A digital asset business linked to diamonds that is said to have attracted millions of dollars in pre-orders from institutional investors, could be cleared to transact with its token and exchange by the end of this month.
That is according to Cormac Kinney, chief executive officer of Diamond Standard, who spoke last week at a high-profile finance, economics and thought leadership conference in Las Vegas.
Yesterday, Bermudian-incorporated Diamond Standard Ltd announced the appointment of James Campbell as its chief financial officer. He has also been named CFO of sister company Bitcarbon Technologies Ltd, which last year advertised for more than 20 positions in Hamilton.
The company said it will start recruiting for ten to 12 positions in Bermuda during the coming months, with further positions to be filled later in the year.
Diamond Standard is building an electronic diamond exchange in Bermuda.
Mr Kinney, the founder, is a celebrated American entrepreneur and software designer with a lengthy track record in successful start-ups and technology-orientated business. His inventions have been cited in nearly 4,000 US patents.
At the Salt Conference in Las Vegas last week, Mr Kinney appeared on a panel where he discussed the concept of the Diamond Standard coins, which contain an equal value of diamonds and feature an internal wireless encryption chip, a Bitcarbon Technologies-issued bitcarbon digital token for online trading.
Among its proposed uses, the coin can act as collateral to borrow money or asset-back a smart contract, such as a down payment on a purchase. The token is said to be compatible with every blockchain programme.
Mr Kinney said more than 90 per cent of the company’s initial orders have come from institutions that have never owned a digital asset. He said the majority are multitrillion-dollar investment managers and ETFs.
He added: “We have a lot of institutional investors in the equity of the company that also helped us with pre-orders. We now have several hundred million in pre-orders.
“We can’t actually launch. We’ve chosen to be regulated and our tokens and our exchange are both regulated by the Bermuda Monetary Authority, so we can’t actually transact for about one more week.”
As of yesterday Bitcarbon and Diamond Standard were not listed as licensed entities on the BMA website.
Mr Kinney has been featured in many publications, including Fortune and Forbes. He is the inventor of the heatmaps, which graphically depict financial market information and have been used extensively on Wall Street and beyond since the 1990s.
He has raised venture capital from the likes of Intel, Deutsche Bank and Bank Stearns.
Meanwhile, in yesterday’s announcement of Mr Campbell as CFO of Bitcarbon Technologies and Diamond Standard Ltd, the company said he would lead its local expansion and liaise with the Bermuda Government and the Bermuda Monetary Authority.
Mr Campbell, a Bermuda resident, most recently advised the Bermuda Hospitals Board, and previously was CFO of Counterpartylink Ltd, a financial data company based in Hamilton and the UK. He is said to have more than 30 years of financial and operational experience, particularly with technology and telecom start-ups.
Bitcarbon is operating from temporary offices at 55 Par-la-Ville Road. Bermudian Heather Kitson is also a director of Diamond Standard in Bermuda.
Mr Kinney said: “I am delighted to welcome Jamie to our management team. His impressive qualifications, and past success in leadership roles at technology companies, make him ideally-suited to the role.
“As a Bermudian financial professional, he is committed to developing the country’s role as a world-class fintech hub. He will guide our company’s growth in partnership with the BMA and BDA, while building our local team.”
Mr Campbell said: “I am excited to join Cormac and the Diamond Standard team at this important juncture in their growth. The company’s unique offering — the first diamond commodity which is also a digital asset — is the kind of leading-edge fintech investment that Bermuda wants to attract with our industry-leading digital asset legislation and our first-in-class regulatory environment, and I look forward to driving its long-term success.”