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A Month in Review – February 2020

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Now that we are firmly entrenched in 2020, we are beginning to see companies follow through on their plans for the new year.  The month of February brought us news of various high-profile acquisitions, in addition to developments pertaining to, both, Facebook and the U.S. Presidential race.

This edition of ‘The Digital’ looks to shed light on a few key developments, as well as highlight a series of informative interviews – headlined by SEC Commissioner, Hester Peirce.

Safe Harbor

With the SEC taking a firm stance towards companies issuing what could, potentially, be deemed securities, industry participants were excited when Commissioner Peirce put forth a unique proposal.  This time-limited exemption would allow for new interpretations, on which assets become subject to SEC regulation.

SEC Commissioner Peirce Releases Token Safe Harbor Proposal – A Time Limited Exemption for Tokens

Sales and Acquisitions

Digital securities are not for everyone.  This was made clear in February, as a pair of companies underwent big moves.  However, for every seller, there must be a buyer.  While Circle continues to sell off their various branches of operation, BitGo made a large splash by acquiring tokenization platform, Harbor.
BitGo Works Towards ‘Full-Stack Solution’ with Harbor Acquisition

Circle Attempts to Sell SeedInvest, Doubling Down on Stablecoin

Hope Rising

A hot start for Facebook’s ‘Libra’, saw the endeavour backed by various high-profile companies.  While regulatory pressure resulted in these companies leaving the founding group, the tides may have shifted, yet again.

This shift may be spurred on by news of Shopify joining the Libra project.  Will more companies follow suit?

Libra Sees E-Commerce Giant, Shopify, Join the Ranks

In The News

A Candidate’s Plan

The Presidential Race is heating up, with a few key front runners.  One of these fitting the bill is Mike Bloomberg.  As such, we should pay attention to the promises being made by his platform, as they may soon represent the goals of a nation.

In their pitch, the Bloomberg platform directly addresses the lack of clear framework surrounding digital assets, and the need for change.

Mike will promote healthy competition in financial services by creating a “regulatory sandbox” where startups can test concepts, and by providing a clear regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies.”

Delving deeper, the platform notes,

“Cryptocurrencies have become an asset class worth hundreds of billions of dollars, yet regulatory oversight remains fragmented and undeveloped. For all the promise of the blockchain, Bitcoin and initial coin offerings, there’s also plenty of hype, fraud and criminal activity. Mike will work with regulators to provide clearer rules of the game by:

  • Clarifying responsibility for overseeing cryptocurrencies.
  • Providing a framework for initial coin offerings, by defining when tokens are and are not securities.
  • Protecting consumers from cryptocurrency-related fraud.
  • Clarifying how investments in cryptocurrencies will be taxed.
  • Defining capital and other requirements for financial institutions holding cryptocurrencies”

Bloomberg Release Financial Plan – Includes Crypto Regulations

Interviews

Hester Peirce, Commissioner at the SEC

We were fortunate to have completed this interview with the popular SEC Commissioner, Hester Peirce.  In this interview, we learn more about Commissioner Peirce’s views on issues plaguing the digital securities sector, and what companies can do to avoid them.  Read More

“I think we are trying to come to a place where we can make it easier for people who are trying to do the right thing to do it in a way that is compliant with our rules that also achieves their objectives, that’s the place that I want to get to. It will never be particularly simple because our securities laws can be really difficult, but we can certainly make it easier than it is now.”

Matthew Unger, CEO of iComply Investor Services

From the ICO boom to the potential of STOs, we sat down with Matthew Unger to learn more about his perspectives and what iComply can offer. Read More

Matthew Le Merle, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Fifth Era, and Keiretsu Capital

With decades of experience investing in start-ups, Matthew Le Merle has a wealth of knowledge to share.  He does just that in our February conversation surrounding digital securities.  Read More

Thought Leaders

Regulated Digital Assets Take Over in 2020

Aaron Kaplan, Co-CEO of Prometheum, took the time to share his thoughts on the state of digital securities in 2020.  Here we learn what the industry possibly has to look forward to, with regards to government regulations and more. Read Here

Around the Web

Malta Financial Services Authority – Feedback Statement to the Consultation Document on Security Token Offering

With a self-professed goal of becoming a ‘blockchain island’, Malta has taken some important steps forward.  February saw the MFSA release a summary of their feedback period surrounding potential framework and regulations to be imposed upon the burgeoning sector.  Read More

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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.

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