Tezos-based StakerDAO has distributed its Staker (STKR) tokens to equity investors, launching the “tokenized hedge fund.”
STKR is priced at $13.30 a pop with a market capitalization of $20 million, backed by both a seed and Series A round. Key investors include Polychain Capital and Lemniscap.
STKR acts as both a governance token and security, with funds garnered from the protocol distributed to token holders.
“We are recognizing the governance token as something that will become profitable for the holders. The decision-making that happens through that governance is designed to drive profits back to those token holders,” StakerDAO CEO and founder Jonas Lamis said.
StakerDAO also launched its first token, Blend (BLND), which can be found on CoinList and will generate revenue for DAO members. An Ethereum ERC-20 token, BLND tracks the performance of a basket of Proof-of-Stake (PoS) cryptocurrencies. BLND is not available for U.S. investors.
Under the hood, StakerDAO has two pieces: a Cayman Island corporation and a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO). Operating with two faces gives StakerDAO the flexibility to offer a U.S.-compliant security offering while leaning on what many see as a novel form of democratic governance with DAOs.
StakerDAO itself is led by a five-man council including Polychain’s Olaf Carlson-Wee, Coinbase Custody’s Luke Youngblood, Lemniscap’s Shaishav Todi, DTC Capital’s Spencer Noon and StakerDAO’s Lamis.
From there, StakerDAO works just like its base layer protocol, Tezos. (Lamis was previously the general manager at Tezos Capital, a delegation service for that blockchain.) Any changes to the DAO go through a multi-tiered voting process before being implemented or rejected.
StakerDAO takes into consideration protocol proposals over a monthlong process with final results and implementations overseen by the council and StakerDAO team, Lamis said.
StakerDAO works in a similar space as the Ethereum-centric LAO, a DAO meshed with a legal wrapper. While both lean on DAOs as a governance mechanism for capital allocation, StakerDAO’s audience resides in the “early majority” who are not ready to jump into more technical protocols but would like to hold investments in those projects, Lamis said.
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