Gemini and Harbor
In a continuing trend, the digital securities sector has continued its adoption, and utilization, of stablecoins. Adding fuel to this trend are now Harbor and Gemini, as this pairing has indicated a new working relationship.
This relationship is described as an exclusive one, which will see Gemini Dollar (GUSD) used by Harbor throughout their tokenization platform. Investors and token issuers will now have the ability to utilize GUSD for both funding, and distribution, while benefiting from low levels of volatility.
By operating in this fashion, clients making use of GUSD can enter and exit crypto markets with ease, and reduce exposure, not only to volatility, but to fees and long wait times.
Upon releasing this news, the CEO of each, Harbor and Gemini, took the time to express their thoughts on this partnership. The following is what each had to say regarding this development.
Josh Stein, CEO of Harbor, stated,
“The Gemini dollar is a natural fit for Harbor given Gemini’s regulatory oversight and our shared institutional approach to the digital asset market,” said Josh Stein, CEO of Harbor. “Through integrating with the Gemini dollar, Harbor has created a fully-compliant solution to investing in digital securities offerings and receiving distributions.”
Tyler Winklevoss, CEO of Gemini, stated,
“Stablecoins like the Gemini dollar bring U.S. dollars onto the blockchain, while Harbor brings private investments onto the blockchain. The combination of the two has the potential to bring unprecedented access, liquidity, and capital formation to private investments and tremendous benefits to investors.”
Not So Stable
Gemini Dollar, among other stablecoins, stands to benefit greatly from recent events pertaining to the embattled ‘Tether’. Representing the industry’s long-used ‘default’ stablecoin, Tether has recently been found to not have sufficient backing for its assets.
With stablecoin touting 1:1 dollar backing for each of their tokens in circulation, it took many by surprise, the extent to which Tether reserves have fallen short. In a recent statement from a lawyer working with Tether, it was found that the company only has roughly 74% backing for its tokens.
Stuart Hoegner stated, in the affidavit, “Tether has cash and cash equivalents (short term securities) on hand totaling approximately $2.1 billion, representing approximately 74 percent of the current outstanding tethers.” While clients are ensured that this will not affect them in any negative manner, many are not fully convinced.
This development will surely see many Tether users flee, and seek out rival stablecoins such as USDT, GUSD, and others – helping their adoption along the way.
Gemini Dollar (GUSD)
This popular stablecoin is a product of the Gemini exchange, and its founders Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss. The purpose of this stablecoin is to provide industry participants with a USD substitute, which offers the stability of USD, while benefitting from the inherent traits of blockchain technology.
This unique structuring has led stablecoins to be adopted in increasing fashion within the digital securities sector.
Harbor is a United States based company which specializes in the tokenization of assets. Through a versatile technology stack, Harbor is able to help clients throughout the entire process of creating, selling, issuing, and managing digital securities.
Company operations are overseen by CEO, Joshua Stein. Harbor is notably backed by investors such as Pantera Capital, Craft Ventures, and more.
In Other News
Harbor has made our news feed various times in recent months, in both positive and negative light. In addition to their industry contributions, stablecoins have also had an influence on the digital securities sector in recent months. Here are a couple of articles demonstrating each of these points.
Blockport STO Fails to Gain Traction – Platform to Shutdown
Failure to Launch
On a disappointing note, Blockport has announced the cancellation of their ongoing security token offering. After launching the event, roughly 1 month ago, the team has indicated that they have failed to attract their minimum threshold of investments.
This comes as a letdown to the industry, as Blockport represented one of the first security token offerings to be offered through the Tokeny platform. To date, only a handful of STOs have taken place through ANY issuance platform.
While Blockport will be returning investments to the few participants in their STO, they have indicated that this is not the end for them. Their intent is to scale back operations in the short term, reflect, and establish a path for future growth.
This means that the platform will be shutting down in the coming weeks, revering to a ‘development mode’.
Blockport CEO, Sebastiaan Lichter, elaborated on the cancellation in a statement to the public. The following is what he had to say on the matter.
“In the past few months our team has worked extremely hard to launch the first round of our STO, and yesterday this ended after being open for almost one month…In short, the results of the fundraise are not sufficient to proceed with the issuance of BPS tokens.”
Despite this, Sebastiaan Lichter remained confident in the future of blockchain. He continued,
“We still see a lot of opportunities in this industry and have built a top performing trading platform that many people love to use and which has had almost zero downtime or issues since we launched it in the summer of 2018…Whilst developing our platform, our goal is to explore opportunities that support a restart of the Blockport platform in the future.”
Operating out of Amsterdam, Blockport is a Dutch company, which was launched in 2017. Under the watch of CEO, Sebastiaan Lichter, Blockport has developed and launched a trading platform, tailored toward, both, utility and security tokens.
The security token offering, discussed here today, was launched through the Tokeny issuance platform, on March 31st, 2019.
Tokeny is a Luxembourg based company, which was launched in 2017. Above all, Tokeny acts as an issuance platform, providing companies with solutions for the tokenization of assets. Tokeny was responsible for facilitating the Blockport STO – For their part, the event went off without a hitch.
In Other News
While the failed STO is an unfortunate situation, BlockPort is by no means alone. For a variety of reasons, there have been various deals to have fallen through in the past few months. The following articles detail a couple of these situations.
BitBond Opens Bounty Program for Live Security Token Offering
BitBond, a blockchain company hosting a FINRA approved STO, has recently announced the launch of a bounty program. This program was launched in an attempt to raise market awareness of their ongoing security token offering.
This STO, scheduled to be live until early June, has seen modest success thus far, with investors contributing over €2 million to date. This puts them well on their way to raising the minimum €3 million in the event.
In an attempt to ensure the minimum €3 million threshold is met in their STO, the bounty program consists of 6 main ways in which participants can be rewarded.
- Hunter Bounty
- Referrals leading to bounty program participation
- Affiliate Bounty
- 5% commission on referrals leading to investments over €10,000
- Signature Bounty
- Token compensation for active BitcoinTalk users which advertise the STO in their signature.
- Creative Bounty
- Rewards for creative advertising in the form of memes, gifs, images, etc.
- Social Media Bounty
- Compensation for STO promotion through qualified Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Telegram accounts
- Content Bounty
- Rewards for creation of articles, and videos, which raise awareness about the BitBond STO.
A bounty program is a promotional event, aimed towards raising awareness of a fundraiser. Participants in such programs are typically compensated for promoting a company with tokens. Promotional tasks are often varied, such as writing articles, attaining referrals, reporting bugs, and so on.
While bounty programs were commonplace throughout the ICO boom, the concept is new when being applied to security token offerings. Time will tell if this promotional tool is an effective one when dealing with this new form of fund raising.
BitBond CEO, Radoslav Albrecht, commented to CrytoGlobe on the choice to host a bounty program. He stated the following.
“Since our launch in 2013 Bitbond has always worked closely with the crypto and blockchain community. This bounty program gives us the opportunity to engage further with our community, reward Bitbond early adopters and spread the news about our new groundbreaking project, the Bitbond STO.”
BitBond is a Germany based company, which was launched in 2013. Above all, BitBond utilized blockchain to facilitate financial services. This primarily includes the issuance of business loans.
Company operations are overseen by Founder and CEO, Radoslav Albrecht.
We recently detailed BitBond and their FINRA approval – a feat not achieved by scores of applicants prior to BitBond. Check out the details to this success HERE.
In Other News
Beyond BitBond utilizing the Stellar blockchain for issuing security tokens, Stellar has experienced growing levels of adoption in recent months. The following articles demonstrate various ways in which this adoption has occurred.
Poloniex Cleans House as Tokens Delisted for Fear of Being Called Securities
Poloniex Delisting Assets
Poloniex has given unfortunate news to enthusiasts of various assets supported through their platform. The popular exchange has announced that, due to ongoing regulatory uncertainty, they will be de-listing a variety of assets.
This event is a precautionary one, as the possibility exists that the structuring of these assets would classify them as securities. Fearing retribution from the SEC, Poloniex has decided to play it safe, and remove their support.
While the portfolio of offered assets on Poloniex remains strong, this does not mean that other assets can rest easy.
It has been made known, by various industry participants, over the past few weeks that uncertainty remains pervasive in the digital securities space. This is largely, in part, due to a lack of clarity afforded by United States regulatory body, the Security and Exchange Commission.
Until the SEC is able to provide more detailed guidance on these digital assets, expect to see more de-listings, for fear of these being dubbed securities.
Down and Out
The affected assets in this announcement total 9, which each unique in their structuring and target markets. They are as follows,
- Augur (REP)
- Omni (OMNI)
- Decred (DCR)
- Game (GAME)
- Ardor (ARDR)
- Bytecoin (BCN)
- Gas (GAS)
- Lisk (LSK)
- Nxt (NXT)
In a statement to the public, Poloniex explained their reasoning for the delisting of various assets. The Poloniex team broke the news, to holders of these tokens, by stating the following.
“We are committed to complying with regulatory requirements in every jurisdiction. Today’s action is a result of regulatory uncertainty in the US market. Specifically, it is not possible to be certain whether US regulators will consider these assets to be securities.”
Despite this, the team continued, expressing optimism moving forward.
“We understand how frustrating this choice is for our customers, and for the crypto community more broadly. We believe in the power and potential of these assets, and will continue to focus time and energy on supporting positive policy and regulatory developments for crypto assets in the US and around the world.”
Poloniex is a Delaware based cryptocurrency exchange, which was launched in 2014. In the time since their launch, Poloniex has gone on to establish themselves as a leading exchange. Poloniex’s reputation has been strengthened in the past year, since being acquired by Circle.
Circle is a Boston based company, which made waves in 2018, when their $400 million acquisition of Poloniex occurred. In the time since this move, Circle has worked to bring Poloniex in line with regulations, building a strong reputation, and growing the platform at the same time.
In Other News
While this is unfortunate news for enthusiasts of the affected assets, Poloniex doesn’t simply have a habit of delisting. In previous months, we have noted their addition of Polymath and their utility token for use through their security token’s tailored services.
- Blockport STO Fails to Gain Traction – Platform to Shutdown May 18, 2019
- BitBond Opens Bounty Program for Live Security Token Offering May 18, 2019
- Poloniex Cleans House as Tokens Delisted for Fear of Being Called Securities May 18, 2019
- Blockstream to Add Support for Digital Securities on Liquid Security Platform May 17, 2019
- OpenFinance Brings Support State-side for Third Party Digital Securities May 17, 2019