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A Ferrari F12tdf is First Up as CurioInvest and MERJ Plan to Tokenize/Host Rare Assets

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A Ferrari F12tdf is First Up as CurioInvest and MERJ Plan to Tokenize/Host Rare Assets

Mutually Beneficial

Some partnerships are simply one company helping another; then, there are mutually beneficial partnerships in which both parties offer something helpful to the other.  With the recent announcement that CurioInvest and MERJ are partnering together, it is clear that this situation is the latter.

CurioInvest is a young company, which provides investors with access to the lucrative market of high-end automobiles.  This is done through tokenizing ownership of a sought after vehicle.

MERJ, on the other hand, is one of the more established digital asset exchanges active, to date.  By providing investors access to a secondary market, they hope to facilitate liquidity through the listing of traditionally illiquid assets…or say, automobiles?

In this partnership, CurioInvest finds a home for their tokens, which represent fractionalized ownership of specific vehicles, to be traded, while MERJ expands their listed offerings.

The pairing of companies has indicated that while the inaugural listing will see the tokenization of a Ferrari F12tdf, there is expected to be up to an additional 500 to come.

Commentary

Jim Needham, Head of Digital Strategy at MERJ, states,

“Right now, MERJ Exchange is the only regulated market globally that can support digital securities from end to end…CurioInvest has identified pent up demand from institutional investors such as hedge funds and wealth managers. Through its partnership with MERJ Exchange, we are creating an access point for these investors that is compliant through the full cycle of exchange, clearing, settlement and registry.”

Fernando Verboonen, CEO of CurioInvest, states,

“For years, many investors have had to sit and watch as rare and elite asset classes outperformed equities and bonds…Now we have created a way for all institutional and retail investors to gain access to this booming asset class. In this era of ultra low interest rates it seems likely that demand for collectables will continue to grow.”

He continued,

“CurioInvest and MERJ Exchange offer investors a unique combination of old world assets, tokenized on a distributed ledger, but now made available on traditional securities markets infrastructure…This is the best of all worlds and ensures that as wide a group of people possible is reached.”

Speaking with Ed

On multiple occasions, we have had the pleasure of speaking with MERJ CEO, Ed Tuohy.  Not only have we completed an exclusive interview, discussing the ins-and-outs of MERJ itself, but most recently, a discussion on the state of digital securities as a whole.

Interview Series – Ed Tuohy, CEO of MERJ

A Global Perspective – Africa Edition

CurioInvest

Founded in 2019, CurioInvest is headquartered in Zug, Switzerland.  The team behind CurioInvest has developed a solution for providing access to a lucrative asset class (automobiles), traditionally restricted to high-net worth individuals only.

CEO, Fernando Verboonen, currently oversees company operations.

MERJ

Founded in 2011, MERJ maintains operations within the island nation known as The Seychelles.  This company has the distinction of being the first company to issue tokenized shares on a digital exchange.  The team is currently ramping up operations, with global expansion in mind.

CEO, Ed Tuohy, currently oversees company operations

In Other News

One of the most intriguing aspects behind digital securities, are the doors that the sector stands to potentially open; Doors providing investors access to previously illiquid and non-traditional assets.

While real estate has, thus far, been the clear runaway trend in the sector, another example beyond it and automobiles is art.  With a tagline ‘preserving wealth on the blockchain – with ART’, we saw TheArtToken successfully raise over $16M this past year in their own unique implementation of digital securities.

TheArtToken – Preserving Wealth on the Blockchain

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Joshua Stoner is a multi-faceted working professional. He has a great interest in the revolutionary 'blockchain' technology. In addition to this, he is a licenced Paramedic in Nova Scotia, Canada. As such, he can provide emergency care/medicine to any situation necessitating it.

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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