Digital asset enthusiasts are finding that neither issuers nor investors are ready or able yet to let go of high levels of intermediation. Historically, keeping track of investors is the responsibility of the registrar who, in a blockchain-based future is made redundant by a digital ledger that is updated automatically every time an asset changes ownership. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have rarely made use of a third-party registrar anyway, preferring to keep their register and cap table on a spreadsheet. Now they are finding that the benefits of digitising their existing liabilities – lower issuance costs, a lower cost of capital through increased liquidity and readier use of their own securities as collateral for loans – are hard to realise without a digital registrar to keep track of who owns which digital security and facilitate issuance and trading of digital securities on multiple trading platforms. SEC-registered transfer agent Vertalo fulfils that role. The company is working with digital asset issuers and trading platforms to overcome the challenges of maintaining up-to-date registers of owners by moving the necessary data quickly and securely between different issuance and trading platforms. Dominic Hobson, co-founder of the Future of Finance, spoke to Vertalo CEO and founder Dave Hendricks.