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Beijing Officials caution against Security Token Offerings

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Beijing Officials caution against Security Token Offerings

STOs…illegal?

In what is a first, a government body is now indicating that security token offerings are illegal. Commonly called STOs, these token offerings have seen a rise in popularity.  This has occured as the industry shifts away from ICOs. This shift has largely occurred due to the perceived STO adherence to regulations.

Chief of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Finance, Huo Xuewen, stated, “The ICO (initial coin offering) model is getting left behind for a new concept called STO. I want to issue a warning to anyone considering running an STO in Beijing…Don’t do it in Beijing – it is illegal. You can only engage in such activities with the approval from the government.”

While no other country has indicated thus far that STOs may be viewed as illegal, it is disconcerting that this may be the case in one of the world’s largest economies.

Beijing Municipal Bureau of Finance

This branch of government is tasked with various things. Among managing city expenditures, one such task is to ‘supervise the enforcement of financial and taxation guidelines, policies, laws and regulations’. With the expectation that enforcement of regulations will occur, it seems appropriate that the message discussed today should come from the BMBF.

2018 Global Wealth Management Forum

Held yearly, this gathering takes place as an open forum where the BMBF discusses wealth management. Discussions deal with regulations, future plans, expenditures, etc., with regards to Beijing. It is on this stage that the Chief of the BMBF, Huo Xuewen, spoke on the status of STOs.

This year’s iteration took place on December 1. The full transcript of the Xuewen speech can be found HERE.

Nothing New

In all reality, this announcement by Beijing should come as no surprise. Over the past 2 years, the city has made the news various times in their attempt to stifle the blockchain industry.

Beginning in September of 2017, Beijing was one of the first regions to ban ICOs altogether. A ban that remains to this day.

Beyond the ICO ban, we have seen Beijing enforce various regulations.  These restrict business within the city from promoting/hosting/displaying anything related to cryptocurrencies.

With actions such as these having already taken place, a continuation of this trend should be expected. It is reassuring, however, that despite the Beijing government attempting to stifle the industry, it continues to thrive. This resistance to outside control is often cited as a main ideological draw for many towards blockchain and its various sectors.

In Denial?

Actions such as these may bring worry to some, as we ask the question ‘are we in denial?’ Is this something that may occur outside of China? Thankfully, no. Although the legality of ICOs can sometimes be called into question, STOs have shown no indication of backlash from other governments. Although this news may be bad for those in Beijing, it should have no effect on the rapid development of digital security related services and offerings. The only thing this will accomplish is triggering an exodus of talent and companies from the region to more friendly climates.

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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.

Security Token News

Neufund Preps for GREYP Token Sale Upon FMA Approval

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Neufund Preps for GREYP Token Sale Upon FMA Approval

FMA Approval in Liechtenstein

In a decision that was long awaited, Neufund has been given more than just the approval to host an upcoming GREYP token sale. The tokenization platform was given the greenlight to host all such offerings, moving forward. This authorization came on behalf of the Financial Market Authority (FMA) in Liechtenstein.

This decision will have huge ramifications for Neufund, as they immediately become one of the few, if not the only, entity that is able to offer such flexibility. This will primarily be seen through their ability to open token sales to a broader range of investors, as minimum purchases can be as low as €10.

Neufund indicates that with the approval of the FMA, they have various token events in the pipeline, spanning various countries. They specifically note India, Croatia, Germany, and Belgium as a few of these.

Go for Launch

GREYP is a smart-mobility company, which strives to develop not only next-gen hardware, but to develop the infrastructure surrounding a ride sharing e-bike platform, enabled through IoT.

With regards to GREYP, in particular, the sale will see Neufund sell and issue digital securities on behalf of the former, which imbue various rights upon their holders. This includes, not only equity within GREYP, but, both, voting rights and dividend rights.

For the finer details on what the tokens entail, check out the Neufund listing page HERE.

Commentary

Upon announcing this development, representatives from, each, the government and Neufund, took the time to comment.

Adrian Hasler, Prime Minister of Liechtenstein, stated,

“I am pleased that Neufund has decided on Liechtenstein. This shows that Liechtenstein, with its open attitude towards new technologies, is perceived as an attractive location for innovative business models.”

Zoe Adamovicz, CEO of Neufund, stated,

“Today, Neufund delivers on its promise to democratize access to funding for entrepreneurs globally and enable anyone to access most innovative investment opportunities with ease, in a compliant and secure environment. It’s a big day – not just for Neufund, but business and finance communities at large.”

Speaking with Zoe

Earlier this year, we were fortunate to have completed an exclusive interview with Neufund CEO, Zoe Adamovicz. In this discussion we touch on what separates Neufund from the pack, and the benefits of STO-like events.

Interview Series – Zoe Adamovicz, CEO of Neufund

Neufund

Neufund was founded in 2016, and maintains headquarters in Berlin, Germany. Above all, the company works to provide a range of services which facilitate tokenization. Neufund was one of the first companies to successfully complete their very own STO in 2019.

CEO, Zoe Adamovicz, currently oversees company operations.

GREYP

Based in Croatia, GREYP is a tech company, which is working to usher in the next generation of ‘smart mobility’. While young, GREYP, has the backing of companies such as T-Mobile, Porsche, and others. They also have experience to draw upon, as they are a subsidiary of Rimac Automobiles – manufacturers of high-end electric sports cars.

CEO, Mate Rimac, currently oversees company operations.

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Security Token News

Harbor Tokenizes $100 Million in Real Estate Funds on ETH

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Harbor Tokenizes $100 Million Real Estate Fund

One of the leading tokenization platforms, Harbor announced this week that they successfully tokenized $100 million in real estate funds. The firm tokenized four major funds with the goal to increase liquidity for investors. The move showcases growing interest by investors towards more liquid alternative investments.

As part of the tokenization, Harbor provides investors with access to an iCAP-branded platform and private marketplace for secondary transfers. Here, investors can trade their securities in full compliance with the SEC. Speaking on the decision, Harbor’s CEO, Josh Stein described the maneuver as the natural evolution.

The tokenized real estate fund includes a mash-up of 17 broker-dealers, a myriad of placement agents, and approximately 1,100 private investors. Importantly, iCAP Equity is the fund’s manager.

Harbor Tokenizes $100 Million in Real Estate Funds via Twitter

Harbor Tokenizes $100 Million in Real Estate Funds via Twitter

iCAP’s CEO, Chris Christenson spoke on the decision in detail in a recent interview. Here he explained why it was important to create the best investment experience possible for his clients. In his words, the best way to accomplish this monumental task was “providing liquidity for them.”

Harbor Tokenizes Funds on Ethereum Blockchain

Harbor chose Ethereum’s ERC-20 standard for the tokenization of the funds. Importantly, the ERC- 20 token standard is the most popular in use today.

More than Issuance

Stein envisions Harbor as more than just an issuance platform. Now, the company seeks to provide businesses with a solid tokenization infrastructure. In this manner, companies can tokenize their existing assets.

Stein explained that the demand for newly issued tokens was far less than previously expected. Interestingly, Harbor noticed that ICO investors were of the speculative nature versus more traditional alternative investments.

Tokenizing Existing Assets

Notably, Harbor discovered that tokenizing the cap tables of existing assets provides a clear benefit to everyone involved – sponsors, placement agents, and investors. They are also more geared towards the traditional investment community.

Harbor Tokenizes Shares to Add Liquidity to the Market

Traditionally, securities investors agree upon a multi-year lockup. Basically, you can’t sell your shares until an agreed-upon date. The problem here is that in many instances, investors need to access those funds for certain reasons prior to the agreed-upon date.

In the traditional system, an investor would have to wait out the years until granted sales access or find an investor willing to take over the waiting period. Harbor’s platform does away with this nonsense and allows investors to trade their tokenized shares as soon as the SEC mandatory one year lockup period ends.

Experience Equals Lessons

Like any true pioneer, hard lessons were part of the learning process. Last year, Harbor attempted to issue tokenized shares in an apartment building. While the concept was solid, discrepancies arose between the mortgage lender. In the end, the deal was scrapped before launch.

Harbor Tokenizes the World

Harbor appears to have the flexibility and forward-thinking needed to adjust to the ever-changing crypto landscape. You can expect to see more major players in the tokenization sector begin to duplicate this strategy in the coming months. For now, Harbor appears to be a step ahead of the curve.

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Security Token News

Prometheum Acquires InteliClear Post Trading Systems

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Prometheum Aquires InteliClear post trading solution

The popular security token exchange Prometheum announced the acquisition of the InteliClear clearing system this month. The addition places Prometheum as the front runner to be the first SEC-registered all-inclusive Alternate Trading System (ATS). The news showcases the growing competition in the sector and symbolizes a shift in strategies amongst the top exchanges.

An Industry First

Currently, no ATS has the ability to clear transactions in house. Traditionally, exchanges utilize a third-party clearinghouse to complete trades per the Security Exchange Act (SEA). This process adds time and additional fees to the transaction. Prometheum seeks to speed up the entire process via the InteliClear integration. Now clients can settle transactions in hours versus days.

A Milestone

Discussing the maneuver, Prometheum CEO, Aaron Kaplan called the acquisition a “milestone” for the security token industry. He spoke on why InteliClear’s system is an excellent addition to the company’s portfolio. Finally, he discussed the importance of Prometheum becoming the first end-to-end security token trading solution.

Prometheum

The Prometheum exchange entered the market with the goal to provide users with a complete ecosystem for tokenized securities. The New York-based firm was one of the first SEC approved tokenized securities platforms available to the public. The company originally filed with the SEC back in November 2017.

Prometheum via Homepage

Prometheum via Homepage

Today, the platform hosts some of the most notable security tokens ever launched including Lottery. The Lottery STO made headlines after providing investors an opportunity to participate in revenue derived from the company’s gaming platform for charitable fundraising.

InteliClear

Investors now gain access to more value after the InteliClear acquisition. InteliClear provides businesses with a host of helpful pre and post-trade services. The company uses a custom-built transaction engine that enables importation of trades and transactions from multiple sources. These turnkey and custom solutions enable businesses to fulfill their STO ambitions with the least amount of funding necessary.

The InteliClear system supports tokenized equities, options, fixed incomes, mutual funds, money/market products, and of course, tokenized assets. The global network is able to utilize a host of national currencies and can handle real-time, high volume, operations. The platform automatically calculates trade compression, fees, commissions, and billing to simplify the entire process for businesses.

Security Token Sector Gets More Competitive

The security token arena continues to see more competition develop. The recent SEC approval of numerous A+ filings enables platforms such as Prometheum to take its platform to the next level. Today, the number of security token exchanges in operation continues to expand at an impressive rate.  Already, the SEC approved Blockstack, the Props Project, and YouNow’s STO platforms this year. After taking over a year to approve some of these projects, the news is welcomed by the cryptocommunity.

Prometheum Leads the Race

Prometheum now has the tools and capabilities to take a strong lead in the developing security token sector. You can expect to hear more from this exchange as it continues on its STO launch course. For now, Prometheum is the only security token exchange to provide such robust functionality in the market.

 

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