Who is CurioInvest?
CurioInvest is a young company, operating out of Zug ‘Crypto Valley’, Switzerland.
The team behind the project is comprised of car and blockchain enthusiasts, which have set out to combine their passions. Above all, they state that their mission is to enable,
“…everyone to invest in and profit from collectable cars. By using a crowdfunded, community-based investment model, CurioInvest will open up the collectable car market to millions of new investors.”
What is the Problem?
Vehicles are much more than simply a means of transportation. They are pieces of art, which speak to the person driving them. Values are driven by rarity, quality, functionality, beauty, and more – each creating differing levels of market demand.
Unfortunately, the upper echelons of the collectible car sector is typically out of reach for most. This is due to a variety of reasons, including, but not limited to, the following:
Truly collectible cars are not a small investment. Good examples will range anywhere from six to eight digit values.
Select sales straight from the factory
It is commonplace for manufacturers, such as Ferrari, to essentially interview individuals before selling them a vehicle. Even if you can afford the product, these limited edition vehicles only find their way in to the hands of a select few.
You do not buy an exotic car, and simply tuck it away in a garage while it increases in value. Sitting idle is not good for mechanical devices, and they require constant care and upkeep. When dealing with exotic cars that are very unique in nature, this task becomes even harder, as specialized skillsets are needed to care for each vehicle.
For those that do not find these hurdles as an issue, the asset class represents a highly lucrative one. CurioInvest indicates that for over a decade, collectible cars have outperformed gold, S&P500, etc.
How will CurioInvest Solve it?
In their attempt to build on their passions, the team at CurioInvest has developed a platform facilitating access to the asset class for a broader range of investors.
To achieve this, CurioInvest will strategically invest in exotic vehicles which are anticipated to grow in value. They intend to solve all of the discussed issues which plague such assets through the use of blockchain technologies.
More specifically, the team at CurioInvest will be hosting an STO, which will give accredited investors the opportunity to purchase security tokens. These tokens can be used to invest, through fractionalized ownership, of a curated collection of vehicles. The tokens impart their holders with rights to a proportionate share of profits, when vehicles from the collection are sold for a profit – no less than 120% of purchase price.
By using this tactic, CurioInvest opens the possibility of investing in such assets to an entire new group of investors that could not previously afford to do so. Furthermore, the use of a security token should allow for investors to experience increased liquidity, through the ability to enter and exit positions on secondary markets.
We reached out to CurioInvest for further comment on the nature of their plans. CEO, Fernando Verboonen, took the time to share the following insights.
Q: Other projects such as ‘TheArtToken’ have set out to democratize investing in traditionally expensive assets such as fine art. What about exotic cars make them an ideal asset for tokenization?
A: Classic & hyper cars are the perfect wedge: big audience, scarce supply, willingness to pay, emotional asset. Furthermore of the 10 asset classes Knight Luxury Investment Index (KFLII), classic cars performance in terms of price over the past decade has been staggering. CurioInvest.com brings an additional degree of independence by tokenizing assets individually. This means you now to get pick which asset to acquire – this was simply not economically feasible in the past and it’s a great example of how STOs may well disrupt the status quo.
Q: What factors come into play when deciding on an appropriate vehicle to purchase for investment? Rarity? Vintage or New? Past growth? Current Market trends?
A: Provenance and state of the asset are extraordinary relevance. However, latest market trends and overall social media sentiment play an increasing role. Ultimately, an investment in a collectable automobile touches the passion on an individual’s own experiences – making of collecting an exciting experience.
Q: Can you speak on the structuring of the upcoming security token? Do holders have voting rights? Will they be available on any exchanges which support digital securities? Are these ERC-20 based tokens?
A: Whats most fascinating about our product is that it was design with the holder in mind, hence the structure may evolve as we get further feedback from our customers. From the very beginning we pursued a non-voting right that would enable management to remain agile when exiting the asset. This means as well as the sale triggers are laydown beforehand in a transparent manner. As of today the tokens are ERC20 and as far as we know are the world’s first tokens that back a collectable car and come together with an ISIN
Boasting professional resumes which include years of experience in exotic car investing, and FinTech, the following two find themselves at the helm of CurioInvest. Under their watch, CurioInvest has as good a chance of succeeding as possible.
In Other News?
As indicated above, there have been other companies which have taken similar pathways. ‘TheArtToken’ is an example of this, as those behind the project hope to use blockchain as a means of bringing access and liquidity to an asset that traditional has lacked both of these qualities.
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.
EUR/USD Forex Market Weakening as Virus Spread Continues
• Signs of Strength in Previous Days Removed
• USD Position as Safe Haven of Choice Remains
• Oil Also at Decade Low as Impasse Continues
The Euro has faced a challenging start to the week as it stalls after record rallies last week to regain a foothold against the Dollar. The market confidence again seemingly shaken by the continued spread of COVID-19 across the bloc and the possible lack of a cohesive plan to stimulate the economies of the key nations. The USD has again gained on being the destination of choice for worried traders, while oil markets continue to plummet to new lows.
Euro Rally Looks to be Discontinued
The currency had rebounded quite well from the turmoil of recent weeks to post record gains last week. This has stalled at the $1.11 mark and dropped back almost 1% at the time of writing. This has been largely pushed by the ramp up in cases reported by Germany, the largest economy of the Union, and similar continued struggles in both France, and Spain.
The market sentiment here has also certainly not been helped by disagreement between countries about how they should deal with the economic impact of the crisis. There have been much needed injections into the markets of almost all countries in the EU, and multiple joint efforts to ensure the people have the emergency equipment and other things they need. Then came the question on how it should be paid for. This laid bare a division between several of the nations which still has not been clearly resolved.
USD Improving Again as Markets Panic
The balance of this pair will also have been impacted by the influx of traders moving back toward the USD. This may be seen as a retreat of sorts, with the confidence that was starting to grow toward the mid-point of last week receiving a knock back.
The only significant data to come out of the US today is that regarding February pending home sales. This, in combination with the expected drop back in major markets at the sounding of the opening bell, all spells a backward step for the country in lockdown. The market has not responded to various attempts at stimulation and it looks as though traders will remain steadfast in the USD for the early part of the week at least.
Oil Face-Off Continues as Price Hits New Lows
Amid the continuing coronavirus chaos, Russia and Saudi Arabia continue their standoff in the oil price war. This, at an already economically uncertain time has done the economy no favors. Crude Oil stands at the lowest point since 2002 at the time of writing. There also appears to be no breakthrough in sight.
With both nations refusing to budge, and Saudi Arabia signaling an intention to flood the market at a time when demand is already at rock bottom, there may well be further for these prices to fall before any positive progress is seen. This in turn is sure to be felt in the forex market, particularly with the Canadian Dollar which is heavily linked to oil prices.
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