Cryptocurrency Retirement Platform Auctus Aims To Take The Awkward Out Of Planningbr>
Almost half (47.5%) of Millennials don’t feel like they have a transparent view of their retirement accounts, according to a survey conducted by Auctus, a retirement plan platform incorporating cryptocurrency assets, powered by blockchain smart contracts and a mix of robo and human advisory.
The Auctus goal is to create borderless investment opportunities with traditional and cryptocurrency assets. Auctus also creates a community that connects investors to a wide range of financial advisors, incentivizing high performance by rewarding good financial advice. They have an upcoming ICO on March 27.
Raphael Vantroost, CEO of Auctus, talked about the platform with Block Tribune.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Tell me what borderless investment opportunities are and what they look like.
RAPHAEL VANTROOST: Retirement is a very regulated space. So typically you have local solutions. And it’s very hard to have an international solution. There’s different reasons for it. Legislation reasons but there’s also technological reasons. Now, in terms of the regulatory environment, we cannot change the regulatory landscape. But blockchain helps us to have a global solution, which gives access to everybody, no matter where they are and what currency they are in. And therefore, that’s one of the features of the platform, that we give access to everybody. In order to do that, we have to take certain constraints at the beginning. So at the beginning, we’re focusing on voluntary retirement planning, which removes essentially the regulatory constraints. At a later stage, we’ll go more into local solutions. But in terms of generating a large community and also in terms of having a strong token model, token model is an essential piece when creating a token sale. It’s important to have a global community and not just a local solution. Otherwise, you will also have a local base. It’s usually hard then to create a global base after all.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What’s the differentiation between your service, which is based in Brazil, and something here in the United States that allows investments for a portion of your retirement account in cryptocurrency?
RAPHAEL VANTROOST: Yeah, in fact we actually incorporated in Gibraltar and the administration is based out of Switzerland with development in Brazil. You’re probably referring to crypto IRA, if I’m not mistaken?
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What’s the difference between what you do and what they do?
RAPHAEL VANTROOST: We go a bit further. At the core of the solution is offering transparency, information knowledge, giving better information to the user. And then subsequently, of course it’s the mix of investments, traditional equities and bond investments, coupled with cryptocurrency investments.
Now on the cryptocurrency part, I think you can compare us with CoinIRA, I believe they’re called. You act as the platform, you can upload your existing IRA or employee pay plan. And then you can add assets of your interest or you can consult Global Advisory, giving you a set of pre-defined portfolios. And then you can run analytics on it such as simulating what would happen if you would contribute $200 more a month? Is there a path to early retirement? What would be the long term impact if you have more equities? Or if you increase your cryptocurrency allocation? So it’s more, it’s not just about the investment itself, it’s about giving more transparency and information, which I believe is a shortcoming of the current industry. Me being from Switzerland I think we have very well advanced fund managers, retirement fund managers in Switzerland. Yet, I have no idea what would happen if I would add another $200 at the end of the month to my retirement plan. I have no idea if there’s a path to early retirement and we’re really trying to change that.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What percentage of your portfolio should be in cryptocurrency?
RAPHEL VANTROOST: It should be probably a small allocation, it depends if it’s of, there’s different constraints. There’s, I think age is definitely a large constraint. So if you’re younger, you can be a bit more risk savvy and if you’re older, then you probably should be more risk averse.
There’s different studies that show that cryptocurrencies are entirely uncorrelated to traditional investments and therefore it makes sense to allocate. Now, the exact number we can simulate and show you what the range would be. And the more you add the larger that range gets. Meaning you’re adding more and more risk to it. I’d say maybe five percent would be a good allocation for somebody that is young and part of our early adopters are people that made their fortune in cryptocurrency. So they have just risk, essentially. And we’re trying to bridge. We’re also trying to get millennials that have only cryptocurrencies at this stage to have a look at how they can diversify, how they can get better risk adjustment returns. And so it’s initially targeting this kind of audience.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What cryptocurrencies are you advising them to purchase?
RAPHAEL VANTROOST: We’re not advising specific currencies. And our local advisories are still in development. Part of parading an ICO is, the different ways of conducting an ICO, some of them are just generally having an idea. And then conducting an ICO we’re doing a bit more. We released a demo in November and are about to release an alpha, end of February. But, it’s not gonna have yes the local advisor telling you, “Oh this is our recommendation.” I can tell you that we would have, the local advisory would give a variety of suggested portfolios and they would typically have the top cryptocurrency in there. And then you would run analytics on it and you would see how the portfolio behaves. So it’s not really about stock picking or crypto picking as such.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: How will your firm make money?
RAPHAEL VANTROOST: Initially, we’re conducting the ICOs to fund-raise, which should keep us afloat for around three years. We’re planning to have a very low management fee of around 25 basis points. And we also have a marketplace. So the marketplace is a new idea of, since we’re a global platform it makes total sense to leverage that power. So there’s gonna be a platform, which is gonna be a smart contract base. Those are alternated contracts meaning it’s a trustless marketplace. There’s no intermediary that needs to control. Anybody can offer services and rate each other meaning either services helping to create a portfolio but it’s also possible to create apps such as customizing it to your local environment. So in the end, what you will have is a dash force and a user interface, which is completely dynamic.
We’re also thinking of getting a small cut out of this marketplace whenever there’s a transaction there. But it has not been defined yet. Also, the 25 basis points will not be asked for initially.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: What are the details on your ICO? When does it start? When does it finish? How many coins are you putting out there?
RAPHAEL VANTROOST: It’s gonna launch on 27th of March. We’ll have, right now we have a white list that’s open. Anybody can register at the auctus.org/tokensale. And anybody that’s registered there will have guaranteed participation on day one without gaps or a meeting. On day one you won’t have to, for a transaction there’s typically [inaudible 00:09:46] being asked to make the transfer happen. And, when there’s a popular ICO there’s a [inaudible 00:09:54] meaning you will have to pay high transaction costs. But we’re guaranteeing participation on day one to everybody that’s white listed, meaning you won’t have to pay a lot of [inaudible 00:10:06] on day one.
Then, we will have three days of open ICO. And there won’t be any limit of contribution but, obviously there will be around for tokens after those three days.
In terms of our hard cap, the hard cap is 20 million US dollars. We’ll convert that to ethers closer to the token sale date. And there’s no minimum contribution. There’s, what else? There’s, what other metrics do you need? There’s, one ether is 2,000 AUC token.
BLOCK TRIBUNE: Those are my questions. Is there anything else that you want to tell me about that I didn’t ask you about?
RAPHAEL VANTROOST: Yeah, I mean I think the key messages of our platform is, we’d like to empower the community. We believe the current industry it’s just not addressing the audit appropriately. That’s the number one. We have this in common with [inaudible 00:11:23] but we differentiate ourselves from CoinIRA in that respect. The second one is trust and transparency. So record keeping is a big thing of our platform as well. That you have full record, you have fraud averse, and it’s community driven. So I think that’s a totally new thing that you’re engaging the community and taking that power. So I think those three things are key differentiated to existance.