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Celebrus Advisory: Reshaping the Digital Economy with Blockchain
It was one of those origin stories with scribbled napkins at a sleepy Spanish restaurant, when Edmund Yong and his founding partner bounced off ideas on “Depression Babies,” as bitcoin was born out of the last global financial crisis. While the world witnessed the boost in cryptocurrencies, the underlying infrastructure of blockchain was neglected. This limelight on crypto made way for numerous scams and get-rich-quick schemes that took many good businesses for a toss. The negligence toward the infrastructure was also the main reason for bitcoin’s biggest nightmare that led to a loss of 460 million pounds due to a hack at the then largest bitcoin exchange, Mt.Gox. In not more than two months the company was bankrupt. As Yong and his friends drank to bitcoin’s fake obituary after the Mt.Gox crash, they thought of helping businesses leverage on the blockchain or crypto market and laid the foundation of Celebrus Advisory. Originally focusing on the public sector, Celebrus became the go-to firm for “compliance-first consultancy” for crypto markets in the private sector as well. As this space was largely unregulated back then, many would prefer to build in the shadows and remain in the shadows. Celebrus advocated clients to step into the light instead and use compliance as a competitive advantage. “While we believe that blockchain will help unlock the future digital economy, we want to help clients get there the right way without taking shortcuts or skipping due diligence; this is where we make a stand and by doing so we unwittingly stand out from others.”
Despite the fact that blockchain has become a popular technology for solving data challenges, it should be noted that it is just one piece of the tech puzzle. It is infrastructural, and the benefits are not visibly felt by itself. Celebrus helps enhance the value of blockchain by integrating it with other techs like IoT, GPS, AI, and AR/VR. At the start of a project Celebrus conducts a diagnostics of the client’s current workflows, tech skill inventory, and legacy systems. It also dimensions the different types of risks involved and how these can be mitigated by using the proper instrument (token), vehicle (legal entity), or jurisdiction (place of issuance). Once ready, Celebrus creates the blockchain architecture, token design, and the incentive structures to turn it into a viable network and community. “It does take some ‘crypto engineering’ to structure the right token offering, though, for the most part, the regulatory engagement and compliance takes center stage,” says Yong.
Further, the company excels at providing foreign incorporation, listing readiness, corporate treasury and community building services.
While we believe that blockchain will help unlock the future digital economy, we want to help clients get there the right way without taking shortcuts or skipping due diligence
“We are able to plumb into a network of professionals that can advise and assist on capital formation, tax optimization, fund governance, and choice platforms for token flotation.” Clients need not worry about customizations of solutions for walleting and treasury to help with the administration and hedging of tokens. “We have a bespoke approach and focus on what can be achieved for each client based on their requirements,” explains Yong. Above all, the company seamlessly manages the entire project by carving the implementation journey into manageable chunks within the constrained capabilities of the client while ensuring collective stakeholder buy-in, proper integration alongside existing business processes. “One uniqueness of our approach is in being discreet with our clients’ projects and being quietly successful, without pomp and pageantry.”
The team is well versed with the region’s crypto industry and is one of its early pioneers. They currently serve as the Committee Lead for Research and Technical standards for ACCESS Blockchain, the main industry representative body recognized by the government. In addition, Celebrus’s team technical competency could be seen via public participation in the ecosystem, for example being one of the first to crack and complete the Capture the Ether smart contract exploit series and publicly documenting the full sequence of exploits. “Our advantage stems from our core competencies in regulation and tech in which we have built veritable credibility,” extols Yong. Interestingly, the cultural DNA of Celebrus’ team is similar to what it does for its clients. For instance, the team is organized like the blockchain; decentralized but connected online. The team is clustered along “master nodes” based on expertise such as reg and tech.
In an instance, Celebrus consulted a green shared-mobility company whose aim was to measure and validate vehicle usage transparently. At a later phase, this data would be correlated to a decentralized form of vehicle management taken on by user communities or local counties. Celebrus ensured low costs while leveraging on public blockchains to maintain data and prepare incentivized interfacing options to enable a communally self-sustained and decentralized organization that could govern local fleets of green mobility vehicles. The company also helped the client identify the type of platforms where this can be made possible, taking into account transaction throughput and costs, and feasibility of implementation from both hardware and software perspectives.
In terms of objectives, the company aspires to meet the famous blockchain trilemma of “speed, security, and scalability.” When it comes to delivery, Celebrus is driven by turnaround time and responsiveness. Given the multi-dimensional risks in this business, it constantly proofs and checks. To achieve scalability Celebrus has carefully plotted a roadmap to move towards platforms that deliver blockchain-as-a-service (BaaS) for productizable processes such as wallet management with disbursements and corporate share registry to issue tokenized shares. While compliance advisory and risk management remain the company’s forte, Celebrus is also interested in adjacencies like education for businesses, and corporate finance for the digital economy. From a geographical standpoint, Yong believes, “Since crypto is borderless, and the market gravity has shifted to the East—where we are located—we are able to offer our services to the world at large.”