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Web3 startups’ cap tables can look quite different from traditional ones. In addition to issuing equity as a form of incentive alignment for employees, as a typical startup would, crypto companies often also issue tokens that represent ownership. Tokens are an entirely separate asset class with their own complexities, rules and regulations.
Token management differs from equity management because of some fundamental differences between the two asset classes, Ji said. Tokens are more dynamic than equity — you can vote with them, stake them, lend them out, and provide liquidity, he continued.
Another key difference is that when traditional equity is transferred, legal papers and agreements serve the purpose of tracking ownership. In contrast, when tokens are transferred, assets move on a blockchain and a transfer of custody takes place, Ji explained. The technology needed to transfer tokens can be complex, sometimes requiring companies to write custom code.
“The same way that you would think about distributing equity to investors or employees, there’s a similar strategy that you want to apply on reserving a finite supply of tokens, and how you want to allocate them to the respective parties for the best ROI for your business,”
The core product includes a dashboard where customers can see their smart contracts and tokens outstanding as well as tax compliance features. LiquiFi is also working on a product that would allow individuals with locked or vesting tokens to earn additional yield on those tokens while they’re being held
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