doesn’t recognize. It was important for us to work with Liechtenstein because of their broader understanding of technology.”