Regulation is Coming
Day by day, the regulatory picture within the U.S. becomes clearer, as various states outline their stances on cryptocurrencies and digital securities. Here are a few of the states leading the way in recent months, with regards to blockchain regulations.
On January 4th, the Colorado Senate brought forth the ‘Colorado Digital Token Act’. This has since been approved, and is expected to come into effect on August 2nd, 2019.
This Digital Token Act brings clarity to the industry by both defining ‘Digital Assets’, and exempting them from existing securities laws under specific circumstances.
For a deeper look at what these circumstances are, check out the ‘Colorado Digital Token Act’.
Possibly the most active of any state, Wyoming has already passed multiple bills pertaining to cryptocurrencies.
The first was passed in January, doling out new categories, defining tokens/coins. These were digital securities, digital assets, and cryptocurrencies.
Beyond this first bill, Wyoming has gone on to pass multiple others – each providing clarity into various aspects of the blockchain industry. Here is a brief look at two of those which have been passed.
Bill 185 – ‘An Act relating to corporate shares and distributions; authorizing corporations to issue certificate tokens in lieu of stock certificates as specified; making conforming amendments; and providing for an effective date.’
Bill 74 – ‘An Act relating to banking; making legislative findings; creating special purpose depository institutions as a new financial institution; providing that special purpose depository institutions shall be corporations…’
Although Rhode Island has only recently joined the party, they remain ahead of many states by doing so. As of February 27th, 2019, the State was provided with a proposed amendment to the existing ‘Rhode Island Uniform Securities Act’.
If passed, these amendments will outline the various scenarios in which a digital asset would be designated as a security. In doing so, we are now provided with scenarios in which they are exempt from this designation.
For a deeper look at these proposed amendments, check out Bill 5595.
An example of a situation that could have been avoided, if the aforementioned bills existed years ago, is the one that XRP is currently dealing with. Despite being adamant that their tokens were not securities that were illegally distributed, there remain many who believe otherwise. It is only through clarity being provided by new amendments, as discussed above, that situations like these can be avoided.
Days after Coinbase finally added XRP to their lineup, the embattled coin has found itself back in the news. This time XRP received news that their on-going lawsuit will stay in federal court. This comes a few short months after the XRP team fought to have their lawsuit moved from State to Federal courts. To achieve this, they argued that their case affected people beyond the borders of any one state, and that the case should be tried under the purview of a federal judge.
This case continues to be important, as the case stands to effect the future actions of many within the industry. With XRP being the 3rd largest cryptocurrency, all eyes are on the result of the trial.
Putting it into Perspective
The regulatory uncertainty, and lawsuits discussed here today simply point to the importance of the infrastructure being developed behind digital securities. The companies developing digital securities platforms want, and try, to adhere to regulations. That is the whole point of the sector. With these new bills, growth can continue
While XRP, and similar companies, may one day win their battle, the fact of the matter remains – The Security laws of today stand true. This simple fact emphasizes the point that no one is above the law. Whether current rules are appropriate is irrelevant. Yes, they need updated to better reflect modern finance, but they stand, regardless.
Smartland Acquisition Opens New Doors for Crowdfunding
For companies working on a global scale, the shortest path to their goals is often through acquisitions of already established entities. An example of this was made recently when Smartlands announced that they had acquired a majority share of Shojin Financial Services.
By completing this move, Smartland now inherits the abilities of SFS – such as their investment licence. This licence was awarded to SFS by the Financial Conduct Authority in 2017. By receiving this licence, SFS is able to legally function as a global crowdfunding platform. The process of receiving this licence is a lengthy and difficult one – a process bypassed by Smartland through the acquisition.
With this move, there is not much left holding Smartland back from taking the sector by storm. The company even recently announced the listing of their platform utility token on industry leading crypto exchange, Bittrex. Everything is turning up Smartland.
Beyond news of this acquisition, Smartland also indicated that the first security token offering to be hosted on their platform has now gone live. This event will see the distribution of digital securities backed by UK based real estate. No doubt, the choice to base the first platform STO upon a real-estate backed asset is due to extensive experience in property investment by SFS.
The sale has a funding target of £1 million, with 30% equity to be distributed among qualified investors.
In their announcement, multiple representatives from Smartlands took the time to elaborate on these developments.
“The fact that SFS possesses the type of license necessary for the Smartlands business model to flourish is not the only reason for the acquisition…We are proud to share SFS’s values and vision for the development of financial markets around the world. The firm also has a substantial pool of classic investors that the SFS team has been developing since 2017. Now, thanks to the Smartlands proprietary technology, these private investors have the opportunity to invest in the digital ownership of real assets secured on one of the most powerful and fast blockchains in the world ‒ Stellar network.”
“The partnership with SFS is the last brick in the construction of the Smartlands Platform…This makes Smartlands one of the first fully regulated platforms for the issuance of security tokens. And Stellar will do what it does best: lightning fast, secure transactions at negligible costs to all involved, which makes Stellar the best blockchain for all operations with security tokens.”
Smartlands is a London based company that was founded in 2017. Above all, Smartlands functions as a tokenization platform, catering to a global client base.
Operations at Smartland are overseen by CEO, Arnoldas Nauseda.
Shojin Financial Services
Shojin is a UK based company that was founded in 2009. Above all, Shojin acts as an investment firm specializing in real-estate.
In Other News
An emerging trend, as of late, is the increasing adoption being seen of the Stellar blockchain within the digital securities sector. Due to the structuring of this blockchain, it is proving to be highly adept at meeting the needs of the industry. Check out the article below for another example of a company recently adopting Stellar.
AmaZix turns to KABN for Identification Services
In their experience dealing with security token offerings, KABN has noted the need for next-gen identification services. Through the creation, issuance, and management of digital securities, they are able to ensure that tokens remain compliant with regulations. The initial onboarding process, which ensures only appropriate investors gain access to these STOs, is lacking in sophistication.
This recognition led AmaZix to seek out KABN for their patent-pending identification services dubbed ‘KABN ID’. This pairing of companies announced their strategic partnership today.
While KABN ID is what drew AmaZix to their new partner, they have indicated that they intend to make use of the full suite of KABN services. This includes opening new avenues for market access through KABN’s ability to facilitate crypto-fiat transfers.
In their announcement, the CEOs of both KABN and AmaZix took the time to elaborate on this partnership.
“The overwhelming evidence justifies the need for closer scrutiny of processes and regulatory frameworks in token offerings, with the securitization of digital assets believed by many to be the natural progression for the space. It is a direction that AmaZix believes in and is working diligently towards, as demonstrated by their specialized advisory services and their partnership track record. We share their excitement and optimism for the industry’s future and look forward to collaborating.”
“Programmable regulatory compliance is a built-in feature with digital securities, ensuring the necessary KYC and AML processes are satisfied. But if STOs are to be the way forward, we have to analyze and consider the practical aspects of identity management on the blockchain, particularly with the growing debate surrounding privacy and the protection of personal data in the era of GDPR…And this is where we believe KABN’s solutions for token offering verification are technically appropriate for securing accreditation and will allow for responsible and compliant KYC processes. In addition, its neo financial services like its branded Visa prepaid card and banking wallet will give users an additional aspect that bridges the world of traditional and alternative finance, allowing them to use and spend crypto with more ease.”
AmaZix is a Hong Kong based company that was established in 2017. Above all, AmaZix functions as a consultation firm, focusing on the burgeoning digital securities sector. In their short time within the industry, they have been wildly successful – helping to raise over $1.3 billion for over 100 companies.
KABN is a Vancouver based company that was founded in 2017. Under the guidance of CEO, Ben Kessler, KABN has gone on to develop a suite of services aimed towards the digital securities sector. These range from their flagship identification service, to a crypto based debit card, and loyalty program.
In Other News
Both KABN and AmaZix have been busy establishing themselves in this nascent industry. Throughout their steps towards establishing themselves, we have detailed them various times here at securities.io. Check out the articles below to learn a little bit more about what these two companies have accomplished as of late.
Tokeny and Archax form Strategic Partnership
Archax is ironing out all the details prior to the upcoming launch of their digital securities exchange. Part of this process is establishing partnerships with issuance platforms. In doing so, Archax will ensure that their own platform will have no shortage of token listings.
With this in mind, today, the duo of Tokeny and Archax announced a strategic partnership. This relationship will see digital securities issued via the Tokeny platform, through the use of their TREX framework, listed for trading on the Archax exchange.
This development creates a comprehensive suite of services for investors, and will help the industry deliver the much sought after liquidity within these assets.
In their press release, the CEOs of both Tokeny and Archax, took the time to comment on the partnership discussed here today.
“We are building a regulated, institutional market – based in London – for institutions to trade in credible, digital securities globally. As such we want to partner with leading firms like Tokeny, who are a key part of this emerging ecosystem, and tokenising assets that can then be listed and traded on our exchange. 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.”
“We know how strong Archax’s team is and they share the same belief that blockchain will transform capital markets. For blockchain to become the preferred infrastructure for this industry it’s imperative for there to be seamless transferability between the key actors in the market. By agreeing this partnership, we are able to offer the end-to-end compliant issuance of their security and Archax will provide the customer with the all-important access to the secondary market.”
Tokeny was founded in 2017, and is headquartered out of Luxembourg. Above all, Tokeny functions as a FinTech company. Over the past year, the team has set their sights on developing a comprehensive platform, tailored towards the digital securities sector. Under the watch of CEO, Luc Falempin, Tokeny has managed to establish various strategic partnerships, along with the release of the ‘TREX’ framework.
Graham Rodford founded Archax in 2018, and currently acts as the CEO of this young company. Archax maintains headquarters in London, England. Here, the company is actively developing a next-gen exchange for digital securities – which is anticipated to launch in the latter half of 2019.
In Other News
Both Tokeny and Archax have found themselves in our news feed various times over the past year. Whether establishing strategic partnerships, or announcing future STOs on their platforms, this pair of companies has been active. Below are a few articles detailing past developments of each.
- Smartland Acquisition Opens New Doors for Crowdfunding March 22, 2019
- AmaZix turns to KABN for Identification Services March 21, 2019
- Tokeny and Archax form Strategic Partnership March 21, 2019
- Blockport Announces Support for TrueUSD March 21, 2019
- The Application of Broker-Dealer and Exchange Regulations to Secondary Markets – Thought Leaders March 21, 2019