Switzerland-based blockchain startup Melonport has announced Version 0.1.0 of its digital asset management platform. The portal is built on the Ethereum blockchain and is now operating within the Kovan testnet.
Melonport is developing a digital asset management protocol that allows users to create their own portfolios composed of digital assets. The startup is led by former Goldman Sachs banker Mona El Isa, who believes the blockchain holds immense promise in revamping the financial services industry, especially in the fund management sector.
“Literally every other industry I can think of has been heavily disrupted by technology, except finance. Instead, we have built new technology on top of old technology for years and years and years making processes slow, inefficient and expensive. It’s time to reinvent the space from scratch and get rid of all these inefficiencies” says El Isa.
Traditional hedge fund businesses have many barriers to entry, which limit both portfolio managers and investors from participating in the sector. For personal funds, there are minimum asset requirements and higher fees, which dissuades participation. To manage other people’s’ assets, a regulatory license is required, which is time-consuming and expensive to acquire. Operational support, office space, analytical research, risk management technology, and auditors are other start-up costs that are very expensive and more often than not sink a hedge fund in its first year of existence.
For investors, the barriers to entry include the high management fees that hedge fund managers charge in order to offset the costs they incur while running the business. Also, it is not easy to find well-performing funds as there is no public directory. Most customers have to go with the most visible funds, though they may not be the best. Lastly, the best performing funds have a minimum investment requirement that can be difficult for the