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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

DX.Exchange Goes Bankrupt – CX Technologies Ltd

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DX.Exchange Goes Bankrupt - CX Technologies Ltd
The Estonia-registered crypto exchange, DX.Exchange announced that the company had begun bankruptcy proceedings. The news was somewhat expected after the company closed its doors just a few weeks earlier due to a petition filed against the firm by employees awaiting payroll. Company officials say they have no money left in their bank accounts. Now, a slew of workers and business affiliates await court proceedings.

Bankruptcy Petition

The official bankruptcy petition filed on Oct. 24 alleged that the DX.Exchange owed 78 former employees payroll for the months of September and October. These employees included a variety of workers from CX Technologies Ltd., the company behind DX.Exchange. The petition sought to have the exchange dissolved by an Israeli court.

Unpaid Suppliers

Additionally, a host of suppliers have taken suit against the company. These suits run the gambit from unpaid bills to the alleged fraud. The well-known cybersecurity firm, White Hat Ltd is one of the company’s claiming losses due to DX.Exchange actions. Another lawsuit lists Bee2See Dotan B.S. Solutions. This is the firm that handled DX.Exchange targeted marketing. Even the company supplying the servers never got paid – Malam Team.

Writing on the Wall – DX.Exchange

Employees and suppliers knew to take action earlier in the month after the firm closed its doors unexpectedly. At the time, DX.Exchange owner Pinhas Patarkazishvili cited the rising costs and dwindled profits the exchange had left. He told employees that he was searching for a merger or acquisition and if that he was unsuccessful, the company would permanently cease operations.

DX.Exchange

The much-hyped DX.Exchange promised to deliver an efficient trading experience on the blockchain. The company planned to trade all types of cryptocurrency including security tokens. According to the company’s documents, the exchange had agreements to list some big-name tokenized securities such as Tesla and Apple stock.
DX.Exchange
DX.Exchange

Security Tokens on the DX.Exchange

When questioned about the security token aspect of the exchange specifically in a recent interview, DX. Exchange CEO, Daniel Skowronski explained that the company applied for an MTF (multilateral trading facility) exchange license under a different entity but never completed the requirements prior to filing for bankruptcy.

Shady Dealings

Interestingly, this story goes much deeper. Apparently, it was reported that Limor Patarkazishvili (DX.Exchange owner’s wife) was the sole owner of another firm that was raided by the FBI in 2018. The company, SpotOption, allegedly was a major player in a large international binary options scam. When investigators delved deeper, they discovered that both companies shared staff.
At first, the DX.Exchange denied any involvement in SpotOption. Eventually, it came to light that Limor Patarkazishvili was the main shareholder in the firm. She owed 99 percent of the shares. This discovery only fueled speculation that the couple wanted to skip out on their past-due payments.

Will Employees and Affiliates Get Paid?

Skowronski publicly claimed that his company is not in “an exit scam.” Unfortunately, this was right before the company closed its doors. For now, the holidays could be bumpy for employees of the DX.Exchange as they attempt to cope with the financial losses.
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Exchanges

VNX Exchange Launches, Calling Luxembourg Home

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Platform Launch

While there are many hurdles yet to be cleared on the way to the mainstream adoption of digital securities, there is one that remains obvious. This would be a lack of marketplace solutions within the sector.

Marketplace solutions are vital, as they are what will provide industry participants with the promised, and anticipated, liquidity often associated with tokenized assets.

Looking to fill this void in the sector is VNX exchange. The Luxembourg based company has just announced the launch of their digital assets issuance platform, which will work to facilitate the tokenization and sale of assets.  VNX indicates that the potential for a secondary market launch will be evaluated in time.

In an event held to mark the launch of the platform, the company even drew praise from the Luxembourg Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna. He stated,

“VNX is one of the success stories of Luxembourg House of Financial Technology, the LHoFT”

A Place to call Home

For those that follow the digital securities sector, a geographical trend may have been noted. With forward thinking regulations, and industry clarity, Luxembourg has begun to establish themselves as a nation open to blockchain based endeavours. This has resulted in more than just VNX calling the European nation home. The following companies are just a couple of examples of this.

Competitors

While the VNX launch is a positive development for the sector, they are not the first to the table, and will not be the last. The following companies stand to be a two of the major competitors in the same space in which VNX is looking to carve out a place.

Hot Start

Wasting no time in the launch of their services, VNX is providing investors with access to an STO straight out of the gate.

This event will see Korean based, Streami, issue €3 million worth of digital securities. The company itself is solution provider within the world of blockchain through services ranging from a cryptocurrency exchange, to custody, and fiat gateways.

The event garnered commentary from representatives of each, VNX and Streami.

Alexander Tkachenko, CEO of VNX Exchange, stated,

“Streami offering demonstrates the real use case of asset backed tokens to finance VC investments.”

Junhaeng Lee, CEO of Streami, stated,

“I strongly believe in the development of the assets-backed digital financial instruments. VNX offering shows how fundraising for VC industry may evolve and by extension implications to the financial industry. I am very excited and proud that Streami is the first offering presented at VNX platform.”

To learn more about the structuring of these digital securities, make sure to peruse the Streami investor deck HERE.

VNX Exchange

While first conceived in 2017, VNX exchange was founded in 2018. The company operates within Luxembourg, and hopes to transform FinTech through their platform.

CEO, Alexander Tkachenko, currently oversees company operations.

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Exchanges

Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings to Bring Digital Securities to Japan

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Japanese Expansion

After spending months developing within the confines of the MAS FinTech Sandbox, digital exchange, ‘iSTOX’, looks to take its first large step forward – towards Japan.

It was recently

announced that Japan based, Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, has acquired a minority share of ICHX Tech (iSTOX ‘mother-company’).

This move represents a first for iSTOX, as the company looks to eventually offer their services to investors worldwide.

Investment Details

iSTOX has had a successful year, as they have been on the receiving end of various investments over this time. The first major example would be the globally renowned, Singapore Exchange (SGX), followed by a series of companies in the following months.

SGX Invests in iSTOX to Develop Security Token Platform

iSTOX Exchange Completes Series A Funding

This latest investment, which totals $4.58M, equates to a 4.58% share in ICHX Tech. By acquiring the position, it is expected that digital securities, hosted on the iSTOX platform, will now be available to Japanese investors; this being possible through the brokerage capabilities of Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings.

MAS FinTech SandBox

One of the reasons behind the success experienced thus far by iSTOX, can be owed to the fact that they are one of a very select group to be admitted into the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) FinTech Sandbox.

This program allows for companies to trial new technologies and products, within a structured environment, allowing for continued public/client protective measures.

MAS FinTech Sandbox Welcomes Capital Markets Platform ‘iSTOX’

iSTOX

iSTOX is a subsidiary of Singapore based, ICHX Tech, which was founded in 2017. The company is fervently working to develop, and attain, adoption for their digital securities exchange. This platform, which is currently operative and accessible by accredited investors, is expected to make a full launch in Q4 of 2019.

CEO, Danny Toe, currently oversees company operations.

The team at iSTOX recently announced new growth, as they welcomed a new CCO – Oi Yee Choo. The following article takes a closer look Oi Yee Choo and what she brings to the table.

UBS Managing Director Oi Yee Choo Becomes iSTOX CCO

Tokai Tokyo

Operating out of Tokyo, Japan, Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings is an investment firm, which was founded in 1929. The company is able to offer its clientele a variety of services, pertinent to securities, such as brokerage, distribution, and more.

Company operations are currently overseen by CEO, Tateaki Ishida.

In Other News

Singapore has rapidly established themselves as a leader within digital securities. With clear regulation, and forward thinking, companies have been able to effectively establish themselves within the Asian nation. The following articles are a few examples, highlighting industry moves which involve Singapore.

1X Launches as First Licenced Private Securities Exchange in Singapore

Propine Accepted into MAS FinTech Sandbox

Singapore Halts STO for Regulatory Breach

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