A Year in Perspective
Just recently, industry giant, Circle, released a report titled ‘2018 – Crypto Retrospective’. In this report the company touches on everything from marketcap, to ICO funding, and emerging trends such as digital securities.
The purpose of this report is to give industry participants a feel for what has been, and where things are going in the industry at large.
Through their research, Circle found various clear directions in which the industry is trending. For instance, these trends indicated a rising popularity in both stablecoins, and digital securities.
This suits us just fine here at securities.io, as we believe that digital securities have the power to transform investing. While ICOs were wildly popular in 2017/18, they were simply a precursor, giving rise to the STO.
Circle attributes the shift in focus from ICOs towards STOs to increased scrutiny from regulatory bodies. Beyond regulatory oversight, they note various aspects of security tokens that have piqued the interest of accredited investors everywhere.
- Fractionalized ownership
- Global investor pool
- Ease of issuance
While digital securities have, by no means, been perfected yet, the allure of these aforementioned benefits is huge. As a result, various companies recognized this, resulting in infrastructure being developed at a rapid pace throughout 2018. These companies range from issuance platforms, secondary markets, and those that offer end-to-end solutions.
Circle closes out their report on a positive note. Here is what they had to say regarding the present and future state of blockchain:
On security tokens…
“While not many security tokens have been issued yet, 2018 was the year of building out the underlying infrastructure and we could see increased issuances in 2019.”
The industry as a whole…
“The market downturn has led to the revelation that this technology is still in its very early stages and that the economic growth of the crypto market in 2017 did not match the nascent underlying activity and adoption. But it’s important to recognize that the pullback was necessary, and that after the last year, the value proposition of Bitcoin and other crypto assets is stronger.
Over the next year, expect to see strides made in addressing scalability, security, and interoperability challenges, improvements in user experience, an increase in institutional interest as institutional-grade infrastructure goes live, greater regulatory clarity, and experimentation with the tokenization of new and existing, tangible and intangible assets”
To read the full report, make sure to visit HERE.
It is not surprising to find that Circle believes security tokens to be an emerging trend. This past October, Circle announced the acquisition of SeedInvest. By acquiring SeedInvest, Circle gained the ability to provide broker/dealer services to its clients – potentially setting itself up to offer security tokens in the future.
Upon acquiring SeedInvest, Allaire commented to Bloomberg, “The power of tokenization is that more and more types of assets can be represented in a liquid, tradeable form. It’s also very powerful because in theory it creates a way for smaller businesses and mid-size businesses to more directly raise capital. And I think part of the benefit is that you can make those assets available through global markets, over the internet, and make those available not just to accredited investors but also to mainstream investors and unaccredited investors. And that’s something I think SeedInvest really pioneered.”
Since their inception, Circle has managed to grow in to a powerhouse. Recognizing the potential of cryptocurrencies, Circle made waves last year with the $440 million purchase of Poloniex.
Vtoken Exchange Celebrates SEC Filing in Time Square
The largest decentralized exchange in the world, Vtoken, obtained its SEC filing from the United States Treasury Department this week. The firm took to the world-famous NASDAQ billboard in Time Square to celebrate the move. This is the second time the company graced this iconic attraction seen by millions. Also, the move symbolizes further blockchain integration into traditional securities markets.
Speaking on these developments, Vtoken’s Chief Advisor to the Asia Pacific Region explained how his firm plans to cultivate a robust blockchain ecosystem. He took moment to discuss recent global developments in the security token space. Specifically, he touched on how both Chinese and American markets experienced a huge surge in blockchain-based firms.
The Vtoken combines the regulatory protections found in the traditional securities markets with the efficiency of a blockchain -based system. The company offers transfer agents flexible solutions to many of the current issues plaguing the securities markets.
For example, traditional securities can take three days for trades to complete. This delay leaves investors in a less than optimal position. In contrast, Vtoken’s blockchain-based system can complete trades in a matter of hours. Consequently, the platform enables a more nimble trading experience.
Real World Experience
Vtoken is a unique hybrid of technology, compliance, experience, and professional customer service. The firm handles a wide range of clients but specializes in Regulation A transactions. To date, Vtoken’s clients include NASDAQ, NYSE, OTC-listed firms, IPO-issuers, and private investors.
Vtoken’s strategy is unique in that the firm created a complete blockchain ecosystem. Here, investors can get all the information they need to host a compliant STO. The company offers a full range of solutions for both enterprise and private investors. These services include pre and post token issuance and management, smart contract programming, and ownership protection.
The latter feature is unique to V-token. This functionality allows investors to restore lost or stolen tokens, an option not usually available in the blockchain space. More importantly, Vtoken is now in a very exclusive class of decentralized exchanges registered with the SEC.
Vtoken shares many of its core developers with Ripple. Additionally, Vtoken utilizes graphene underlying technology. The token has a trading gateway that is similar to Stellar Lumens. This enables the platform to maintain optimal transaction speeds. Currently, Vtoken can process transactions faster than the third-generation crypto EOS.
Last month, Vtoken made headlines after forming a strategic partnership with blockchain payment platform PayDex. The PayDex platform functions on Vtoken’s public blockchain. The system provides global crypto settlement with support for BTC, ETH, VToken, USDT, VRT, YEC, EOS, LTC, and VUST. PayDex seeks to bring crypto payments to the masses through a simplistic mobile interface.
Vtoken’s all-inclusive approach to the market is crucial to its overall strategy. V-Token provides users with everything they need to become a player in the security token market. You can expect to see this firm continue to make headlines s the platform expands in the coming months.
AlphaPoint and Elevated Returns to Develop Secondary Market
‘Making Illiquid Assets Liquid’ – That is the guiding sentiment behind AlphaPoint, a young company which utilizes blockchain to facilitate tokenization.
This idea is one step closer to becoming a reality, as AlphaPoint has just announced a partnership with Elevated Returns – A forward thinking company which specializes in real-estate.
In this announcement, the pair has indicated that they will be developing a secondary market for trading digital securities backed by real-estate. It is through secondary markets that traditionally illiquid assets, such as real-estate, will become easily tradable – all the while opening up fractionalized ownership, and opportunity for exposure to retail investors.
Elevated Returns will focus these efforts on Asian markets, following their expansion into the region roughly one month ago. At the time, the company acquired a large share in a Thai broker-dealer – a move allowing for them to commence operations through previously attained licensure.
“Elevated Returns prides itself on our reputation as a pioneer in the digital securities space. To that effect, we have a policy to partner with the best in class companies across industry verticals; AlphaPoint’s technology solutions for unlocking digital asset liquidity are unparalleled. Having already demonstrated the capability to integrate with the token standard that we are developing on the Tezos blockchain, AlphaPoint was the clear choice to facilitate the adoption of our tokenized real estate initiatives.”
AlphaPoint is a United States based company that was founded in 2013. With their sights set on ‘making illiquid assets liquid’, AlphaPoint has successfully serviced global customer through their various service offerings.
Since opening their doors, AlphaPoint has seen their diligent work towards growth land them customers in 5 continents, to date.
Company operations are overseen by CEO, Salil Donde.
Elevated Returns is a United States based company, which specializes in investments surrounding real-estate. Recognizing the potential of digital securities, Elevated Returns operates with a goal of acquiring assets viable for tokenization.
One such example was the noteworthy tokenization of the St. Regis Resort; A high-end ski resort that successfully sold digital securities representing ownership within the resort, becoming one of the first to do so.
Company operations are overseen by President, Stephane De Baets.
In Other News
We have detailed developments pertaining to both AlphaPoint and Elevated Returns in the past few months. Check out the following articles to learn a bit more about what each of these companies has been up to in this time.
Due Diligence Process Delays tZERO Investment
In this statement, they indicate that while this investment is on-going, further delay is unavoidable. After initially setting a mid-April deadline, the due diligence process is simply more time consuming than initially thought.
In the update, distributed to its shareholders, Patrick Byrne expressed praise for Makara, while commenting on the tenuous nature of the deal and reassuring readers at the same time. The following are a few excerpts from this statement, highlighting these sentiments.
‘Makara’s due diligence has progressed, and in the course of its due diligence Makara has proven to be a professional and serious fund. Still, the parties will not have a definitive deal in place by the mid-April target.’
‘tZERO plans to continue facilitating Makara’s diligence, but is not under any exclusivity with Makara or GSR and has retained advisors to pursue parallel alternatives. We will update shareholders after tZERO signs definitive documents.’
‘Our retail firm is recovering more dramatically than I anticipated and discussed during our Q4 2018 earnings call. In addition, tZERO is on track to introduce the products described in that phone call. Our intense focus on execution is paying off.’
This news may be slightly disheartening, as it represents, not the first, but second hiccup in the investment process. Despite this setback, tZERO has been on a tear over the last year. They are not being held back by this process.
tZERO has their hands in many pots, with endeavours resulting in the launch of a trailblazing secondary market for digital securities. Beyond this, tZERO has seen progress through adoption, and the awarding of patents.
Founder, Patrick Byrne, has reiterated his strong belief in digital securities multiple times over the past year. He has gone so far as to shift his entire focus from Overstock to tZERO and its ongoing development. Unmoved by ‘crypto winter’, Patrick Byrne has, in the past, commented to The Wall Street Journal, on the potential of tZERO. He stated, “I don’t care whether tZERO is losing $2 million a month…We think we’ve got cold fusion on the blockchain side.”
In Other News
tZERO is a regular in our news feed, as they have been pivotal in establishing the digital securities sector in its infancy. Below are a few articles detailing past developments pertaining to this impressive and important company.
- Vtoken Exchange Celebrates SEC Filing in Time Square April 20, 2019
- AlphaPoint and Elevated Returns to Develop Secondary Market April 19, 2019
- Due Diligence Process Delays tZERO Investment April 18, 2019
- Brian Collins, CEO at Horizon Globex – Interview Series April 18, 2019
- ST8 Launched in an Effort to Help French SMEs April 17, 2019