In a dynamic but confusing blockchain ecosystem filled with bright, shiny objects such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), an end-to-end blockchain-based asset digitization platform opened its doors today to offer a full suite of technology tools and services to its clients in a regulatory compliant manner. Wazuzu, Inc. is the brainchild of Joseph E. Besecker of Emerald Asset Management PA, LLC who has more than 30 years of experience in the highly regulated money management business.
For years he had recognized the transformative potential of asset digitization before teaming up with technology veteran Paul H. Slaats of the private equity firm Milestone Partners, an entrepreneur, business executive, investor and technology holding company founder who has been integral to establishing and growing more than two dozen technology businesses, from start-up to exit, including IPOs.
Together, the Wazuzu co-founders recognized the disruptive potential for blockchain technology and tokenization to drive a new ecosystem of asset monetization and commerce. Wazuzu offers its clients a full suite of asset digitization services and technology which includes everything from NFT development and security token consulting to geolocation and metaverse management tools to creative services such as video production and gamification.
“While there has been a tidal wave of interest and issuance of NFTs targeted at digitally native collectors, Wazuzu is focused on what we call ‘NFT 2.0.’ Our company is at the forefront of bringing utility, engagement and brand amplification to a host of creators, companies and intellectual property owners, through both NFTs and possibly collaborating on STOs,” Besecker said.
STOs are a type of offering in which tokenized digital securities, known as security tokens, are offered and/or traded in a regulatory compliant manner, including on regulated exchanges. STOs can be used to create new markets for virtually any type of digital or physical asset by using a blockchain’s virtual ledger system to authenticate and track token transactions. Wazuzu will not be an STO underwriter but will work with properly licensed and credentialed regulated entities.
“This new instrument class fixes three critical problems in the private markets: investor access, liquidity and price transparency,” Slaats said. “They allow everyday individuals to invest in privately held equities, fixed income instruments, real estate, intangible asset portfolios and product development projects across a variety of industries,” he added.
Wazuzu brings its extensive experience in capital markets and regulatory compliance to multiple verticals including:
“Between us, the Wazuzu founders have extensive experience working in highly regulated financial services and other markets,” Slaats said. “With the excitement that the new blockchain technology brings, we knew that there would be a lot of missteps, rookie mistakes that will be very costly. Wazuzu’s biggest differentiator is our deep-seated commitment to operate well within existing and eventually new regulatory frameworks for digital assets, including new rules we anticipate will be set by Congress and enforced by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.”
The name Wazuzu is loosely based on the powerful Chinese myth of the nine sons of the Emperor Dragon, in which the dragons are seen as connectors between the ethereal, conceptual space and the unlimited potential of the real world.
“To us, the name fits perfectly because tokenized assets represent something we could only dream of a few years ago – the ability to generate unique content and monetization strategies that are verifiable, permanent, unlimited in utility, and easily tradable without the need for formal markets or traditional intermediaries,” Besecker said.