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Makara Capital Withdraws Planned Investment from tZERO

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Makara Capital Withdraws Planned Investment from tZERO

A Long Road Ending in Disappointment

In mid-2018, tZERO and GSR Capital made waves when it was divulged that the latter would be investing over $400 million into Overstock. As the pair approached hurdles over time, the amount to be invested was decreased, in addition to bringing in a third party – Makara Capital. Fast forward more than a year, and the tides have changed – for the worse.

Yesterday, recently appointed tZERO CEO, Jonathan Johnson, announced that Makara Capital has withdrawn their potential investment in the young company. While the original investor, GSR, eventually invested $5 million – down from $400 million – Makara Capital has officially withdrawn their investment entirely.

Russian Spy’s and a fall from Grace

Overstock founder, Patrick Byrne, has recently come under fire within the media, as some truly bizarre developments have taken place. These involve claims that the FBI instructed him to develop a relationship with a known Russian spy.

Ultimately, the situation led to his departure at the helm of Overstock, with Jonathan Johnson being promoted to his role.

It is unclear if recent events surrounding Overstock and Patrick Byrne played a role in this decision by Makara Capital. However, given the timing, it would appear as though these developments were the ‘straw that broke the camels back’.

Stock Reaction

Overstock shareholders have been on a rollercoaster as of late, as each of these events have greatly impacted stock prices. While the company saw large declines in price upon release of the Russian spy news, a strong rebound was experienced upon Patrick Byrne’s replacement.

With news only recently breaking, regarding the withdrawal of Makara Capital from tZERO, time will tell how mother company, Overstock, is affected. With tZERO being a product of Overstock’s blockchain arm, Medici Ventures, the two companies find themselves closely linked.

Short Term Memory

Despite all of these developments, the future is still bright for tZERO. In the midst of the turmoil, including withdrawn investments, personnel changes, etc., they have managed to establish themselves as a leader within the digital securities sector.

People have short term memories, and with the world of blockchain rife with scandals, it shouldn’t take long for people to forget past transgressions.

tZERO

tZERO operates as a branch of Overstock subsidiary, Medici Ventures. This young company is focused on developing blockchain based solutions for the digital securities sector. Their efforts, to date, have resulted in the development of a secondary marketplace which looks to offer digital assets a place to call home.

Makara Capital

Operating since 2008, Makara Capital is a global investment firm. The company maintains headquarters within Singapore. Here, Makara operates under the watch of regulatory body, Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS).

In Other News

The saga discussed here today has taken over a year to fully develop. The following articles elaborate on the timeline of events as we covered them over this time frame.

GSR Capital turns to tZERO for the Tokenization of ‘Cobalt’

GSR Investment in tZERO Slashed from $400 million to $100 million

Due Diligence Process Delays tZERO Investment

GSR Capital Reduces tZERO Investment by over $390 Million

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Joshua Stoner is a multi-faceted working professional. He has a great interest in the revolutionary 'blockchain' technology. In addition to this, he is a licenced Paramedic in Nova Scotia, Canada. As such, he can provide emergency care/medicine to any situation necessitating it.

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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DX.Exchange Ceases Operations while Looking for Merger/Sale

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DX.Exchange Shuts Down

In a surprise move, DX.Exchange has announced that they are immediately ceasing operations. While customers will remain able to withdraw funds, they indicate that all trading and deposits will be halted.

For a company that endured quite an arduous journey to established what they have, this is a disheartening development to see a unique exchange shutter before the digital securities sector even takes off.

Permanent or Temporary?

While the ceasing of operations is immediate, it does not necessarily mean that the exchange is gone forever. DX.Exchange has indicated that they are actively looking to, either sell the company, or facilitate a merger.

While this would be a best-case scenario at this point, there remains a real possibility that DX.Exchange will not open their doors again. With this possibility remaining, the DX.Exchange team has indicated that they are ready to take the appropriate steps necessary, should permanent closure be the final outcome.

A Unique Approach

The exchange caught the attention of many when they first launched, due to their unique approach towards digital securities. Rather than supporting simple security tokens, the team at DX.Exchange decided to tokenize publically traded securities. While this approach drew criticisms from many, it was a unique one that opened doors to new forms of investment.

DX.Exchange to Tokenize Publically Traded Securities

Hurdles and Scares

This development shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, as the exchange has consistently dealt with various hurdles and scares, in their short time. Examples of this include a delayed launch, compromised security, liquidity issues, and more.

Over the course of their short time being in operations, we have detailed a few of these issues.

DX.Exchange to Support Secondary Markets and Issue Security Token

Digital Securities Platform DX.Exchange Survives First Week Scare

Commentary

The team at the exchange made the announcement of their closure through their blog on Nov. 3, 2019. In this statement the team had the following to say on the matter.

“We must inform the community that the board of directors of DX.Exchange has decided to temporarily close the exchange as we pursue a merger or outright sell of the company…The costs of providing the required level of security, support and technology is not economically feasible on our own…The board believes this is the best opportunity for DX.Exchange to achieve success for its shareholders and compete in this challenging market. In the event a merger or sell is not completed in a timely matter then the exchange may not resume operations and take appropriate action.”

DX.Exchange

Founded in 2018, DX.Exchange is an Estonian based cryptocurrency exchange. The exchange operates under the oversight of the Estonian Financial Intelligence unit, while utilizing technology developed and provided by NASDAQ.

CEO, Daniel Skowronski, currently oversees company operations.

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UBS Managing Director Oi Yee Choo Becomes iSTOX CCO

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iSTOX adds Oi Yee Choo as CCO

This week, the Singapore-based digital securities exchange iSTOX announced the appointment of Oi Yee Choo as the firm’s new Chief Commercial Officer (CCO). The maneuver follows the larger trend of tokenization platforms hiring from traditional financial institutions over the last year. Additionally, iSTOX gains significant stature with the decision as Choo garnishes much respect in the Singapore market.

Oi Yee Choo

Notably, Oi Yee Choo has over 20 years of experience in the region. Her accolades most recently include a stent as the Managing Director of UBS. Here, the talented Choo was responsible for the firm’s Singapore investment strategy.

MAS

It’s precisely this experience that makes Choo the perfect fit for the iSTOX platform. Importantly, the firm recently became a part of the Monetary Authority of Singapore‘s (MAS) Fintech Regulatory Sandbox. The MAS sandbox allows Fintech Companies to test innovative financial products and concepts in a safe and more efficient manner.

Oi Yee Choo

Discussing the decision to join iSTOX, Choo explained the inevitability of a shift in the financial markets. She took a moment to speak on the pro-blockchain stance of Singapore, and why iSTOX’s positioning in the space makes them uniquely prepared for the upcoming digital revolution.

Oi Yee Choo – A Deep Understanding of the Market

Additionally, iSTOX Co-Founder, Darius Liu shed some light on the firm’s next moves after the appointment. He explained that the company needed someone with the reputation and experience of Choo. iSTOX needed an individual with a deep understanding of the nuances of the Singapore securities market.

Oi Yee Choo - CCO iSTOX

Oi Yee Choo – CCO iSTOX

Also, the company wanted someone with relationships across Singapore’s financial networks. Choo provided all of these features. Liu went on to say that Choo possessed all of these traits, plus she has a deep institutional understanding of the challenges faced by issuers and investors.

iSTOX

The iSTOX digital exchange utilizes cutting edge technology, such as blockchain, to streamline the issuance, trading, and management of digital securities. The company is at the forefront of the tokenization sector in the region.

Series A Funding

As previously reported, iSTOX completed Series A funding earlier in the month. Importantly, company officials decided it was a smart strategy to not disclose the amounts of funds invested publicly. However, the company did acknowledge that the Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group (KKP) was the only investor needed to meet the company’s crowdfunding goals.

iSTOX – First Regulated Exchange for Digital Securities in Asia

iSTOX seeks to be the first regulated digital securities exchange in Asia. As such, the firm would hold tremendous power in future market developments in the region. As part of this strategy, iSTOX developers want to create an all-inclusive blockchain ecosystem.

iSTOX – Moving Forward

iSTOX continues to make headlines for its pro-regulatory stance in the market. The firm is set to be a major player in the Singapore securities sector moving forward. There is no doubt that Choo’s two decades of experience and network will play a critical role in the company’s future.

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