The MERJ exchange continues to see interest from investors across the globe. This week, the firm announced it successfully raised the $500,000 minimum required to move forward with its IPO strategy. Now, the company seeks to expand its reach into the tokenized asset sector in a major way.
The MERJ IPO started just days ago on September 10 and extends until November 8, 2019. Importantly, the platform seeks to raise around $4 million in total to expand its capabilities. The platform wants to become the world’s first global, direct access, end-to-end, regulated exchange developed specifically for issuers and financial market consumers.
Speaking exclusively with Securities.io on the success of the campaign so far, MERJ CEO Ed Touhy stated “The response to the public sale has been overwhelming. We’ve had applications from all over the world and there is strong interest from bigger investors who really see MERJ as a game-changer in this space. Investors like that we are live and operational and we have been consistently delivering on our roadmap. To hit the soft cap within a week of releasing the prospectus is a great validation of what we are doing.”
The MERJ Exchange
The Republic of Seychelles-based MERJ Exchange provides enterprise-level trading solutions to investors and businesses globally. The exchange has been in operation since August 2013. At that time, the platform’s launch coincided with the launch of the equities market.
MERJ provides clients with an easy to navigate token issuance and distribution platform. The popular exchange already allows users to settle trades in several fiat currencies. Additionally, the company specializes in multi-asset securities, hybrid instruments, and digital assets.
The MERJ exchange handles the full trading process from exchange operation to clearing, settlement, and depository services. In order to accomplish this task, MERJ is actually multiple entities. For example, you trade your security tokens on the exchange, but your in-house settlement is handled by MERJ CLEAR. Importantly, this subsidiary only handles the clearing and settlement of your trade.
Finally, MERJ DEP handles the depository and registry requirements. This strategy allows the platform to maintain low costs, and provide clients with a more robust user experience while remaining fully compliant each step of the process.
Traditional Exchanges Turn to Blockchain
MERJ’s decision to expand into digital assets showcases the shifting paradigm in the security token market. Instead of new exchanges forming, established exchanges are transforming, and for good reason.
The tokenization of established assets is more popular than ever. This week saw Harbor tokenize $100 million real estate fund. Only days later, AssetBlock tokenized a $60 million fund. Also, Overstock.com decided to re-apply to skip the mandatory Rule 144 six-month lock-up period on its OSTK tokenized shares.
Republic of Seychelles
Notably, MERJ takes great pride in the rich economic history of the Republic of Seychelles. For thousands of years, this land stood as one of the critical trade points of the old Indian Ocean. Today, the firm hopes to do the same and provide traders with a safe and secure platform, albeit digital.
MERJ into the Fast Lane
MERJ demonstrates how traditional exchanges continue to embrace blockchain technology. The added transparency, security, and speed make blockchain tech the clear choice for future investments. You should expect to see this team continue to be a pioneering force in the region for many years to come.
DX.Exchange Goes Bankrupt – CX Technologies Ltd
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.
Security Tokens on the DX.Exchange
Will Employees and Affiliates Get Paid?
VNX Exchange Launches, Calling Luxembourg Home
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings to Bring Digital Securities to Japan
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Christian Platzer, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Black Manta Capital – Interview Series
- The Managed Stablecoins are Securities Act of 2019 H.R. 5197
- Max Crowdfund STO Promises to Fuel Tokenization Revolution
- Securitize Increases Ties to Japan through First Acquisition
- The Future is Bright for Bison Trails as Series A Nets $25.5M