Libra Crypto Office, a primer

In advance of the Super Bowl of Blockchain — Consensus 2018 — I wanted to write a short primer for those who might not know Libra all that well. Below I describe a bit about the three layers of the Libra Crypto Office platform and the thinking that underpins each layer. If you’re an enterprise with lots of crypto transactions and looking to convert that data into audit-ready information and reporting, feel free to swing by kiosk #40 at Consensus for a demo! Note: the platform is in production, we have lots of paying customers and we’re processing millions and millions of transactions a month. Come check it out!

Layer One. “Connectivity as a Service”

Core to our business model is the thesis that rather than every enterprise building and maintaining the on and off ramps to the crypto ecosystem, this should be a service for which any enterprise can subscribe.

Consider, every week we see at least one new crypto exchange and that’s accelerating thanks to “exchange-in-a-box” software providers — and that doesn’t even consider all the new decentralized exchanges coming online (i.e. AirSwap, EverMarkets etc.).

Further, as of last week there were ~135 active crypto exchanges, hundreds of public and private blockchains to connect to…at least 50 banks in crypto…50 wallets with some level of traction…and of course the ever-growing number of OTC providers that want to drop you files. The *weekly* growth across all of these data venues is absolutely staggering.

Seriously, can individual enterprises really build up and maintain ecosystem connectivity with any level quality and consistency?

To solve for this issue, Libra has built (and continues to build) an institutional-grade post-trade connectivity service led by an engineering team made up of professionals who have designed and deployed this exact type of infrastructure for the biggest financial institutions in the world. Reducing the initial and ongoing cost and complexity of connectivity is one of our core value propositions.

Layer Two. “Data Management as a Service”

The next layer up in the stack automates the normalization of crypto data. Look, distributed and decentralized data is expensive to manage. Not just to find, but also to extract and then bring into the form and format required to execute downstream computational and processing tasks.

Because no one can tell data venues the naming conventions of any crypto data element (i.e. name, ticker, pair etc.) the ecosystem is rife with data duplicates, errors and omissions. After you’re done reading this piece, click here to read our last blog on this topic which includes a couple examples and high-level industry statistics.

So, considering all the data inconsistencies, how does an enterprise consistently and economically manage the reconciliation processes required to create audit-ready management reporting?

Libra solves for this issue in two ways. First, by creating our Libra Reference Data service which provides a universal taxonomy for our data management layer. As transactions are executed and continuously brought into our system, all data elements are evaluated relative to our existing data mappings. To the extent the element has been previously mapped, it’s normalized to the appropriate identifier and made available for processing. If the data element is brand spanking new, or if there’s any sort of discrepancy, it’s flagged for further evaluation and classification.

Second, we’ve implemented enterprise-grade software practices to extract and test data on an ongoing basis. For example, we automatically capture/retry in case of messaging failure. We hold data at multiple checkpoints, in fault tolerant storage, with full auditing and encryption in transit and at rest. Finally, we automate the handling of invalid data and exchange API timeouts, periods of data unavailability, as well as the subsequent management of out-of-order transactions to satisfy audit requirements for prior period P&L revisions.

As the permutations of crypto assets accelerate and the venues where an enterprise can transact diversifies, having automated data management processes and common taxonomies — including the ability to spot and quickly communicate updates to risk managers — is critical. Libra provides this service today, based on the millions of transactions that cross our platform, and we look forward to making this data available to front office systems.

Layer Three. “Business Process Modules”

At this point, the data is clean and for some customers we now export it, via API, to downstream systems (i.e. Advent Geneva etc.). However, for many customers we take the data and move it into our modules for processing. For example, customers use our accounting module, which executes the matching of the gains and losses, to create trade-level P&L’s — at a consolidated and very shortly sub-account level.

For this layer, essentially we provide modules to automate business processes that are either brand new to crypto (OTC Crypto Trade Reconciliation) or are just different enough that existing software or practice doesn’t really get the job done (Balance Management).

Currently, we organize our modules across the following functions and customers should expect additional modules and deeper capability per module as business process requirements mature: Business, Operations and Finance.

There you have it, a primer on the Libra Crypto Office platform. If you’re an enterprise — the platform is not directly available to individuals yet — looking to grow your crypto business and require a middle and back office software and data services to help you transform your crypto transactions to audit-ready information and reporting, please give us a look at www.libra.tech or drop me a note at [email protected].

Data Matters

The crypto asset universe is growing, and so is the operational complexity. In January 2018 alone, ICOs raised $1.6B. The number of ICOs issued and crypto action occurrences (aka forks or ticker changes) is accelerating. What problems need careful attention to drive widespread market participation?

As institutional market participation increases, Goldman Sachs just announced they are spinning up a crypto trading desk, so does the focus on the raw material that drives P&L statements: data.

However, for anyone that works and plays in the crypto asset ecosystem, one thing is clear: the data needs a lot of cleaning.

Here’s a shallow dive into the reality of its current status.  

Numbers Matter

Doubling Up. There are more than 200 instances of crypto asset duplicates, where the same ticker is used by more than one asset. 

Defying Convention. There are more than 200 instances where exchanges abandon an asset’s designated ticker, and create a new ticker.

Delayed Delistings. There are almost 500 crypto assets that have been inactive for the past 6-12 months, most classified as scams, malware or parodies, but are still listed on exchanges.

Details Matter

The crypto asset ecosystem is at a point where “why” is no longer the question, but “how” to implement harmony in a decentralized world.

In its simplest form, it’s clear crypto data needs consistent naming conventions in order to organize into a construct that meets the needs of institutional investors.

In our view, what is needed is a data dictionary of terms that everyone agrees is the correct representation of an asset — ‘crypto reference data’

We can all continue to use whatever terms we want to describe assets – consider Bitcoin/bitcoin/Bit Coin/BTC/btc/XBT/xbt… but how are we going to represent this asset in a consolidated financial statement or smart contract?

We need a way to agree that regardless of what we individually call an asset, that it always points back to exactly what that asset is.  That’s reference data.

Libra is passionate about crypto reference data, and we look forward to helping drive ongoing growth with other interested organizations. Please get in touch if you’re interested.

 

Libra Crypto Office Update – April 2018

At Libra we’re a “do then tell” company, so while you might not have heard much, we’ve been busy doing!

Since we announced the launch of Libra Crypto Office and our Series A funding round at Consensus Invest in November, we’ve gone live with lots of new customers, continued to build out the platform and have been very busy growing the team!

Expanded Customer Support

We are happy to report that in addition to supporting Exchanges and Market Makers, we have expanded support to include the following customer segments:

  • Fund Administrators – live with multiple global fund admins
  • Fund Managers – directly support hedge funds utilizing multiple trading strategies
  • OTC Trading Firms – one of the largest, most well known, OTC desks in the world
  • Proprietary Trading Firms – small and large Prop desks trading coins and futures

Suffice it to say, we’re excited about having customers in each of these segments and actively looking forward to supporting new customer segments, including Protocol Providers, Custodians, Miners and Lenders.

New Product Features

We also release new production features and improvements every two weeks. For our customers this creates a consistent flow of new connectivity options, platform and processing improvements, and enhanced reporting capabilities. Some of our most recent enhancements include:

  • API support for six more exchanges including: Binance, bitFlyer, Bitstamp, Coincheck, GDAX and HitBTC
  • Updated enhanced trade and transfer detail records with direct access to underlying raw exchange data
  • Data downloads directly from the web interface to support audit information requests

Further, our roadmap is packed with many more features requested by customers. Have a suggestion? Send it to us at [email protected] – otherwise, stay tuned for some significant new improvements and expanded connectivity announcements over the coming weeks.

Libra is Growing

As the platform and number of customers has grown — so has the Libra team. We currently total ~20 FTE’s from some of the most respected companies in the world including Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, KCG, IHS Markit and Charles River to name a few.

We strongly believe that success starts with creating a team with diverse backgrounds and experiences, and we are extremely proud of our team so far — and we’re still growing. Know a QA engineer, senior software developer or quantitative analyst interested in crypto? Send them our way!

Upcoming Conferences

Finally, we are expecting a busy May in terms of conferences as we are sponsoring two major events. We hope you can stop by and see us, and please do use our guest code to get a discount!

The Trading Show
booth #206

Come join us May 9th-10th at Navy Pier, Chicago, IL. Featuring roundtable, “Don’t let your Back Office slow down your Front Office” hosted by our Chief Commercial Officer, Jeremy Drane. Be our guest and use code ‘LIBRA18’ for a 15% discount on registration here.

Consensus
kiosk #40

And the following week, please visit us May 14th-16th at the Hilton Midtown, New York, NY. CoinDesk’s 4th annual blockchain technology summit, featuring 250+ speakers and 4,000+ attendees. Receive a $300 registration discount on us, with code ‘C18Fj3F’ here.

In Summary

Libra builds institutional-grade middle and back office software and data services to support the growth of the Crypto asset class.

Our commitment to our customers is that we will do things the right way, the first time around. We will make the investments, both in terms of capital and people, to support our customers and the industry at large. And, we will continue our communications strategy of “do then tell” to help interested parties separate signal from noise.

Thanks for reading and your interest in Libra! Expect another blog update as we gear up for conferences in May. If you’re looking for support and think we might be able to help — please feel free to drop us a note at [email protected]

Cheers!

Jeremy Drane, Chief Commercial Officer

The Maddening Task of Calculating Taxes on Crypto

For many in Cryptoland, “decentralize everything” is a common mantra. And, it’s something I personally believe in, to a point.

However, for various business processes that require aggregated data to execute, decentralization creates problems that are very challenging for individuals and enterprises to navigate.

Case in point: tax compliance.

Now, this is not a sexy topic and probably something you might wish to skip entirely. But, we all know the saying about death and taxes, so let’s be adults and understand why this really is a thing in our industry.

First, it’s important to recognize calculating tax exposure means executing a data-heavy business process. Now, in the normal world, when dealing with non-crypto assets, this process is pretty clean with most of the friction largely abstracted away, making it easier to calculate tax and for Uncle Sam to get paid.

However, in Cryptoland, much of the efficiency we take for granted doesn’t exist. Which means the taxpayer has to muscle through a very challenging data exercise.

So, in an effort to shine some light on why this is a big challenge for taxpayers, here’s a taste of the complexity taxpayers must go through to pay their fair share. I sincerely hope that regulators and politicians, who might just assume this is all so simple, are paying attention.

That’s a mouthful.

First, to make the process easy to remember, let’s create an acronym that represents all the steps a taxpayer must execute: FIETFCCAPRSE.

Rolls right off the tongue, right?

Ok, so here goes. The taxpayer must:

  • Find the data. Not easy, as there are now more than 170 crypto exchanges worldwide, with more than one opening a week and that doesn’t even include over-the-counter venues and forthcoming decentralized exchanges.
  • Isolate the data. Tough, because many data elements are not exactly the same, even though they have the same name, so it’s hard to know what’s the right data element. For example, does “output amount” mean exactly the same thing across all venues?
  • Extract the data. Again, tough because certain crypto exchanges limit your ability to extract historical data (I’m looking at you, Bittrex) or apply limits once you’ve hit certain transaction volumes.
  • Transport the data. This is more of a problem for enterprises that try to programmatically pull out data from APIs, as they very quickly find that the data highways are constantly under maintenance or shut down.
  • Format the data. Now that the taxpayer has a bunch of files, they quickly discover that none of them look the same. Getting them into the same format can require some serious spreadsheet-jockeying skills.
  • Check the data. Hmmm… something doesn’t look right. Is the taxpayer missing transactions? Time to call an 800 number for help. Oh wait, there aren’t any.
  • Correct the data. This is challenging as most taxpayers are not tax professionals. What to correct and why? How do I know I even have the correct information to start with?
  • Aggregate the data. Now the taxpayer needs to consolidate it all into one file… time to power up Google Sheets again.
  • Process the data. Time to do the matching: This gain goes with this loss. Wait, should the taxpayer choose the “first in, first out” method for the cost basis, “last in, first out” or average cost? How to manage partial lots?
  • Reconcile the data. How can the taxpayer be sure that the processed data is complete and accurately associated with the trades collected from all of their trading venues?
  • Store the data. Where should the taxpayer store the data that’s safe and secure, as the IRS might want to take a look at this sometime over the next 6 or 7 years.
  • Export the data. Now the taxpayer needs to take all that processed, accurate, and complete data and convert it into the proper format and export into a form that they can send to the tax authority. Along with a check. (Sorry, no crypto payments in the U.S. right now – though Arizona’s working on it.)

Suffice to say, for most taxpayers this is madness.

There are big potholes at every turn, with the outcome either being lack of compliance, or paying tax but having absolutely no clue if it was the right amount.

Finding solutions.

So, what’s the answer?

Well, first, regulators and politicians need to understand how complex this process is and not default to the point of view that any lack of compliance is coming from a complete lack of willingness to pay. I’m talking to you here Rep. Brad Sherman.

Certainly, there are some who are looking to cheat, but our experience is that individuals and organizations want to comply but need the guidance, tools, and services providers to do so.

Second, trading venues should adopt standard data and reporting processes in order to support the collection and distribution of transactional data for tax purposes.

Third, taxpayers, individuals and enterprises alike, have to find service providers with the right tools and understanding. This way they can quickly move on to activities they actually enjoy.

In summary, this stuff is seriously not easy and worse, it takes a lot of time and money just to get to a point where you might have calculated the correct amount of tax.

However, on the brighter side, if you look around there are companies and service providers that are building tools and offerings to help. (Full disclosure: my company is one of them.)

So be proactive and search for help. But remember, just because this is hard, or you’re not schooled up for the task, that is decidedly not an excuse for non-compliance.

You must take this stuff seriously, because you absolutely don’t want to get a letter from the IRS saying “Hi, you’re being audited.”

LibraTax – available now for FREE

Libra is proud to offer LibraTax free of charge in 2018 (www.libratax.com). LibraTax provides individuals and small businesses the most accurate tracking of their cryptocurrency activity. Alleviate your April anxiety and utilize LibraTax to calculate your capital gains and losses on crypto.

LibraTax, the crypto accounting product features automatic synchronized exchange trades, wallet transactions for Coinbase, GDAX, BitStamp, BitGo, Blockchain.info, and Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchain transactions. Have crypto activity beyond this scope? Not a problem, LibraTax enables transaction uploads for all cryptocurrencies in spreadsheet format. It also administers cost basis values for Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ripple, Monero and Zcash. LibraTax’s all-inclusive crypto accounting solution is sealed by its report generating engine, preparing acquisition, disposal, balance, tax lots and data for US Tax Form 8949 and Schedule D.

Eliminate the manual calculation headache and allow LibraTax to save you time and effort!

Libra maintains its mission to serve accounting, audit, and tax software for the Blockchain & Crypto industry. Our newest product, Libra Crypto Office, equips enterprises such as funds, fund administrators, market makers, and exchanges involved with cryptocurrencies the required tools to meet their financial needs.

Important notice: Due to Libra’s heightened focus on Libra Crypto Office, we are limiting LibraTax’s direct customer support. LibraTax supports transactions up to 10,000. If margin trades are customary to your trading activity, you may experience inaccurate results or application time-outs.

 

Auditing enterprise chains, a year later

What we learned about where we’re going.

About a year ago, we wrote an article about how the blockchain industry needed to come to terms with the possibility that enterprise chains – the latest and coolest way to describe private/permissioned distributed ledgers – would need to be audited. And, how that could create new revenue streams and ways for audit organizations to add value to their clients. As a follow-up to that article, we thought we would update on our latest observations, research, and thinking.

Please note, for this article, we’re not talking about auditing individual transactions forexternal reporting purposes, but rather, systems auditing of enterprise chains which is fundamentally different and raises its own set of challenges.

First, in terms of general industry observations, as enterprise chain projects move toward production deployments, we have spoken with quite a few senior IT Assurance Leaders who are slowing down projects until their IA teams have an audit plan in place. As expected, there’s been confirmation that you must have a plan to audit these chains to get the green light from the control tribe to go live or move any significant amount of value.

Current forensic and sample-based audit practices for centralized systems are not applicable to systems audits of enterprise chains.

Our research, in partnership with Rutgers University’s Continuous Auditing and Reporting Laboratory (CARLab), the leading research institution focused on continuous auditing, monitoring, and analytics has shown that existing systems audit practices are inadequate for enterprise chains.

Summary of initial fundings:

  1. Over 90% of current system controls, the same types of control libraries used for SAP system audits, are not relevant for enterprise chains.
  2. There are many new controls that are relevant and, we believe, many many more undiscovered controls, especially in the domain of smart contracts.
  3. The real-time, full population, architecture inherent to Blockchain will drive the industry to increase the use of continuous auditing and monitoring service delivery methods.
  4. For ancillary systems, such as wallets and keys, the automation of current auditing practices would be adequate.

An example of a control that in its current form is not relevant for enterprise chains is [segregation of duties]. Blockchains don’t require the enforcement of extraneous SoD controls because the consensus mechanism enforces it directly. An example of a new control is [node checking] which is continually assuring that only consensus approved nodes are operating on the chain at any point in time.

We will publish our white paper, detailing our findings, in early 2018.

How can audit organizations position themselves to capture value in a distributed and decentralized world?

Our research tells us audit organizations should:

  1. Focus on finding ways to monetize their proprietary control libraries.
  2. Make their libraries available on many types of enterprise and public chains.

Thinking forward to the deployments of projects such as Cosmos, Polkadot, and Aion, which will blur the lines between moving value across enterprise and public chains, we believe audit organizations should prioritize planning for boundless network and market structures.

To offer one possible future, imagine a blockchain-based Network Assurance Marketplace (NAM), like an Apple/Amazon/Google app store, where audit organizations can upload control libraries, get them validated in some way, clients can search and buy access to libraries that are configured and tuned to a specific protocol, industry, function, or use case. Further, clients can also source, from the NAM, an audit organization to deliver the actual continuous systems auditing and monitoring service. And yes, you still need living breathing auditors to do some of the work!

In this network and market structure, audit organizations that already have many libraries, can shape their intellectual property into bespoke data solutions, packaged as, or facilitated by, crypto-assets and sell them at global scale. Or, instead of focusing on creating and selling libraries, can choose to specialize in the delivery of these next generation audit services. The outcome of this construct could be the unbundling of integrated audit frameworks and methodologies with new organizations competing to create audit value in new ways.

Libra’s focus is on building blockchain-native software that supports the delivery of control libraries.

Libra is not in the business of creating, maintaining, or owning control libraries or developing and deploying the actual systems audit services. These are the roles of other organizations. Rather, we will offer the audit ecosystem two things:

  1. Our research towards defining an open source, baseline blockchain-centric library of controls that’s agnostic to any one particular protocol, such that any audit organization will be able to contribute to, leverage, and then expand upon, these controls for their own commercial purpose.
  2. Continue to invest in building highly scalable and secure tools that will serve as software scaffolding used to support the delivery of systems audit services.

You should expect our first ‘Blockchain Audit Tool’ enterprise application in 2018. We are currently deep in research, learning what sorts of controls are relevant for different protocols and use cases, validating business needs and required practices, and translating those efforts into solutions.

Overall, we agree with articles about how the pace of change is accelerating for the industry. But we also see the possibility for structural change, especially in the packaging and delivery of systems audit value.

This perspective is driving us to organize efforts such that all organizations in the audit ecosystem can succeed in the distributed ledger era. If this is something you have interest in as well, please shoot me a note. We look forward to updating the market on our next set of actions related to these efforts.

Post Script: Thank you to Libra’s Audit Advisory Committee, Rutgers University’s CARLab, and the Monax team for supporting these efforts.

Press Release – Libra Announces the Launch of Libra Crypto Office

Brings Institutional-Grade Back and Middle Office Solution to Funds, Market Makers, and Exchanges in the Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Industry

Libra Announces Premier Customers ShapeShift, a Leading Exchange Platform, and XBTO, a Leading Trader and Liquidity Provider

 

New York, N.Y. — November 28, 2017 — Libra, the premier provider of accounting, audit, and tax software for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, today announced the launch of Libra Crypto Office, an enterprise application that automates and optimizes back and middle office processes and reporting for funds, market makers, and exchanges. Libra also announced two premier customers, leading trader and liquidity provider XBTO and ShapeShift, a blockchain asset exchange platform.

Libra Crypto Office offers the industry its first institutional-grade solution with a product that’s purpose-built for the technical nature of blockchains and cryptocurrencies while also meeting institutional investor, fund administrator, and regulatory requirements. The product provides customers the information accuracy and transparency required to grow quickly while managing compliance needs.

“We partnered with Libra because its solutions allow us to operate better,” said Philippe Bekhazi, CEO of XBTO. “Libra Crypto Office eliminates manual and inefficient back and middle office processes. The crypto markets operate 24/7/365, which means we must be able to produce accurate financial reports automatically, and in real time. Libra’s software will meet the needs of XBTO and our investors as we grow our business.”

Libra Crypto Office adds value through a three-stage process. First, it offers a single on-ramp that connects to exchange platforms, blockchains, and other data sources within the ecosystem. Second, the solution continuously normalizes and enriches millions of transaction records through real-time data processing engines. Finally, it assembles actionable insights and reports such as trading, inventory, and tax information which can also be delivered to other enterprise systems via APIs.

The launch follows Libra’s recent announcement of its $7.8 million Series A round led by a prominent, multi-billion dollar European family office. Participating investors included Liberty City Ventures, XBTO, Boost VC, and Lee Linden.

“Cryptocurrency transaction volume is growing exponentially while financial accounting, reporting, compliance, and control processes are performed manually or with retrofitted applications that aren’t blockchain-native,” said Jake Benson, CEO of Libra. “Based on conversations with leading industry players, we found that organizations that trade large volumes of cryptocurrency hit a point where they can no longer scale because of manual processes and use of spreadsheets. Further, without the right systems and processes, institutional investors were unwilling to allocate significant capital to the sector. With the introduction of Libra Crypto Office, we will help to solve these challenges and we’re thrilled that both ShapeShift and XBTO are customers and look forward to supporting other similar organizations.”

 

New Product Release – Libra Crypto Office

As cryptocurrency transaction volume grows exponentially, traders, investors, and exchange platform owners are facing a growing set of crypto-data challenges. Not only is there no easy way to connect, extract, and aggregate data from the blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem, but distributed and decentralized data lacks uniformity as quality, consistency, and transparency varies tremendously across data sources. Consequently, the industry’s back and middle office processes are inefficient, error-prone and in need of an enterprise upgrade.

A simple example is when one exchange platform lists bitcoin as XBT, while another lists it as BTC. What happens when there’s a fork? Now you have potentially four or more different naming conventions to manage across many exchange platforms. How do you efficiently reconcile and report current and prior periods for your stakeholders? Not to mention, there are already over 1300 coins, each of which are computed out to varying decimal places depending on the data source.

Even as cryptocurrency valuations hit new records, and more funds enter the market, the heterogeneous nature of this data means the industry must resort to tracking and reconciling millions of lines of data manually or with retrofitted applications that aren’t blockchain-native, making any type of analysis or reporting for financial, performance, or tax purposes inefficient with an incredibly high likelihood of errors. In fact, we haven’t seen a meaningful crypto-dataset that doesn’t have gaps or errors.

This is a cause for concern, as institutional investors who are looking to move into the space won’t allocate significant capital until enterprise-grade information infrastructure and practices are implemented. This is necessary to meet their fiduciary responsibility. These critical challenges must be addressed for our industry to maintain its growth rate. Simply stated, there must be reliable, scalable, and secure systems and processes to track, analyze, and report on crypto investments.

Enter Libra. This week we made significant announcements that aim to address these challenges and promote continued growth with the support of institutional investors. Not only did we announce a $7.8 million Series A round led by a prominent, multi-billion dollar European family office, as well as Liberty City Ventures, leading trader and liquidity provider XBTO, Boost VC, and Lee Linden, but a follow-on product announcement which unveils Libra Crypto Office, the industry’s first, institutional-grade solution purpose-built for the technical nature of blockchains and cryptocurrencies. Our new product has the support of XBTO as well as ShapeShift, a premier, global blockchain asset exchange platform.

Libra Crypto Office adds value through a three-stage process. First, it offers a single on-ramp that connects to exchange platforms, blockchains, and other data sources within the ecosystem. Second, the solution continuously normalizes and enriches millions of transaction records through real-time data processing engines. Finally, it assembles actionable insights and reports such as trading, inventory, and tax information that can also be delivered to other enterprise systems via APIs.

Philippe Bekhazi, CEO of XBTO, recently spoke to the product’s value and potential:

“Libra Crypto Office eliminates manual and inefficient back and middle office processes. The crypto markets operate 24/7/365, which means we must be able to produce accurate financial reports automatically, and in real time. Libra’s software will meet the needs of XBTO and our investors as we grow our business.”

Thank you for checking out our blog and your interest in Libra! We have a great team and investors who, like you, share the same goal–automation and optimization of back and middle office processes to drive global growth and adoption of blockchain and crypto. Libra Crypto Office is in production and running live customer data, so please drop us a note at [email protected] if you’re interested in a subscription–we’re ready to go!

 

Press Release – Libra Raises $7.8 Million in Series A Round

New York, NY — November 27, 2017 — Libra, a pioneer in financial software for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, today announced a $7.8 million Series A round led by a prominent, multi-billion dollar European family office. Participating investors include Liberty City Ventures, leading trader and liquidity provider XBTO, Boost VC, and Lee Linden.

The funding will be used to continue building the Libra Enterprise Platform, as well as releasing new applications and data services. Libra’s platform provides institutional-grade blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem connectivity, standardization, and delivery of data in a scalable, secure, and fully auditable solution. While the new applications and data services will provide real-time, continuous, and automated accounting, audit, and tax processing and reporting capabilities.

Launched in early 2014, Libra recently relocated to New York City, from San Francisco, to focus on customer sales and implementations.

“Libra’s vision is to be the premier provider of next generation accounting, audit, and tax software and data services for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry,” said Jake Benson, CEO of Libra. “We provide our customers three core components of value. First, a single on-ramp that connects to the many data sources within the ecosystem. Second, the real-time data processing engines and services required to continuously and automatically standardize and deliver accurate financial information. And third, blockchain-native software that’s purpose-built for this industry by a team of engineers who have designed and delivered some of the most scalable and secure financial software platforms in the world.”

In addition to the current round, the company previously raised $2.0 million in seed funding, in transactions led by Liberty City Ventures and Fenbushi Capital, bringing total capital raised to nearly $10.0 million since inception.

About Libra

Founded in 2014, Libra, a pioneer in financial software for the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, builds premier solutions that automate and optimize accounting, audit, and tax processes. Libra’s SaaS solutions are purpose-built for the world’s most demanding customers who require highly scalable and secure reporting, compliance, and control solutions. Libra is based in New York City.

 

Media Contact:

ANW Networks

Claudine Cornelis, +1 (914) 734-5268

[email protected]

Alicia V. Nieva-Woodgate, +1 (720) 808-0086

[email protected]

As cryptocurrency transactions grow exponentially, what’s needed to scale back and middle office processes?

Recently, CNBC put out a great piece on the growth of cryptocurrency funds spinning up to trade bitcoin, et al. This is a great indication of how ‘crypto’ is starting to be considered its own asset class. However, what we’ve learned, after talking to literally hundreds of crypto market players, is that many of the back and middle office processes used to do the financial accounting, tax reporting, and compliance are in fact manual. Or, done on spreadsheets with retrofitted applications that aren’t blockchain native!

A great example regarding the challenges of scaling accounting and tax processes in crypto is to consider Ether, a coin that’s divisible out to 18 decimal places. What happens when one crypto exchange rounds up trading data to 2 decimal places, another rounds to 6, and then you pull from the Ethereum blockchain to reconcile and it gives you all 18? How do you get everything to balance and run your tax calculation on arbitrage trades that cross multiple exchanges and chains with these types of data nuances?

What’s needed in order for the industry to deal with the nuances of cryptocurrencies and continue to grow is a solution that does four things:

First, the solution must simplify and standardize connectivity to many different crypto exchanges and blockchains (Bitcoin, Ethereum etc.). This is needed to abstract away the complexity of connecting to, and staying up-to-date with, the cryptocurrency ecosystem. This effort is expensive, front-end loaded, and requires hard dollars to maintain over time.

Second, the solution must have highly tuned and scalable processing engines that extract, normalize, and enrich data in order to execute business processes. For example, the solution must automatically isolate every part of a transaction and ensure each acquisition has the right cost basis assigned, with all fee types properly accounted for, in order to make sure your reporting and compliance is accurate.

Further, the engine must have the capability to allow users to select various accounting methods – on the fly – in order to determine gains and losses, mark your book to market (MTM), generate a P&L, and determine the NAV of your fund.

Third, the solution must include tools to analyze and control behaviors and events. Examples include, a method to monitor and notify a user when coins hit certain pricing levels, the ability to create alerts for traders when they’ve hit their trading limit, or analytics and notifications, for Exchanges, in order to define the lowest cost/fee transactions required to refresh coin inventories.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the solution must be purpose-built for the most demanding enterprises: meaning real-time, automated, append-only, continuous, scalable, and secure.

At Libra, we’re focused on helping the crypto-asset ecosystem grow and scale. We’ve built connectivity to public blockchains, crypto exchanges, and wallets, as well as the processing engines to execute real-time accounting and tax calculations, reports, and compliance.

The Libra team has also designed and engineered some of the most secure and scalable SaaS platforms used by the world’s largest banks. Simply stated, we thoroughly understand how to support the industry’s need for scalable accounting and tax processes and have built a product that’s institutional-grade from the get go.

The crypto trading industry is ready for an institutional grade back and middle office product and as a leading Blockchain/Crypto software company, Libra is looking forward to supporting enterprises as they bring more liquidity into the crypto ecosystem.

Come to Consensus Invest, in New York City on Nov. 28th, 2017 to see our new product. We’ll be there making announcements, presenting, running a booth, and demonstrating. Hope you can join us…and please feel free to share this article with your network to get the word out. Thanks!