Stephen Inglis is the CEO of InPortal, a venue for security transactions through distributive ledger technologies, whereby InPortal issues digital securities through its INPR protocol.
This week we had the pleasure to interview Stephen and learn more.
Can you tell us more about InPortal and what you do?
Inportal is first and foremost a private market venue for our portfolio companies to issue digital securities. All the companies who post on Inportal are carefully vetted and tend to be originated through our advisory and investment companies, AI Capital and Black Tusk Global. We follow a traditional merchant banking approach often being directly involved in the management of the companies. InPortal as a firm understands the market fabric and sees digital securities as a long overdue, and much-needed evolution of private markets.
When we designed the first digital security for Tropizen on the INPR protocol, it was a relatively simple exercise. We simply said this is a programmable digital share, what features do we need. This was the answer to our frustration with secondary markets where even with willing buyers and sellers it was a struggle to trade unicorns like Airbnb or Uber.
Prior to founding InPortal in 2016, back in 2014, I recall Matthew, an Inportal co-founder, telling me one of the traders at our brokerage firm was selling his house in the Hamptons in exchange for Bitcoin, this revelation lead to our first STO in 2018.
Could you share some of the developments in Puerto Rico for anyone wanting to get involved in tokenizing or investing in digital assets?
Having spent my professional career in New York, Tokyo and London, I am proud to say that I can’t imagine being anywhere else than Puerto Rico, and Old San Juan in particular. The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico through its many tax incentives, including being the only place on Planet Earth where an American can live tax-free, has made it the ideal location to run crypto businesses. These incentives have attracted people from all over the world, notably Brock Pierce, to form an energized community. I’d encourage everyone to come and visit.
Can you explain how the INPR protocol works and its key benefits?
The Inportal Puerto Rico, INPR protocol, is a standardized programmed security designed to provide compliance and financial transparency on the issuing company so any investor can make informed pricing decisions to buy, sell or hold. Because of this transparency, the holding period for US issuers is only six months. INPR tokens are created by the company into a digital wallet, so the issuing company is also acting as a custodian. INPR based tokens are blockchain agnostic. We are now in discussions with Open Finance, and Kanga Exchange to develop an interface so the tokens can trade on their platform. The details and functionality of the INPR protocol are posted on Inportal Telegram and the LinkedIn page.
What is your opinion for a functional decentralised secondary market?
A functional decentralized market is becoming a reality. As companies adopt ledger technologies the ability issue tokens through a digital wallet will become commonplace. I think the natural evolution will follow the functionality of dark pools currently in use by public stock exchanges, where buyers and sellers will go to token pools or exchanges seeking liquidity, however, instead of reporting pricing and executions back to a public stock exchange, transactions will be reported back via on-ledger contracts to the issuer’s digital wallets. This is truly the functionality of a decentralized market.
How can we seek transparency so that buyers and sellers know exactly what they are getting involved in?
Transparency is the key to a functioning market. The public markets achieve this by complying with reporting requirements, quarterly reporting on earnings, and press releases on material events so the public all have access to the same information to determine the market price for a stock. Insider trading is defined as acting on non-public material information. Private secondary markets have traditionally functioned with buyers and sellers exchanging information on the company to conduct due diligence and then agreeing on a price, a long and often arduous process. This is followed by the execution of purchase sales agreements, and a one year lock up.
Our mission through the INPR protocol is to provide standardized disclosure comparable to a public market and issue tokens where investors can interact with the company by voting and receiving dividends with full corporate transparency.