Startup of the Month: Lykke, a Next-Gen Zero-Commission Trading Platform Powered by Blockchainby Fintechnews Switzerland September 1, 2016
Bitcoin and blockchain technology has gotten a major boost in Switzerland as Richard Olsen, the co-founder of OANDA and a former CEO of the North American FX Brokerage, is looking to harness the power of the technology to disrupt digital currencies and assets trading.
Lykke, Olsen’s latest venture, has just released a mobile app for Android devices, which follows its iOS counterpart released in June. The Lykke Wallet lets users trade digital currencies and assets, and come with a number of innovative features including instant settlement, direct ownership and zero commission.
Through the app, users can track asset prices in real time, check their balances, transaction history and blockchain details for all transactions, move assets to any bitcoin wallet, deposit and withdraw bitcoins via QR codes with no fees.
“Lykke Wallet, currently in beta, aims to prove the concepts and the technology behind the new global marketplace,” Olsen said in a media release.
Signing up to Lykke is quite simple: you can use your smartphone camera to take pictures of yourself and your identification documents.
Founded in Zurich in 2015, Lykke aims at cutting out intermediaries in financial markets by allowing participants to transact in a peer-to-peer manner.
It uses a technology called ‘colored coins;’ tokens that represent assets. “If a colored coin is hacked, the issuer can cancel the colored coin and issue a new colored coin,” explained Olsen in a recent interview with Finance Magnates.
Another interesting feature is the platform’s use of multisignature (multisig) wallets, which require two signatures (one from Lykke, one from the client) to spend funds from a particular wallet.
The Lykke Exchange itself doesn’t take custody of client funds but also holds one of the two needed private keys. If, for some reason, the Lykke Exchange goes down, there is a “refund mechanism” for the private key held by the company.
“We have solved the cyber security issue that plagues bitcoin exchanges and offer restitution, which is more efficient than a depositor insurance scheme in banks that is limited to specified amount of money,” Olsen said.
Lykke is building a global marketplace where users would be able to trade all classes of financial instruments issued in the form of colored coins in order to enable direct ownership and immediate settlement on the blockchain.
In May 2016, Lykke closed a second seed funding round, welcoming new investors Marco Brockhaus and Carlo Koelzer.
That same month, the company announced the addition of Nick Szabo, a Bitcoin pioneer, into its Advisory Board.
Lykke is currently on an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) which it plans to begin in September.
“Blockchain is an opportunity for all businesses – literally all businesses can embrace the technology and seize the opportunities, such as issuance of new instruments, explosive growth of transaction volumes, new types of banking, investment management and insurance products – these markets have huge potential,” Olsen said.
“Companies that close their eyes to the new opportunities are at risk – they will be latecomers and will have to restructure, when revenues nosedive – a bad environment to embrace new business models.”