Blockchain Goes to Hollywood
Today, digital securities issuance platform, tZERO, has announced a new partnership with Vision Tree. This alliance will see the latter tokenize an upcoming movie they are developing through the use of services rendered by tZERO.
The digital securities to be minted, and issued, are expected to raise upwards of $40 million in funding towards the development of an upcoming movie. Investors in this token will be rewarded with, not only a vote in the development of the movie, but rights to a proportionate share of the revenues.
The goal of this entire process is to change the way movies are made. By partnering, tZERO and Vision Tree are demonstrating a more efficient means of raising capital, while opening previously unattainable opportunities to qualified investors. If all goes well, this event may spark a change in the way movies are made in the future.
Atari: A Fistful of Quarters
The movie itself is expected to take shape as a biopic, detailing the journey of the iconic gaming company – Atari. This journey saw Nolan Bushnell, who also founded Chuck E. Cheese, grow a pinball repair business into a gaming giant in its time.
Despite being a household name, Atari has not found themselves to be a player within the world of gaming for years, as the industry is dominated by the trio of Sony, Microsoft, and Nintendo.
When announcing this move, various representatives of each company took the time to elaborate.
Saum Noursalehi, CEO of tZERO, stated,
“Our goal is to apply blockchain technology to capital markets and every industry that can benefit from the platform we have built. The Atari movie is the perfect project to lead the way for the tokenization of the movie business.”
Patrick M. Byrne, CEO of Overstock.com (mother company of tZERO), stated,
“We have been looking for the team to crack the code for Hollywood and bring much needed transparency and accountability to an industry that has been historically resistant to change. This is an extremely impressive team and we are thrilled to bring the tZERO tech stack to the movie industry.”
J.D. Seraphine, Co-founder of Vision Tree, stated,
“Once we had the opportunity to connect with Patrick, Saum, and the rest of the tZERO family it became immediately clear that this is the best team to roll out the token for the Atari movie.”
Benjamin Gerry, Co-founder of Vision Tree, stated,
“It has been a long process to find the right partner to tokenize the Atari movie and to blaze a new trail for other media projects to follow. After looking closely at every major company in the space, we are thrilled to collaborate with tZERO on this exciting endeavor.”
tZERO is a United States based company, which functions as a subsidiary of parent company, Overstock.com. tZERO serves the digital securities sector through their suite of services which allow for the creation, issuance, management and trading of such assets.
CEO, Saum Noursalehi currently oversees company operations
Vision Tree is a Santa Monica, California, based company, which was founded in 2012. Above all, Vision Tree acts as a tech company, working to implement blockchain technologies within television, film, and media.
In Other News
The decision to tokenize the upcoming Atari movie is yet another example of an art medium which can benefit from the ability of digital securities to both generate, and unlock capital. Another example of a form of art being affected by the growth of this industry includes TheArtToken. We recently had the pleasure of completing an interview discussing this project.
Flyt Property Brings First Tokenized Real Estate STO to Africa
This week marks another important milestone within the international security token sector as the African-based tokenization platform, Flyt Property announced plans to host the first-ever Tokenized Real Estate STO on the continent. The news demonstrates an acceleration in the adoption of tokenization across the global real estate market. Additionally, it symbolizes a major advancement for African markets moving forward.
According to company documentation, Flyt Property Investment will issue Africa’s first property-backed security token. Importantly, the blockchain-based token represents ownership in Flyt Property’s new real estate fund. Unlike previous tokenization ventures within the region, Flyt features full regulatory and legal compliance.
Flyt Hospitality Fund
The newly tokenized Flyt Hospital Fund focuses specifically on strategically located hospitality properties. Also, the fund will focus on sectional-title serviced apartments and student accommodations. Traditionally, this style of real estate required the participation of a major financial backer. Flyt believes that through the power of tokenization, the firm can open up these investment opportunities to a host of new private investors.
Importantly, the Flyt Hospital Fund is a South African Section 12J fund. This is a critical categorization as Section 12J investments receive tax breaks and a host of other advantages in the market. The concept of Section 12J properties first entered the market via the Income Tax Act of 2009 as a way to stimulate market growth. Importantly, South African taxpayers who invest in local 12j companies receive a plethora of benefits including a 100% tax deduction.
In a recent interview, Zane De Decker, MD of Flyt Property Investment spoke on the important maneuvers his firm has made. He explained how the new strategy places Flyt far ahead of the curve. Decker also touched on the overall excitement felt by his team. He then spoke on how the project provides new market opportunities to investors.
Decker was keen to go into some of the finer details related to the project. He described how the new services benefit both traditional and token investments. Flyt will allow both fiat and tokenized investments into the fund. Consequently, this strategy will increase the liquidity of the entire project. Lastly, Decker described why the transparency provided by the new tech is a major upgrade for the market.
Flyt Property Investment worked with the Swiss-based financial technology supplier Bakari to make the project a reality. Speaking publicly, Ciaran MacDevette, Co-Founder of Bakari, explained that the new project embraces next-generation financial technology. Additionally, MacDevette stated that Bakari was “proud” to be working with the Flyt Hospitality Fund. He also discussed the reasons why his firm continues to be a leader in FinTech innovation.
Flyt token (FLYT)
FLYT is an ERC-20 compatible token that lives on the Ethereum blockchain. As an ERC-20 compliant token, the platform enjoys some significant advantages including higher interoperability. For example, all Flyt tokens can be self-custodied by investors with only the need for an ERC-20 compatible wallet.
Flyt Property Investment
Cape Town appears to be Africa’s new blockchain epicenter. These latest developments are sure to place Flyt Property Investments in a category of their own. For now, the African markets are primed and ready for large scale tokenization.
Bankhaus von der Heydt Unveils Blockchain Strategy
This week, the German Bank von der Heyd stunned the EU banking community after revealing plans to issue security tokens and offer custodial services in the coming weeks. The news demonstrates further integration of blockchain technology among the EU’s traditional banking sector, as well as, a desire by Bankhaus von der Heydt to become the industry leader.
News of the new services first broke via a press release. In the release, the private bank shed some light on the project and the progress to date. Company documents revealed that the bank completed its first custodial transactions successfully this month. Additionally, the blog gave some insight into the bank’s future intentions.
According to reports, Bankhaus von der Heydt will provide commercial clients the ability to tokenize assets via the platform. In this way, bank officials seek to become a major force in the German blockchain sector. Additionally, the bank has plans to issue a EURO-backed stablecoin in the coming months to supplement its digital asset economy.
The new products make Bankhaus von der Heydt the first German bank to provide a digital asset custody solution to clients. As such, the firm hopes to achieve a significant strategic advantage over the competition. Discussing the new strategy Bank von der Heydt managing director, Philipp Doppelhammer spoke on his firm’s work. He explained that bank researchers spent years observing the blockchain space. This research helped the firm to design relevant products to the current state of the market.
Doppelhammer also explained why these products provide his firm with outstanding added value. As the only German bank to offer licensed digital asset custodial services, Bankhaus von der Heydt is positioned to be a major player in the EU markets. Lastly, he took a moment to let the public know that these products are now ready for the market from a regulatory and technological perspective.
In order to ensure the success of the venture, Bank von der Heydt collaborated with FinTech and blockchain services provider, Bitbond. For its part, Bitbond provided the technical infrastructure surrounding the custodial aspects of the strategy. Additionally, the bank utilized Bitbond’s proprietary technology to develop several asset structuring and asset servicing products as well.
Speaking on the partnership, Radoslav Albrecht, CEO, and founder of Bitbond explained how his firm continues to work with several banks and financial intermediaries to expand the capabilities of the platform. He also touched on the important benefits tokenization brings to the market, such as liquidity.
Additionally, Albrecht described the feeling of excitement surrounding the project. Here he pointed out that this was the first project to use blockchain technology in the area of securitization and private placements in the country. He also stated that his firm was “pleased to cooperate” with the bank, which he labeled a proven industry expert.
Bankhaus von der Heydt Takes the Lead
It now appears that Bankhaus von der Heydt will have a strong positioning in the market moving forward. This firm continues to utilize its unique stance to keep up-to-date on all the latest FinTech trends. You can expect to hear a lot more from this group as its new projects gain popularity in the coming weeks.
CFTC to Give its Stance on GRAM Token Classification
This month, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) stepped up its battle against the mobile messaging giant Telegram. For months, the two groups have been enthralled in a trial to determine the classification of Telegram’s GRAM token. This week, in an attempt to break the legal stalemate, the SEC reached out to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) to hear its stance on the project.
According to reports, a letter was sent from the federal judge presiding over the case, Kevin Castel, directly to the Office of General Counsel of the United States Commodities Futures Trading Commission. Specifically, the letter asks the organization to determine if the GRAM token is a security or not.
As such, the importance of this document can’t be overstated. The court’s determination will have a direct effect on the classification of certain types of cryptocurrencies within the United States moving forward. For its part, the SEC argues that the GRAM token is, in fact, a security.
Regulators stated that the entire crowdfunding event, which raised around $1.7 billion, violated the Securities Act of 1933. On top of the claim, SEC alleges that Telegram participated in the unauthorized sale of securities. Lastly, the SEC also claims the group convoluted the difference between a purchaser’s investment in the digital asset and the delivery of the asset itself.
Telegram Refutes the Charges – GRAM
Despite the heavy-handed approach the SEC has taken, Telegram continues to stand its ground. The firm insists that its GRAM token is a commodity. As such, Telegram stated that GRAM tokens do not fall under the SEC’s jurisdiction.
Recent court filings shed some light on the details of Telegrams 2018 ICO. According to these documents, Telegram raised $1.7 billion from 171 investors. Of these investors, $424.5M came from 39 US-based investors. The remaining $1.28 billion in funding came from international participation from 132 additional investors.
What is the GRAM Token?
The GRAM token project originated with the goal to provide Telegram users with an online currency to supplement the Telegram platform. Developers envisioned a cryptocurrency that saw global usage among Telegram’s 300 million subscribers. According to company executives, the hope was to spur the growth of a new economy that would use Telegram as the man medium of communication.
So Are GRAM Tokens Security Tokens?
While the SEC continues to drive home their perspective on Telegram’s blockchain projects, the cryptocommunity awaits a final answer. As it stands today, several filings were made with no relevant determinations yet. Telegram executives and regulators are keen to the fact that this case would set a major precedent across the entire US blockchain sector.
When you consider the ramification of the Telegram trial, it’s easy to see why company executives are not willing to bow to the SEC’s pressure. For one, the firm has billions in funding to fight a long-drawn-out court battle. Additionally, Telegram executives have put forth a lot of effort into the creation and maintenance of the GRAM ecosystem. To lose these funds, would be a huge hit for the firm.
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