The UK-based real estate development firm CurveBlock announced plans to host an STO in the coming weeks. As previously reported, CurveBlock is the first major blockchain real estate platform to receive backing from a major UK banking firm, UK NatWest. The move symbolizes a step towards further integration of blockchain-based firms and traditional banking institutions. Additionally, it shows the UK’s forward-looking stance on blockchain technology.
CurveBlock is a tokenized real estate development platform that seeks to disrupt the current business systems in place. The firm enables investors to crowdfund development projects through the use of security tokens. Investors receive a share of profits generated from their investments. Consequently, the platform enables global investment capital to enter the UK real estate market seamlessly. Additionally, it lowers the markets entry-level threshold.
Investors receive CurveBlock Tokens (CBUK) to represent their holdings. These fully-compliant security tokens utilize the SRC20 protocol at the time of release. According to the company’s whitepaper, the tokens will transition to Protocol Stratis Platform at a later date. Notably, the total supply of these tokens is 500 million.
According to CurveBlock’s roadmap, the firm seeks to host its STO in Q2 of this year. Additionally, the platform will begin its initial investments including purchasing development properties in 2019. The platform will develop the PoS wallets for CurveBlock holders by the end of 2019. By 2020, investors can expect to see returns on their investments according to the company’s implementation plans.
Tokenized Real Estate Investment
Tokenized real estate platforms continue to emerge in the market. The introduction of security tokens makes tokenized real estate an attractive alternative compared to traditional means of real estate investment. These new-age platforms reduce the entry level for investors while increasing their ROI potential. It’s no surprise that major banks started to take notice.
NatWest Bank Accelerator
In the past, UK banks have shown concern for blockchain fundraising events, but it now appears that those feelings are no more. UK NatWest caught the attention of the entire EU cryptocommunity when they first announced the creation of a blockchain accelerator program in February 2018. NatWest holds considerable sway in the UK markets and their backing gives CurveBlock a huge advantage.
As a selected member of NatWest Bank’s accelerator program, CurveBlock receives access to tons of helpful perks. These perks included free office space, access to mentors and business coaches, Legal assistance, and more. NatWest recognized the huge upside potential of the blockchain industry and the bank seeks to position itself optimally for the digital economic revolution.
Speaking on the matter, CurveBlock’s co-founder and CEO, Gary Woodhead, explained how his platform alleviates many of the centralization concerns created through the use of traditional banks. He described how CurveBlock is more than a generic blockchain startup and how the platform provides an “education to financial freedom.”
When asked about CurveBlock’s early positioning in the market, Woodward responded with some revealing statements. He spoke on the importance of setting the “bar as high as possible.” Also, he described how the disruption of traditional markets requires “quality, not quantity.” He ended off the interview with a quality comparison of today’s market versus the 2017 ICO craze.
Ahead of the CurveBlock
CurveBlock has a concept that is sure to gain traction in the market. Now, with the help of one of UK’s most respected banking firms, CurveBlock has the backing to make some serious waves in the market. You should expect big things from this development team in the coming months as their platform gains traction.
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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