Today marks the launch of what is most likely the first ever blockchain-based initial public offering (IPO), with the national stock exchange of the Seychelles selling tokenized shares in its equity to investors worldwide.
At 09:00 U.K. time (08:00 UTC), the shares will be available on the MERJ exchange’s own platform, as well as through broker-dealer Jumpstart and crypto custodian Prime Trust – both based in the U.S. – and U.K.-based blockchain fundraising platform Globacap, MERJ told CoinDesk exclusively.
The IPO sees MERJ issuing 1,652,893 new shares at a price of $2.42 per share, with the aim of raising $4 million to fund its expansion. The sale values the firm at $25 million, the firm said.
The shares are tokenized on the public ethereum blockchain.
Edmond Tuohy, CEO of MERJ Exchange, said:
“These novel financial instruments are here to reshape the financial industry for years to come. MERJ provides the regulatory framework necessary for investors globally to access these markets in a safe and compliant manner.”
Just over a month ago, CoinDesk reported that MERJ had become the first national stock exchange to offer a tokenized security.
The company said at the time that it had chosen to use ethereum to register ownership of the shares because at this time “it is the best supported protocol for these purposes.”
While located in the Seychelles, MERJ hosts issuers from North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa. It is licensed by the Indian Ocean nation’s Financial Services Authority as a securities exchange, clearing agency and securities depository (CSD).