Interview with Jean-Yves Sireau, CEO Binary.com
What challenge is Binary.com addressing?
Binary.com was founded in 1999 to make binary options trading easily available to retail investors worldwide. Before we came along, binary options were typically traded by banks and hedge funds. This was the challenge we wanted to address when we started the company.
Today, we are performing an ICO as a substitute for a traditional IPO. This poses another unique challenge as we wanted our ICO to serve as a prime example of how we can recreate an IPO on the blockchain. For us, this means issuing securities-linked tokens while conforming to best practices in corporate governance, investor disclosure, and transparency.
What is the scale of this challenge?
The challenge is massive but we’re very positive about the progress thus far and the expected outcome.
How does Binary.com turn this challenge into an opportunity?
We took the challenge head on because we know what a successful ICO means to our future. Companies of our size and maturity typically perform an IPO in order to provide liquidity to shareholders and raise funds to grow even further. We’re no different, only we decided to perform an ICO instead. Everyone in the organisation knows that this ICO needs to happen and we’re all focused and dedicated in seeing it through.
Can you showcase some team members/advisors which have a strong background? What is their connection with this particular project?
Please refer to our Annual Report (pages 4-5) for a list of key senior management personnel across key technological, financial, and regulatory areas –– all of whom played an integral role in preparing us for our ICO.
Does Binary.com have any strategic partnerships?
We’ve reached an agreement to list our tokens on the Lykke.com cryptoasset exchange after the ICO. Through this partnership, our tokens can be bought and sold on the exchange –– allowing them to potentially rise in value –– similar to shares on a stock exchange.
Lykke.com is a fintech company that’s building a global blockchain-powered marketplace for securities-linked tokens.
Does Binary.com have a viable product at this time?
What is the status of this product?
Binary.com’s core business is binary options trading. Our trading platform was launched in 2000 and has been operating successfully until today. We entered into Forex and CFD trading in 2016 through the adoption of the MetaTrader 5 multi-asset trading platform. Unlike most ICOs, we actually have a proven business model and track record.
How many users are actively using this product?
We have close to 80,000 active clients on our trading platform.
What are the main risks/challenges to the Binary.com project and what is the team doing to mitigate them?
Since Binary.com was founded in 1999, we’ve grown to become one of the world’s leading binary options trading platforms. Our growth led us to consider an Initial Public Offering (IPO) to raise funds, improve corporate governance, facilitate talent recruitment, and so on –– as do most companies of similar size and maturity.
But with the progress and innovation we’re seeing in blockchain technology, we decided to perform an ICO instead. We believe that conventional stock exchanges will gradually be replaced by blockchain exchanges, and that IPOs will gradually be replaced by ICOs.
As we’re performing an ICO that’s effectively a substitute for an IPO, potential investors should be aware of the risk factors that could affect our business, financial condition, results, or future operations. These risks may affect the value of the tokens and investors may lose part or all of their investments. All the potential risks that are known to us are detailed in our Information Memorandum.
Rest assured that we take every potential risk very seriously. Over the years, we’ve implemented processes that allow us to continually assess, and manage the risks to our company. For example, we have an internal audit team that regularly reviews the existing systems, processes, and controls of high-risk areas including IT security, payments, and regulatory compliance.
What is the structure of the ICO? (Bonuses, Dates, Market Cap)
Bonuses – N/A
Dates – Potential investors can purchase the tokens through a Dutch auction on our website from 15 November to 25 December 2017.
Market cap – N/A
What are the requirements to participate in the ICO?
The tokens will only be offered to Binary.com clients who have a real money account.
The ICO will also be restricted to qualified or professional investors in a number of jurisdictions, due to the rules and regulations that apply to those jurisdictions. The ICO is not available to US investors in particular.
Potential investors can determine if the ICO is available in their jurisdiction by selecting their country from the dropdown list on the Information Memorandum page.
What are the pros and cons for the token holders?
There are three benefits for token holders. Firstly, they will be able to receive dividend-linked payments equivalent to the dividends paid on our Ordinary Shares. Therefore, token holders will be able to share in our future success in the same way as shareholders.
Secondly, token holders will be able to freely trade their tokens on the Lykke.com cryptoasset exchange after the ICO –– enabling the tokens to potentially rise in value.
Lastly, token holders can convert their tokens into Ordinary Shares. However, token holders should bear in mind that Ordinary Shares are not listed and therefore cannot be traded on any exchange.
Binary.com has been a successful company since we were founded in 1999. However, the tokens should still be considered a high-risk investment. Our business can be affected by a number of risks which could have adverse effects on the company and the future value of the tokens. These risks are disclosed in our Information Memorandum. We encourage all potential investors to study these risks very carefully before they participate in the ICO.
Was there a pre-ICO?
What is the price of the pre-ico and the price of the ico?
Pre-ICO price – N/A
Price of ICO – Bidding starts at USD 1.35 per token with a minimum of 25 tokens per bid. The final token price will be determined by the end of the auction.
How many tokens will be issued?
Issued shares: 210,257,430 Ordinary Shares
Maximum number of tokens issued under the offer: 10,000,000 tokens
Minimum number of tokens issued under the offer: 3,000,000 tokens
Is there a cap on the ICO?
The maximum number of tokens to be issued is set at 10 million tokens. The minimum number of tokens to be issued is set at 3 million tokens.
What will be the total shares issued after the ICO?
This depends on the number of tokens that will be issued after the ICO.
If the maximum number of tokens offered in the token sale are issued, then the number of shares issued after the ICO will total 220,257,430 shares.
If the minimum number of tokens offered in the token sale are issued, then the number of shares issued after the ICO will total 213,257,430 shares.
Does Binary.com plan to issue more shares/tokens in the future and on what basis will the decision be taken?
Over time we may convert some Ordinary Shares into tokens, and we may issue up to one million new tokens per year to our employees as part of a remuneration plan.
Are there any differences in the rights of token holders and shareholders?
Yes, they are legally different. Shareholders own Ordinary Shares and have voting rights whereas token holders own tokens which are derivative contracts that are convertible into shares.
Can the Board give an indication if it will issue dividends in 2017?
Yes, we definitely will.
How will accounts/audits be reported to the token holders?
We are going to set up an investor relations website that will be used to provide ongoing market-sensitive news to our token holders. We will also announce any distribution of dividends on this website.
Would you like to add any further info?
Potential investors can bid on the tokens using both fiat (AUD, EUR, GBP, and USD) and cryptocurrencies (BCH, BTC, ETH, and LTC) currencies.
For more information please visit: http://www.binary.com
We thank Jean-Yves Sireau for the interview.