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.
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.
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.
BitClave Reaches Settlement with SEC over 2017 $25M ICO
This week, BitClave PTE Ltd. reached a settlement with SEC regulators. As part of the agreement, the company must return funds acquired in its 2017 ICO in which the firm secured $25 million. The news showcases further SEC interdiction into the crypto sector. Additionally, it demonstrates some long-awaited relief for the BitClave project.
According to the SEC filing, BitClave violated US securities regulations when they hosted the event. Specifically, regulators charged that the Consumer Activity Tokens (CAT) received by investors were, in actuality, unlicensed securities. Importantly, the firm’s ICO saw investment from over 9,5000 international participants.
Discussing the ruling, Kristina Littman, the SEC Enforcement Division’s Cyber Unit Chief shed some light on regulators’ thought-process during the trial. She explained that the ruling provides relief to any investors who felt shaded by the company. Additionally, she touched on the overall goal of the new SEC campaign. Littman stated that the SEC must ensure that all issuers of securities, traditional or digital, comply with Federal registration requirements.
The BitClave platform aims to develop a decentralized search ecosystem. Developers seek to create, administer, and market a blockchain-based search platform for targeted consumer advertising. Importantly, BitClave introduces some truly unique features to the market.
For example, BitClave users can decide who gets access to their personal data. Additionally, they receive a payment in the form of tokens for sharing this information. In this manner, users receive welcomed advertisements. Best of all, companies know their advertising efforts only go towards people interested in their products or services.
From the start, BitClave saw immediate success upon entering the market. The firm secured $22 million of its $25 million ICO goal in a mere 32 seconds. Impressively, the platform already had 64,000 registered users. Importantly, these investors received Consumer Activity Tokens (CAT) for their participation.
The company distributed 550,842,000 CAT tokens during the event. The total supply of CAT Tokens is set at 2 billion. Interestingly, developers kept the unissued tokens locked up in a smart contract. These tokens are to release at a later date to hep supplement growth in the platform.
At the time, BitClave’s founder and CEO, Alex Bessonov, called the results “spectacular.” He praised the community for their early support on the project, and he described some of the future releases scheduled on the firm’s roadmap. Now, given the SEC ruling, these promises could see the market.
SEC Racks Up Wins
The ruling follows a string of SEC victories. Just this week, the messaging giant, Telegram withdrew its TON blockchain filing due to pushback from regulators. Specifically, the project hit major snags after a federal judge ruled that the company couldn’t issue GRAM tokens to investors. Telegram appealed the decision and asked for permission to issue tokens to non-US investors. The SEC denied the appeal shortly after its filing.
BitClave – What the Future Holds
Despite the ruling, BitClave appears to be in good faith. The platform issued a statement celebrating the end of the long trial. Now, BitClave is free to pursue its goal to provide internet users with the tools to regain control of their data.
InCore Bank Launches Access to Digital Assets
This week, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) raised eyebrows when regulators authorized InCore Bank to begin blockchain operations. Now, the firm can provide institutional clients with the ability to trade, hold, and transfer digital assets. Additionally, regulators gave the green light to the firm’s tokenization capabilities.
The news represents a major milestone for the EU market. It marks the first Swiss business-to-business bank approved to operate in the sector. Importantly, InCore is an established bank in the region. As such, there is great potential in their strategy to offer major financial institutions and service providers regulated access to blockchain assets.
Speaking on the launch, Mark Dambacher, CEO of InCore Bank described some of the benefits the new platform introduces to the sector. He explained that clients now have the ability to offer users digital assets directly, via the InCore platform. Additionally, he spoke on how this product allows corporations to forgo expensive infrastructure costs associated with the creation of a new blockchain ecosystem.
Dambacher also described the firm’s overall goal to bridge the gap between digital and traditional assets. InCore plans to accomplish this monumental task through the integration of regulated customer protections, safety standards, and an easy to operate interface. In this way, the company can simplify the tokenization process and make it more attainable to clients globally.
InCore now offers a full suite of blockchain-based services. These products cover the gambit from end-to-end business solutions, all the way to integrated e-banking. Since InCore is already in operation in the banking sector, the platform can bring some truly unique features to the market including customized digital asset reporting.
According to company executives, InCore seeks to expand its blockchain strategy in the coming months. The firm already has plans to include brokerage, custody, and transfer services to security tokens. This maneuver is a smart decision as the majority of tokenized assets fall into the security token category at this time.
First Client Secured
InCore’s first-mover approach to the market is already paying off. The firm secured a partnership with Maerki Baumann & Co. AG. Notably, Maerki Baumann & Co. is a subsidiary of InCore’s parent company. Now the firm intends to gain valuable positioning in the Swiss market.
InCore Bank AG
InCore Bank AG is a well-recognized Swedish transaction bank based out of Zurich-Schlieren. The firm entered the market in 2006 with the goal to simplify the banking process and provide clients with a more robust banking solution. Today, the company is known for its in-depth knowledge of applicable regulations and processes.
Its Time to Tokenize
InCore Bank is now ready to celebrate a healthy lead in the market. Tokenization continues to be a hot topic across the EU. As such, Swiss regulators continue to make decisions to keep their country relevant in the digital economy of tomorrow. For now, InCore could be the launching pad for the tokenization of the swiss markets.
GSX Group Tokenizes tribeOS Shares through GRID Platform
First on the Docket
GRID, a product of the GSX Group, is a promising new platform built on the STACS protocol. The team at GSX Group has now announced the first successful tokenization of a company’s shares on the GRID platform – tribeOS.
This tokenization represents the first of its kind on the GRID platform. Beyond tokenizing equity shares in a company, GRID also has the capability to do the same with both, funds and debt, instruments.
Upon announcing the listing of tribeOS tokenized shares, representatives from each company took the time to comment.
Matt Gallant, CEO of tribeOS, stated,
“Using the GRID to create and deploy our shares in digital form allows for a quick and cost-effective route into the digital space. The tribeOS and GSX Group teams share a vision and ethos in promoting the many use cases that blockchain provides and driving greater adoption levels globally. We look forward to working with the GSX to achieve this collective goal…Our ambition is to deliver dynamic cost-saving solutions, broaden the accessibility of capital, and help issuers in terms of speed-to-market. We are working with other companies who intend to use the GRID to enter into the fast-developing world of digital securities. I’d like to thank tribeOS for putting their trust in us and the GRID. This is just the first step on the road to mainstream adoption.”
Nick Cowan, CEO of GSX Group, stated,
“We are excited to have completed the successful digitalization of tribeOS’s shares. tribeOS is the first issuer to utilize our GRID venue, and we look forward to welcoming further pioneering companies who wish to push the boundaries of innovation and accelerate the adoption of blockchain within the capital markets.”
News of the tribeOS listing comes mere weeks after GRID was first launched. At the time of launch, GSX CEO, Nick Cowan, stated,
“We have worked diligently over the past year building a unique service offering with our own technology solution for capital markets. As a venue to create and deploy securities in tokenised form, the GRID will provide the perfect venue for issuers to make the jump into what we call ‘Smart Securities’ as we push to redefine how those securities are traded, settled, and cleared using our bespoke blockchain.”
At the time of launch, we took a look at what GRID is, and the protocol fueling the platform behind the scenes.
While the tokenization discussed is a testament to the viability of what GSX has built, it would not be possible without tribeOS having previously hosted a successful DSO. This event, which was held out of Bermuda, notably saw participation from crypto-giant, Bitmain.
We previously covered this event in a series of articles, looking at the company’s regulatory approval, and details of the offering.
Founded in 2017, tribeOS maintains headquarters in Texas, United States. Above all, tribeOS develops solutions meant to eliminate fraud in advertising.
CEO, Matt Gallant, currently oversees company operations.