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.
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
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
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 Month in Review – August 2019
Digital Securities in August
August brought various positive developments within the digital securities sector. While there were a few hiccups experienced, these were not big enough to overshadow the continued adoption of digital securities that is being seen. This edition of ‘The Digital’ highlights exclusive interviews from industry participants, as well as a look at various announcements made throughout the past 31 days.
Vertalo was hard at work this past month, as they announced multiple strategic partnerships. These newly formed alliances will see both, the adoption of Vertalo’s services, and their use of services from another.
While the pace at which companies are announcing STOs is far slower than the heyday that surrounded ICOs, there are still plently of participants. The following are a pair of small companies looking to blockchain technologies in an attempt to build their unique offerings.
Securitize, arguably the leading company within digital securities, received new licensing this past month. The company successfully received the blessing of the SEC to act as a transfer agent. The following article looks at their path towards this development, and what it means moving forward.
Down But Not Out
tZERO, a product of Medici Ventures, was on the receiving end of bad news this month. In what has been a long and tedious process, it was divulged to investors that an investment within the company by Makara Capital was withdrawn. Despite this setback, tZERO remains a promising company, with a bright future.
In Other News
BlockState Gains Clarity on STO Taxation within Switzerland
One of the few companies to see continued development and adoption through ‘crypto winter’, Stratis has announced that they will be bringing support for STOs. This support will come through tweaks to their recently released ICO platform.
The team states, “…issuance and the profit on the sale of own shares through a security token offering in this specific case does not trigger profit tax and added-value tax, but security issue tax. This is a unique tax clarification for the BlockState’s security token offering model and marks the first time that a Swiss tax authority has issued a ruling on the tax classification of an equity STO.” Read Here
MERJ and Globacap Target Expansion in Europe
With operations going well in their home of Seychelles, MERJ has made it known that they intend to expand on a global scale. In their attempt to do so, they have partnered with Globacap.
MERJ CEO, Ed Tuohy, stated, “We will be the first entity anywhere in the world to hold an initial public offering of security tokens,” said Edmond Tuohy, CEO of MERJ Exchange. “For this ground-breaking event, it is essential for MERJ to have a partner on board with the right technology, systems and approach to grasp the significance of this milestone for financial markets. Globacap are among the leaders who are really executing in this space and that resonates well with us.” Read Here
Luc Falempin, CEO of Tokeny
In this exclusive interview, we speak with Luc Falempin. As the acting CEO of one of Europe’s most promising companies involved in digital securities, he brings unique insights to the table. Read More
Stephen McKeon, Assoc. Professor of Finance at the University of Oregon
In this interview, we discuss both, the potential of digital securities, and their most appropriate implementations. Through his various roles, Stephen McKeon is able to provide unique insights into where the industry is, and where it will go. Read More
Titles and Designations Among Industry Participants
With Securitize recently being awarded licensure, making them transfer-agents, we thought it a good time to discuss various designations doled out to industry participants. The following article does just this. Read Here
Around the Web
Former Visa Exec Speaks on the Future of Security Token – Finance Magnates
In this interview, Roel Wolfert, a former Visa Exec, speaks on security tokens, and where he sees them going in the future. Read More