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A Detailed Look at Bakkt – Why All the Hype?

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Bakkt - A detailed look

If you follow the cryptospace, undoubtedly you have heard people discussing Bakkt. The platform continues to make headlines and there is a good reason for all this hype. Aside from providing enterprise-level digital asset storage, the platform seeks to be among the first to offer Bitcoin futures.

The Bakkt platform is one of the most highly anticipated projects in the crypto space and its easy to see why. For one, the owner of the New York Stock Exchange, ICE (Intercontinental Exchange Inc.), is the developers of the project. Their experience and vast network helps to navigate the intricate licensing requirements that the project must first meet. Basically, Bakkt has the clout to make their unique products a reality.

Bakkt Crypto-Storage

As the cryptomarket expands and large scale investment firm enter the space, there is a growing demand for both of these services. Traditional investment firms need to know that their crypto is not only stored safely but insured against theft and other nefarious acts. At its core, the platform provides this security to its users.

Crypto Thievery

Crypto Thefts are on the rise. One recently published study revealing that over $1.7 billion in crypto was stolen in 2018 alone. Furthermore, over $356 million in crypto was stolen this year so far. Consequently, digital asset storage firms such as Bakkt continue to see rising interests in their services.

Bitcoin Futures

Despite repeated delays, Bakkt continues to push for Bitcoin futures. Futures are agreements to purchase a said asset for an agreed upon price at a later date. What makes Bitcoin futures so critical to the space is the fact that large scale investment firms can offer the product to their clients without offering Bitcoin directly. These traditional investment firms are eager to enter the space but require more regulations before they can offer crypto-related products to their clients.

Bakkt - A Detailed Look

Bakkt via Twitter

Bitcoin Futures Strategy

Bakkt will incorporate a dual futures contract strategy. The first futures contract will be daily settlement Bitcoin futures. This agreement allows investors to interact in a “same-day” market. This product allows day traders to get in on the futures action. The second product that the firm seeks to integrate is monthly Bitcoins futures. Monthly futures allow investors to trade across a forward moving pricing curve.

ICE Monitoring

In order to make its concept a reality, Bakkt incorporates a number of traditional financial tools. These tools are meant to detect and prevent market abuse and manipulation. Both are huge concerns for the current cryptomarket. Also, all contracts will be margined by ICE clear US and a proprietary custodial service will ensure the compliance of all futures throughout their lifecycle.

A Long Road

Bakkt first announced plans to issue Bitcoin futures back in August 2018. The firm submitted its proposal to the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) in December. The firm also submitted an exemption request around the same time. The exemption, if approved, allows Bakkt to custody the Bitcoins used to settle its futures contracts.

Interestingly, the company has sat in legal limbo since that time. Government officials cited a couple of reasons for the delay. These reasons include the government shutdown which started on December 22, 2018, and lasted almost five weeks. Unfortunately, the shutdown left the CFTC backlogged with piles of work and other “high-priority” projects.

To make matters worse, analysts pointed out that the CFTF needs to still release Bakkt’s proposal for public review. This step can take over thirty-days and could delay Bakkt’s previously announced July release date. Discussing the delays, the director of the CFTF, Amir Zaidi quickly pointed out that the analysis process for a crypto-related future is much different than traditional assets of the same class.

Bakkt that Thing Up

Bakkt appears to have its strategy in line and at this point, you can expect to see Bitcoin futures coming to an exchange near you. The anticipation surrounding this project is admirable. Additionally, Bitcoin traders expect a nice price pump once this product enters the market. For now, the crypto community awaits for Bakkt’s final approval.

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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 Token News

Neufund Preps for GREYP Token Sale Upon FMA Approval

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Neufund Preps for GREYP Token Sale Upon FMA Approval

FMA Approval in Liechtenstein

In a decision that was long awaited, Neufund has been given more than just the approval to host an upcoming GREYP token sale. The tokenization platform was given the greenlight to host all such offerings, moving forward. This authorization came on behalf of the Financial Market Authority (FMA) in Liechtenstein.

This decision will have huge ramifications for Neufund, as they immediately become one of the few, if not the only, entity that is able to offer such flexibility. This will primarily be seen through their ability to open token sales to a broader range of investors, as minimum purchases can be as low as €10.

Neufund indicates that with the approval of the FMA, they have various token events in the pipeline, spanning various countries. They specifically note India, Croatia, Germany, and Belgium as a few of these.

Go for Launch

GREYP is a smart-mobility company, which strives to develop not only next-gen hardware, but to develop the infrastructure surrounding a ride sharing e-bike platform, enabled through IoT.

With regards to GREYP, in particular, the sale will see Neufund sell and issue digital securities on behalf of the former, which imbue various rights upon their holders. This includes, not only equity within GREYP, but, both, voting rights and dividend rights.

For the finer details on what the tokens entail, check out the Neufund listing page HERE.

Commentary

Upon announcing this development, representatives from, each, the government and Neufund, took the time to comment.

Adrian Hasler, Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, stated,

“I am pleased that Neufund has decided on Liechtenstein. This shows that Liechtenstein, with its open attitude towards new technologies, is perceived as an attractive location for innovative business models.”

Zoe Adamovicz, CEO of Neufund, stated,

“Today, Neufund delivers on its promise to democratize access to funding for entrepreneurs globally and enable anyone to access most innovative investment opportunities with ease, in a compliant and secure environment. It’s a big day – not just for Neufund, but business and finance communities at large.”

Speaking with Zoe

Earlier this year, we were fortunate to have completed an exclusive interview with Neufund CEO, Zoe Adamovicz. In this discussion we touch on what separates Neufund from the pack, and the benefits of STO-like events.

Interview Series – Zoe Adamovicz, CEO of Neufund

Neufund

Neufund was founded in 2016, and maintains headquarters in Berlin, Germany. Above all, the company works to provide a range of services which facilitate tokenization. Neufund was one of the first companies to successfully complete their very own STO in 2019.

CEO, Zoe Adamovicz, currently oversees company operations.

GREYP

Based in Croatia, GREYP is a tech company, which is working to usher in the next generation of ‘smart mobility’. While young, GREYP, has the backing of companies such as T-Mobile, Porsche, and others. They also have experience to draw upon, as they are a subsidiary of Rimac Automobiles – manufacturers of high-end electric sports cars.

CEO, Mate Rimac, currently oversees company operations.

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Harbor Tokenizes $100 Million in Real Estate Funds on ETH

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Harbor Tokenizes $100 Million Real Estate Fund

One of the leading tokenization platforms, Harbor announced this week that they successfully tokenized $100 million in real estate funds. The firm tokenized four major funds with the goal to increase liquidity for investors. The move showcases growing interest by investors towards more liquid alternative investments.

As part of the tokenization, Harbor provides investors with access to an iCAP-branded platform and private marketplace for secondary transfers. Here, investors can trade their securities in full compliance with the SEC. Speaking on the decision, Harbor’s CEO, Josh Stein described the maneuver as the natural evolution.

The tokenized real estate fund includes a mash-up of 17 broker-dealers, a myriad of placement agents, and approximately 1,100 private investors. Importantly, iCAP Equity is the fund’s manager.

Harbor Tokenizes $100 Million in Real Estate Funds via Twitter

Harbor Tokenizes $100 Million in Real Estate Funds via Twitter

iCAP’s CEO, Chris Christenson spoke on the decision in detail in a recent interview. Here he explained why it was important to create the best investment experience possible for his clients. In his words, the best way to accomplish this monumental task was “providing liquidity for them.”

Harbor Tokenizes Funds on Ethereum Blockchain

Harbor chose Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard for the tokenization of the funds. Importantly, the ERC- 20 token standard is the most popular in use today.

More than Issuance

Stein envisions Harbor as more than just an issuance platform. Now, the company seeks to provide businesses with a solid tokenization infrastructure. In this manner, companies can tokenize their existing assets.

Stein explained that the demand for newly issued tokens was far less than previously expected. Interestingly, Harbor noticed that ICO investors were of the speculative nature versus more traditional alternative investments.

Tokenizing Existing Assets

Notably, Harbor discovered that tokenizing the cap tables of existing assets provides a clear benefit to everyone involved – sponsors, placement agents, and investors. They are also more geared towards the traditional investment community.

Harbor Tokenizes Shares to Add Liquidity to the Market

Traditionally, securities investors agree upon a multi-year lockup. Basically, you can’t sell your shares until an agreed-upon date. The problem here is that in many instances, investors need to access those funds for certain reasons prior to the agreed-upon date.

In the traditional system, an investor would have to wait out the years until granted sales access or find an investor willing to take over the waiting period. Harbor’s platform does away with this nonsense and allows investors to trade their tokenized shares as soon as the SEC mandatory one year lockup period ends.

Experience Equals Lessons

Like any true pioneer, hard lessons were part of the learning process. Last year, Harbor attempted to issue tokenized shares in an apartment building. While the concept was solid, discrepancies arose between the mortgage lender. In the end, the deal was scrapped before launch.

Harbor Tokenizes the World

Harbor appears to have the flexibility and forward-thinking needed to adjust to the ever-changing crypto landscape. You can expect to see more major players in the tokenization sector begin to duplicate this strategy in the coming months. For now, Harbor appears to be a step ahead of the curve.

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Prometheum Acquires InteliClear Post Trading Systems

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Prometheum Aquires InteliClear post trading solution

The popular security token exchange Prometheum announced the acquisition of the InteliClear clearing system this month. The addition places Prometheum as the front runner to be the first SEC-registered all-inclusive Alternate Trading System (ATS). The news showcases the growing competition in the sector and symbolizes a shift in strategies amongst the top exchanges.

An Industry First

Currently, no ATS has the ability to clear transactions in house. Traditionally, exchanges utilize a third-party clearinghouse to complete trades per the Security Exchange Act (SEA). This process adds time and additional fees to the transaction. Prometheum seeks to speed up the entire process via the InteliClear integration. Now clients can settle transactions in hours versus days.

A Milestone

Discussing the maneuver, Prometheum CEO, Aaron Kaplan called the acquisition a “milestone” for the security token industry. He spoke on why InteliClear’s system is an excellent addition to the company’s portfolio. Finally, he discussed the importance of Prometheum becoming the first end-to-end security token trading solution.

Prometheum

The Prometheum exchange entered the market with the goal to provide users with a complete ecosystem for tokenized securities. The New York-based firm was one of the first SEC approved tokenized securities platforms available to the public. The company originally filed with the SEC back in November 2017.

Prometheum via Homepage

Prometheum via Homepage

Today, the platform hosts some of the most notable security tokens ever launched including Lottery. The Lottery STO made headlines after providing investors an opportunity to participate in revenue derived from the company’s gaming platform for charitable fundraising.

InteliClear

Investors now gain access to more value after the InteliClear acquisition. InteliClear provides businesses with a host of helpful pre and post-trade services. The company uses a custom-built transaction engine that enables importation of trades and transactions from multiple sources. These turnkey and custom solutions enable businesses to fulfill their STO ambitions with the least amount of funding necessary.

The InteliClear system supports tokenized equities, options, fixed incomes, mutual funds, money/market products, and of course, tokenized assets. The global network is able to utilize a host of national currencies and can handle real-time, high volume, operations. The platform automatically calculates trade compression, fees, commissions, and billing to simplify the entire process for businesses.

Security Token Sector Gets More Competitive

The security token arena continues to see more competition develop. The recent SEC approval of numerous A+ filings enables platforms such as Prometheum to take its platform to the next level. Today, the number of security token exchanges in operation continues to expand at an impressive rate.  Already, the SEC approved Blockstack, the Props Project, and YouNow’s STO platforms this year. After taking over a year to approve some of these projects, the news is welcomed by the cryptocommunity.

Prometheum Leads the Race

Prometheum now has the tools and capabilities to take a strong lead in the developing security token sector. You can expect to hear more from this exchange as it continues on its STO launch course. For now, Prometheum is the only security token exchange to provide such robust functionality in the market.

 

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