Alpha Client Testing Launch
We are very excited to announce that Lendingblock is officially alpha testing with clients! Steve has kicked off his world tour, conducting client meetings this week in the US, across New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Next week, he will be travelling to Asia to meet key clients across Hong Kong, Tokyo and Singapore. There will be additional focus on more deeply establishing Lendingblock’s Asian presence and building new client relationships in the region. Meanwhile, in London, Sebastian and Linda are working with clients across EMEA on testing the product with them.
A comprehensive report of the alpha testing process and client feedback will be prepared at the end of the testing period. We have though already seen some themes emerging from the sessions already conducted with clients. Overall, client feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. Test trades have settled and been repaid, and users have reported that they are pleased with the functionality. Points of criticism were mainly focused on making UI improvements such as more prominent notifications and clearer segregation between participants’ loans and other active loans. We were already aware of these UI features from our internal testing and have been working on improvements. For the team, it has been extremely gratifying that there have been no concerns with the lending exchange’s functionality, performance or the team's strategic assumptions.
One of the main purposes of alpha testing is that it allows us to test our assumptions with various clients by bringing a functional product to the hands of the users without over-engineering design decisions. Post-alpha, and as we move into launch phase, the client feedback loop will continuously be incorporated into our dev team’s prioritisation of design enhancements.
The key takeaway from our first week of alpha testing is that clients are extremely pleased with the overall product and its functionality. As a result, the majority of these institutions have begun the onboarding process for live launch.
Regulatory & Legal Update
On the regulatory front, the firm has had two main areas of focus in the last month. First is the follow-up actions from the GFSC presentation in Gibraltar which includes providing additional details on key aspects of the firms security infrastructure and custody arrangements. The second area is around understanding the regulatory framework likely to be applicable to Lendingblock in the critical US market. This is taking place through discussions with our US legal advisers and also with the two key regulators in the US, the CTFC and the SEC. Key focus for the coming weeks will be to answer any follow-up questions from the GFSC and to secure preliminary regulatory approval as soon as possible.
Our legal team has been working with our English law counsel on finalising Lendingblock’s Global Digital Asset Lending Agreement, Platform Rulebook and related trading documentation. The contractual framework is bespoke and provides specifically for borrowing and lending of digital assets for market participants and sets out Platform rules. These documents will provide standardised enforceable contractual terms for participants on the Platform.
The last couple of weeks has been very active for our marketing team. We are working on building relationships with mainstream media outlets and finance and crypto media in order to raise the profile of Lendingblock, the product and the team.
A few recent examples of where we have been mentioned in the media include:
Lending 101 with Lendingblock Listen to Linda Wang, Co-founder and CCO discuss institutional lending and borrowing with Aaron Paul.
Earlier in October, we had the opportunity to co-host a panel discussion with Quoine, Coinbase, and Quartz titled, “Why the institutionalisation and regulation of crypto doesn’t mean the end of Satoshi’s vision?” We had a record turnout at the event, and you can watch the key highlights of the panel here.
The marketing team has developed and is executing on a content strategy that will continue to establish Lendingblock as thought leaders on key topics in the institutional digital asset space. This content will be hosted on our website and be distributed across a number of channels and targeting tactics. The most recent pieces talk about market making, securities lending, and commingling & rehypothecation and can be found on our newsroom.
As many of you have noticed, we have been undertaking a brand refresh exercise in order to give Lendingblock a more institutional look and feel. Part of that involves a new marketing website, which went live yesterday. There are a few improvements we will be carrying out over the coming days.
Looking ahead, the Lendingblock management team will be heading to Consensus: Invest on 26-27 November. This will be an important marketing and business development opportunity in advance of launch. The team will be hosting an institutional client networking and cocktail event the evening pre-Consensus with Genesis Capital and another partner to be announced. Lendingblock’s CEO, Steve Swain, will be joined by Genesis Capital’s CEO, Michael Moro on panel discussion titled, Borrowing & Lending is the New Buying & Selling. Lendingblock will also be hosting an exhibit booth where the goal will be to demo the product with clients, generate brand awareness and meet new prospects for business.
On 30 November, Lendingblock will be attending the MJAC and Cryptocompare Conference as part of the Blockchain Summit taking place in London. CEO, Steve Swain will be speaking on “How Securities Lending will Lead to the Institutional Adoption of Cryptocurrencies.” Other conference speakers include Coinfloor, Coinbase and Ripple.
Next community update will be at the start of December in a form of a livestream. Reddit thread to be announced soon for the questions.
We are now accepting alpha testers from the community so if you are interested, please fill out this form.