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ICO Launch Malta CEO: Days of Utility ICOs Numbered, Market Shifting Toward STOs (Interview)


In this interview, we meet veteran ICO advisor Jan Sammut, founder and CEO of ICOMalta.com, Malta’s first full stack ICO agency. As one of the most crypto-knowledgeable people in Malta, Jan Sammut’s opinion carries much weight with locals as well as the extended European crypto community.

Jan ran Malta’s first ICO and launched Europe’s first MiFID 2 compliant security token offering. Jan is a fixture on the European blockchain conference tour and advisor to ICOs with market caps exceeding $1B. Jan’s expertise was integral to the launch of some of the best performing European ICOs to date with over €1B in raises to date.

ICO Launch Malta CEO Jan Sammut

LBN: For our readers who are not yet aware, what is ICO Launch Malta?

JS: ICO Launch Malta is a full stack ICO platform based out of Malta. We offer turnkey solutions for ICOs and STOs, as well as a range of ancillary services such as ICO banking, legal services, and marketing activities. Despite our name, we also operate offices in Gibraltar and have a development hub in Stockholm.

LBN: There are other ICO management platforms out there – what makes yours different?

JS: A number of things make our ICO management platform stand out. The primary difference is that our platform has been developed entirely in-house. Our development team can deploy custom token protocols that are true cryptographic analogues of traditional financial instruments. Our platform accommodates native support of bank wire token sales. Affiliate and bounty tracking is powered by RefToken. And our platform is decentralized, meaning that it’s infinitely scalable. We can launch an ICO in a week or less should we have the requirement to do so. Our killer feature though is that it has been audited by our partner banks, enabling us to offer fast-track bank account opening services for our clients.

LBN: Could you give us a few examples of custom tokens you’ve developed?

JS: Sure, these include:

  • Dividend or profit share tokens – this is the staple STO token
  • Post-ICO transfer limitation to create a cryptographic register of shareholders. This prevents the token from becoming a bearer bond or share
  • Vesting periods, which allow holders to retain possession of their tokens, thereby receiving dividends, whilst restricting them to selling no more than a certain percentage a month
  • Non-fungible tokens, these are generally used to denote ownership of fine art, precious metals and other illiquid assets that suffer from poor price discovery and thin markets
  • Fractional ownership tokens for fractionalizing real estate, yachts, and income funds
  • Blockchain bonds

LBN: Why did you choose Malta as your base of operations?

JS: No real reason, apart from the favorable regulatory and tax regime, pro-business government, access to talent, great climate and lifestyle. The Maltese government is doing an absolutely sterling job in turning the country into the real blockchain island as evidenced by the relocation of industry behemoths such as Binance, ZB and OKeX, amongst others.

LBN: In what areas do you think most current ICOs fall short?

JS: We screen our clients pretty thoroughly, and the primary reasons we decline clients are:

  • No real requirement for a native token
  • No practical use case for integrating the blockchain
  • Poorly defined vision and market positioning strategy
  • Founders who have no background in the sector they are ostensibly out to disrupt

LBN: What services do you offer?

JS: Our core offerings are our ICO and STO platform, followed by custom token development, marketing services, and banking and legal solutions.

LBN: At a time when banks are downright hostile to crypto-related businesses, how are you able to offer banking services to ICOs?

JS: Our ICO platform has bank-level KYC and AML protocols which have been audited by our banking partners. We have gone to the extent of integrating the same identity verification service provider that our lead banking partner uses. This has placed us in the privileged position of being able to offer our clients fast track bank accounts in an EU bank.

LBN: Tell us about your ICO platform – what features does it have?

JS: The platform is really a gem, and covers everything needed to run an ICO from a technical point of view in a single decentralized codestack.

  • Configuration & minting of an ERC20 token
  • Crowdsale contract creation
  • Full user interface
  • Integrated KYC and AML protocols
  • Creation of a whitelist & integration of the whitelist into a smart contract
  • A robust multi-signature wallet to secure funds raised and tokens allocated to the tokensale
  • Administrator dashboard and backend
  • Bank transfer management

LBN: Are there any requirements for a project to launch their ICO through your platform?

JS: The hard requirement is a white paper with a legal opinion from a respectable law firm. Apart from that, we have a few soft requirements that revolve around a sense-check of the fitness of the client, the technical viability of the project, the valuation of the project, the raise targets, proposed token and fund allocation etc.

LBN: A recent article in Bloomberg noted that ICO funding is at its lowest in 17 months – why do you think that is and, more importantly, what will it take to rebound?

JS: The retail market is battered by the bear market, with investors hesitant to commit more funds whilst their portfolios are in the red. I am of the opinion that the days of the utility ICO are numbered, with the market shifting towards STOs. We have seen that in our client mix.

Live Bitcoin News would like to thank Jan Sammut for taking the time to speak with us. For more information about ICO Launch Malta, please visit https://icomalta.com.

Do you have any additional questions for Jan Sammut? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of ICO Launch Malta


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