Year in Review 2018

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.

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California, Here We Come

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We’ve been California dreamin’ for a while now and guess what? It’s no longer a dream. That’s right. As of today, we’re officially checking into the Hotel California.

310? 415? It doesn’t matter. We love L.A. And we love the Bay. And it’s not just because the West Coast has the sunshine and the best waves. We surf, too, but like, on the Web.

Whether we’re driving down the 101 or the 99 (we’re here for you CenCal), at SALT we’re always cruising. But mostly we keep on growing. Between the addition of D.C. last week and California this week, we’re making Blockchain-Backed Loans™ accessible to a lot more businesses and a lot more people — in California’s case, 39 million more people.

We’ve heard somewhere before that you all know how to party… in that case, we’re hella stoked to serve you.

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Visit saltlending.com to apply for a loan.

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SALT Expands U.S. Reach to 86%, Offers Blockchain-Backed Loans™ in Washington, D.C.

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We’re now offering Blockchain-Backed Loans™ in Washington, D.C., Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Montana, meaning we can now lend in 86 percent of the United States.

As SALT continues to grow, we remain focused on continuing to expand our lendable jurisdictions not only within the United States, but throughout the entire world. “We recently announced a significant increase in our international jurisdictions and have continued to build upon that progress over the past couple of months,” said Bill Sinclair, CTO and Interim President and CEO of SALT. “With the addition of our nation’s capital and three other U.S. jurisdictions, we’re that much closer to achieving our goal of being able to provide loans to the entire country.”

For more on SALT’s lendable jurisdictions, visit saltlending.com.

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Pass the SALT, Grow Your Wallet

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Love SALT? Tell your friends about us! Many of you have already been spreading the word about SALT and have helped us grow our community (Thank you!). That’s why starting today, we’re offering $50 in Bitcoin to you and your friends when they take out a Blockchain-Backed Loan™.

How does it work exactly? Like this:

Step 1: Log in to your SALT account to access your unique referral code

Step 2: Share it with the world

If you don’t already have an account, sign up today to get your code and start growing your wallet.

Just share your code or link with your friends via email or use the hashtag #PassTheSALT to share it with your Twitter community — as soon as someone achieves an active loan status using your referral code, you’ll both receive $50 in Bitcoin from SALT. It’s that simple.

Cutting Through The Noise

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Last week the Wall Street Journal published an article, “Firm Tied to Cryptocurrency Entrepreneur Faces SEC Investigation”, in which SALT was referenced. Since its publication, there have been many iterations of the article across different media outlets, all with varying degrees of accuracy. In light of this press, we thought it would be helpful to provide the community with useful information about SALT.

Dedication to Smart Legislation and Regulatory Cooperation

As many of you are aware, since 2017, the SEC has commenced investigations into many high-profile crypto currency companies, generally requesting information to determine adherence to law, as well as to better understand the industry and the need for regulation. It is our policy not to comment on particular regulatory inquiries, including any involving SALT.

Early stage companies often have the big responsibility of helping educate and collaborate with a diverse group of stakeholders. They are often called upon to adapt when in uncharted territory. SALT is contributing in many ways to help develop legislation, standards and education with the goal of responsible and informed business practices and consumer protections. Specifically, on a local level, SALT’s Co-Founder was appointed by Governor Hickenlooper to the Colorado Council for the Advancement of Blockchain Technology, a committee of industry and legislative leaders charged with creating a framework to guide lawmakers in creating smart legislation for SALT’s home state of Colorado. Additionally, on the international stage, SALT’s Co-Founder and Director of Global Strategy is an active advisor to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), an inter governmental body that provides a form for the creation of standards across the world’s 36 largest economies.

Experienced Leadership

Like many growth-stage companies, we’ve made necessary changes to management in recent months. Along with saying good-bye to several executives, SALT has added four executives with corporate backgrounds and deep functional expertise including Bill Sinclair as Chief Technology Officer and Interim President and CEO, Eric Spencer as Chief Financial Officer, Jennifer Nealson as Chief Marketing Officer, and Amanda Darby as Chief Legal Officer. Bill has over 20 years in technology while Eric, Jennifer and Amanda each have over 20 years in Financial Services and deep lending background. The work they have done, along with the other senior executives, has helped the organization focus on key strategies for growth, understand the legal and regulatory requirements and create process and controls to operate more effectively. We are confident that SALT has the right expertise and resources in place to pursue its vision, not only in terms of growth but in terms of continued innovation.

Ongoing Commitment to Security

Security is a top priority at SALT, especially as it relates to the safety of our customer’s assets and personally identifiable information. SALT maintains an insurance policy to cover loss and theft of cryptocurrency assets. The Company recognized the importance of security in the early days and has improved protocols. To date there have been no losses to investors or customers. To learn more about the security measures that have been put in place, refer to the recent blog.

Best-In-Class Technology Platform

SALT has built and continues to improve its Technology Platform. From the margin call system to the LTV monitoring and portfolio valuation, we stay true to our roots as a technology company. We thank the incredible team of engineers who have dedicated themselves day in and day out to keep the Platform evolving for our loyal and prospective customers.

SALT is a healthy, growing company and has matured significantly in 2018 as the result of intentional improvements and innovations. We are proud to be the category leader and thank our loyal community for using our services and supporting our efforts.

SALT Welcomes Eric Spencer as Chief Financial Officer

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While in the past couple months we’ve expanded globally, we’ve also expanded our executive team to include its newest member and Chief Financial Officer, Eric Spencer. Eric brings more than 10 years of finance experience in the lending and real estate industries, which will enable him to build out SALT’s infrastructure by establishing key banking relationships and developing a framework for the company’s reporting process.

Prior to his role at SALT, Eric spent five years as SVP Controller for Computershare Loan Services where he oversaw the accounting, finance, treasury, billing, A/P and A/R units of the business, as well as managed seven credit facilities and coordinated “Big 4” audits. Before that he served as VP of Finance and Accounting at Broe Real Estate Services where he was responsible for all 80 real estate assets, which totaled more than $400 million in gross value. Eric also held previous finance positions at AIMCO and Capmark/GMAC.

Despite his primarily traditional financial background, Eric is an avid follower of all things blockchain and is excited for its potential even outside of the financial services industry. “There are so many interesting uses for blockchain tech and the one that stands out to me most is the concept of leveraging it for foodbanks in communities where there’s no cash or currency,” Eric shared. “Blockchain tech has the potential to fight corruption, bring greater equality to certain areas, and hopefully eventually solve some of the world’s largest problems like starvation. It’s a mind-blowing mechanism that if leveraged correctly, can make the world a better place.”

Until then, Eric is looking forward to seeing blockchain tech play a greater role in the financial services industry, especially as it relates to SALT. “I’m most excited about SALT’s growth potential and all that we’re trying to accomplish in the next 12 months,” he said. “We’re

Image for postfocused on some major goals within the organization, and I’ll be working cross-functionally to ensure we have the strategy, infrastructure, and people required to bring our vision to life.”

As Eric focuses on SALT’s goals, he says he’ll keep in mind a philosophy he’s learned from spending time on the golf course — one that will help him and his team not only achieve these goals but also enjoy the journey doing so. “Golf has taught me that sometimes it’s better to not go 120 percent but to go at an even pace,” he said. “It applies to work and life in that sometimes you find yourself working so hard that you lose sight of things, and you don’t enjoy the journey. When you go at an even pace, not only is it more fun,

but you also get better results.”

When he’s not golfing or thinking about blockchain tech, Eric enjoys riding roller coasters, playing sports with his two sons, and going to concerts with his wife (their next one is Justin Timberlake). He also reads a ton. His favorite recent read? The Big Short (pretty fitting for a CFO, right?).

Not only does Eric have an incredible financial background and a passion for life-long learning, but his leadership style has mentorship at its core — all signs of a strong leader. SALT is proud to have him on board as our CFO, and we’re are confident that between his expertise and enthusiasm, he’ll help guide us to where we want to be.

Blockchain: The Path Forward

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What began just over 10 months ago as high-level conversations around blockchain technology culminated this week with what was arguably the world’s most significant blockchain conference. Hosted by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and designed for regulators and industry participants, the OECD Blockchain Policy Forum was the most important discussion around the deployment of blockchain in dozens of industries to date. The OECD is an intergovernmental economic organization committed to democracy and developing best practices across domestic and international policy that lead to improved social, economic, and environmental health on a global scale.

As a premier sponsor for the event, SALT is proud to say that our Co-Founder and Director of Global Strategy, Benjamin Yablon, has not only served as Special Advisor to the OECD for the past year, but also that he had the opportunity to represent SALT this week as a company leading the global conversation around blockchain.

According to Ben, the forum led to three major positive outcomes, all of which illustrate the promise of blockchain and the international community’s ability to work together to fulfill that promise:

“The sheer fact that three heads of state attended the forum speaks to the fact that a broader audience is recognizing the value of blockchain technology,” said Benjamin Yablon. “This level of international participation is unheard of in this emerging space and I’m grateful to both José Ángel Gurría Treviño, Secretary-General of the OECD, and Greg Medcraft, Director of the Directorate for Financial and Enterprise Affairs of the OECD, for allowing me to contribute in an advisory capacity with a platform starting to address the OECD directorate in such a direct way. Our collaborative work is what made this Forum happen.”

Ben is looking forward to continuing to serve as an advisor to the OECD, helping to shape the global narrative around blockchain, and execute on many of the ideas and proposals that came out of this week’s Forum. “There’s more interest and excitement around this topic than you can imagine, and the

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OECD was the perfect conveyer to have this type of discussion, primarily because the global ecosystem values the OECD as a neutral standard setting body that is uniquely positioned to bring our voices together for the greater good — an environment that others just can’t offer,” he said.

As Ben noted in his panel discussion earlier this week, achieving mass adoption of blockchain technology and digital financial assets will require the development of a taxonomy — an agreed-upon set of terms and definitions that will enable us to speak about these concepts in way that drives understanding and alignment among industry and governmental leaders. “Once we have a true taxonomy, principles-based regulatory frameworks will to start to exist,” Ben noted.

It’s clear from this week’s forum that a lot of progress has been made in the past couple of days, but it’s even more evident that there’s still a great deal of work to be done. It will take years to bring this process to maturity, but as long as we have solid leaders in place to guide discussions, propose solutions, and make decisions, we can feel confident that we’re heading in the right direction.

OECD Blockchain Policy Forum: Maximizing the Potential of Blockchain will require LEADERSHIP

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“The opportunities of the long-term developments of blockchain far outweigh its risks.” 

These are the words with which Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius Pravind Kumar Jugnauth kicked off the OECD Blockchain Policy Forum. Not only did these words set the stage for the event, but they reflect the very sentiment of it — it’s not about whether we should take blockchain to the next level, but how we should go about doing so. Leadership was the recurring theme throughout the day’s discussions and, more specifically, how we as leaders have a responsibility to leverage blockchain technology in ways that benefit the greater good.

As Editor of The Economist and today’s emcee, Anne McElvoy, so elegantly put it, “At first we thought this technology was the engine of security, then it was thought to be the engine of trust — and it is all that — but I think of it as the engine of innovation.” While blockchain has changed the way we think about security and trust via trustless transactions, it now calls on us to continuously develop new ways to apply the technology to our everyday lives. How can we leverage blockchain technology to positively impact our societies and economies? How can we continue pushing the limits of innovation when there are still so many variables? What steps can we take as an international community to drive universal alignment and understanding as it relates to blockchain tech? Collaborative leaders — people committed to working together to effect change — will be paramount to pushing blockchain technology to its full potential.

As an advisor to the OECD for the past year, it was exciting to see SALT’s co-founder and Head of Global Strategy, Ben Yablon, foster discussion around these challenges during his panel, titled “Building a Global Policy Environment for Digital Financial Assets.” Of note, he touched on the need to develop a single lexicon as an initial step toward creating a framework around how we describe blockchain technology and digital financial assets. It’s an ongoing discussion, and I’m proud that Ben will continue to offer his leadership to the OECD on how to begin working through some of blockchain’s biggest roadblocks. While there were numerous panelists and speakers at the event, all with different expertise and perspectives, the underlying theme of all of them was the same — we must take it upon ourselves to ensure we are leveraging blockchain technology in the best ways and remaining open-minded as we think about the opportunity it creates for the world.

-Jennifer Nealson, SALT CMO

More Than Twice the Opportunity

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Until recently SALT Lending has been operating in 15 U.S. jurisdictions, as well as New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Our active pursuit of additional opportunities to enable our members has paid off. We are proud to announce the addition of 20 new jurisdictions in the United States in which we can expand our operation for a total of 35. Effectively we’ve broadened our reach by 60%. As our growth continues, we anticipate making additional announcements about where we will be operating. For today, we are pleased to service an abundance of new member applications.

Our operational intent in new jurisdictions available for both businesses and individuals includes a total of 13 U.S. states. Previously SALT was present in 5 U.S. states including Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, and Kentucky. SALT is now set up in an additional 9 U.S. jurisdictions which include Connecticut, District of Columbia, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Oklahoma. Alabama has joined the list of business-only jurisdictions.

SALT’s operations focused solely on business loans will also expand. Previously SALT’s business-only loan operations included Delaware, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Oklahoma, and Wyoming. Luckily four of these are areas that have moved to the list for both business and individual operations. These include: Kansas, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Business-only jurisdictions now include 22 areas. The newly added states are: Alabama, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

We are currently engaging with members who previously submitted loan inquiries and reside in areas in which we did not previously operate. We wish to thank you for holding and waiting until this time and encourage you to submit your loan inquiries for our review.

In the meantime, new member applications will be accepted at the upgraded member portal. Those with a previous membership that have not yet reestablished their account on the new platform are advised to do this as soon as they receive email confirmation that their account has been triggered. After this process has been completed, members will have the opportunity to check out minimum requirements in specific jurisdictions, use tools associated with the Proof of Access (POA) program and review their fresh new personalized dashboard for more membership detail.

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Honored, But Not Distracted

A Message From SALT

As many are aware, I recently took on the position of President and CEO of SALT. And, while you’ll hear more from me in the coming days regarding the exciting developments here at SALT, I felt it was important to take a moment and address some rumors and speculation in the marketplace.

Recently, SALT has received a number of marketing inquiries showing interest in buying our business. While we appreciate our competitors’ interest in our purpose and business model, our company is not for sale, nor are we seeking any M&A (mergers and acquisitions) activities.

There are strong opportunities squarely in our sights, and all of us at SALT are excited to continue and execute our business plan. We are fully focused on enhancing our products for stakeholders, including investors and borrowers, and building a strong employee base to ensure we continue bridging the gap between crypto holders and conventional financial systems.

With over $50 million in loans serviced to date, a user base of over 70,000, and active loans in 3 countries, the community should rest assured that SALT remains strong and is dedicated to improving its products, services, and availability.

Until next time,

Bill Sinclair
Interim President & CEO
Chief Technology Officer