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Monthly Update

A Month in Review – May 2019

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Digital Securities

May presented as a mixed bag for digital securities.  While cryptocurrencies and blockchain, as a whole, saw continuing positive trends, digital securities floundered slightly.  Despite this, there was no shortage of positive developments seen.  Read on to learn more about this industry progression through or original coverage and interviews.

Partnerships

Various partnership were announced throughout the month of May.  These ranged from usage of consultation services, to custodial solutions.  The following articles demonstrate multiple key partnerships furthering the sector.
DigiMax to Consult During Leonovus Security Token Offering

Copper to Provide Security Token Custodial Services to SWARM

Licensure / Regulations

iSTOX, a Singaporean capital markets platform, was granted admittance to a FinTech Regulatory Sandbox. A product of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, the sandbox will play a pivotal role in iSTOX achieving full regulation in the future.

MAS FinTech Sandbox Welcomes Capital Markets Platform ‘iSTOX’

Failure to Launch

While plenty of good news was delivered through may, there is no denying that multiple letdowns occurred as well.  These came in the form of reduced investments and cancelled security token offerings.  Read on to learn about these events, and the companies affected by them.

GSR Capital Reduces tZERO Investment by Over $390million

Blockport STO Fails to Gain traction – Platform to Shutdown

In Other News

Vertalo, the cap-table specialists, caught our attention on multiple occasions over the month of May.  This U.S. based company saw, not only the continued adoption of their services, but announced the release of their V-Token software.

Dave Hendricks, CEO of Vertalo, states, “The current high cost of tokenization is the main impediment to widespread adoption and roll out of digital assets.  Today, Issuers who are interested in digital approaches are being asked to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to design and produce tokens before they have successfully raised capital.  The unit economics need to change.”

Vertalo to Provide Vital Services to seriesOne

Vertalo Releases V-Token Software for Usage During Tokenization

Interviews

Remy Jacobson, CEO of RealT

RealT is a recently launched crowdfunding platform, with an eye on real estate.  CEO, Remy Jacobson, spoke with securities.io about their goals, and how they plan on attaining them. Read More

Syed Hussain, CEO of Liquidity

This blockchain based, fintech firm, has set their sights on developing a comprehensive investment platform, serving the ‘digital economy’.  With years of experience surrounding blockchain, CEO, Syed Hussain, took the time to discuss this project and how it will change digital securities. 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.

Monthly Update

A Month in Review – November 2019

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Digital Securities

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.

Partnerships

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.

OpenFinance Seeks to Raise $50 Million

BnkToTheFuture Eyes U.S. Based STOs through BMO Capital Investment

Japanese Expansion

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.

Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings to Bring Digital Securities to Japan

Securitize to Expand within Japan after Recent Investment

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

Interviews

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

Education

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

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Monthly Update

A Month in Review – October 2019

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Digital Securities

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.

Partnerships

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.

DigiMax Eyes European Expansion through Black Manta Partnership

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.

Two-Way Street

While European based developments dominated October, there were examples of companies expanding across the pond in the other direction.  A prime example of this is the decision by London based, Smartlands, to enter the United States.  This move, made possible through a partnership with IIP Securities, is simply one step towards the eventual global expansion of this promising company.

In Other News

As Support Dwindles, Will Libra Flame Out?
With continued pushback from, both, U.S. and European based regulators, many have begun to doubt the viability of Facebook’s Libra project.  This fear and doubt has led to various early backers removing their support for the endeavour, despite remaining optimistic for its future.
 
One company removing their support is Stripe, which stated,  “Stripe is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world. Libra has this potential. We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage.”  Read Here
Industry Participants Finding Footing within Evolving Digital Securities Sector
With the nascency of the digital securities sector, it should come as no surprise that many companies are still finding their place in the industry.  Much like Libra experiencing hurdles on their road to adoption, a variety of companies have seen high level talent switches as they adapt and grow. Read Here

Interviews

Saum Noursalehi, CEO of tZERO
In this exclusive interview, we speak with Saum Noursalehi.  A seasoned professional, Noursalehi is the former President of Overstock, and current CEO of industry stalwart, tZERO.  This discussion touches on, not only his personal journey, but the past and future goals of tZERO. Read More
Paul Claudius, CEO of BlockState 
In this interview, Paul Claudius discusses the various sectors which digital securities stand to transform, and the role that BlockState will play in this. Read More
Philip Moustakis, Counsel at Seward & Kissel LLP 
Here, Philip Moustakis shares his approach towards digital securities, molded through experience as former senior counsel at the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. Read More

Education

The Howey Test: The Fine Line Between a Security Token and a Utility Token
In a contribution to our ‘Thought Leaders’ series, Constantin Kogan took the time to elaborate on key, and subtle, differentiators between what constitutes a security vs utility token. Read Here
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
In an analysis of over 200 companies involved with digital securities, Germany based, BlockState, shared their findings with the world.  This study indicated that, while not far behind, the United States does indeed trail European nations in the development and acceptance of the digital securities sector. Read More
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Monthly Update

A Month in Review – September 2019

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Digital Securities

While September brought us a decent share of positive news surrounding digital securities, it also saw the culmination of various charges levied by the SEC.  This edition of ‘The Digital’ highlights a few of these instances, in addition to exclusive interviews from industry participants.

Partnerships

Building on an August which saw Vertalo establish partnerships with both, Prime Trust and InvestReady, they continued their expansion into September.  This continuing work, notably, saw the Texas based company integrate insurance services provided by Assurely.
Vertalo Integrates Insurance Software ‘TigerMark’ by Assurely

Spotlighting

While various banks have been dabbling in blockchain for years, this month saw multiple large European banks take large steps forward.  While Spanish bank, Santander, was trialing ETH based bond issuance, Germany’s Boerse Stuttgart launched a digital exchange to search the industry.
Santander Completes Fully Digitized $20M Bond Settlement

Boerse Stuttgart Launches Digital Exchange

Licensure

With industry competitor, Securitize, recieving their ‘transfer agent‘ approval last month, U.S. based Harbor had no intention of being left behind.  In mid-September, the issuance platform was successfully designated a Broker/Dealer.  This new title brings various benefits, allowing for new avenues of expansion to be explored by Harbor.

Harbor Square Investments Approved as Broker/Dealer

Down But Not Out

Last month, we touched on the battles being fought by tZERO,, and we will continue to do so here, as the situation has continued to evolve.  While August saw the loss of major investments, along with a CEO, September brought accusations of nefarious activity and lawsuits.

Overstock.com Executives Face Securities Fraud Lawsuit

In Other News

Kik Hunkers Down for Fight with SEC – Shuts Down Messaging App

As the SEC continues to chase down potential offenders, one target has decided to fight back.  Kik, has taken bold moves this past month, as they looks to streamline their operations by shutting down their messenger app.  This is being done to channel their resources towards their fight with the SEC.

The team spoke on the impact this case is having, stating, “These are hard decisions. Kik is one of the largest apps in the US. It has industry leading engagement and is growing again. Over 100 employees and their families will be impacted. People who have poured their hearts and souls into Kik and Kin for over a decade.” Read Here

SEC Zeroes in on ICOBox Activity, Filing Multiple Charges

The SEC has shown that they are not just interested in giant ICOs and large companies.  They have no issue filing charges against anyone committing infractions.  In this instance, their target was ICOBox, and their 2017 ICO.

Michele Wein Layne, of the SEC, stated, “By ignoring the registration requirements of the federal securities laws, ICOBox and Evdokimov exposed investors to investments, which are now virtually worthless, without providing information that is critical to making informed investment decisions.”  Read Here

Interviews

Daniel Liebau, Founder of Lightbulb Capital

In this exclusive interview, we speak with Daniel Liebau.  A multi-faceted individual, Daniel Liebau is not only the Founder of Singapore based Lightbulb Capital, but a Ph.D. candidate, and University lecturer, among other accolades. Read More

Myles Milston, CEO of Globacap 

In this interview, Myles Milston shares his views on the industry, while providing various insights into the goals of Globacap. Read More

Moresh Kokane, CEO of Konkrete 

Here, Moresh Kokane touches on real estate, and how digital securities stand to change the industry. Read More

Education

Titles and Designations Among Industry Participants

We shared this article last month, when Securitize was approved as a transfer agent.  It is still as relevant as ever this month, with Harbor becoming an approved broker/dealer.  This article gives a brief description on what some of these titles and designations entail. Read Here

Around the Web

NBA Rules Nets’ Spencer Dinwiddie Can’t Convert Contract into Digital Investment – Bleacher Report

This piece comes from a popular sports outlet, speaking on the NBA and their stance on the tokenization of player contracts.  Blockchain enthusiast, Spencer Dinwiddie, is determined to achieve his goal in doing so. Read More

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