A Message from SALT on our Form 10 registration statement filing
In September 2020, SALT reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) related to the offer and sale of SALT Tokens in our “membership token sale” or “initial coin offering” (“ICO”), in which we offered and sold digital tokens (“SALT Tokens”) starting in 2017 through 2019. As part of the settlement, we are preparing to file a Form 10 to register our SALT Tokens under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
We have been working on the registration process and the SEC has granted us a 75-day extension on our filing deadline — an option that was included in the original SEC order. As a result of this extension, the Claim Form for purchasers of the SALT Token (applicable to those who purchased SALT Tokens directly from the SALT before and including December 31, 2019) will be available 60 days after the date of the filing of the 1934 Act Registration (or on the date seven (7) days after the 1934 Act Registration becomes effective, whichever date is sooner). For additional information about the claims procedure see the original SEC order.
As we work to complete the registration process, we continue to remain focused on providing new avenues for our customers to grow and preserve wealth. Not only have we made significant improvements to our lending product, but we have formed partnerships that will enable us to expand the business beyond lending. We’re excited about SALT’s future and will continue to share updates and milestones via our website.
SALT Lending Reaches Settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
September 30, 2020 (DENVER) — Salt Blockchain Inc. f/k/a Salt Lending Holdings, Inc. (“Salt” or the “Company”), a company that provides crypto-backed loans and is expanding its product offerings to include wealth management services, today announced it has reached a settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) related to Salt’s offer and sale of SALT Tokens in its “membership token sale” or “initial coin offering” (“ICO”), in which the Company offered and sold digital tokens (“SALT Tokens”) starting in 2017 through 2019. The SEC has simultaneously granted Salt an important waiver that will among other things allow the Company to participate in future capital raising activities under Regulation D of the Securities Act of 1933 (“Securities Act”).
Salt has cooperated with the SEC and has been working toward a settlement for many months. Throughout that time, Salt has continued to grow and has proven the viability of the lending business and technology described to investors in connection with the ICO. Now that the Company and the SEC have reached a settlement, Salt plans to expand its product offerings to include products focused on asset management and the preservation of wealth. “As part of Salt’s current leadership team, I can speak to the fact that this experience has certainly been a humbling one. While it has forced us to hit pause on a number of initiatives and product releases, it has also given us time to think about how we want to evolve the business,” said CEO of Salt Justin English. “I’m excited about Salt’s future and am grateful for the opportunity to pursue our vision of building products and services that will help our customers build and preserve their wealth.”
Without admitting or denying the findings in the order, the Company consented to the entry of an administrative order that requires it, among other things, to cease and desist from future violations of the offering and registration provisions of the federal securities laws (the “SEC Settlement”). Under the terms of the SEC Settlement, the Company will register SALT Tokens under Section 12(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 as a class of securities, maintain that registration and make timely filings as required by law and the SEC Settlement, and pay a civil monetary penalty of $250,000.
In addition, under the terms of the SEC Settlement, the Company will administer a claims procedure available to those who purchased SALT Tokens directly from the Company before and including December 31, 2019. Pursuant to that claims procedure, purchasers of SALT Tokens from the Company before and including December 31, 2019 who elect to participate and timely submit a complete Claim Form and required supporting documentation will be permitted to provide their SALT Tokens to the Company in exchange for payment of the amount due under Section 12(a) of the Securities Act (consideration paid with interest thereon, less the amount of any income received or damages if the person no longer owns the security). The Company will distribute a Claim Form to purchasers in accordance with the terms of the SEC Settlement. As required by the SEC Settlement, the Company will submit a monthly report to the SEC of the claims received and the claims paid under its voluntary claims procedure as described in paragraph 17 of the Undertakings in the SEC Order. The SEC Order is available at https://www.sec.gov/enforce/33-10865-s.
SALT Announces Justin English as Chief Executive Officer
We’re excited to announce that Justin English has been named chief executive officer at Salt Blockchain Inc., parent company to SALT Lending. Co-presidents Rob Odell and Dustin Hull, who have been working together for the past six months to fill the CEO role and onboard English, will remain co-presidents and will continue to support SALT in their respective roles as chief product officer and chief financial officer.
English brings more than 15 years of senior management and board experience across the private equity, early-stage venture capital, consumer products, supply chain, manufacturing, distribution, and consumer services industries. Having founded three companies, he has extensive entrepreneurial experience with a specific focus on capital raising, financial modeling, and developing go-to-market strategies.
In addition to these areas of expertise, English currently serves as co-managing partner of First Catalyst Ventures, a US-based alternative investment firm focusing on early stage B2B technology companies. He also brings several years of board member experience to his new role, having previously served on several non-profit boards and on the board of SALT. Currently, he serves on the board of a non-profit private school as well as on the board of Elite Mining Inc., a crypto mining operation focused on clean energy and green mining.
Appointed to SALT’s board of directors in October 2019, English immediately did a deep dive of SALT’s talent, partnerships, brand, product offerings, and everything in between to determine the company’s potential. He began thinking about the ways in which it could grow and scale, and in doing so, played a significant advisory role in guiding SALT’s executive team in its decisions throughout his time on the Board. “It became evident that Justin was a natural fit for the CEO role,” said Joe Perry, chairman of SALT’s Board of Directors. “He has a strategic mindset and a proven ability to identify, understand, and execute on the necessary actions that will lead SALT to success.”
English has been a serial entrepreneur throughout his entire career and has extensive experience working with start-ups. This experience was a major factor in his decision to accept the role as chief executive officer. “I’m excited to take on this challenge for a couple of reasons, the first being that SALT is a start-up and start-ups are what I know,” said Justin English, chief executive officer, SALT.
“Second, SALT is well-positioned to challenge the conventional ways of thinking about finance — that’s something I’m really passionate about because so many of us go through life making decisions that have been historically viewed as correct, when in reality there’s so much more we can be doing to build and preserve our own wealth. With that in mind, I want to take this opportunity to build something that not only helps our customers lead better financial lives, but that gives our team a sense of purpose regarding the work they’re doing each day.”
With the addition of English as chief executive officer, SALT’s executive team now consists of six members: Dustin Hull as chief financial officer; Rob Odell as chief product officer; Dirk Anderson as chief technology officer; Alex Fader as chief legal officer; and Debra Johnston as chief people officer.
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Uphold and SALT Announce Platform Integration to Seamlessly Connect 1.65M Uphold Users to SALT’s Crypto-Backed Loans
We’re excited to announce our partnership with Uphold — the leading digital money platform democratizing access to investments and payments using blockchain technology — to provide Uphold users with seamless cash or stablecoin loans using cryptocurrencies as collateral. Uphold users can now secure loans through SALT in as little as 24-hours against their holdings in Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dash, and as of today, XRP. The integration of the two platforms provides enhanced access to liquidity, enabling users to unlock additional value in their holdings.
In addition to bringing leading credit solutions to Uphold users, we’ve integrated Uphold wallets into our platform, allowing the company’s large and rapidly growing user base to access Uphold’s products through their dashboard. The integration streamlines the lending experience for shared users through seamless collateral transfers and loan proceed payouts.
“SALT has given its users the flexibility to access loans using their cryptocurrency holdings. Our integration with the SALT platform allows us to grow our service offering and provides another real-world use case for Uphold members,” said Robin O’Connell, Chief Revenue Officer, Uphold.
With a crypto-backed loan from SALT, Uphold users can unlock liquidity from their crypto assets without having to sell them. Unlike traditional financial institutions, we allow customers to use their crypto assets as collateral to secure a cash (USD) or stablecoin loan in as little as 24 hours, providing them with the opportunity to reach their personal financial goals including but not limited to funding a large purchase, consolidating debt, or accessing working capital to scale their business.
When applying for a loan through SALT, Uphold users can customize their loan by choosing their preferred loan type, loan amount, duration, and Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio with options ranging from 30%-70%. There are no credit or income checks required and no origination or prepayment fees. With a crypto-backed loan from SALT, Uphold users can keep their crypto and get cash.
“Uphold has built an impressive platform that provides a seamless on-ramp into the digital economy and a simple method to transact across diverse asset classes. We’re excited to bring our leading crypto-credit products to Uphold’s global customer base and enhance our borrower experience through a direct integration with Uphold wallets on our platform,” added Jarrett Abraham, Director of Corporate Development, SALT. “Together, we’ll provide ultimate flexibility for crypto holders who need access to liquidity across a range of crypto assets and fiat currencies. This is an exciting strategic partnership for us that helps further our mission to accelerate the world’s ability to embrace crypto assets and participate in the token economy.”
Uphold is a digital money platform democratizing access to investments and payments using blockchain technology. With more than 1.5 million users globally, Uphold has powered ~$5.3bn in transactions (9/30/19). Uphold provides both retail customers and businesses worldwide with easy access to fiat and digital currencies, as well as precious metals. The San Francisco based firm is opening up global access to financial services that are either ‘hard to reach’ or simply not available in certain regions. Available through the web, iOS, and Android, Uphold is the only financial platform to publish its reserve holdings in real time. The company also has offices in New York, Portugal and London. More information can be found at www.uphold.com, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Uphold is registered with Fincen in the United States and is an EMD agent of an FCA licensed e-money institution in Europe. Uphold is not a lender, loan broker, or loan arranger and is not offering anyone advice or assistance in obtaining a loan.
New Changes Add Value for SALT Supporters
After identifying and evaluating new ways to add value for SALT Membership Unit (“SALT”) supporters, we’re excited to announce that we’re 1. now accepting SALT as collateral for a cash or stablecoin loan and 2. switching from a staking model to a redemption model.
How will this work when the price of SALT varies across exchanges?
Since Binance and Bittrex delisted SALT in February and May respectively, we’ve been searching for a valid third-party pricing source by which to value SALT. We define valid exchange pricing as the trading price on an unmanipulated market where the trading volume is high enough that a sufficient number of buyers and sellers can establish a price at which to transact. We determined that Binance and Bittrex were the only two exchanges to offer a sufficient market for SALT to provide validity in the previous year. To mitigate this change in pricing validity, we have taken the 60-day moving average from Coinmarketcap.com, using the 60 days prior to the delisting announcement by Bittrex. Using this pricing mechanism, we are recognizing a price of $0.15 per SALT on our platform. If, in the future, SALT is listed on an exchange with adequate trading volume, accessibility, and market depth to provide us with price validity, we will immediately recognize such third-party pricing.
What does this mean if I’ve already staked SALT to secure a loan?
If you currently have a loan with us and you staked SALT to get a reduced interest rate, your SALT will automatically be recognized as collateral in your collateral wallet and your interest rate will remain the same.
What else can I do with my SALT?
We are moving from a staking model to a redemption model. This means that while you can still use your SALT to secure a lower APR on your crypto-backed loan, the new redemption program will allow you to redeem your SALT rather than stake it. The reason we’ve switched to this new model is to offer you value for your SALT upfront. From now on, you can redeem your SALT to reduce your interest rate for lower monthly payments (go to saltlending.com for loan terms and options). The amount of SALT required to do so depends upon the size of your loan.
What if I don’t own SALT?
If you don’t own SALT, these changes will not impact you. Our goal with switching to a redemption model and adding SALT as a collateral type is to reward early supporters of SALT by offering them additional ways to use their SALT tokens the way they were intended to be used — to engage with our lending platform.
SALT Adds Newly Released PAX Gold as Collateral Option in First Regulated Gold-backed Blockchain Asset
We’re proud to announce that beginning October 1, 2019, we will offer the just released PAX Gold (PAXG) as our latest collateral type for clients seeking to use their digital assets as collateral to secure a USD loan. PAX Gold, an asset-backed digital token on the Ethereum blockchain is Paxos’ first blockchain asset to represent precious metal; its value is tied directly to the spot price of gold quoted by the London gold market.
By tokenizing gold, Paxos is bringing the benefits of physical gold ownership to the cryptocurrency community. PAX Gold is built as an ERC-20 token on the Ethereum blockchain network. As a digital representation of physical gold, PAX Gold has the potential to increase the overall liquidity of gold by connecting traditional markets with cryptocurrency markets.
“Precious metals are ideal for tokenization. Gold, as an example, has well-established institutional physical custody and a broad base of investors familiar with the asset class,” said Jenny Shaver, Chief Operating Officer at SALT. “Gold has traditionally been held as a hedge against inversely correlated assets like stocks and fiat currency, so it provides digital token holders with familiar asset diversification options. By offering PAX Gold as our newest collateral type, we’re adding value for our customers by combining the benefits of gold investing with easy access to funds via crypto-backed lending.”
With the addition of PAXG, SALT customers will not only have a wider variety of collateral options, but by using PAXG as their primary collateral, they will be able to maintain a more stable Loan-to-Value Ratio for the duration of their loan.
Founded in 2012, Paxos is a regulated financial institution with a suite of products including the most traded alternative USD-backed stablecoin, the PAX Standard. By integrating PAX Gold as the first widely available physical asset available on a blockchain, we’re taking a step toward realizing our financial vision of a blockchain-based system where the value of traditional assets can be unlocked and used in manifold ways.
“PAX Gold is the first regulated digital asset that allows holders to own the underlying physical gold,” said Scott Simpson, VP of Strategic Partnerships at Paxos. “Unlike fiat currencies, gold has intrinsic value and Paxos allows users to physically redeem their PAX Gold tokens for actual gold. With PAX Gold, people can more easily access this market and with SALT, customers can easily leverage gold like never before.”
“We as a community have been discussing the tokenization of commodities for quite a few years, but Paxos has been the first to make it a reality by representing gold on the blockchain. This is a big step forward for the crypto industry. This brings a new level of transparency to traditional investors by enabling them to see their physical gold represented on the Ethereum blockchain, meaning they can immediately verify ownership,” said Rob Odell VP of Product and Marketing for SALT. “SALT is proud to be a part of this advancement by offering PAXG as a collateral option for crypto-backed loans. Not only does it invite traditional investors to become SALT customers, but it will enable us to be more flexible and creative with our LTV options and loan terms. In fact, if we see significant demand for this product, I think SALT is prepared to re-evaluate our interest rate calculator and open the doors to LTV options as high as 85%.”
Gold has historically been a popular store of value, with the price of Gold increasing by an average of 10% per year since President Nixon took the US Dollar off the gold standard in 1971. With a worldwide market capitalization above $3 trillion, gold is physically scarce, widely traded and offers high liquidity — three key factors that make it not only a viable asset to lend against, but a salient collateral choice for us. Given the current instability in the bond and currency markets, gold’s long-term returns are more comparable to stocks and higher than bonds or commodities.
With the addition of PAX Gold, we now offer loans collateralized by Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, Dash, DOGE, BCH, PAX Standard, USDC, and TUSD.
SALT Adds DASH as Collateral and Offers a Way to Maintain Your Masternode
We’re proud to announce that we now accept DASH as collateral.
Better yet, if you own DASH that’s being used for a masternode, we’ve also developed a way for you to maintain your masternode status, voting rights and payouts and still use it as loan collateral. To do so, follow these instructions before you deposit your DASH into your SALT collateral wallet.
Like other cryptocurrencies, Dash enables anyone, anywhere in the world to make quick, easy and cheap payments at any time without going through a central authority.
Given its long-term viability, its numerous use cases, and its level of adoption, Dash is an appealing collateral form for our platform. Aside from that, we chose Dash as our next collateral type for two primary reasons:
- We support the Dash community and its mission
- We respect Dash’s two-tier network and use of masternodes to maintain the health of their blockchain
The Dash Mission
In his interview with Cointelegraph, CEO of Dash Core Group Ryan Taylor notes that Dash offers “tremendous value to society,” particularly for people that live in areas with minimal financial freedom and poor quality financial systems: “I would love to see Dash first adopted in some of the poorest and most financially oppressed markets in the world, so that as Dash grows, we bring those people up with us.”
By providing increased financial freedom, secure technology, and irreversible, speedy transactions, Dash is increasing access for people to participate in the global economy regardless of where they’re based. We support this mission and recognize it as one of the most significant ways blockchain technology can change people’s lives — and the world — for the better.
The Dash Network and Masternode System
In a separate, more recent interview with Anthony Pompliano, Taylor explains the concept of masternodes and how unlike the Bitcoin protocol, which allocates 100% of the network’s revenue toward mining, the Dash protocol is designed such that the block reward is split into three parts: 45% of the revenue goes to miners and 45% goes to masternode operators who service the network. The remaining 10% goes to a proposal system where the proposals are voted on by the masternode operators and the highest ranking proposals pay out as part of a monthly budget. This two-tier infrastructure ensures that network participants are incentivized to “keep the network happy.” Masternode operators in particular have a vested interest in doing what’s best for the network to maintain its health.
In explaining the masternode system further, Taylor notes that you have to prove ownership of 1,000 DASH in order to obtain masternode status, though he makes it clear that “as soon as that money is moved, your node downgrades immediately.” While that’s true in most cases, we’ve developed a way for you to maintain your masternode status even after you move your Dash to the SALT platform.* With these step-by-step instructions, you can custody your Dash with us and still run your masternode.
For questions about taking out a Dash-backed loan or to custody your Dash with us, visit us at https://saltlending.com/ or call us at +1 720–897–3710.
Dash used as collateral for a loan with SALT may be liquidated, in whole or in part, according to the terms of your Loan Agreement. SALT is not responsible for maintenance of a masternode or any disruption to or downgrade of any masternode for any reason, which may result from a liquidation of loan collateral or any other applicable term or terms of your loan agreement.
SALT Expands Lending Opportunities to Businesses in Australia
Having participated this week in the ADC Global Blockchain Summit held in conjunction with the South Australian Government and the Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA) in Adelaide, SALT is actively incorporating its technology services into the burgeoning Australian market. With a particular focus on strategies and practical applications for business growth via blockchain technologies and systems, SALT spoke to the Summit’s key topics from experience intersecting business, public policy, and the regulatory environment.
Australia has demonstrated a keen interest in developing its blockchain industry. The Ministry for Industry, Science and Technology today announced a blockchain roadmap with AU$100,000 in federal funding for “regulation, skills and capacity building, innovation, investment, and international competitiveness and collaboration.” Working directly with blockchain businesses at the ADC Summit, SALT is deploying its Software as a Service packages, which allow traditional companies to easily add cryptocurrency and blockchain offerings into their product portfolio including lending technology, wallets, monitoring, and blockchain analysis. With Australia’s continued commitment to developing blockchain services responsibly, SALT looks forward to working with interested parties and stakeholders across the Australian market to bring their vision into reality.
Crypto companies looking for extra liquidity to expand their businesses, such as exchanges or mining companies, can join SALT and apply for a crypto-backed loan.
As SALT continues to grow, we remain focused on further expanding our technology products, allowing both crypto and traditional companies to integrate blockchain services into their software stacks.
Highlights from Davos 2019
The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) concluded this past Friday in Davos, Switzerland. Attendees included top business leaders, political figureheads, and a variety of well-known celebrities with topics ranging from international trade, shifts in regulation, and emerging technologies. Throughout the week, participants discussed technologies like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and blockchain– SALT was there to focus on the latter. Here are some of the key blockchain-related takeaways from our week in Davos:
The blockchain fluff is largely gone — 2018 saw cryptocurrencies drop from a total market cap of $618.1 billion to $125.6 billion.* There were many projects built on the hype of 2017 and the crypto attendance at WEF last year was quite high. The “correction” has narrowed the list of blockchain companies involved, with only the more reputable projects in attendance.
Governments focused on blockchain technology — Various governments have been exploring ways to jump into blockchain technology and we are starting to hear some exciting announcements. One such announcement came from Bermuda, where Premier David Burt stated, “I’m proud to say that next week we’ll be making an announcement revealing that a bank will be set up in the country that will start accepting crypto and blockchain companies.”
Focus on the broad application of blockchain — It wasn’t all about crypto. In fact, a majority of the conversations focused on other applications such as healthcare, supply chain, and digital identities. Blockchain has the ability to provide an immutable, single source of truth — certainly an important attribute for industries dealing with sensitive data.
Blockchain companies are seeking regulation — We (blockchain companies) are not looking for loopholes in regulation or jurisdictions with thin legislation — it’s quite the opposite. We know that in order to grow as an industry and play a key role in society at large, responsible regulation is paramount. Throughout the week, SALT met with many government officials and economic organizations to help drive that conversation forward.
There has been a lot of behind-the-scenes work over the last couple years in our space and we expect some meaningful announcements to be made in 2019. We believe blockchain technology is here to stay and look forward to discussing its progress at Davos 2020.
*Data pulled from coinmarketcap.com
2018 was quite the year for SALT.
Between two public product launches, 32 event appearances, and the addition of new collateral types and jurisdictions, there’s no doubt we’ve accomplished a lot this year. When reflecting on how we did it, a few factors come to mind.
For one, we drank a ton of coffee (not literally but it was a lot) and even more La Croix. We also communicated a lot more — not only with each other, but with our community.
And most importantly, we grew. Not just in terms of our jurisdictions and team members but also in terms of our brand and vision.
For SALT, 2019 will be the year of expansion.
We know that crypto-backed lending is at our core and we’re proud of the business we’ve built. As we continue to maintain and grow our lending business, we’re also excited to expand our financial offerings to include products beyond lending.
On top of that, we believe in fostering the adoption of blockchain technology and that means making it more accessible. Right now, the use of this emerging technology seems to be limited to those who are experts in the blockchain space. We’re solving for this by developing a suite of applications that will enable businesses of all sizes — whether they are already in the blockchain space or are looking to enter it — to leverage this technology in a way that benefits them and their customers.
In 2019 we are focused on further building out these two components of the business and we’re excited for what that means for our company, you, and the future of finance.