Seattle-based blockchain venture capital firm Pitha announced the filing of the very first Schedule 13D SEC filing in history, listing cryptocurrency as a method of payment during a recent investment round in DigitalTown.
The filing of venture capital related paperwork to the US Securities and Exchange Commission is a common occurrence, but the 13D submitted by Pithia — announced on June 4th — is unique in that it marks the first time in which the beneficial ownership of more than 5% of the publicly traded securities of a public company has been filed listing cryptocurrency as a payment method.
Pithia, RChain, and DigitalTown File Historic 13D
The 13D filing occurred as part of of Pithia’s $2.4 million investment in the DigitalTown project, which saw the RChain cooperative member accelerate the development of the blockchain-based local economy platform.
Schedulde 13D filings must be submitted to the SEC within 10 days of the purchase of more than 5% of any publicly traded securities in a public company resulting in “beneficial ownership,” which, in the case of Pithia’s investment in DigitalTown, provides them with the ability to share in voting and investment power.
DigitalTown is the first public company to accept cryptocurrency in return for company stock, and notably accepted RHOC — RChain’s native token — stead of the more widely accepted Bitcoin or Ethereum.
The acceptance of an altcoin in return for stock is a major step forward with regards to the legitimization of cryptocurrencies as a means of transferring value between parties.
Why does Pithia’s 13D Matter?
Pithia’s filing may appear to be simple paperwork, but the reality of the deal opens to door to virtually any kind of cryptocurrency-based investment into public companies in the future.
The Pithia/DigitalTown deal is the first time in history the SEC officially recognized the purchase of stocks with cryptocurrency, demonstrating the importance and viability of following SEC guidelines and accelerating the maturation of the cryptocurrency industry.
The filing itself provides interesting insight into the manner in which cryptocurrency is treated by the SEC, with the section “Source and Amount of Funds or Other Considerations” listing the purchaser — Catena Fund One Working Capital — as delivering 1,050,000 RHOC for the purchase.
A caveat added to the section notes the nature and value of RHOC tokens as “RHOC are a form of cryptocurrency, valued at $1.16/RHOC at the time of the transaction.”
At the time of the transaction, the total value of the RHOC used to invest in DigitalTown was worth about $1.21 million. A recent positive swing for RHOC, however, has seen the value of the tokens transferred climb to $1.45 million. Pithia released a statement regarding the purchase in a recent press release:
“With the inherent volatility of cryptocurrencies, this investment is a strong indicator of the confidence DigitalTown has in RChain, the future success of the network, and the future success of digital currencies in general.”
Cover Photo by Scott Rodgerson on Unsplash