It was 2010 when Equibit Group’s CEO Chris Horlacher first learned about Bitcoin. The world was still reeling from the financial crisis that proved just how murky the existing global financial system was.
2010 was also the year Chris left his job as an auditor with a Big Four firm and became the CFO of a US securities brokerage establishing itself in Canada. He was deep into the administrative side of the financial industry at a time when a new and innovative technology - one that would soon come to transform financial operations - began to pique his interest. Bitcoin highlighted the many visible but unreconciled vulnerabilities that existed within the financial system.
It soon became obvious that a peer-to-peer system like Bitcoin could be modified to serve as a suitable public securities register, greatly improving the efficiency of the industry, while significantly reducing the risks to the investing public.
With the existing administrative model, third parties such as custodians and transfer agents are responsible for maintaining records for complex securities ownership structures. Applying blockchain to securities makes intermediaries redundant, simplifying the ownership relationship to whoever holds title. The distinction between a registered and a beneficial owner, either as a non-objecting beneficial owner (NOBO), or objecting-beneficial owner (OBO), becomes moot.
The realization that value is simply information and that money is a social agreement over how that information is communicated, one begins to see just how important a thing like Bitcoin is to human civilization.
Equibit Group was formed in September 2015 to bring the benefits of blockchain technology to capital markets and to democratize access to growth capital. A team of early cryptocurrency adopters, developers, and engineers came together to examine the opportunities that a blockchain-based securities registrar would provide, and began developing the concept for a decentralized capital markets platform.
A capital market based on blockchain provides many benefits to investors and issuers; the security of assets, investor verification, direct transfer of value, and removal of counterparty risk rank high among them. But a real solution must be delivered on a public blockchain with no central authority. True security can’t be achieved unless all users have equal rights and access to a transparent network - this is something in which Equibit Group strongly believes.
Our vision is for the world of finance to move onto the internet, with massive public blockchains acting as the ultimate registration systems for intangible assets. This is a place where anyone can transfer value without the need for an intermediary, and that’s as valuable to a bank or brokerage as it is to an individual person, perhaps even more so.
Our mission is to provide an alternative and world-class experience for anyone dealing with equity or debt, making it possible for issuers of all sizes to access capital. We are well on our way.
Published Whitepaper, "Equibit, A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Equity System". Later translated into simplified Chinese and Spanish.
Secured angel investor
Proof of concept (POC) completed - basing the Equibit coin on a fork of Bitcoin
Held public EQB sale - raising 400 BTC and 135k USD.
Started to build a team - adding top tier talent to both development and marketing.
Re-branded ourselves Equibit Group to better reflect our long-term vision for the company
Sold an additional 400k EQB through a private EQB sale raising an additional 248.12 BTC
January 3rd we mined the 1,000,000 Equibit (EQB) genesis block.
Completed development of our initial product suite; Equibit Core and Equibit Portfolio - including advanced atomic swap functionality.
Equibit Group AG founded. Network launch and coin distribution business and new feature development.
Continued product roll-out and iteration. Equibit Supernode - Launch enterprise targeted wallet.
CO-FOUNDER, PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Chris began his career as an auditor at a Big 4 firm and before the age of 30 was the CFO of a start-up stock brokerage that now manages over $4 billion in assets. He went on to found his own management consulting firm and has been instrumental in numerous successful multi-million dollar start-ups and strategic initiatives for Canada’s largest companies, SME's and non-profits.
He also serves as Vice-Chairman of the Ludwig von Mises Institute of Canada, a research and educational charity focused on the field of Austrian Economics. Possessing Chartered Accountant and Chartered Professional Accountant designations, Chris is certified by the Canadian Securities Institute as a partner, director and chief financial officer.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
Eelco is co-founder and sole Managing Partner of Alpha Governance Partners, a fiduciary services firm active in alternative investments, emerging markets and fintech, himself providing risk-based governance to a number of boards. After early years in engineering, he started his career in finance in 1995 as an institutional banker with ABN AMRO Amsterdam, after which he joined UBS Zurich as a.o. CFO of its global Corporate Center division. He then joined Centrum Bank Vaduz as Head Corporate Development and CFO, followed by a move to Millennium Global Investments Geneva and London as Group CFO. At Credit Suisse Zurich he served as COO within Alternative Investments with USD 17 bn in strategies and teams in various global locations incl. New York and London. Over the years, he also gained consulting experience, also in frontier markets, and including at PwC Zurich.
Eelco holds degrees in Economics (PhD, Basel), Laws (London), Leadership (Madrid), Business and Engineering (both Rotterdam) and holds various professional designations in finance and management including the CFA- and CDir-charters; he lectures a.o. Finance Ethics at HEC Lausanne, speaks regularly on Governance and volunteers for the CFA Institute. A globally connected Dutchman with 20+ years private exposure to China, he is a resident of Switzerland and Singapore.
CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER
Stephen Barnard has held senior positions across a wide range of leading Canadian technology, financial services and marketing companies, including roles with The Canadian Press, TMX Group, BCE Emergis and Cantel (now Rogers).
Prior to TMX Group he held the positions of Managing Director for FastChannel Canada and PR Direct with The Canadian Press, and again with TMX Group as Director, Newswire Initiatives. He holds an MBA and a BA in economics from Newfoundland's Memorial University.
CO-FOUNDER & QUALITY ASSURANCE DIRECTOR
Christian is an energetic business leader, software engineer, and early bitcoin adopter. He has over 20 years of experience designing and implementing impactful IT solutions for start-ups and Fortune 100 companies. Christian has global experience, leading projects in North America, Asia-Pacific, EMEA, and Latin America.
Christian has implemented multiple systems that leverage blockchain technology as a proof of existence ledger. He has lectured at Bitcoin conferences on the topics of decentralised solutions and also given TV, radio, and podcast interviews on the innovative and transformative potential of peer-to-peer technology.
Read more about Christian here.
Kiarash Narimani has held leadership roles in software development across a wide range of global technology and financial services companies, including roles with American Express, BlackBerry, Microsoft and Intelwaves Technologies LTD.
Kiarash has a PhD in Information Security - Communication from the University of Waterloo and a M.A. Sc., Electrical Engineering - Communication and a B.Sc. ECE (Electronics), both from the University of Tehran.
Read more about Kiarash here.
DIRECTOR, COMMUNICATIONS & PRODUCT MARKETING
Emily Cornelius has held advisory roles in strategic marketing and communications with several companies, and served in staff positions from large corporations to early stage start-ups. Notable is her work as Vice President of Marketing for Goldmoney, where she directed major internal marketing initiatives, and strategic sponsorship and partnership opportunities. She also held the position of Marketing & Communications Manager for AOL Canada and Huffington Post where she developed and implement strategies to grow the Canadian Lifestyle, Tech and Business brands such as StyleList, Engadget, TechCrunch, Tuaw, Gdgt, and Advertising.com.
Emily is a graduate of The University of Western Ontario and holds a BA in Media, Information and Technolculture (MIT).
Innovating how securities are issued and traded, Equibit Group is positioned as the global leader in applying blockchain technology to the capital markets.
Our team is continuously growing, and we’re looking for people with a passion for the capital markets and the opportunities of blockchain. If this sounds like you, we’d like to hear from you!
Send us an email telling us why you think you’d be a good fit along with your resume, and if there’s a suitable position available we’ll be in touch.
We want to hear from you and have numerous places throughout this site to make that easy. If none of those spots apply to you - this one does.
There is an email address for members of the media and one for EQB Sale participants if neither of those applies, there is one for general inquiries.
If you need to send us something that isn’t digital, this is our Canadian mailing address:
2 Carlton St., Suite 901
Toronto, ON M5B 1J3