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3 More Executives Leave SDX Due to Discrepencies

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SDX Exchange lost 3 executives in January 2020

The blockchain-based digital asset trading venue SDX continues to have a rough start to the new year. This week, another high-level executive announced their departure from the firm. The news brings the number of executives who left the company in January 2020 up to three. The news demonstrates a realignment and shuffling of SDX’s business plan. Also, it showcases the growing pains associated with these changes

According to company documentation, all of these executives departed from their full-time positions in January. The three individuals to leave are Alex Zinder, an architecture lead at SDX, Ivo Sauter, SDX’s head of clients and products, and Sven Roth, the firm’s chief digital officer. The later of the trio agreed to stay on as an external advisor to SDX.

In a recent interview, Sauter explained the motivation behind his decision to leave. He touched on a number of critical changes made throughout the firm. These changes included a shift from the platform’s original vision. He explained that at first, the platform was to utilize the banking sector as a bridge into the rest of the market.

However, this strategy quickly changed as SDX began to tailor its platform specifically, and solely for use by banks. Sauter described how these changes effected moral and fueled the growing dis-alignment between executives and owners. He explained that originally, the platform was to be much more inclusive. For example, SDX was to enable startups to provide services around its features.

Corporate Culture

Sauter also took a moment to touch on the negative effects this corporate culture had on the project. He explained that, in his opinion, a bit more separation needed to occur between SDX and its mother company, the Swiss stock exchange operator SIX Group. Apparently, these feelings of discourse only grew as the mother company took more and more influence on SDX’s day to day operations.

SDX Office via SIX

SDX Office via SIX

Additionally, Sauter explained how the big-company approach also inhibited the company’s ability to save. Large corporations require much more reporting. In turn, this reporting raises operating costs. Additionally, smaller firms have more liberty in terms of flexibility and risk management. In the end, the corporate approach made many of the executives feel as if they had been stifled.

Despite the discrepancies, Sauter stated that he had left on good terms. He went as far as to claim that he was at a point in his career that he had no desire to have his contract renewed. Consequently, SDX chose to not offer a renewal.

Challenges in the Market

As with any major corporate reshuffle, there are going to be individuals that no longer fall in line with the platform’s overall goals. Discussing these challenges, a SIX spokesman touched on the changes and what they mean to the project. They explained that whenever you have a concept built from scratch, there are going to be many ups-and-downs associated with the development. In the end, the firm acknowledged that these changes have begun to add up with the spokesperson stating that the firm has “spent quite a few Swiss francs” on the ordeal.

SDX Moving Forward

From the tone of SDX’s past employees, the company is undergoing some heavy internal changes. As such, there is no way to determine exactly how these personnel changes will affect the overall strategy the company has chosen to follow. One thing is for sure, SDX appears to have made a priority shift towards servicing the banking sector exclusively with its new platform.

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David Hamilton is a full-time journalist and a long-time bitcoinist. He specializes in writing articles on the blockchain. His articles have been published in multiple bitcoin publications including Bitcoinlightning.com

Security Tokens

Flyt Property Brings First Tokenized Real Estate STO to Africa

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BnkToTheFuture Invests in Blockchain Consultancy Firm, Diacle

This week marks another important milestone within the international security token sector as the African-based tokenization platform, Flyt Property announced plans to host the first-ever Tokenized Real Estate STO on the continent. The news demonstrates an acceleration in the adoption of tokenization across the global real estate market. Additionally, it symbolizes a major advancement for African markets moving forward.

According to company documentation, Flyt Property Investment will issue Africa’s first property-backed security token. Importantly, the blockchain-based token represents ownership in Flyt Property’s new real estate fund. Unlike previous tokenization ventures within the region, Flyt features full regulatory and legal compliance.

Flyt Hospitality Fund

The newly tokenized Flyt Hospital Fund focuses specifically on strategically located hospitality properties. Also, the fund will focus on sectional-title serviced apartments and student accommodations. Traditionally, this style of real estate required the participation of a major financial backer. Flyt believes that through the power of tokenization, the firm can open up these investment opportunities to a host of new private investors.

Importantly, the Flyt Hospital Fund is a South African Section 12J fund. This is a critical categorization as Section 12J investments receive tax breaks and a host of other advantages in the market. The concept of Section 12J properties first entered the market via the Income Tax Act of 2009 as a way to stimulate market growth. Importantly, South African taxpayers who invest in local 12j companies receive a plethora of benefits including a 100% tax deduction.

Flyt Property

In a recent interview, Zane De Decker, MD of Flyt Property Investment spoke on the important maneuvers his firm has made. He explained how the new strategy places Flyt far ahead of the curve. Decker also touched on the overall excitement felt by his team. He then spoke on how the project provides new market opportunities to investors.

Flyt Property via Homepage

Flyt Property via Homepage

Decker was keen to go into some of the finer details related to the project. He described how the new services benefit both traditional and token investments. Flyt will allow both fiat and tokenized investments into the fund. Consequently, this strategy will increase the liquidity of the entire project. Lastly, Decker described why the transparency provided by the new tech is a major upgrade for the market.

Partnerships

Flyt Property Investment worked with the Swiss-based financial technology supplier Bakari to make the project a reality. Speaking publicly, Ciaran MacDevette, Co-Founder of Bakari, explained that the new project embraces next-generation financial technology. Additionally, MacDevette stated that Bakari was “proud” to be working with the Flyt Hospitality Fund. He also discussed the reasons why his firm continues to be a leader in FinTech innovation.

Flyt token (FLYT)

FLYT is an ERC-20 compatible token that lives on the Ethereum blockchain. As an ERC-20 compliant token, the platform enjoys some significant advantages including higher interoperability. For example, all Flyt tokens can be self-custodied by investors with only the need for an ERC-20 compatible wallet.

Flyt Property Investment

Cape Town appears to be Africa’s new blockchain epicenter. These latest developments are sure to place Flyt Property Investments in a category of their own. For now, the African markets are primed and ready for large scale tokenization.

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Issuers

Bankhaus von der Heydt Unveils Blockchain Strategy

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VR Bank to Issue Security Token with the help of Tokeny and Lition

This week, the German Bank von der Heyd stunned the EU banking community after revealing plans to issue security tokens and offer custodial services in the coming weeks. The news demonstrates further integration of blockchain technology among the EU’s traditional banking sector, as well as, a desire by Bankhaus von der Heydt to become the industry leader.

News of the new services first broke via a press release. In the release, the private bank shed some light on the project and the progress to date. Company documents revealed that the bank completed its first custodial transactions successfully this month. Additionally, the blog gave some insight into the bank’s future intentions.

Tokenization Strategies

According to reports, Bankhaus von der Heydt will provide commercial clients the ability to tokenize assets via the platform. In this way, bank officials seek to become a major force in the German blockchain sector. Additionally, the bank has plans to issue a EURO-backed stablecoin in the coming months to supplement its digital asset economy.

The new products make Bankhaus von der Heydt the first German bank to provide a digital asset custody solution to clients. As such, the firm hopes to achieve a significant strategic advantage over the competition. Discussing the new strategy Bank von der Heydt managing director,  Philipp Doppelhammer spoke on his firm’s work. He explained that bank researchers spent years observing the blockchain space. This research helped the firm to design relevant products to the current state of the market.

Bankhaus von der Heydt Managing Director Philipp Doppelhammer via Xing

Bankhaus von der Heydt Managing Director Philipp Doppelhammer via Xing

Doppelhammer also explained why these products provide his firm with outstanding added value. As the only German bank to offer licensed digital asset custodial services, Bankhaus von der Heydt is positioned to be a major player in the EU markets. Lastly, he took a moment to let the public know that these products are now ready for the market from a regulatory and technological perspective.

Partnerships

In order to ensure the success of the venture, Bank von der Heydt collaborated with FinTech and blockchain services provider, Bitbond. For its part, Bitbond provided the technical infrastructure surrounding the custodial aspects of the strategy. Additionally, the bank utilized Bitbond’s proprietary technology to develop several asset structuring and asset servicing products as well.

Speaking on the partnership, Radoslav Albrecht, CEO, and founder of Bitbond explained how his firm continues to work with several banks and financial intermediaries to expand the capabilities of the platform. He also touched on the important benefits tokenization brings to the market, such as liquidity.

Additionally, Albrecht described the feeling of excitement surrounding the project. Here he pointed out that this was the first project to use blockchain technology in the area of securitization and private placements in the country. He also stated that his firm was “pleased to cooperate” with the bank, which he labeled a proven industry expert.

Bankhaus von der Heydt Takes the Lead

It now appears that Bankhaus von der Heydt will have a strong positioning in the market moving forward. This firm continues to utilize its unique stance to keep up-to-date on all the latest FinTech trends. You can expect to hear a lot more from this group as its new projects gain popularity in the coming weeks.

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Issuers

CFTC to Give its Stance on GRAM Token Classification

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Telegram Battles SEC over GRAM Token Classification

This month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stepped up its battle against the mobile messaging giant Telegram. For months, the two groups have been enthralled in a trial to determine the classification of Telegram’s GRAM token. This week, in an attempt to break the legal stalemate, the SEC reached out to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to hear its stance on the project.

According to reports, a letter was sent from the federal judge presiding over the case, Kevin Castel, directly to the Office of General Counsel of the United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Specifically, the letter asks the organization to determine if the GRAM token is a security or not.

As such, the importance of this document can’t be overstated.  The court’s determination will have a direct effect on the classification of certain types of cryptocurrencies within the United States moving forward. For its part, the SEC argues that the GRAM token is, in fact, a security.

Regulators stated that the entire crowdfunding event, which raised around $1.7 billion, violated the Securities Act of 1933. On top of the claim, SEC alleges that Telegram participated in the unauthorized sale of securities. Lastly, the SEC also claims the group convoluted the difference between a purchaser’s investment in the digital asset and the delivery of the asset itself.

Telegram Refutes the Charges – GRAM

Despite the heavy-handed approach the SEC has taken, Telegram continues to stand its ground. The firm insists that its GRAM token is a commodity. As such, Telegram stated that GRAM tokens do not fall under the SEC’s jurisdiction.

Telegram ICO Data via ICO Drops - GRAM

Telegram ICO Data via ICO Drops – GRAM

Telegram ICO

Recent court filings shed some light on the details of Telegrams 2018 ICO. According to these documents, Telegram raised $1.7 billion from 171 investors. Of these investors, $424.5M came from 39 US-based investors. The remaining $1.28 billion in funding came from international participation from 132 additional investors.

What is the GRAM Token?

The GRAM token project originated with the goal to provide Telegram users with an online currency to supplement the Telegram platform. Developers envisioned a cryptocurrency that saw global usage among Telegram’s 300 million subscribers. According to company executives, the hope was to spur the growth of a new economy that would use Telegram as the man medium of communication.

So Are GRAM Tokens Security Tokens?

While the SEC continues to drive home their perspective on Telegram’s blockchain projects, the cryptocommunity awaits a final answer. As it stands today, several filings were made with no relevant determinations yet. Telegram executives and regulators are keen to the fact that this case would set a major precedent across the entire US blockchain sector.

When you consider the ramification of the Telegram trial, it’s easy to see why company executives are not willing to bow to the SEC’s pressure. For one, the firm has billions in funding to fight a long-drawn-out court battle. Additionally, Telegram executives have put forth a lot of effort into the creation and maintenance of the GRAM ecosystem. To lose these funds, would be a huge hit for the firm.

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