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Monthly Update

A Month in Review – July 2019

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Digital Securities

July was a healthy month for the digital securities sector.  We were greeted with, not only new STOs/DSOs, but the successful completion of others.  Read on to learn about these developments, as well as gain insight into industry players through our exclusive interviews.

Partnerships

In an on-going effort to provide clients with as well rounded an experience as possible, the sector remains rife with partnership announcements.  The following examples demonstrate the global reach of the sector as the companies call different continents home.
DigiMax & Entoro to Collaborate as Advisors on Digital Security Offering

Smartlands Teams Up with ECN CrowdCamp

Licensure / Regulations

While June brought us the announcement of Facebook;s Calibra project, July saw increased levels of scrutiny on the move.  The following articles discuss whether Libra tokens will ever launch, and the overall impressions gained from a meeting on Capitol Hill.

Will Facebook Subsidiary, Calibra, See the Light of Day?

Key Points from the Facebook Libra Senate Hearing

Talent Acquisition

While the SEC lost a key member of their team in Robert Cohen, various players in the digital securities sector onboarded talented individuals.  Vertalo and tZERO led the way in this regard.

Vertalo and tZERO See Influx of Talent as Multiple Hirings are Made

In Other News

Highlighting this month’s newsfeed were endeavours related to the real estate industry.  It is widely viewed that real estate is the perfect asset, which can stand to benefit from an influx of technology such as blockchain, due to being low in liquidity.  Various companies have made it their mission to tokenize real estate, resulting in some successes and some big announcements.

Luc Falempin, CEO of Tokeny, states, “We see real estate as one of the key asset classes that drives the adoption of tokenization. Tokenization brings the opportunity to a wider group of investors and in the long term will bring liquidity to an asset where it has been non-existent.”

Fundament Group to Issue €250 Million in Security Token Backed by German Real Estate

Luxembourg Home to Real Estate Sucessfully Tokenized through Tokeny

Interviews

Ed Tuohy, CEO of MERJ Exchange Limited

MERJ is a global financial exchange which is scheduled to launch digital assets and security token markets in the near future.  CEO, Ed Tuohy, took the time to discuss with securities.io what MERJ is bringing to the table. Read More

Mikko Ohtamaa, Cofounder & CTO of TokenMarket

TokenMarket is a Gibraltar based crowdfunding platform, with a focus on blockchain based ventures.  Cofounder and CTO, Mikko Ohtamaa, discussed his experience in the industry, and what TokenMarket has to offer clients. Read More

Education

The Need for Interoperability in Security Token Protocols

Alice Henshaw penned an article for securities.io discussing industry needs moving forward – mainly the need for interoperability.  With years of experience as a smart-contract engineer, working on projects such as Fluidity (AirSwap, DeFi), Alice has developed an intimiate knowledge of the hurdles faced by the digital securities sector.  Read her thoughts on why interoperability is crucial.

“Until we have an agreement between protocols on how investor information is stored and updated both on-chain and off-chain, there will remain significant friction throughout the registration and investment processes for all parties involved.”
Read More

Around the Web

U.S Lawmakers Are Realizing They Can’t Ban Bitcoin – Forbes

In this article, Forbes details a high-profile hearing, featuring Circle’s CEO, Jeremy Allaire, speaking on the importance of blockchain in front of congress.  During the course of this hearing, it became evident that lawmakers believe a ban on such technologies would be nearly impossible.

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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.

Monthly Update

Digital Securities Monthly Report – August 2020 Edition

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newsletter
Throughout August, digital securities and blockchain at large saw various positive developments.  During this period, not only were regulators busy, both enforcing and amending laws, government agencies provided insight into future Central Bank Digital Currencies.

Regulatory Advances and Findings

From amending rules to better reflect modern investors, or cracking down on unauthorized service providers, August was a busy month for regulators.  The following articles highlight a few of these moves, in addition to the future of Commissioner Peirce at the SEC.

Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC)

CBDCs are, and will continue to be, a hot topic for the foreseeable future.  A ‘digital dollar’ has the potential to upend financial markets, and our very way of life.  While nations, such as China, have received the bulk of attention to date surrounding the development of a CBDC, the United States has no intention of being left behind.  August saw the U.S. Federal Reserve specifically comment on past and future actions surrounding its own research into this asset class.  

Tokenizing Real Estate

Real estate is generally accepted as an asset class prime for an influx of technology such as tokenization.  The potential is so great that various companies have developed platforms aimed solely at developing this sector.  One example of which is Vertalo, and its recently established arm, dubbed ‘Vertalo Real Estate (VRE).  Although just recently launched, August saw a licensing deal for its software, which will be used to tokenize in excess of 15 properties.

In The News

Archax Takes Big Step Towards Platform Launch with FCA Authorisation
With the digital securities sector being so young, there are still gaps to be filled by service providers.  We have seen growth in tokenization platforms, custodial services, and now in secondary marketplaces.  
August brought news that the hotly anticipated digital securities exchange, Archax, has successfully been awarded authorisation by the FCA to begin operations.  Read More
“We have been talking to the FCA for a while and the application process has been a tough journey, but we are pleased to have now achieved our first significant milestone as we prepare to launch the UK’s first FCA regulated digital securities exchange later this year.”– Graham Rodford, CEO of Archax

Educational

What is Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)?
Technologies such as blockchain and DLT hold the potential to transform countless industries.  While these terms are often used interchangeably, there are subtle differences.  We recently took a look at what a few of these differences are, and the benefits that these technologies afford.  Read More

Interviews

Eden Dhaliwal, Global Managing Director of Conflux Network
In this exclusive conversation, we learn more about a young and promising company – Conflux Network.  From its expansion into North America and approach towards DeFi, Conflux Network Global Managing Director, Eden Dhaliwal, shares all.  Read More

Around the Web

INX Security Token Claims Largest Crypto IPO to Date – Crowdfund Insider
With lessons learned from the 2017 ICO boom, investors are now looking for more regulated, and reputable offerings.  As such, capital raises involving security tokens are quickly growing in popularity.  August saw INX announce what is believed to be the largest ‘crypto IPO’ to date.  Read More
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Digital Securities

Digital Securities Monthly Report – July 2020 Edition

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Over the course of July, we have seen DeFi continue to grow in popularity, a resurgence of crypto markets, and continued growth surrounding digital securities.
Along with this growth, regulators stayed busy, with various fines doled out, and commentary provided on past decisions. 

Regulatory Advances and Findings

Regulators had a busy month, announcing various fines and allegations during this time period.  Continuing her open-minded stance towards blockchain, SEC Commissioner, Hester Peirce, also took the time to provide insight into recent rulings surrounding Telegram.

Ontario Securities Commission Alleges Coinsquare Committed Various Securities Violations

Abra Fined $300K in Joint Effort by SEC and CFTC for ‘Security Swapping’

Commissioner Hester Peirce Dissents on SEC Telegram Ruling and Settlement

Entering the Sector

It is no secret that established companies are beginning to warm up to the idea of digital securities and cryptocurrencies.  July demonstrated this, as multiple respected companies announced their foray into these sectors.  

WealthSimple Announces Bitcoin and Ethereum Investing with the Help of Gemini Custody

SBI Holdings Acquires 10% Stake from Nomura Holdings in Digital Securities Platform ‘Boostry’

Real Estate

From day one, real estate has been viewed as the most promising implementation for digital securities.  As such, we have seen various companies launch real estate focused platforms over the past few years.  July continued this attraction to real estate, as we were greeted with news of, not only new capital raises by real estate developers, but the listing of real estate backed digital securities on a secondary market.

tZERO to Add Trading of ASPEN Digital Securities Token in Q3, 2020

Lead Real Estate to Issue Digital Securities in Capital Raise with Help from Securitize, GRIP, and Rialto

In The News

Adoption of NEM’s Symbol Blockchain Increasing Among Central Banks and Startups

Slowly but surely, companies are building out the necessary foundation for a future filled with digital securities.  In July, one project, which caught the attention of many, is ‘Symbol’.  This protocol, purpose built with digital securities in mind, looks to launch soon, with its first users already lined up.  Read More

“…we were on the lookout for a protocol that would facilitate this unique offering. Symbol from NEM was a natural fit, due to its technical capabilities, purpose-built with the issuance of security tokens at the forefront of its network architecture.”– David Siemer, CEO of Wave Financial

Educational

What is DeFi (Decentralized Finance)?

The world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies has recently seen a long expected resurgence.  Much of this current run and excitement revolves around the potential of DeFi.  We recently took a closer look at what DeFi is, why it is important, and the possibilities it holds.  Read More

Interviews

Dave Hodgson, CIO of NEM Group & Managing Director of NEM Ventures
With our recent look into NEM, and their upcoming Symbol protocol, we thought it prudent to sit down and complete a discussion with a man largely responsible for its creation.  In this entry to our interview series, Dave Hodgson breaks down what Symbol is, and what NEM hopes to achieve with it.  Read More

Around the Web

‘An absolute necessity’ : Why this Expert says China Desperately Needs a Digital Currency – Fortune
Countries around the world are racing to develop their own central bank digital currencies (CDBCs).  Of these nations, China appears to be leading the way, with multiple trials having already commenced.  Fortune recently sat down with an industry expert to discuss the important of CBDCs, and why China needs one now, more than ever.  Read More
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Monthly Update

A Month in Review – June 2020

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June provided us with a steady stream of developments, surrounding the digital securities sector.  We saw new regulations, new platforms and services, and the demise of various others.

Regulatory Advances and Findings

Multiple regulatory bodies made news in June.  This was first evident with the anticipated release of findings by the OSC, pertaining to the QuadrigaCX fiasco.  South of the border, the SEC was no stranger to making waves.  Not only did the Supreme Court weigh in on SEC capabilities, but news broke of the possible exodus of Chairman, Jay Clayton.

OSC Finds Extensive Evidence of Fraud/Theft by Gerald Cotten and QuadrigaCX

Supreme Court Reins in SEC on Disgorgement

SEC Chairman, Jay Clayton, Moving On?

Pivots and Bankruptcies 

Blockchain and digital securities are both in their infancy.  As such, companies developing services around each are still finding their footing.  This was on full display throughout June, as multiple companies announced either their imminent closure, or a pivoting focus.

Neufund Freezes Operations of Issuance Platform

SeedCX Refocuses Efforts on Settlement Service ‘Zero Hash’

Factom Inc. Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy in Bid to Survive

Real Estate

DeFi continues to convince many that it is the first ‘killer app’ surrounding cryptocurrencies.  Various companies involved with digital securities are trying to emulate this success, and find the perfect implementation for the technology.  A few of these companies are banking on real estate being the perfect avenue for achieving this.

For examples of this, look no further than the recent actions of companies like Vertalo, Tokensoft, and Tokai Tokyo.

Real Estate Increasingly Popular within Digital Securities – Vertalo and Tokensoft each Launch New Platforms

Investment Activity in Japan Signals Interest in Digital Securitization

In The News

SeedInvest Makes the Best of a Bad Situation

We have touched on the effects of COVID-19 various times since the beginning of the pandemic.  While many have been hit hard by its effects, there are those that have made the best of a bad situation.  A prime example of this is the recent successes of crowdfunding platform SeedInvest.

“Unlike venture capital firms, online fundraising platforms are perfectly situated to help startups in the current, post-COVID-19 world we are in. Online fundraising platforms are not dependent on capital from a handful of pensions and endowments, but rather a large, diverse network of investors (SeedInvest has had over 350,000 investors register for example).” – Ryan Feit, CEO of SeedInvest

 Thought Leaders

Solving the Liquidity Puzzle for Security Tokens

Borys Pikalov, Head of Business Analytics at STOBox, took the time to pen his thoughts on what it will take for security tokens to realize their potential liquidity.  This insightful article elaborates on, not only what constitutes a security token, but why they are important, and how true liquidity can be achieved.

Interviews

Hirander Misra, Chairman of GMEX Group & SECDX

In this exclusive interview, we learn about the bevy of services on offer from each, GMEX Group and SECDX.  Whether discussing custodial services, or strategic investments, Hirander Misra sheds light on why, and how, each company is affecting change. Read More

Around the Web

Nasdaq’s New PLatform Backed by R3, Digital Asset, Symbiont and Microsoft May Not Be What Your Think It – Forbes

To date, much of development behind blockchain and digital securities has been achieved by smaller, flexible companies.  This is changing with time, though, as we are now seeing adoption among more established companies.  Forbes recently touched on this, and the various benefits behind tokenization, which have captivated the imaginations of companies like Microsoft.  Read More

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