Welcome to the latest episode of At the Forefront: Fintech Conversations!
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In this episode, Forefront Managing Partner Eric Soderberg sits down with two members of the founding team at RDC (Receipts Depositary Corporation): Ankit Mehta (CEO) and Ishaan Narain (CPO). The conversation focuses on the recent launch of RDC’s Bitcoin depositary receipt (DR), as well as the company’s vision for the future of digital and alternative asset investing.
RDC’s co-founders each spent over 10 years working at Citi’s DR business prior to starting their own firm. Fast forward to today, and RDC has just emerged from stealth mode to launch its first product, BTC DRs, with solid industry backing from lead investors Franklin Templeton, BTIG and Broadhaven Ventures.
Ankit begins by providing some history on DRs as an investment product, which originated nearly 100 years ago to address investor access issues. As a clearing system-eligible security directly backed by an underlying asset and held by a custodian, DRs are designed to maximize the rights of ownership and minimize the operational, counterparty and regulatory risk typically associated with investing in foreign companies. A tried-and-true means of cross-border investing, DRs have long been an attractive vehicle for Qualified Institutional Buyers (QIBs).
The conversation then turns to RDC’s vision for the role of DRs in today’s digital asset landscape. Ishaan compares the challenges investors face in the digital asset landscape to those they face in foreign markets – including the challenge of fitting these investments within existing workflows or business models. RDC’s BTC DR can help solve this institutional access problem by offering the convenience of direct ownership alongside the safety and soundness of traditional securities infrastructure.
Ishaan provides further detail on the key benefits of RDC’s debut product, including how DRs are cleared and settled within DTC, so QIBs aren’t forced to work with new counterparties or change their current workflows.
Near the end of the conversation, Eric brings up a hot topic in the digital asset space: the possibility that US regulators will greenlight spot Bitcoin ETFs for the first time. Ishaan explains that a potential BTC ETF and RDC’s BTC DRs have a shared mission and core benefit: helping investors access the underlying asset. He then describes additional benefits of the DR structure including their capacity for direct ownership, universal fungibility and easy inclusion in portfolios.
To close out, Ankit discusses what’s next for RDC. In addition to Bitcoin, the company is actively exploring DRs for some of the other most widely used digital and alternative assets and expects to add more products down the road.
Visit RDC’s website at www.receiptsdepo.io.
See below for a breakdown of what was discussed. Happy listening!
1:05 – A history of DRs and the challenges they solve
4:12 – The benefits of RDC’s Bitcoin DR
7:20 – The DR transaction process
9:35 – How Bitcoin DRs fit into the Bitcoin ETF story
13:20 – What’s next for RDC
The foregoing information is presented for discussion purposes only. The products and services described herein are subject to complicated legal and regulatory requirements, and the provision of any products or services will be subject to further due diligence and legal and regulatory review. The information herein is not legal advice and you are encouraged to consult your own legal and regulatory advisors in all applicable jurisdictions. No material contained herein constitutes, or may be used in connection with, an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, any securities.
Receipts Depositary Corporation (“RDC”) does not operate or hold itself out as a broker or dealer or investment adviser and is not licensed as a broker or dealer or investment adviser in any jurisdiction or country. We suggest that you consult a licensed broker-dealer and/or investment adviser before engaging in or refraining from any investment-related course of action. This presentation is for informational purposes only, is general in nature, and does not constitute financial advice. We disclaim any liability for loss, damage, cost, or other expense that you might incur because of any information provided on this presentation.