Equity represents one of the largest classes of investments, typically controlled by central depositories and stock transfer agents. Despite its size, the overall equity market is opaque and market actors must rely on these intermediaries to raise capital, conduct trades, and accurately manage their shareholder registers. Extensive documentation is required in order to ensure that purchased units are authentic. Furthermore, issuers or their agents have to maintain a register of investor’s identities and addresses in order to distribute earnings and collect votes on investor resolutions. This requires issuers to collect extensive information on their investors and incur significant costs in order to issue and transfer shares, distribute earnings and poll their investors.
What is needed is an electronic equity system allowing issuers to create, disseminate and maintain equity across a broad base of investors without the need for onerous recordkeeping and intermediaries.