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Are Security Tokens Killing ICOs? 

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Are security tokens killing ICOs

As the cryptomarket continues to evolve, the emergence of new trends and technology reshapes the playing field. Security tokens give companies the ability to utilize blockchain technology while remaining compliant to today’s financial standards. As the security token market expands, the ICO market appears to suffer. This has led many to the question – are security tokens killing ICOs?

There is no doubt that the ICO market shrunk considerably ever since the introduction of security tokens – but are two correlated. A recent study conducted by ICORating shows that while security token adoption is on the rise, it is still utility tokens which are the most successful in the market.

Market Shuffle

According to the same report, utility token offerings decreased by 10.07% in Q2 2018. This decrease reshuffled the market. Today, 49.05% of all token launches are service tokens. Service tokens are used to pay for services within a platform. These tokens grant users access to a particular platform or service provided.

ICO Data via ICORating

ICO Data via ICORating

Utility Tokens

Utility tokens make up 25.3% of the total tokens issued this year. A token is a Utility token when it represents a certain protocol. Examples of this type of token are Ethereum, NEO, Stellar, and Cardona. These platforms can issue new tokens on their infrastructure.

Hybrid Tokens

Hybrid tokens make up 12.47% of the tokens issued in 2018. These tokens provide users with some form of payment for their participation or work performed. These tokens can provide payment for services as well. Hybrid tokens continue to increase in popularity as security token usage expands.

In most instances, a token will start off as a security token during the ICO process and then convert to a utility token upon the completion of the crowdsale. The SEC determined Ethereum followed this timeline. Today, tokens can offer equity and access to utilities, services, and platforms.

Security Tokens

Security tokens account for 6.54% of the token issuance market. These tokens follow strict securities guidelines. These regulations require that both companies and investors reveal their identity and financial information. While security tokens are one of the fastest growing areas in the market, it is interesting to mention they are not yet as effective at raising capital when compared to utility, or hybrid tokens.

There is a growing number of crypto analysts pointing towards security tokens as the future of the cryptomarket. These tokens provide a gateway for traditional investment firms to enter the crypto market. For this reason, analysts predict security tokens will dominate the market in the coming months.

The remaining categories include payment cryptos (6.54%), reward tokens (1.55%), and vote tokens (0.52%) respectively. Of the token categories, hybrid, reward, and utility tokens raised the most capital this year. Security and service tokens raised the least. In total, STOs averaged around $250,000 in funds raised per event.

Market Overview

2018 ICO Statistics via ICOdata

2018 ICO Statistics via ICOdata

According to ICOdata, there were 1181 ICOs with total capital raised at $7,320,445,133. The ICO market took a hard downturn in July when it dropped from $800,000,000 to $400,000,000. The market continued to shrink since then. Last month was the slowest ICO month to date with around $150,000,000 raised.

The Results are Inconclusive

While the increase in security token adoption seems to be cutting into the ICO market it isn’t the main issue causing the market to falter. The SEC continues to crackdown on ICOs with charges filed against multiple ICOs this year. Ultimately, this pressure fueled the troubles experienced in the ICO sector.

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David Hamilton is a full-time journalist and a long-time bitcoinist. He specializes in writing articles on the blockchain. His articles have been published in multiple bitcoin publications including Bitcoinlightning.com

Digital Securities

META 1 Coin Threatens Securities.io with Litigation for Reporting on ICO Fraud

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META 1 Coin Threatens Securities.io with Litigation for Reporting on ICO Fraud

On August 4th, 2020 Securities.io was threatened with legal action by Robert Paul Dunlap, the legal advocate for META 1 Coin, the creator, owner, controller, and also one of the defendants in the Complaint filed by the SEC. The threat followed the publication of an article titled “SEC Files Charges Against ex-Senator David Schmidt” which was published on March 25, 2020.

Who is META 1 Coin?

META 1 Coin raised funds in April 2018 by performing an Initial Coin Offering (ICO).  As described by an SEC filing META 1 COIN raised at least 4.48 million from over 150 investors in the United States and internationally.

In order to raise funds misleading claims were made. These were some of the claims:

  • They owned $1 billion in art insured against loss by a surety bond, and later, that META 1 owned $2 billion in gold assets;
  • KPMG, one of the largest independent financial audit firms in the world, was auditing Meta1’s gold assets;
  • Meta1 formed its own investment bank and developed its own digital currency exchange;
  • the Coin is safe and risk-free and will never lose value;
  • Each Coin, sold for either $22.22 or $44.44 would in two years be worth $50,000—up to a 224,923% return—as a “very conservative value.”

Unfortunately many investors did not perform adequate due diligence as the SEC claims the tokens were backed by nothing.

Litigation Threat:

The letter received by META 1 accused the SEC and Securities.io of being fraudulent, below are some of the accusations/threats and our responses.

If SECURITIES.io was to do any due diligence at all you would know it was a fictitious story fabricated by the SEC in order to make all digital assets look fraudulent.

Our response: Securities.io has the responsibility of reporting on both legitimate projects, and fraudulent projects. Every time an investor is taken advantage with false claims whether it is the form of an ICO, or other fraudulent behavior, it destroys the credibility of the industry. We also believe in the credibility and the mission of the SEC which is stated as “The mission of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is to protect investors, maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitate capital formation”.

So time will tell if SECURITIES.io is really about digital assets or just another STATE run publisher of malicious defamation.

Our response: Perhaps this is pushing a conspiracy theory or an agenda of being owned and controlled by a deep state. Either way, Securities.io is NOT owned in part or in whole by any government entity in any jurisdiction.

Today is August 4th 3:25 EST 2020 and a claim will be made in 24 hours and It will decimate SECURITIES.io if the named article is not immediately removed.

Our Response: This has been noted. We have fact checked the original article and it remains accurate.

Additionally, I am ordering a follow-up update of the facts regarding the validity or META 1 Coin

Our Response: We have updated the article to reflect new information regarding the fraud behind the initial ICO raise. We were unaware that information was missing, thank you for notifying us of this. Whenever we are notified of errors in reporting we take corrective action.

Summary:

Unfortunately, the digital assets industry continues to result in many operators that are taking advantage of the naivety of investors. It is our responsibility to report on this unethical behavior and to report on any actions taken against these rogue operators by the SEC or other government entities. We will continue with our mission.

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Digital Securities

Polymath Launches ‘Token Studio 2.0’ on ‘Polymesh’ Digital Securities Blockchain

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token studio

Token issuer Polymath has had a busy few weeks.  Just over one month ago, the digital securities pioneer announced the launch of Aldebaran – the first iteration and testnet of the Polymesh  blockchain.  Now Polymath has announced version 2.0 of its ‘Token Studio’, a suite of token services, which now runs on the Polymesh blockchain.

Token Studio

When Polymath uses the term ‘Token Studio’, it is referring to a suite of services, which allows clients to create, issue, and manage digital securities – a vital part of Polymath’s goal to simplify token creation.

The first iteration of Polymath’s Token Studio was based on the Ethereum blockchain.  With the development and pivot towards the use of Polymesh, a new Token Studio was needed – one that was designed for this purpose-built blockchain.

With the launch of this version of Token Studio, Polymath has now opened up the ability for clients to trial its capabilities on the recently released Polymesh testnet ‘Aldebaran’.

Polymath notes that by utilizing Token Studio on the Polymesh blockchain, clients will benefit in various ways.

Design
  • Clients have the ability to create digital securities tailored to their needs – this includes asset type, ticker symbols, asset identifiers, etc.
Identity
  • Built-in services including KYC checks.  This ensures that only appropriate investors can gain access to digital securities created through the use of Polymesh.
Compliance
  • Arguably, the biggest draw towards a purpose-built blockchain is the ability to integrate stringent compliance measures – a necessity when dealing with digital securities. This means that, regardless of jurisdiction, token issues can be assured that their issuances remain in full compliance with securities regulations.

With Token Studio simplifying the creation and issuance process, there should be nothing holding back companies from creating compliant digital securities on the Polymesh blockchain.  The timing of the Polymesh-based Token Studio is ideal; anticipated security token exchange Archax previously announced support for Polymesh tokens when it launches.

Aldebaran

In the constellation, Taurus, the brightest star is Aldebaran – commonly referred to as the ‘bulls-eye’.  This is an apt name for a company that utilizes a bull as its mascot and represents a bright spot within the digital securities sector.

Aldebaran represents the first testnet of the purpose-built Polymesh blockchain.  Polymath has spoken on the rationality behind creating a project such as this, stating,

“The most important learning has been that security tokens cannot gain adoption and acceptance from regulators and institutions with a general-purpose blockchain; security tokens need something more specialized that addresses the foremost concerns of governance, confidentiality, identity, and compliance.”

For holders of Polymath’s ‘POLY’ tokens, a bridging service has been created to convert these assets to ‘POLYX’ – A token with similar functionality, but based on the Polymesh blockchain, rather than Ethereum.  Along with this bridging service, Polymath will soon be launching a Polymesh wallet – providing a way to safely store these assets, while supporting staking capabilities.

The next version of the Polymesh testnet is expected to launch in Q4 of 2020, with the full mainnet launch in Q1 of 2021.

Polymath

Founded in 2017, Polymath is a service provider for the digital securities sector, with operations based in Toronto, Canada.  To date, Polymath has helped facilitate the creation of hundreds of digital securities.

 

In Other News

Polymath is not the only company to note the need for purpose-built digital security solutions.  We have recently taken a closer look at another example of this, as NEM gears up for the launch of its offering, ‘Symbol’.

Make sure to peruse our recent interview with NEM Ventures Managing Director, Dave Hodgson.  Here, we learn more about Symbol, and why such a solution is needed.

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Digital Securities

‘Mrs. Antonia’ Scam Preys on 1M Clients Affected by ePayments FCA Imposed Lockdown

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Mrs. Antonia

Twitter hacks, news outlet impersonations, Ponzi schemes, and now ‘Mrs. Antonia’ – the world is rife with scams, perpetrated by criminals looking to prey on the naïve.

Although less publicised, the recent ‘Mrs. Antonia’ scam is being targeted towards more than 1 million clients of ePayments that lost access to their financial holdings, months ago.

Mrs. Antonia

In this new scam, it appears that bad actors are looking to prey on those that have already endured trying times.

Users of payment processing platform, ePayments, which have had their funds frozen, are being contacted by a person or group posing as ‘Mrs. Antonia’.  In these instances, ‘Mrs. Antonia’ promises the affected ePayments clients that they can help ‘unfreeze’ their funds – this, however, is a lie.  The person or people behind the scam go as far as creating fake testimonials from people claiming that ‘Mrs. Antonia’ did indeed help them.

Unfortunately, Mrs. Antonia does not exist, and she cannot help.  The actions of these criminals have prompted ePayments to release a statement, informing their clients of this scam.

“PLEASE be aware – this is a scam. We are unable to release any customer funds at present and so any claims by any third parties of this nature are not true.”

Extended Lockdown

For months now, over 1 million clients of payment processor, ePayments, have had access to their funds revoked, due to a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) imposed lockdown.  To this day, the reasoning behind these measures is not fully known, aside from lapses found in ePayments anti-money laundering (AML) procedures.

With this lockdown extended for months now, it is understandable that those affected are growing impatient.  As a result, many account holders might just be swayed by the promises made by these criminals.

Upon addressing the situation, ePayments has attempted to ease the fears of its clients by stating,

“We recognise that time has elapsed since we suspended business and we are truly sorry that we have put you, our customers, in this position. We wish to assure you once again that your funds are still safeguarded as normal.”

Scams Aplenty

Sadly, we must all be vigilant, and on guard for scams.  They are increasingly prevalent, as we increase our reliance on technology, with the ePayments situation simply being one example.

The world of blockchain is no stranger to scams, and has resulted in multiple which were staggering in size.

Onecoin
  • $4 billion stolen through Ponzi scheme
 Plustoken
  • $6 billion defrauded from investors
  • Recently arrested 27 individuals connected with the scam

These two scams alone affected millions of investors, defrauding them of roughly $10 billion.  While actions have been taken in an attempt to hold the offenders accountable for their actions, the sad truth is that the vast majority of those affected will never see their funds again.

ePayments

Founded in 2010, ePayments is a global payments processor based out of the United Kingdom.  Through its services, ePayments has amassed over 1million clients, representing 100 countries.

CEO, Mikhail Rymanov, currently oversees company operations.

*Upon contacting ePayments for commentary, no response was received*

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