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Graham Rodford, CEO of Archax Exchange – Interview Series

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Graham Rodford, CEO of Archax Exchange - Interview Series

Graham Rodford is the CEO and Co-Founder of Archax exchange based in London, England.  Graham has almost 20 years of experience in the traditional funds/investment world and is applying that knowledge and experience to digital securities.  A testament to Graham and his team’s experience is that Archax is one of the very few regulated digital securities exchanges, in arguably the world’s largest financial centre.

Archax is a London-based regulated exchange for trading asset-backed tokens; the exchange is geared primarily towards the professional investor community.  Archax aims to bridge the crypto world and the traditional investment space with an institution-quality approach. 

RS: In one sentence, how would you describe Archax?

GR: Archax is a forthcoming regulated, institutional, digital securities exchange based in London.

RS: What is the long-term vision for Archax?

GR: Our vision for Archax is to be the leading venues for the primary issuance and secondary trading of digital securities globally, operating a 24×7 market.

RS: Who will be able to use the Archax platform? 

GR: Our focus is in professional investors and institutional clients from all over the world as direct users – both the buy-side and sell-side. Any retail participation will be through brokers.

RS: What differentiators does Archax have from similar exchanges?  How will those appeal to the professional investor community?  

GR: A focus only on institutions/professional investors – most other venues cover retail flow.

A focus on security tokens – most other venues cover cryptocurrencies/utility tokens, which are unappealing to institutions currently.

The first digital securities exchange regulated in London, the world’s leading financial centre – most other venues are regulated in peripheral jurisdictions.

Archax team all come from the traditional financial markets world and are used to operating in regulated markets globally.

All our technology partners are proven suppliers to the traditional institutional space.

Archax will be integrated into the existing traditional trading workflow through vendor partnerships

Archax supports industry standard trading APIs like FIX

All the above appeals to the professional investor community.

RS: Archax is a regulated digital securities exchange; can you tell us some more about where you’re regulated and what the regulation means for the investors and companies listed on the exchange.

GR: Most other crypto exchanges are unregulated, and those that are regulated tend to be from peripheral jurisdictions. The traditional institutional investment world does not like trading in venues regulated in those types of jurisdictions, they want to trade on venues regulated in leading financial centres like London.

Companies looking to list a digital security want exposure to the blue-chip institutional investment world – an exchange like Archax gives them that exposure.

RS: You’ve formed a few new exciting partnerships recently; can you tell us some of the benefits these partnerships will provide?

GR: Our partnerships with proven technology firms from the traditional space like Aquis and Quod give us proven capabilities and direct links straight into our target marketplace.

Our partnership with tokeniser firms like Tokeny and Securitize gives us a flow of quality digital security listings for our exchange.

Our partnership with ClearBank gives us institutional-grade banking capabilities – all backed up by the Bank of England.

RS: When do you expect Archax to go live?

GR: We expect Archax to go live in late Q3 early Q4 this year.

RS: As someone with extensive experience in financial markets, where do you envision the digital securities market going in the next 2 years, and 5 years?

GR: It is still early days for security tokens and over the next two years we expect to see the required supporting ecosystem continue to emerge with the key players in primary issuance, custody and secondary market trading establish themselves. The regulatory landscape will evolve too with the regulators in major financial centres clarifying their position regarding security tokens other crypto assets too. The number of firms looking to issue security tokens will grow as well, with larger and more prominent issuances appearing as the whole landscape starts to take shape.

Looking out to five years, all this activity will create liquidity on these new markets and nurture mainstream adoption which we expect to build momentum quite fast. We will also start to see existing financial instruments use blockchain/digital security tokenisation too – as this is a far more efficient and frictionless way of handling financial assets than is used currently – particular in the post-trade clearing and settlement space.

RS: Is there anything else you would like to tell us?   

GR: The tokenisation of real-world assets using blockchain technology will not only unlock liquidity and create secondary markets for assets that are currently hard to trade, but also has the potential to disrupt all traditional financial markets too. Already there are more than 150 firms who have used or are looking to use security tokens as a way to raise capital or unlock asset value – a total value of over $2billion, with $400m raised so far.  This momentum is building with new initiatives appearing every day. The types of token range from tokenising equity/revenue/debt as a way of raising business capital, tokenising property or funds to create secondary market liquidity, and even tokenising more niche or exotic assets – like art, race horses, diamonds, container ships, aircraft – to unlock value in new, innovative ways.

 

You can find more news coverage about Archax here

And reach the Archax home page here.

 

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Rebecca has a keen attention to detail and is an investment analyst and entrepreneur. Some early investments include Spotify and Lyft.

Exchanges

Blockstation and Jamaica Stock Exchange Go Live with DSO Integration

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Ready, Set, Go!

In a pilot program that dates back to 2018, the Jamaica Stock Exchange and Blockstation were able to demonstrate the future potential of digital securities.

Fast forward to 2020, and this relationship has paid dividends, as the pair has just announced the official launch of their new platform.

Through a series of services, Blockstation can host digital securities offerings (DSOs) for companies in search of capital through the Jamaica Stock Exchange.  As a result, this capability brings Blockstation into rarified air, as they become one of very few tokenization platforms working so intimately with a traditional, regulated exchange.

Platform Offerings

While the new platform is being touted as a comprehensive ‘end-to-end’ solution, Blockstation decided to focus on a few key features/benefits on offer.  The following points are drawn directly from their announcement.

  • Built-in Know-Your-Client (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) functionality to satisfy regulatory obligations
  • Prospectus+ Smart Listing Accelerator Portal streamlines the creation of complete and compliant disclosure documentation
  • Centralized digital filing and communication between all stakeholders to complete the IPO
  • Real-time reporting  and trade monitoring to mitigate abusive market tactics
  • Dramatically reduced costs and timelines to conduct an IPO

Champing at the Bit

Building on the positivity surrounding the integration of Blockstation and the JSE, is the fact that various companies are already getting their ducks in a row to take advantage.

Despite just going live, there are already 5 companies being assessed for a potential DSO hosted by the JSE.

Caribbean Presence

Perhaps because of their successful relationship with the JSE, Blockstation also finds themselves making inroads into another Caribbean nation – Barbados.

We previously reported on an MOU between the pair at roughly the same time as the pilot with the JSE.  With the announcement of a finalized integration between Blockstation and JSE just occurring, will we soon see a similar announcement involving the Barbados Stock Exchange?

Eyeing Digital Securities, Barbados Stock Exchange Chooses Blockstation

Commentary

Marko Hafez, CEO of Blockstation, states,

“We are excited to officially launch the Prospectus+ Smart Listing Accelerator Portal for issuers to tokenize their equity and list on a regulated stock exchange…The portal features low costs, short timelines and international reach, making Tokenized IPOs suitable for companies of all sizes and an attractive proposition for issuers who never would have considered going public in the past.”

Marlene Street Forrest, Managing Director of JSE, states,

“Blockstation’s platform incorporates familiar compliance rules to ensure a fair marketplace. We have spent considerable time and effort in our quest to move forward with Blockstation and to date, the training and support they have provided have been excellent.”

BlockStation

Founded in 2015, Blockstation maintains headquarters in Toronto.  The team behind Blockstation work to develop solutions meant to integrate traditional exchanges with blockchain based technologies.

CEO, Marko Hafez, currently oversees company operations.

Jamaica Stock Exchange

Founded in 1969, the Jamaica Stock Exchange maintains headquarters in Kingston.  This regulated exchange has become the nation’s de facto trading platform since being launched roughly 50 years ago.

Managing Director, Marlene Street Forrest, currently oversees company operations.

In Other News

Over the past year, we have reported on various developments surrounding Blockstation.  Whether establishing partnerships with exchanges, establishing industry framework, or attempting to lure athletes to the great white north, the company has remained busy.

Blockstation Joins the IIROC

Blockstation to Host DSO in Attempt to Lure Kawhi Leonard

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Exchanges

MERJ and OpenFinance Expand on Asset Listings

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Liquidity for All

The promise of digital securities becoming liquid assets is a wonderful thing.  There is a major issue plaguing the sector to date, though – a lack of listings on secondary markets providing a home for these tokens.

While progress may seem slow to some, this is changing.  This past week has brought multiple examples of this, as two digital asset exchanges have each announced the addition of new, differently structured, listings to their platforms.

Expansion of Listings

Investment Evolution Corporation (IEC)

With a specialty in facilitating both loans, and crypto based remittance, IEC saw MERJ as an ideal home for listing.  With the exchange already supporting various digital securities, the addition of IEC’s 106million common shares provides even more diversity among their offerings.

While this particular listing is not a security token, the company deals specifically with crypto and blockchain based endeavours.  Furthermore, it builds on the expansion of offerings seen through MERJ – an expansion which directly benefits the security tokens that ARE listed on the exchange.

Paul Mathieson, Founder of IEC, states,

“After extensive global jurisdictional research, we are very excited to have listed our company on MERJ, the world’s leading regulated, blockchain-friendly stock exchange located in the middle of many future high growth areas. We view this listing as a great opportunity for institutional investors seeking exposure to the fintech, blockchain and cryptocurrency sectors by providing the ability to invest in the company equity of a licensed business on a regulated traditional stock exchange.”

Lottery.com (LDCC)

Gamifying charity through blockchain – this is what Lottery.com is all about.  After hosting a successful STO with the help of partners like Securitize, Lottery.com is able to leverage their LDCC tokens as a means for achieving ‘humanitarian needs’.

Unlike the above asset listed on MERJ, LDCC is a full-on security token.  By attaining this listing, LDCC now becomes accessible to, not only accredited investors based in the U.S., but non-accredited investors, as well.

Tony DiMatteo, CEO of Lottery.com, states,

“We believe that digital security offerings are the future of fundraising. The transparency inherent in this type of offering aligns with our overall mission…By listing on the Openfinance global platform, we’re not only able to offer this unique type of asset to our current investors, but now we’re able to reach a broader set of investors. However, investors aren’t the only beneficiaries.”

Speaking With…

In the past, we have been fortunate to have interviewed the CEOs of each, OpenFinance and MERJ.  While these discussions date back to 2019, they are as relevant today as they were then.

Interview Series – Juan Hernandez, CEO of OpenFinance

Interview Series – Ed Tuohy, CEO of MERJ

OpenFinance

Founded in 2017, OpenFinance maintains operations within the United States.  Above all, the company works to provide services tailored towards the digital securities sector;  Primarily as a secondary market / digital asset exchange.

CEO, Juan Hernandez, currently oversees company operations.

MERJ

Founded in 2011, MERJ operates out of the island nation of Seychelles.  The team at MERJ has established themselves within the digital securities sector, by attaining multiple ‘firsts’ within the industry – such as hosting an IPO through equity based security tokens.

CEO, Ed Tuohy, currently oversees company operations.

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Exchanges

Archax to Host Polymath Security Tokens on Upcoming Exchange

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Archax to Host Polymath Security Tokens on Upcoming Exchange

Mutual Aid

With the launch of Archax’s anticipated digital assets exchange looming large, the importance of populating listed assets is crucial.  What better company to fill this need than Polymath? – a seasoned company already responsible for the tokenization of more assets than nearly anyone.

A mutual need was recognized between each company, resulting in the recently announced collaboration between the two.

The Details

This aforementioned collaboration will see Archax become home to assets tokenized through Polymath.  In doing so, investors in these assets will finally be able to tap into higher levels of liquidity – a trait long touted as being key to digital securities.

Archax clients benefit through an increased selection of investment opportunities.

Polymath clients benefit by seeing their tokenized securities become more attractive through new found liquidity and exposure.

Commentary

Upon announcing their newly established agreement, representatives from each, Archax and Polymath, took the time to comment.  The following is what each had to say on the matter.

Graeme Moore, Head of Tokenization at Polymath, stated,

“At Polymath, partnership is part of our DNA. While we make it easy for firms to create and manage security tokens, we rely on the expertise of our partners for areas like secondary trading. We’re thrilled to work with Archax to provide security token issuers with an end-to-end solution for security token creation, management, distribution, and liquidity.”

Graham Rodford, CEO of Archax, stated,

“We are building the first truly global and institutional digital securities exchange based out of London and are looking to list credible token projects from across the world. Partnerships with leading players like Polymath ensure we are integrated into the emerging tokenisation ecosystem and we look forward to working with them and their clients, providing a secondary trading venue for tokens created using their technology.”

Recent Attention

Beyond news of these companies working together, each have found themselves attracting attention in recent days, due to other activities.

Archax was a participant of the recently hosted Security Tokens Realised conference, which was hosted in London, UK.  Our own CEO, Antoine Tardif, attended this event, coming away particularly impressed with a few companies – one of these being Archax, themselves.

Financial Institutions Exploring Digital Securities at ‘Security Tokens Realised’ Event

Polymath, on the other hand, has recently given the public a glimpse at the functionality of their on-going Polymesh project.  The company has high hopes for this blockchain, tailor-built for the digital securities sector.

Polymesh Whitepaper Sheds Light on Specialized Blockchain

Archax

Operating out of London, UK, Archax is an upcoming digital asset exchange, which was founded in 2018.  With the exchange’s pending launch, the team behind Archax has been hard at work, establishing various partnerships to ensure an attractive platform.

CEO, Graham Rodford, currently oversees company operations.

Polymath

One of the more recognizable names in digital securities, Polymath, is a tokenization platform which was founded in 2017.  From their headquarters in Toronto, Canada, Polymath has assisted in the tokenization of over 150 assets to date.

CEO, Kevin North, currently oversees company operations.

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