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Monthly Update

A Month in Review – April 2019

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Digital Securities

April saw overall industry development and adoption come at a steady pace.  As we close out the month, the digital securities sector remains ripe for the picking, as various companies jockey for positioning within it.  Here are a few articles, detailing how each of these companies have fared over the past 30 days.  As always, we bring you original, and exclusive, content through interviews and thought pieces.

Partnerships

Tokeny had a busy month, with multiple partnerships commencing along the way.  By providing potential issuers with a framework for token issuance, Tokeny appears to be gaining steam through adoption of their services.
Blockport STO Commences through Tokeny

Digital Securities Alliance formed by Tokeny and DLA Piper

Which Blockchain is the Right Blockchain?

As of today, companies are spoiled when it comes to their choice of blockchains.  There are a variety of potential winners that have the ability to underpin activity within digital securities.  This large selection of projects was evident this past month, as various companies each turned to different blockchains to service their needs.
Societe Generale SFH turns to Ethereum for Issuance of Security Token

Stellar Chosen by Wevest for Security Token Offering Platform

Licensure

SeedInvest, a New York based subsidiary of Circle, was granted a license to operate an ATS.  This licensing came from FINRA, a regulatory body, governing US based brokers/dealers.  While the licensing itself does not allow for secondary market trading of digital securities, this is a big step towards achieving that goal.

FINRA Grants ATS Licensure to SeedInvest

Secondary Markets

In a bid to tackle the goal of offering secondary market trading, AlphaPoint and Elevated Returns partnered this month.  Their plan is to ‘make illiquid assets liquid’.   What is unique about their plan, is that this secondary market will specifically trade digital securities backed by real-estate.

AlphaPoint and Elevated Returns to Develop Secondary Market

Regulation

Many nations around the world are actively working to establish clear regulations around the digital security sector. One such nation is the island nation of Mauritius. This month saw the Mauritius Financial Services Commission (FSC) issue guidance notes on their view of security token offerings.

Mauritius FSC Releases Guidance Note on Security Token Offerings

A Look Forward

The month of May stands to be another positive month for the industry. This coming month will see the launch of various STOs, which we will detail in the coming weeks. Further to this, the entire cryptocurrency industry has been experiencing a modest amount of growth, causing many to speculate that ‘crypto winter’ may be over. While we keep a focus on digital securities, the industry is still subject to influence by the overall markets, as both the digital securities sector and cryptocurrencies are intimately linked for the time being. This means that, for now, positive growth seen in one area will lead to positive growth in the other.

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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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