The NEO Project’s “NEO Global Development” (NGD) group announced last week that it had formed a consortium to explore and understand the growing digital securities sector. The alliance, dubbed the Digital Asset Alliance (DAA), will endeavor to articulate and document the nuances of security laws as they apply to asset tokenization across different jurisdictions and assets classes.
The DAA opened its new Medium.com blog with this statement:”Digital Asset Alliance is a NEO backed initiative discussing security token related issues. We aim at building an open-source platform for security token life-cycle service providers, and developing best practices for the growth of tokenized networks.”
Helping to foster development and community
The Digital Asset Alliance aims to cultivate consensus, thus enabling NEO blockchain developers, as well as the global blockchain development community at large, to create a legally compliant security token standard. NEO’s NEP-5 standard can already be applied to security tokens, though it is up to the issuer to implement regulatory criteria at the smart contract level.
NGD global business development manager, Tamar Salant, said, “We will be collecting insights and then presenting them to the community and saying, you know, ‘These are the top 10 highest priorities – How do we translate this into code? How do we make sure this is in every smart contract?’ Because we know this is a standard that is very much needed. And I think when we’re looking at securities and digital assets, we’re touching on a few different fields.”
Onboarding industry players
The DAA will bring together a diverse group of parties drawn from what Salant calls the “supply chain of security tokens”: “Our virtual round table is a gathering of people from all across the globe, whether its issuance platforms or projects, or law firms, or liquidity providers, or AML/KYC providers – we’re getting a sense of what everyone is looking at.”
The blog introduced some of the first security token industry players to join the DAA:
- Better Alternatives, an Israel-based boutique blockchain advisory firm working with two STO projects hoping to launch in the U.S. in 2020.
- DLx Law, a New York City-based capital markets law firm pivoting to focus on the security token space.
- Globacap, a London-based STO sandbox regulated under the UK Financial Conduct Authority, going live with it first two STO launches in March.
- Hashgard, a Shanghai-based STO services provider developing its own security token standards.
- Liquefy, a Hong Kong-based STO platform planning to launch its first STO sometime in 2019.
- Republic, a New York City-based crowdfunding platform with a mission to enable retail investors to invest in seed-stage startups.
- Vertalo, an Austin Texas-based security token investor matching, compliance, and cap table solutions provider.
A global blockchain securities compliance hub
The mission of NEO’s existing “Global Blockchain Compliance Hub” repository will be expanded to complement DAA’s mission. Tamar Salant explained, “We’re starting to create specific categories in regards to STOs. So, not just about using blockchain technology or tokenizing assets, but really looking at the existing securities laws. So many regulators out there are issuing sandboxes, and new regulations, and new ‘simple English,’ as the SEC put it, in terms of a kind of framework. So, what we want to do is create a subcategory or just a very specific category within the Blockchain Compliance hub, specifically talking about STOs and digital assets. If there are any community members out there who have a specific interest in securities laws, we’re happy for them to submit.”
Blockpass to Offer Onboarding Services to Polymath Clients
Polymath has recognized a need for providing its clients with access to regulatory compliant investor onboarding services. Seeking a provider, they have now announced an alliance with Blockpass.
This alliance will see Blockpass provide token issuer’s access to a growing pool of pre-verified investors. In doing so, potential issuers can rest easy, knowing that their offerings only provided to appropriate investors. This means that these pre-verified investors have already undergone KYC and AML measures, ensuring they are accredited.
The goal of this move is simple – lower barriers of entry to the issuance of digital securities. By providing access to services rendered by Blockpass, potential token issuers can remove one more thing off of their lengthy token-issuance checklist. Blockpass grants access to its services through AP, making the process even easier and more attractive.
Upon making their announcement, the CEO of each, Blockpass and Polymath, took the time to comment. The following is what each had to say on the matter.
Adam Vaziri, CEO at Blockpass, stated,
“This partnership is the latest step we have taken to streamline the painstaking and cumbersome process of onboarding investors. There are many synergies between Polymath’s proposition and our own, in that we are both striving to create simplified and compliant solutions.”
Kevin North, CEO at Polymath, stated,
“We are very excited to announce our collaboration with Blockpass…This represents our continued efforts to provide Polymath issuers with access to best-in-class KYC solutions like Blockpass.”
Blockpass is a Hong Kong, China, based company, which was founded in 2017. Above all, Blockpass works to provide the digital securities sector with solutions tackling regulations and compliance.
To date, Blockpass has already experienced minor adoption, as they have seen their services integrated with Infinito Wallet – bringing support for digital securities in the process.
Company operations are overseen by CEO, Adam Vaziri.
Polymath is a Toronto, Canada, based company, which was founded in 2017. The company has established themselves as an industry leader through a variety of offered services. These platform services include specialized protocols, allowing for the issuance of customizable digital securities.
Polymath recently caught the attention of industry participants, as they announced the on-going development of a blockchain purpose built for digital securities. This blockchain is known as ‘PolyMesh’.
Company operations are overseen by CEO, Kevin North.
In Other News
Pre-verification of investors has become an increasingly popular option among industry participants. This is made evident through various established partnerships, beyond the one discussed here today. Here are a few examples of companies aligning their interests over the past few months.
Boston Security Token Exchange (BTSX) Seeks SEC Rule Change
Development of the highly anticipated Boston Security Token Exchange (BSTX) continues as one of the partners behind this innovative concept, Box Exchange, filed for a rule change from the SEC this month. The 400-page filing seeks a change that allows BTSX to offer tokenized equities in the form of security tokens. If successful, BTSX would gain valuable positioning in the ever-expanding security token sector.
Boston Security Token Exchange Details
The BTSX exchange focuses on reducing the entry barrier for businesses seeking public funding. Respectively, the platform utilizes the Ethereum blockchain. This is a smart strategy because ERC protocol standards are the most popular type of security token issued. According to the BOX’s rule change request, the BTSX platform includes full automation via integrated smart contract protocols. Officially, the platform functions as a price time execution system for trading security tokens.
One Token to Rule Them All
Interestingly, the platform will not feature a multitude of security tokens from different providers. Instead, all trades occur in BSTX tokens. This strategy provides users with a couple of important benefits. For one, Users see a 20% reduction in listing costs. Additionally, this strategy allows BTSX to concentrated liquidity on a single trading center. Also, hosting and launching new projects is more cost-effective in this way.
The BTSX token standard takes many attributes from the ERC-884 security token standard. Notably, BTSX tokens remain compliant throughout the token’s lifecycle. Interestingly, all trades must still clear through an “Approved Settlement Provider and the BSTX Participants.”
The Boston Security Token Exchange – BSTX
The BSTX platform is made possible through a strategic partnership between the BOX Exchange and Overstock’s crypto project, tZERO. Both firms are major players in the cryptomarket. Consequently, analysts predict BTSX will share in these firms’ growing influence. The BOX Exchange first raised eyebrows across the crypto space when it announced a partnership with tZERO on May 18th, 2018. The partnership gave both firms equal ownership and representation in BTSX.
Discussing the partnership, BOX CEO, Lisa Fall described why tZERO’s proven development track record was critical towards the success of the project. Fall also took a moment to touch on BOX’s past successes in the transparent equity options marketplace. She pointed out that, together, both companies can succeed where others failed.
No Reg A+
The filing pointed out some key restrictions the platform includes. For example, BTSX will not participate in any Reg A+ funding. Reg A+ funding has some additional flexibility that companies enjoy. For example, companies can “test the waters” before committing to their crowdfunding campaign when utilizing a Reg A+ strategy.
Importantly, the SEC has not approved any Reg A+ security token platforms to date. BTSX is well aware of this fact and decided it was in their best interests to avoid the delays associated with attempting to get licensing for this type of public offering.
Now, BOX and tZERO look to combine forces to become a dominant player in the security token sector. Definitely, these firms have the experience and network to accomplish their goals in the coming months. Now, the ball is in the SEC’s court.
BnkToTheFuture to Utilize Altcoin.io for Security Token Exchange
The popular decentralized exchange (DEX), Altcoin.io, announced the licensing of their proprietary trading software to BnkToTheFuture this week. BnkToTheFuture intends to utilize the software to create a non-custodial security token exchange slated for a 2020 release date. The move would place BnkToTheFuture in the exclusive class of non-custodial security token exchanges in operation currently.
Discussing the strategic partnership, Altcoin.io CEO, Andrew Gazdecki, commended BnkToTheFuture for their decision to expand into the security token sector. He explained how BnkToTheFuture shares a common vision with Altcoin.io.
Notably, both firms seek to expand tokenization. Specifically, BnkToTheFuture seeks to tokenize the world’s capital markets. The CEO of BnkToTheFuture, Simon Dixon, also took a moment to speak on the maneuver. Dixon described why Altcoin.io was able to capture their attention. He took a moment to compliment the firm’s technical achievements over the last two years.
These achievements include being the first exchange to successfully complete an Atomic Swap. An Atomic Swap is a cross-blockchain crypto trade. Altcoin.io was able to trade Bitcoin for Ethereum utilizing this second-layer protocol in 2018. Today, the platform offers this service directly from its wallet.
Altcoin.io Track Record
Importantly, Dixon pointed to Altcoin’s proven track record to strict regulatory compliance. Compliance is critical when discussing tokenization of securities, equity, or real estate. These investment tools have specific regulations that vary depending on the investment status and the region.
BnkToTheFuture wants to leverage Altcoin’s smart contract technology to enable pre-programmed compliance into each token launched. According to company executives, the new security token exchange will feature a non-custodial layout. Non-custodial exchanges are seen by many as the natural evolution of the crypto exchange.
Altcoin.io Real Benefits
Non-custodial exchanges provide traders with the highest level of protection against hackers. In a non-custodial exchange, your crypto remains in your possession until the actual execution of the trade. This strategy is in stark contrast of centralized exchanges, which require you to load funds on to a custodial wallet.
The problem with custodial exchanges is that because of the sheer amount of crypto these wallets hold, hackers find these targets to be profitable. How popular? According to one report, over $350 million in crypto has been stolen this year already. Non-custodial exchanges eliminate these losses.
Another huge benefit provided by non-custodial exchanges is the removal of withdrawal delays. Withdrawal delays are a major problem experienced by crypto traders. Basically, something happens that spooks the exchange. In turn, your funds are locked up until the exchange feels comfortable enough to give you access to your funds again.
Altcoin.io entered the crypto market in 2017. The company made headlines after completing a successful crowdfunding campaign in collaboration with www.wefunder.com. Notably, the platform was among the first Peer-to-Peer DEX exchanges available to crypto consumers. Altcoin specializes in Ethereum complaint tokens. Most of these tokens are of the ERC-20 token standard. Ethereum is by far the most widely used token standard in the market today. As a result, Altcoin’s positioning in the market is ideal.
BnkToTheFuture Lives Up to its Name
BnkToTheFuture entering the security token sector in this manner is huge news. The firm has an uncanny track record which includes investments in Coinbase, BitStamp, Shapeshift, Ripple Labs, and Circle, to name just a few.
Now, the firm seeks to claim the title as the premier security token exchange in the market. Given BankToTheFuture and Altcoin’s experience, you should expect to see major developments from these firms in the coming months.
- Blockpass to Offer Onboarding Services to Polymath Clients June 19, 2019
- Boston Security Token Exchange (BTSX) Seeks SEC Rule Change June 18, 2019
- BnkToTheFuture to Utilize Altcoin.io for Security Token Exchange June 17, 2019
- Top 5 Security Tokens to Invest In – Opinion June 17, 2019
- Neo Global Development Invests in Liquefy, Eyeing Digital Securities June 16, 2019