Who is EZ365?
Operating out of, self-titled, ‘blockchain island’, Malta, EZ365 is a newly developed digital asset ecosystem. EZ365 also maintains ties to Canada, as this is where most of the founding team calls home.
The company indicates that their goal is to ‘facilitate the mass adoption of cryptocurrency’. They intend to achieve this through various services, made possible through the use of, both, utility and security tokens.
What is the Problem?
Cryptocurrency for all. Many individuals and companies have promised this, but in reality, the blockchain industry has yet to deliver. This was recently highlighted, as this promise was called into question as Circle CEO, Jeremy Allaire, spoke on the technology in a Senate Hearing.
Service providers within the industry need to provide a platform that is geared towards more than only die-hard blockchain enthusiasts. It needs to be intuitive, and engaging, to users of any ilk.
How will EZ365 Solve it?
EZ365 has recognized the aforementioned hurdles, and has set out to develop a cryptocurrency platform that addresses various hurdles on the way to total inclusion.
Their approach has been to develop a trio of services in the form of gaming, trading, and education.
This service is essentially an online casino, which allows for users to bet on traditional games and sporting events, through the use of stablecoins.
Users will be able to gain access to eligible stable coins through the company’s integrated cryptocurrency exchange.
Underpinning and facilitating the EZ Win service will be the EZ Exchange. Above all, this exchange will provide platform users with payment gateways, and the ability to actively trade a variety of cryptocurrencies (which can be used within the EZ Win platform).
While this service is key to EZ Win, users do not need to take part in gaming to make use of it. It functions as a standalone service, catering to expert and novice users, alike.
For those interested in the world of blockchain and cryptocurrencies, education is key. For the average-joe, there is a plethora of terminology and services which needs to be understood. While there are many striving to simplify their platforms, eliminating the need to be educated on the subject matter, knowledge is power.
To address this, EZ365 will be rounding out their trio of services with the EZ Academy. This is a subset of their larger platform which is geared towards providing its users with the necessary knowledge to understand and be successful within the industry.
*EZ365 notes that all of their services will be secured through the use of various measures including the following.
Utility to Security
What makes this platform intriguing to us at securities.io is the company’s intent to convert utility tokens, issued through their upcoming IEO, to security tokens. They have indicated that in Q1 of 2020, token holders will have the option to do so, providing a different set of benefits.
We reached out to EZ365 for comment on how this transition will take place. CEO, Russell Korus provided the following insights.
Q: Can you elaborate on the structuring, and benefits to converting the EZZ365 utility token to a digital security?
A: “Our intention is to provide token holders the opportunity to convert their EZ365 utility tokens into fully compliant security tokens, by working with jurisdictions that provide an operating regulatory framework. This conversion to a security token instrument will confer significant benefits to token holders, including equity, profit-sharing, full disclosure and transparency. This allows EZ365 to comply with securities regulation, while offering clients enhanced levels of digital security and consumer protection.”
The individuals behind this company bring a wide array of experience to the table. This experience ranges from venture capitalism, law, IT, publishing, and more. Ideally, this diverse grouping of experiences will, hopefully, allow them to develop EZ365 into the platform which they have envisioned. The following are those at the helm of EZ365.
EZ365 CEO, Russell Korus, took the time to comment on the platform announcement. The following is what he has to say on the matter.
“The real magic of EZ365 is the approach we are taking to unleash the vast potential of the blockchain iGaming industry and the cryptocurrency world. We are doing this by bringing together a digital asset exchange and cryptocurrency casino that share the same exceptional user experience and support, along with fiat and credit card integration…By eliminating the challenges typical of cryptocurrency exchanges in use today — such as complexity, poor user experience, and lack of customer support — we will break down the barriers to mass adoption.”
To facilitate the continued development of the platform, EZ365 is hosting an upcoming Initial Exchange Offering (IEO).
Beyond raising capital, EZ365 is in the midst of attaining ISO-27001 certification. This will ensure that standards surrounding asset security are up-to-par, and maintained.
These steps, in conjunction with various service rollouts, mean that EZ365 will be working non-stop in the coming years.
A Look at the Silicon Valley Coin
The San Francisco-based venture capital firm, Andra Capital raised eyebrows across the market after announcing plans to host its Silicon Valley Coin (SVC) STO in the coming weeks. The funds raised via the STO will go towards the expansion of the company’s Open-Ended Technology Fund. The news demonstrates further security token usage in the US market, as well as, a desire to leverage blockchain technology to improve crowdfunding strategies.
The news officially broke on Jan. 22, 2020 via a company press release. In the release, Andra Capital described the purpose and concept of the Silicon Valley Coin. The firm cited the ability to provide investors higher returns and lower risks over a shorter investment period as one of the main focuses of the project.
Open-Ended Technology Fund
The Open-Ended Technology Fund is unique in many aspects. For one, the fund specifically targets companies in their hyper-growth phase. In this way, fund managers are able to combine a late-stage investment strategy with a perpetual VC structure that incorporates tradeable interests leveraged by the latest technology.
Additionally, Andra Capital incorporated world-class service providers into the equation as a way to ensure the success of their project. For example, Andra Capital decided to partner with the Tezos Foundation to make the concept a reality. As such, Andra Capital decided to utilize the Tezos Blockchain for the project.
Tezos was a smart fit for the project because the firm provides Andra Capital access to global investors. Additionally, Tezos utilizes institutional-grade security features. Features such as formal verification streamline the entire investor onboarding process.
Notably, Tezos utilizes a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) consensus algorithm to secure its blockchain. This style of consensus is far more energy-efficient than traditional Proof-of-Work systems such as the one utilized by Bitcoin. Importantly, Tezos supports secure smart contracts and features a unique live upgrade process. This ability to do live upgrades is ideal for long-term, high-value applications.
For their part, TokenSoft will provide access to its proprietary tokenization technology. These tasks will include the integration of KYC and AML smart contract protocols. These compliance mechanisms help qualify retail investors. Also, TokenSoft will both issue SVC and host the SVC STO.
Speaking on the new partnerships, Sam Raman, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Andra Capital called his partners “best-in-class providers.” He touched on their past successes and how each firm can provide their unique expertise in digital securities to better the overall project.
Silicon Valley Coin (SVC)
The Silicon Valley Coin (SVC) is a regulatory compliant, asset-backed, and tradeable security token. Each token represents a unit of interest in the Andra Capital Open-Ended Fund. Investors receive dividends equal to the percentage of tokens they hold in the fund. SVC tokens cannot be traded or transferred without first meeting KYC and AML restrictions.
Silicon Valley Coin (SVC) – A New Token in the Field
Andra Capital definitely did their homework prior to the launch of this project. The firm managed to partner with some of the biggest names in the industry to bring their concept to life. It will be interesting to watch this STO launch considering the amount of positioning each partner holds in the market. For now, the security token sector just got a new VC fund.
3 More Executives Leave SDX Due to Discrepencies
The blockchain-based digital asset trading venue SDX continues to have a rough start to the new year. This week, another high-level executive announced their departure from the firm. The news brings the number of executives who left the company in January 2020 up to three. The news demonstrates a realignment and shuffling of SDX’s business plan. Also, it showcases the growing pains associated with these changes
According to company documentation, all of these executives departed from their full-time positions in January. The three individuals to leave are Alex Zinder, an architecture lead at SDX, Ivo Sauter, SDX’s head of clients and products, and Sven Roth, the firm’s chief digital officer. The later of the trio agreed to stay on as an external advisor to SDX.
In a recent interview, Sauter explained the motivation behind his decision to leave. He touched on a number of critical changes made throughout the firm. These changes included a shift from the platform’s original vision. He explained that at first, the platform was to utilize the banking sector as a bridge into the rest of the market.
However, this strategy quickly changed as SDX began to tailor its platform specifically, and solely for use by banks. Sauter described how these changes effected moral and fueled the growing dis-alignment between executives and owners. He explained that originally, the platform was to be much more inclusive. For example, SDX was to enable startups to provide services around its features.
Sauter also took a moment to touch on the negative effects this corporate culture had on the project. He explained that, in his opinion, a bit more separation needed to occur between SDX and its mother company, the Swiss stock exchange operator SIX Group. Apparently, these feelings of discourse only grew as the mother company took more and more influence on SDX’s day to day operations.
Additionally, Sauter explained how the big-company approach also inhibited the company’s ability to save. Large corporations require much more reporting. In turn, this reporting raises operating costs. Additionally, smaller firms have more liberty in terms of flexibility and risk management. In the end, the corporate approach made many of the executives feel as if they had been stifled.
Despite the discrepancies, Sauter stated that he had left on good terms. He went as far as to claim that he was at a point in his career that he had no desire to have his contract renewed. Consequently, SDX chose to not offer a renewal.
Challenges in the Market
As with any major corporate reshuffle, there are going to be individuals that no longer fall in line with the platform’s overall goals. Discussing these challenges, a SIX spokesman touched on the changes and what they mean to the project. They explained that whenever you have a concept built from scratch, there are going to be many ups-and-downs associated with the development. In the end, the firm acknowledged that these changes have begun to add up with the spokesperson stating that the firm has “spent quite a few Swiss francs” on the ordeal.
SDX Moving Forward
From the tone of SDX’s past employees, the company is undergoing some heavy internal changes. As such, there is no way to determine exactly how these personnel changes will affect the overall strategy the company has chosen to follow. One thing is for sure, SDX appears to have made a priority shift towards servicing the banking sector exclusively with its new platform.
SEC Charges Opporty for 2018 ICO
This week, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continued its ICO crackdown. This time, the firm levied charges against project Opporty Founder and Brooklyn-resident Sergii Grybniak. The firm alleges that Grybniak broke the law when his firm raised approximately $600,000 during its 2018 ICO.
News of the charges first broke via Jan. 21 press release. In the release, the SEC reveals the charges laid against Grybniak in detail. Importantly, the primary charge is participating in the unregistered sale of securities. Additionally, the SEC claims that Grybniak made false statements in order to encourage more investor participation.
These statements include a myriad of exaggerated and completely fake claims. In one instance, Opporty claimed that its 2018 ICO was “100% SEC-compliant.” Unfortunately, this claim proved to be the tip of the iceberg. Apparently, Opporty also claimed to have thousands of “verified providers” who were ready to work with the platform.
This claim became so overblown that in one piece of marketing material, Opporty suggested it had a business database that included around 17 million participants. In actuality, the firm had no partnerships. Unfortunately, these claims served one main purpose, to push more investment capital into the ICO.
Major Software Firm
As if the shower of lies put forth weren’t enough, Opporty also made some very specific partnership claims that proved to be bunk as well. According to the SEC, the firm lied about a partnership with a major software company. This lie was to help ease investor doubt about the ability of developers to deliver on their hefty platform promises.
SEC Steps In – Opporty
It doesn’t take much research to see why Opporty ended up in the SEC’s crosshairs. Now, the SEC seeks injunctions against all future digital offerings by the company. On top of the cease-and-desist, regulators require Opporty to return all the funds the company raised during its 2018 ICO. Also, the firm is to face a variety of civil penalties for its actions.
Opporty executives sold the concept to investors as a blockchain-based ecosystem for small businesses. The platform was to provide these small-to-medium sized companies with access to advanced blockchain systems. For example, businesses could list their services and lock in their clients via smart contracts.
United States Investors
Aside from the obvious scamming that took place, Opporty made another key error in its strategy. You see, unlike many similar ICOs, the offering did not explicitly exclude U.S. investors from participating. The 2018 ICO included investments from around 200 US citizens. In this way, the firm invited the SEC to monitor its actions throughout its entire crowdfunding campaign.
An Oppurty Lost
Given the long list of violations this firm now faces, it’s easy to imagine a scenario in which Opporty decides to close its doors. Already, numerous SEC-charged firms have taken similar measures prior to refunding clients’ funds. For now, Opporty has a long legal battle and hefty fines to deal with. You can expect to hear more from this case as the SEC pursues its charges against Grybniak.