We started with a discussion of our growing member base. Several of the pending corporate members are still waiting on our VAT number which is pending due to the need for the appointment of an auditor and the subsequent registration of documents with the Handelsregister. We have now solved the pre-requisites to finalize the registration.
We discussed the budget as we now have several different income streams across memberships, regional chapters and events with differing costs across the activities and geographies. The actuals versus budget at this early stage in the year appears to be on track for being able to deliver against the primary objectives for the year. Furthermore, if additional Strategic Partners are on-boarded, we have agreed to hire an Assistant Manager to manage the ever-growing number of inbound queries from members, prospects and the media.
Our involvement in the Blockchain Taskforce continues as the number of contributors has increased significantly. Key topics discussed included the FINMA guidelines with comments from several politicians representing different constituencies as to the complexity of explaining initiatives in this space to the general public. We proposed that the token map will not be limited to one version but to several versions based on attributes, regulation and a view for investors.
We took a moment to discuss the new FINMA regulation. We recognized that the values of choosing Switzerland still stand as the feedback that we continue to receive is that the values of privacy and stability still play an important part in attracting quality talent and organizations. We discussed some of the other indirect impacts that this move has had on the ecosystem. Opportunities still exist for greater involvement of the government, the banking system and an ability to recruit international talent. The FINMA roundtable events have seen a significant level of interest. Thanks to some additional effort, there are now 50 more seats for the event in Zug next week. Geneva is sold out but there are still a few tickets available in Lugano.
The next topic was how to address the continuing international interest. Many countries have approached us and we have chosen Liechtenstein as the most suitable first candidate for an International Chapter. Discussions with follow in the coming week.
We have several Strategic Partners in the pipeline. The organizations have proposed the creation of several very interesting new working groups and we are evolving each of these agreements with the aim of maximizing value for our members while also ensuring the opportunities create value for our partners.
We had a long list of Other Business to discuss including the growing number of requests from startups looking for funding and the tools and processes that could be used to address this, the potential for the Association or any party to set-up and operate an SRO which we will forward on to the regulatory working group.
Prior to the close, we looked at a third party proposal to establish a formalized and certified training academy dedicated to the blockchain space. We chose to approve the request to create a working group to explore further.
We finished with an update about the upcoming Consensus event in New York. We have 3 of the 5 platinum sponsor positions filled and will be reaching out to Corporate members next week for the 15 Gold sponsor opportunities.
Attendees: Vasiliy, Oliver, Nicolas, Gianni, Susie, Sam, Rene, Soren, Kevin
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