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.
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
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.”
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.
A Month in Review – December 2019
While December brought various highlights pertaining to digital securities, one that stands out is a recent proposal, put forth by the SEC. The regulatory body has recognized a need to redefine/modernize the definition of what constitutes an accredited investor, and has set out to do just that. Beyond these potential changes, we saw a flurry of activity, involving Japanese companies, becoming increasingly involved in the sector.
This edition of ‘The Digital’ looks at each of these developments, in addition to highlighting a few key articles provided by securities.io during this past month.
One of the various designations necessary for the digital securities sector to function, is a Transfer Agent. Whether acting as an intermediary, issuing certificates, or dealing with lost certificates, their role is an important one. December saw multiple companies look to attain this designation.
TokenSoft Subsidiary, DTAC LLC, looks to ‘Join the Party’ as a Transfer Agent
As they continue marching forward, Ripple announced during December, that they have achieved a $10 billion valuation. This was made possible through a successful $200 million series C, headlined by Tetragon, SBI Holdings, and Route 66 Ventures.
This announcement came at a time with Ripple still actively dealing with legal battles surrounding the purported illegal sale of securities. Clearly this event has not swayed others’ beliefs in the company, as made evident with their aforementioned valuation.
November saw increased levels of Japanese activity, with December serving to continue this trend. Both, key investments and acquisitions, based in Japan specifically caught our eye.
In The News
A Global Perspective
With the end of December marking not only the end of the year, but the decade, we thought it a perfect time to gauge industry sentiment. The following articles represent a short series, in which we provided a questionnaire to CEOs from companies surrounding the world.
Through these insights, it is clear that, while there is work to be done, there is positivity abound with, both, a 2 and 5 year perspective – regardless of location.
Julian Kwan, CEO of InvestaX, and one of the participants in this series, summed up their expectations for the sector in the coming years.
“In 2 years many institutions will have issued their first digital security, in 5 years there will be no new company set up in paper form anymore and every security offering will be digital as smart governments migrate company set up and management to distributed ledgers removing the need for any paper.”
Derek Schloss, Director of Strategy for Security Token Academy
After a recent contribution to our ‘Thought Leaders’ series, by Derek, we thought it prudent to learn more about, both, himself and Security Token Academy. This discussion does just that, in addition to touching on the subtleties behind the various forms of crowdfunding. Read More
Oliver Siah, CEO of Fraxtor Capital
In this exclusive interview, we learn about, not only Fraxtor and real estate, but Oliver himself. From acting as a seasoned Singaporean Air Force Officer, to investing in real estate, Oliver possessed a unique and diverse background, sure to help in the success of Fraxtor. Read More
Christian Platzer, Managing Partner of Black Manta Capital
From the rationality behind the Black Manta name, to their relationships with various European entities, this interview sheds light on it all. Check it out to learn a bit more about this young company. Read More
Under Scrutiny: How to Pass Due Diligence as a Blockchain Project
Our latest entry into our ‘Thought Leaders’ series, sees repeat contributor, Gene Deyev, elaborate on what due diligence entails. From Legal, Technical, and Business considerations, the process may be more in-depth than many realize. Read Here
Around the Web
SEC Proposes to Update Accredited Investor Definition to Increase Access to Investments – Securities and Exchange Commission
With the ongoing development of next-gen technologies, many have called for an update to antiquated industry definitions; an update which better reflects current markets and their participants.
This call was heard, as the SEC announced a proposal put forth which would greatly change who we deem an accredited investor. In doing so, digital securities may soon see a new crop of investors gain access to the sector. Read More
A Month in Review – November 2019
November was a month with more ups than downs. While a tokenized real estate project fell through, there were various examples of strategic investments; Investments which will see international expansion into countries like Japan. In this monthly recap, we look at both sides of the coin, while highlighting a few of this month’s exclusive commentary from industry insiders.
For the promise of increased liquidity surrounding digital securities to come true, there need to be exchanges which support the assets. This partnership looks to begin solving this, as Uniswap will facilitate secondary markets for RealT and their RealTokens.
RealT Announces Partnership with Uniswap Exchange
Strategic Investments + Raising Capital
Strategic investments can help a company expedite expansion, through acquiring foreign companies which already hold certain licensure. They can also be viewed as an opportunity for investors, who are looking to gain exposure to companies which have the potential to influence their respective industries. November saw OpenFinance announce their search for funding, along with BnkToTheFuture looking to make a splash in U.S. markets.
For the past few months, there appeared to be flurries of activity regarding expansion within certain regions. While October saw an emphasis on European expansion, November saw the same within Japan. This was made evident through companies, such as Tokai Tokyo and Securitize, increasing their presence within the nation.
In The News
UKJT Views Digital Assets as Property under Current Regulations
As regulatory clarity is finally being afforded, companies can begin to tailor their actions, moving forward, with compliance in mind. One of the more recent examples of an important decision shared with the industry, was that of the UKJT and their viewing digital securities as property.
Smartlands, an issuance platform operating in the UK, saw their CMO, Yaroslava Tkalich, comment on the development.
“As the first-ever UK-based platform specialising in tokenising the real economy assets on the Stellar blockchain, Smartlands enjoys substantial footing on the issue; with the clarification by a panel of judges and legal specialists, our almost two-year headstart turns into a major strategic advantage for years to come.” Read Here
Vertalo Demonstrates Ease of Tokenization with Inaugural Webinar
There will come a point in time when companies, developing their solutions for the digital securities sector, will need to go live. With much of the industry in a developmental stage, there is a perceived lack of simplicity among solutions. Vertalo recently set out to dispel this notion, with a demonstration on how to tokenize assets through their platform. Read Here
Masha & Xenia Vyazemskaya, Founders of ValueTokenized
In this exclusive interview, we speak with Masha and Xenia Vyazemskaya. They are a duo who cofounded ValueTokenized, in addition to hosting a popular blockchain oriented podcast. This discussion touches on both their expectations for the future, and the current industry’s current state. Read More
Aaron Kaplan, CEO of Prometheum
Here, we had an exclusive conversation with Aaron Kaplan, where the features and decisions driving Prometheum were touched on. From a custom Alternative Trading System, to Smart Security Tokens, learn what Prometheum is all about. Read More
Firsthand Overview of Digital Securities Legislation in Malta
Our latest entry into our ‘Thought Leaders’ series, sees Gene Deyev delve into the regulatory climate surrounding digital securities within the nation of Malta. Read Here
What are Digital Securities?
Real estate, venture capital, hedge funds, debt instruments, and more. What constitutes a digital security? And what benefits can they afford? Read Here
Around the Web
Tokenized Real Estate Falters as another Hyped Deal Falls Apart – CoinDesk
While tokenized real estate holds great potential, there was bound to be a few hiccups along the way, as the industry found its footing. One such hiccup was experienced recently, as a proposed deal between Fluidity and Propellr fell through. While unfortunate, digital securities march forward. Read More
A Month in Review – October 2019
October was a positive month for the digital securities sector. It has become increasingly apparent that Europe is leading the charge in the development, and adoption, of services revolving around digital securities. This edition of ‘The Digital’ highlights some of these EU based developments, as well as a few key interviews from industry leaders such as tZERO CEO, Saum Noursalehi.
Keeping on point with European influence within the sector, October saw Canadian based, DigiMax, partner with German based, Black Manta Capital. This alliance was forged with the specific goal of DigiMax to expand operations across the Atlantic. DigiMax looks to utilize licensure held by Black Manta to facilitate this expansion.
Tokenized Real Estate
Not content on transforming digital securities in North America, alone, tZERO looks to expand their influence into the United Kingdom. This path begins with their newly announced partnership with Alliance Investments. This move, which will see a 180 unit luxury property tokenized, is being heralded as the first of many moves expected to see $640 million worth of future real estate tokenized.
In Other News
As Support Dwindles, Will Libra Flame Out?
Industry Participants Finding Footing within Evolving Digital Securities Sector
Saum Noursalehi, CEO of tZERO
Paul Claudius, CEO of BlockState
Philip Moustakis, Counsel at Seward & Kissel LLP
The Howey Test: The Fine Line Between a Security Token and a Utility Token
Sufficient Decentralization and Security Tokens
With the SEC coming to various settlements with companies in October, Derek Schloss takes a closer look at their stance and interpretations of these situations. How did these events vary, and what does it mean moving forward? Read Here
Around the Web
The Global Digital Securities Ecosystem – A comprehensive study of the market (2019) – BlockState
- A Quick Look at – The Security Token Market Secondary Trading Analysis: 2019
- Real Estate Fund First of Its Kind to be Regulated by the FMA
- Darius Liu, Chief Operating Officer for iSTOX – Interview Series
- Disguises, Fake Identities, and an Illegal ICO – The SEC Looks to Lay Charges
- EMURGO Starts New Blockchain Task Force in Uzbekistan