If you have been following VALK over the last two years, you may be interested in the origin of our name. We were not always called VALK; in fact, our first name was ‘Value on Chain’, VOC for short. We chose this name because our original service focuses on tokenizing assets in private markets, allowing for instant settlement on-chain. This ensures investing & trading in a secure, compliant and robust environment and interoperability and connectivity with the world’s largest banking DLT ecosystem; in effect, adding the asset value ‘on chain’.
However, we were not the first VOC to exist. In 1602, the Dutch East India Company, a charter trading company was established. Its name in dutch, the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, or VOC. Founded also in 1602, was the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest, still-functioning stock exchange in the world. VOC is considered to be the first ever multinational company, and was the first company to issue stock to investors, effectively being the first institution to offer equity stakes in its business. This innovative way of allocating ownership was an important motivation for how we view ourselves as changing the game when it came to representing ownership on the blockchain.
When we decided to change our name from VOC, we thought it important to retain some of the legacy of the original VOC whilst distancing ourselves from the darker history behind the imperialistic company. VOC was instrumental in innovating equity ownership and ensuring wider accessibility of capital to investors, which happened to be our initial mission when we started as a tokenization platform on R3’s Corda blockchain. Whilst our methods differ, our vision was in some ways similar: streamlining markets through modernisation (and digitisation in our case). Thus, we chose the name of one of VOC’s ships, Valkenburg, a frigate launched in 1742, built for speed and manoeuvrability. It is these attributes that led us to choose Valk as our name, as we believe our versatile, flexible and fast-moving features give us an edge in the world of FinTech.
Additionally, translated into english, Valk means falcon. Known for their rapid speeds, and existing in almost all parts of the world, falcons symbolise much of what VALK is about with regard to how we aim to innovate and disrupt capital markets. From our starting point of digitising capital markets to help our clients (who are present all around the world) to source and execute deals more efficiently, to our recent integration with decentralised finance (DeFi), we believe a falcon is very appropriate as our namesake. Therefore we thought our latest product, our DeFi wallet tracker, should be named accordingly. And thus we chose Merlin. Perhaps more famously known for the mythical wizard (which is no coincidence regarding our choice), Merlin is also a species of falcon from the Northern Hemisphere, with numerous subspecies throughout North America and Eurasia.
Our DeFi wallet tracker, Merlin, which is explained in greater detail in this article, is indeed both wizard-like and falcon-like. Merlin’s ability to monitor and provide scope for analysis on the blockchain of a user’s DeFi positions across multiple protocols, is nothing short of magic. For those who don’t know, Merlin extracts all the transactions related to one wallet, retrieves the position of each digital asset deployed across DeFi protocols and calculates the positions (vs USD or other currency) plus yield generated. Other information from DeFi protocols such as assets held, PNL, yield earned (daily) and portfolio value will also be provided. Merlin’s calculation engine will spot the date on which the user deposited the crypto, the price of the token at the time of deposit and the current price of the token. This will show the portfolio balance as well as the gain/loss (gas fees are also included into the calculation). This work is done almost instantaneously once a user connects their wallet to the platform, exemplifying the rapid pace at which the Merlin falcon can move, and indeed the magical capabilities that the mythical wizard had.
On Thursday 16th December at 6pm GMT, if you wish to learn more about how Merlin works, we are hosting a live product demonstration on our discord channel, where our head of product will be presenting a live demonstration of the application and how it produces value. Feel free to join our discord anyway!