The popular security token issuance platform BlockState recently announced plans to migrate a number of ERC-20 tokens from the public Ethereum blockchain. According to reports, BlockState will transfer these tokens to the private distributed ledger developed by R3 – Corda.
News of the migration first broke on June 27th via social media. The move will allow global investors access to these tokens via R3’s new platform, the Swiss Digital Exchange (SDX). Currently, the platform is under development for use by Switzerland’s national stock exchange SIX. When completed the platform will be the largest of its kind in Switzerland.
Notably, the Swiss stock exchange is the 13th largest stock exchange in the world. Given the pro-crypto stance of Swiss officials, coupled with the country’s growing demand for more blockchain integration, it’s easy to see why BlockState chose this location as their base of operations.
BlockState company executives plan to employ a unique strategy to accomplish their goals. The firm will lock the ERC-20 tokens into smart contracts as the first step of the process. Once locked, duplicates of the tokens will be made and placed on the Corda blockchain. In this way, investors are able to participate in these investments via a fully regulated platform.
Global Depository Receipts
If this strategy sounds strangely familiar, it should. It’s very close to how global depository receipts function. Global depository receipts are created to allow foreign investors to participate in an IPO without going through the traditional stringent investment requirements that national stock exchanges are built on. Basically, investors purchase ownership rights to a particular share, versus purchasing the share directly.
Currently, BlockState’s STO is underway. The company seeks to raise funds to further its global tokenization aspirations. Company officials announced that six ERC-20 tokens will port over first, as stage one of the project. Importantly, an additional five more ERC-20 tokens are in the pipeline.
Switzerland is the perfect location for this strategy because the country doesn’t require investors to trade certified shares. Basically, Swiss shares can be recorded in a digital format without the need for paper records to go along with the transaction. Paper records are much slower to process than blockchain transactions. Consequently, they are often cited as the main delay when upgrading to blockchain-based formats.
The private DLT Corda services growing interests in blockchain technology from traditional investment firms. Simply put, the platform started out primarily for use by banks and large financial institutions.
Discussing the decision to passport tokens to Corda, R3’s head of digital assets, David Nicole explained why BlockState saw endless possibilities in this strategy. He touched on the growing number of institutions using Corda, and why this digital infrastructure is critical to future growth in the sector.
A Work in Progress – Corda
Work on the migration started approximately a year ago. At that time, crypto enthusiasts noted that R3 developers began experimenting with duplicating ERC-20 tokens to the Corda blockchain. Now, the firm is ready to take its strategy to the next level.
BlockState Preps for the Digital Economy
These latest developments showcase how firms such as BlockState are disrupting the traditional means of conducting business globally. This firm has the experience and network to continue to play a major role in future blockchain adoption. This latest project is sure to produce impressive results over the coming months, as the platform’s development accelerates.
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.
Securitize Receives Backing from Sony
In a sign of the changing times, the Japanese conglomerate Sony announced an investment into the security token issuance platform, Securitize. Sony now joins a long list of global tech giants entering the blockchain sector. This latest maneuver demonstrates the maturing of the Japanese security token market, as well as, a major milestone for Securitize.
Discussing the monumental achievement, Securitize CEO and co-founder Carlos Domingo spoke on what the investment means to the industry. He explained that Sony’s decision validates Securitize as one of the chief “architects of digital capital markets.” He also touched on Sony’s coveted brand and how the firm’s reputation is sure to bolster further interests in the security token sector.
Sony Financial Ventures (SFV)
Sony made its investment into Securitize via one of its main subsidiaries – SFV.GP. Notably, SFV.GP’s management responsibilities are split between Sony Financial Ventures (SFV) and Global Brain. Speaking On the news, SFV director Junji Nakamura explained the new capabilities blockchain tech brings to the table. He described the ability to create new asset classes and add liquidity to the market. Finally, he welcomed the challenges that his firm will encounter on their journey.
SFV is part of the Sony Financial Group. The Tokyo-based Sony Financial Group is a much larger financial services firm that includes numerous holdings on behalf of Sony. These holdings include Sony Life Insurance, Sony Assurance, Sony Bank, Sony Payment Services, and Sony Lifecare, just to name a few.
The Sony Financial Group has a reputation for investing in startups with the potential to disrupt markets. Currently, the firm has investments in Asia, North America, and Europe. These investments span the gambit of upending technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), and robotics.
The decision to invest in Securitize by Sony comes on the heels of a successful funding round for the firm. Securitize secured $14 million in investment funds from a wide variety of global investors. These investors included Nomura Holdings, MUFG Innovation Partners, Santander InnoVentures, and Blockchain Capital.
Securitize Making Moves
This year started off with a bang for Securitize. In January, the firm finalized a deal with AltoIRA. This deal was a major milestone for the entire security token sector because it was the first time that a platform received approval to allow US investors to invest in digital assets directly from their IRA. This momentum now continues with Sony jumping on board.
A Leader in the Blockchain Sector
Its been exciting to watch Securitize develop over the last few years. The firm has gone from a concept to a major player in the market. Today, Securitize is one of the most respected names in the game. Its no doubt that this stellar reputation is what caught Sony’s attention.
One thing is for sure, considering the level of interests Securitize garnished with this latest investor, its goal to modernize the capital markets is is in full swing.
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