This week, the Brazilian-based Banco BTG Pactual SA revealed its Q4 earnings from 2019. Considered as one of the most pro-crypto institutions on the continent, analysts were eager to see the bank’s profits. Last year, the bank instituted multiple blockchain strategies including the launch of several STOs. Impressively, Banco BTG Pactual SA showed a net income growth of just over 42%.
As the largest standalone investment bank in Latin America, the news signifies a calling for other traditional financial firms to embrace blockchain technology moving forward. According to reports, the earnings exceeded analysts’ expectations across the board. Until now, Bank officials have kept silent on the firm’s blockchain initiative’s progress. Now, it’s evident that the project was a huge success.
STO News Pushes Profits
This substantial growth started early last year when BTG announced plans to start hosting security token offerings (STO). Since that time, the bank hosted numerous STOs. These offerings utilized both the Ethereum and Tezos blockchain.
In total, Banco BTG Pactual SA experienced a net income surge of over 42%. Broken down into categories, the bank’s recurring net income saw an increase of 61%. That equals out to around $232 million. Additionally, the bank saw a stark increase in its loan book.
Notably, Banco BTG Pactual’s loan book grew by just over 11% from Q3. Executives attributed this growth to a combination of factors. Importantly, the integration of blockchain technology, in addition to a new corporate strategy fueled the growth. Much of the growth in this sector emerged after bank officials announced plans to extend loan services into other South American countries. Specifically, Chile and Colombia are on the list.
Banco BTG Pactual SA Embraces Crypto
Banco BTG Pactual SA became recognized as a pro-crypto organization in early 2019 after the firm announced it would launch the first Latin American tokenized real estate fund STO – REITBZ. The project received heavy media coverage which helped to boost BTG’s positioning in the market. Importantly, the STO raised $3 million.
At that time, BTG executives decided to utilize the Ethereum blockchain to carry out the STO. While the project was successful, banking officials raised some concerns regarding the structuring of the Ethereum blockchain. Basically, bank officials wanted a way to ensure that no transactions got verified from miners located in countries under US sanctions.
Since Ethereum is a decentralized blockchain that allows anyone to mine it via the Proof-of-Work consensus algorithm, blocking miners due to their location was impossible. As such, Banco BTG Pactual SA executives announced a change over to the Tezos blockchain in July 2019. Tezos provides a more permissioned blockchain than Ethereum. Consequently, the firm allows Banco BTG Pactual to avoid any future concerns regarding transaction validations from US sanctioned countries.
Banco BTG Pactual SA – Tezos Big Plans
Almost immediately after the Tezos integration, both firms announced that they had around $1bn in existing and prospective token issuances in the pipeline. This announcement helped to drive profits even further, as investors are now bullish on the new tech integrations.
Banco BTG Pactual SA – An Industry Leader
As the top player in the Latin American crypto sector, Banco BTG now has the ability to set the pace for the entire market. As such, you can expect to see a host of other institutions seeking to integrate blockchain technology as soon as possible. For now, Banco BTG Pactual SA officials deserve a pat on the back for their forward-looking strategy and successful launch of the bank’s tokenization initiative.
STOMarket Adds Mt Pelerin – MPS Token
This week, the research and analytics firm, the STOMarket announced the addition of the first international security token to its tracker. Importantly, researches chose the Swiss tokenization platform, Mt Pelerin Group as the project to receive this honor. Now, potential, and current MPS token investors can monitor market developments easier than ever before.
Currently, the STOMarket hosts the largest repository of live security token data available globally. The firm has held on to this title since it first entered the market in 2018. Importantly, the group was the first data aggregator in the digital securities industry. As such, STOMarket researchers gathered primary offering data for over 300 STOs to date.
Mt Pelerin Group SA Tokenized Shares
The decision to list MPS tokens makes sense for a number of reasons. Primarily, the Mt Pelerin Group SA is one of the first tokenized shares to provide direct and full ownership to token holders. This strategy differs greatly from companies that utilize tokens simply as a form of tethered ownership rights. In this instance, the token is the actual share.
As part of the strategy, the Mt Pelerin Group tokenized its 2018 cap table. Interestingly, 5% of these tokenized shares were sold at a public offering. Importantly, no US investors were permitted to participate in the event. Notably, the group chose to make MPS tokens ERC-20 compliant.
Currently, Ethereum host the largest number of security tokens in the market. As such, ERC-20 compliant tokens enjoy added interoperability when compared to other protocols in the space. This interoperability comes in the form of more wallets, Dapps, and platform options. Already, the MPS token trades on the Uniswap Decentralized Exchange.
Mt Pelerin Joins the Ranks – STOMarket
Discussing the important milestone, Arnaud Salomon, CEO of Mt Pelerin stated that his team was “thrilled” to see the MPS token listed on stomarket.com. He described how this decision places his project in line with other “industry trailblazers.” Lastly, he described how the addition allows investors and analysts to monitor this unique token’s growth.
Not surprisingly, the STOMarket continues to expand its role in the market. For example, in 2019, the firm launched support for secondary trading transactions. Immediately, investors gained access to important data on the six largest security tokens in the market. Since then, the group has added multiple tokens. Today, the firm is building advanced support for hourly security token pricing, trading volume, and market cap updates internationally.
As part of the STOMarket’s early response strategy, the company works closely with security token issuance platforms and exchanges. Notably, the firm has data partnerships with MERJ, BlockStation, Tokenise, just to name a few. Discussing the important role the company plays, Marko M. Hafez, Co-Founder and CEO of Blockstation explained how researchers took the “initiative to centralize and publicize STO and Tokenized IPO listing.”
STO Data Access
Providing the STO market with live trading data continues to be a critical role in the space. Thankfully, the STOMarket makes it easy for anyone to monitor and share data on developments in the industry. You can expect to see these researchers play a more pivotal role in the market as STO adoption continues to expand in the coming months.
FINMA Releases Annual Report – List Security Tokens and DLT
This week, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) published its annual report for 2019. Interestingly, the report highlights developments surrounding security token offerings (STO) and distributed ledger technology (DLT). The news falls in line with efforts by Swiss regulators to further develop the country’s blockchain sector.
Discussing the results of the report, FINMA officials pointed out that there continues to be “challenging questions” the group encounters. Specifically, regulators face questions regarding the trade, custody, and settlement of different token types. Additionally, FINMA continues to receive questions about possible licensing requirements pertaining to the central securities depository pursuant to Art. 61 of the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA).
Importantly, FINMA regulators believe that tokenized securities need to be met with an updated regulatory framework. Specifically, regulators would like to create a new licensing category for institutions looking to trade, settle and custody securities under a single entity. These concerns are echoed by US regulators who also face tough questions regarding streamlining the securities settlement process for tokenized assets.
Stablecoins Are in the Spotlight
Also, the FINMA report gives special attention to the emerging market of stablecoins. Stablecoins are tokenized assets that are pinned to real-world assets such as gold, or in most instances, fiat currencies. Stablecoins have been in the spotlight lately as a myriad of major non-governmental concepts have come to light. Specifically, Switzerland is home to Libra, Facebook’s stablecoin project. As such, regulators seek to control, but not stifle these efforts.
FINMA also included data on initial coin offerings (ICO) for the year. Importantly, there were 1185 individual ICOs that took place last year within the group’s jurisdiction. Of these ICOs, the group started investigations into approximately 60. Out of the 60 investigations, 30 resulted in enforcement actions. Surprisingly, these numbers are a decrease over 2018. In 2018, 42 investigations concluded in enforcement actions.
Specifically, FINMA identified a breach of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) in around 10 ICOs. Another 8 cases narrowly missed prosecution but did make it to FINMA’s warning list. Ultimately, FINMA brought enforcement proceedings against three firms in 2019.
Interestingly, this year’s report highlights a focus on the secondary-markets regarding digital assets. The group continues to explore structuring for the trading and custody of these tokens. As such, regulations continue to develop surrounding the operation of trading venues and other security token associated support activities.
FINMA continues to play a pivotal role in security token adoption in the EU. Currently, the group oversees over 29,200 financial services firms and products. These products include a diverse range of blockchain-based applications. Additionally, FINMA has been actively collaborating with the Swiss Federal Council to develop a framework for blockchain tech through amendments to the current federal laws.
FINMA – A Step Ahead
FINMA’s forward-looking stance and flexibility in regards to the STO sector has allowed Switzerland to remain a financial hub for blockchain activity within the EU. Given the overall tone of Swiss regulators, it’s apparent that this group seeks to increase blockchain integration to new levels. As such, you can expect to see Switzerland retain its title as a global financial powerhouse for years to come.
Draper Goren Holm Adds Rodney Sampson as Venture Partner
The Los Angeles-based venture firm, Draper Goren Holm announced the addition of well-known Philanthropist Rodney Sampson this week. According to reports, Sampson is now a venture partner in the firm. As such, he will play a key role in identifying projects of interest to the group moving forward. The news showcases the further expansion of the US-blockchain sector, and a desire by Draper Goren Holm to remain ahead of the curve in terms of blockchain integration.
Draper Goren Holm
The investment firm of Draper Goren Holm specializes in accelerating and incubating early-stage blockchain and fintech startups. Currently, the firm handles over 65 partnerships with top venture capital funds, media companies, and service providers in the sector. Notably, the firm is named after its three primaries – Tim Draper, Alon Goren, and Josef Holm. Together, this triad is able to catapult innovative tech projects into stardom.
The addition of Rodney Sampson will only strengthen Draper Goren Holm’s positioning in the market. Sampson is one of the most recognized investors in the market. Much of his recognition comes from his astounding investment history and the events he hosts yearly. Importantly, Sampson participates in around 300 events per year. Consequently, he regularly works closely as an advisor to high growth startups and seed-stage venture funds.
Rodney Sampson Has the Experience to Excel
As one of his early business ventures, Sampson co-founded, built, and sold Multicast Media Technologies for $24 million in 2010. Additionally, he retains a partnership and is the largest minority LP at TechSquare Labs which is valued at over $1.5 billion. Sampson is also the Executive Chairman of OHUB and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the leading inclusive ecosystem building platform – The Brookings Institution.
How the Team Met
Not surprisingly, these individuals didn’t decide to join forces out of pure chance. Sampson met Alon Goren and Josef Holm at a crowdfunding event in Las Vegas nearly a decade ago. Tim Draper also knew Sampson from the time they both judged a pitch competition for 43North in Buffalo. Importantly, Sampson believes the team wasn’t brought together by accident. He believes that together, they can work to “solve our planet and society’s hardest challenges.”
Discussing the important addition, Draper Goren Holm’s Founding Partner, Goren spoke on how Sampson will become a key contributor to the team’s unified efforts. He commended Sampson on an impressive career and his “grit, deep industry insight, and entrepreneurial spirit.” Finally, he discussed how the team will one day build the next generation blockchain hub in Los Angeles.
Goren’s thoughts were echoed by the other Founding Partners of Draper Goren Holm. Specifically, Holm spoke on Sampson’s new role in the firm. He states that Sampson will help the group scout out industry talent. In this way, the firm seeks to leverage Sampson’s decades of experience to ensure only the best and brightest concepts make it to the table.
The American venture capital investor Tim Draper was born on June 11, 1958, to a long line of venture capitalists. Perhaps it was this early start that allowed him to become one of the most successful venture capitalists in the world. His most prominent investments include some of the best-known companies in the world. Draper helped start Baidu, Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, AngelList, SolarCity, Twitter, DocuSign, Coinbase, Ancestry.com, Twitch, Cruise Automation, just to name a few.
Tim Draper Crypto
Draper has been involved with blockchain technology since the very beginning. In early 2014, Draper started to acquire Bitcoin in small batches. The price was around $2 at that time. Aside from his early savings, Draper also received international media coverage when he purchased the Bitcoin confiscated during the Silk Road trial by US Marshalls. According to reports, he purchased 40,000 Bitcoins at around $632 apiece.
Alon Goren is another well-known investor in the market. His career includes becoming the CEO and Co-founder of InvestedIn. Importantly, the platform specializes in social fundraising and crowdfunding platforms. Prior to founding InvestedIn, Alon held multiple high-ranking positions at tech giants such as IMDB and MySpace.
Importantly Goran is a strong advocate for tokenization. Especially in regards to securities. In the past, he hasn’t been shy about what he considers antiquated securities laws. In a recent interview, he explained that “people operating in good faith” need more flexibility to develop the market properly.
Not surprisingly, Josef Holm is also a leader in the crowdfunding industry. He has over 17 years of start-up, business development, digital marketing, and social marketing experience. Notably, he co-founded and is the CEO of Tubestart.com. The platform is a fan-supported content development platform. In 2014, he founded Krowdster.co. This platform was the first to introduce to the market crowdfunding campaign analytics, optimization, and promotion software based on big data, machine learning systems and predictive analytics.
Draper Goren Holm
Draper Goren Holm entered the market in August 2018. Originally founded by Alon Goren and Josef Holm, the company added Tim Draper only months after its start. The company focuses on incubating and accelerating early-stage blockchain startups. As such, the company helped launch Totle, Ownera, Innovesta, LunarCrush, Degens, Giftz, Vertalo, Coinsquad, CasperLabs, Element Zero, DeFi Money Market, to name a few.
Additionally, the firm hosts some of the most important summits of the year. These summits include CIS, the Security Token Summit, and the LA Blockchain Summit. Importantly, the CIS conference was one of the firm’s first ventures. Today, it is the largest blockchain conference on the West Coast.
Draper Goren Holm – The Men Behind The Magic
You can expect to continue to see innovative and disruptive technologies receive a boast from this firm. Their unmatched experience, coupled with a unique market outlook, is what keeps Draper Goren Holm one step ahead of the competition. Sampson is no stranger to the fast-paced tech capitalist world. His experience is sure to prove valuable as the group seeks to push blockchain adoption to the masses. For now, the cryptocommunity awaits the firm’s net major move.