According to the news publication Quartz, the computer scientist Nick Szabo is working on a new startup and seeking funding. Szabo is best known for his work in cryptography and research papers on smart contracts and digital currency. The cryptographer wrote this detailed explanation of self-executed contracts back in 1997 saying:
“Mature security systems will be undertaking different behavior for different contracts. To continue with our example, if the automobile contract were a lease, the final payment would switch off leasee access; for purchase on credit, it would switch off creditor access. A security system, by successive redesign, increasingly approaches the logic of the contract which governs the rights and obligations covering the object, information, or computation being secured. Qualitatively different contractual terms, as well as technological differences in the property, give rise to the need for different protocols.”
Known as the creator of the phrase and concept of smart contracts Szabo is a respected cryptographer and was even thought to be Satoshi Nakamoto at one time. The publication Quartz has said they have reviewed a pitch deck which says that Szabo is looking for $3 million in funding for this new venture. In the report, the news outlet states that a “familiar person” involved with the project has said the startup has already raised $1 million in a seed round executed by Fenbushi Capital.
The Shanghai-based Fenbushi Capital is a venture firm partaking in blockchain-related business. Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum and co-founder, is also a partner at the Fenbushi venture company. Quartz also reports that former Morgan Stanley and UBS executive Donald McIntyre is named on the pitch deck.
The pitch deck Quartz says describes the company’s services which incorporate smart contracts on the blockchain that represent assets such as bonds, and index funds. Customers would be enabled to purchase the blockchain-tethered assets with Bitcoin and the company hopes to manage $20 billion in assets by 2021. The source also states that the company will focus in areas where there is a large population of unbanked. The pitch indicates, “opportunity to focus initially on Latin American markets to satisfy the need for stable investable assets.” There is not much more detailed in the pitch and when reached out for comments Szabo did not respond to Quartz.
There are many projects working with smart contracts and asset management using protocols such as Ethereum, Bitshares, Counterparty and more. Some of the startups are trying to build a similar system much like Szabo’s pitch deck. However, Szabo is well known in the industry for his understanding of smart contract executions and his reputation may sell the company’s funding rounds.
“I argue that the formalizations of our relationships — especially contracts — provide the blueprint for ideal security.”