While multiple frameworks for the issuance and distribution process are in the works, few announcements have been made with regards to trading platforms.
The main benefits being offered by digital securities typically hinge around liquidity and efficiency. To achieve these sought after traits, retail investors must have access to secondary markets which host said tokens.
While various security token protocols are on the market, the BANKEX platform will initially support the following:
- Created by a quartet of blockchain developers
Each of these token standards are products of the Ethereum blockchain. They vary from the typical ERC-20 token by incorporating various features. These include, but are not limited to, facilitating KYC checks, adhering to AML, and more.
As of Oct. 30th, the exchange has launched with basic features. For now, trading is limited to BTC, LTC, ETH, BKX, and BCH. In time, expansion of supported coins will see the inclusion of security tokens.
Straight from the SEC, it has been said that a major hurdle within the blockchain industry is that of custody solutions. While various companies have indicated theirintent to create such services, very few have actually done so at this point in time.
Along with the launch of their trading platform, BANKEX also intends to offer custody services as well. This means that investors will be able to entrust their tokens to beheld by BANKEX in a safe manner. A safe manner implies practices such as insurance acquisition, cold storage, etc.
Instead of focusing on a subset of the digital securities industry, BANKEX intends to be a comprehensive platform. While this makes the hurdle towards widespread launch higher, it also raises their ceiling for potential as a platform.
If BANKEX is successful in what they want to achieve, investors will have no need to utilize outside services, thereby increasing the influence of BANKEX within the sector.
Founded in 2015, BANKEX is based out of New York, New York. They are a financial service company with self-described mission to… “Add liquidity to assets that have an underrated value due to the way that classic financial markets currently operate.”
Beyond the news of their intended platform launch, BANKEX recently made news as they were the recipient a Maltese VFA Licence. This opens the door to various financial services, which are detailed in a recent BANKEX blog post, HERE.
‘Mrs. Antonia’ Scam Preys on 1M Clients Affected by ePayments FCA Imposed Lockdown
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.
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.”
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.”
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.
- $4 billion stolen through Ponzi scheme
- $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.
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*
Digital Securities Monthly Report – July 2020 Edition
Regulatory Advances and Findings
Regulators had a busy month, announcing various fines and allegations during this time period. Continuing her open-minded stance towards blockchain, SEC Commissioner, Hester Peirce, also took the time to provide insight into recent rulings surrounding Telegram.
Entering the Sector
It is no secret that established companies are beginning to warm up to the idea of digital securities and cryptocurrencies. July demonstrated this, as multiple respected companies announced their foray into these sectors.
From day one, real estate has been viewed as the most promising implementation for digital securities. As such, we have seen various companies launch real estate focused platforms over the past few years. July continued this attraction to real estate, as we were greeted with news of, not only new capital raises by real estate developers, but the listing of real estate backed digital securities on a secondary market.
In The News
Adoption of NEM’s Symbol Blockchain Increasing Among Central Banks and Startups
Slowly but surely, companies are building out the necessary foundation for a future filled with digital securities. In July, one project, which caught the attention of many, is ‘Symbol’. This protocol, purpose built with digital securities in mind, looks to launch soon, with its first users already lined up. Read More
“…we were on the lookout for a protocol that would facilitate this unique offering. Symbol from NEM was a natural fit, due to its technical capabilities, purpose-built with the issuance of security tokens at the forefront of its network architecture.”– David Siemer, CEO of Wave Financial
What is DeFi (Decentralized Finance)?
The world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies has recently seen a long expected resurgence. Much of this current run and excitement revolves around the potential of DeFi. We recently took a closer look at what DeFi is, why it is important, and the possibilities it holds. Read More
Dave Hodgson, CIO of NEM Group & Managing Director of NEM Ventures
Around the Web
‘An absolute necessity’ : Why this Expert says China Desperately Needs a Digital Currency – Fortune
tZERO Update: Successes and Preparations for Capital Raise
Moving forward, tZERO is looking to generate additional external capital in the near future and has already started preparing for such an event.
tZERO has had a tumultuous history surrounding capital raises. While it did manage to raise $134million in a past STO, not all attempts have been met with success.
In 2018, tZERO made waves when it formally announced an expected $400million investment by GSR Capital into the company. In a drawn-out process over the course of a year, the actual investment ($5million) was a fraction of what was initially expected.
Despite raising less capital than initially planned, tZERO has managed to march forward and establish itself as a leader within digital securities. Undoubtedly learning from its various forays into capital generation, tZERO is taking active steps to hunt down capital again.
In its process of preparation for future rounds of funding, tZERO has taken various pre-emptive steps to make itself an ideal candidate for investment.
These steps revolve primarily around cutting costs. In its recent recap, the following areas were noted as contributing to a cash-burn, which is 45% lower than the year prior.
- Staff reductions
- Salary reductions
- Legal costs
- Majority completion of platform development
In a summary of this past year’s achievement by tZERO, CEO, Saum Noursalehi, shared his sentiments on the company’s current footing.
“All in all, it has been a productive year thus far. I am encouraged by our recent progress, and I believe we are approaching an inflection point in the business. With the bulk of the development phase behind us and regulatory approvals soon to be behind us, we are focused on commercializing the business. We still have a lot of work ahead, however, I am more confident than ever that we are positioned to succeed, and I look forward to keeping you abreast of our journey.”
Looking forward, tZERO has established a clear roadmap, detailing their next steps. The following is an excerpt from their progress update, showing what these steps entail.
- Trade the St. Regis token.
- Integrate third-party issuance/transfer agent platforms
- Trade new issuers (existing assets, new offerings) on the ATS.
- Launch tZERO Markets on our website (pending regulatory approval)
- Develop a multi-clearing solution.
- Integrate more broker-dealers.
- Offer 24/7 order entry.
- Streamline tZERO Markets onboarding (pending regulatory approval)
- Provide the user experience to trade all digital assets.
While it may seem ambitious, tZERO believes that each of these steps can be crossed off before 2020 comes to a close.
The most immediate step expected to be crossed off this list will be the trading of the St. Regis Aspen token. Only days ago, we reported on a newly signed agreement, which will see this token being traded on the tZERO ATS, this coming fall.
The trading of the St. Regis Aspen token may only be the start, though. While tZERO will continue to work with companies looking to issue digital securities, it has noted an increased focus on listing previously existing tokenized assets.
“…we have shifted our focus to two categories. The first is existing digital securities. There are over 200 companies and/or assets that have been tokenized to-date. Many of these assets do not meet the criteria for our platform, either in size, quality, or both. There are some, however, that tZERO ATS may be interested in trading, and the business development team has had positive engagement with these issuers.”
Founded in 2014, tZERO is a subsidiary of Medici Ventures. From its headquarters in New York, New York, tZERO works to develop a suite of services tailored towards capital markets.
CEO, Saum Noursalehi, currently oversees company operations.
To learn more about Saum Noursalehi, and the ambitions of tZERO, make sure to peruse our past interview detailing each.
- ‘Mrs. Antonia’ Scam Preys on 1M Clients Affected by ePayments FCA Imposed Lockdown
- Digital Securities Monthly Report – July 2020 Edition
- tZERO Update: Successes and Preparations for Capital Raise
- German GDP Drop Hurts Euro Forex Market
- Digital Asset Wallet Ledger, Suffers Data Breach Affecting 1M Clients