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UNLOCK Blockchain Forum announces more than 56 Global and regional Speakers including Blockchain Evangelist Nick Spanos

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UNLOCK Blockchain Forum announces more than 56 Global and regional Speakers including Blockchain Evangelist Nick Spanos

More than 30 international and regional Investment institutions to be present at UNLOCK Blockchain Forum

Dubai UAE Jan 7th 2019: The UNLOCK Company DMCC, a platform that provides information, intelligence, insights and news pertaining to the Blockchain sector, is holding its second series of the UNLOCK Blockchain Forum in Dubai, UAE, on Jan. 15th and 16th, 2019, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, DIFC.

UNLOCK which is being held in its second year has announced the participation of over 56 global and regional speakers that include prominent blockchain names such as Nick Spanos, CEO and founder of Blocktech and Zap, Daniel Haudenschild, CEO of Swisscom Blockchain Switzerland, H.E. Wesam Lootah, CEO of Smart Dubai Government, as well as Mr. Osman Sultan, CEO of Du Telecom, and prominent government officials from KSA and UAE. Others include Mr. Mohsen Al Zahrani, Vice President of Strategy and Excellence Saudi Payments (Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority), Mr. Bart Brands, President of European Blockchain Foundation, Dr. Marwan Al Zarouni, Founder &Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Blockchain Center, and many more prominent speakers.

In addition, UNLOCK will encompass more than 30 investment companies across the region including Dubai Investments, Lavaliere Capital, Fundshing Holdings China, Dalma Capital, Gforce Investing, Block5 Capital, Angivest Ventures, Agar development, LDJ Capital and many more.

Walid Abou Zaki, Founder & CEO of UNLOCK, stated, “We are very pleased with our accomplishment this year both in terms of high level speakers and our addition of investors to the UNLOCK forum, as well as our continued support to startups that will be exhibiting and presenting at UNLOCK. Despite the bearish market conditions of 2018, we were able to continue to develop UNLOCK as a platform in our efforts to build the blockchain ecosystem in the region. This year more than ever investments into blockchain will reap benefits as the market matures.”

More than 20 blockchain startups will be participating this year at UNLOCK including names such as unchain.io, BabelChain, Energy One, Helena Energy, UATAG, SophiaTX, Dhonor Blockchain, Addenda, Barter Trade, Cambridge Blockchain, Dubai Blockchain Center and others.

Lara AbdulMalak, Editor in Chief of UNLOCK, stated, “Blockchain in its 10th year anniversary is starting to mature slowly into a reliable platform that will allow global economies to better trade, cooperate, and develop. According to a recent Deloitte Survey on blockchain, the momentum is shifting from learning and exploring to building practical business applications. 74% of those surveyed see a “compelling business case” for the use of blockchain technology; only 34 % say their company has initiated some sort of blockchain deployment. This is indicative that blockchain will continue to grow as a business enabler and technology, as more organizations incorporate it into their business cases.”

Du is presenting UNLOCK this year as a title sponsor, and UNLOCK is also sponsored by DarkMatter, SwissCom Blockchain, Avanza Innovations, and others that have shown their commitment to the digitization efforts in the region.

UNLOCK has also signed more than 40 media partnerships with top leading media players, and will continue to develop these partnerships further. For more information on the UNLOCK Blockchain Forum, please visit www.unlock-bc.com/events/unlock/2019

About UNLOCK

UNLOCK Blockchain is a service offered by The UNLOCK Company DMCC. It is a platform that provides information, intelligence, insights and news pertaining to the Blockchain sector. We are one of the cornerstones in the evolution of the Blockchain ecosystem in the MENA region and globally. We encourage Blockchain’s disruptive innovation through our support of startups, investors, developers, and clients. Our main offerings include:

  • A media platform for the dissemination of information, news, insights, reports on the state of Blockchain in the MENA region and globally
  • UNLOCK Blockchain Forum, which is an anchor event in Dubai for Blockchain enthusiasts to network, exchange knowledge, and showcase developments
  • Strategic Marketing, Public Relations and Communications services for Blockchain companies interested or currently present in the region
  • Community Building to help connect developers, users, investors and advisors through various social media networks
  • Advisory Services which include the organization of roadshows to introduce ICOs to potential investors and clients in an effort to facilitate adoption
  • Blockchain Proliferation by encouraging businesses, governments and individuals to adopt Blockchain technology in an effective, efficient, and optimal manner

Educational

Equity Tokens vs Security Tokens

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Equity Tokens vs Security Tokens

Learning the differences between equity tokens vs security tokens is a smart way to better your overall crypto investment strategy. While most crypto investors are familiar with traditional utility tokens such as Ethereum, both security, and equity tokens are fairly new to the space. These tokens vary from utility tokens in many different ways.

Protect Your Investment

Different tokens have different legal regulations. Currently, equity, debt, and security tokens fall under standard securities transaction laws, whereas, utility, currency, and asset tokens do not require SEC approval. Let’s take a moment to examine some key differences between equity tokens vs security tokens.

Know the Difference – Security Tokens

According to the SEC, one can perform the “Howey Test” to determine if a token falls under securities regulations. The Howie test is a series of questions that include:

  • Did You Invest Money?
  • Do You Expect Profit?
  • Did You Invest in a Common Enterprise?
  • Are Profits dependent on a Third-parties Effort?

If you answer yes to these questions, you are investing in a security token. Security token holders do not have any ownership rights to the entity they invested in. Instead, they are guaranteed a percentage of the profits generated from the entity. Security tokens come in many forms:

  • Securities
  • Digital Mutual Funds
  • Digital ETFs
  • Non-equity Investments Against Capital

Additionally, security tokens cannot be transferred without meeting certain regulations. These regulations include AML and KYC requirements. This makes security tokens less liquidable than their utility token counterparts that can be traded anonymously.

Notable Security Token Platforms

There are a number of notable security token platforms operating in the cryptospace today. Polymath, Securitize, and Harbor are three of the most established platforms available today. Each offers enterprise users an easy option to issue and maintain security tokens.

Security Token Protocols

Security tokens contain their regulatory compliance directly within their protocol. By including these regulations in the tokens smart contract, token issuers can guarantee their product remains compliant throughout all stages of its lifecycle. Below are the most popular security token protocols currently in use.

ERC-1400 / ERC-1404

The ERC-1400 entered the market in December 2018. This protocol is the brainchild of Polymath’s development team and Stephane Gosselin. Develops knew that if they could utilize a varied ERC-20 protocol that this would allow for the greatest amount of interoperability within the market. The ERC-20 protocol is by far the most widely used utility token issuance standard available.

Stephane Gosselin via SlidesLive

Stephane Gosselin via SlidesLive

The team sought to create a security token standard that could function on the Ethereum blockchain. Additionally, the team wanted a protocol that contained no partitions. Today, the ERC-1400 standard is used by many firms globally.

ST-20 – Polymath

Polymath took their concept a step further when they created the ST-20 protocol. The ST-20 token standard functions similar to the ERC-1400 but with one main advantage, ST-20 tokens are able to remain compliant when traded on decentralized exchanges (DEX). Polymath proved this theory earlier in the month via a test with the DEX Loopring.

DS-Token – Securitize

The DS-token standard is the brainchild of the popular token issuance platform Securitize. Securitize utilizes a Compliance Service to ensure that their tokens are handled in a legal manner. The tokens must get approval from this on-chain registry to verify investor status before executing any trades. This means all DS-token holders have an identifying hash.

Secondary Compliance

Secondary market compliance continues to be a hot button topic in the industry. Just this month, the DTCC released a paper outlining how these secondary market concerns need to be addressed to ensure fair market practices. Currently, the DTCC is the third-party custodial exchange for traditional securities markets. The firm replaced the old paper transfer methods used in the 1970s.  Last year, the DTCC handled over four-quadrillion in securities transactions in the US alone.

Equity Tokens

Equity tokens function more like a traditional stock asset. In other words, equity token holders possess some form of ownership in their investments. Their tokens represent how much ownership percentage they actually have. In most instances, equity tokens represent a third-party asset, property, or venture. Equity tokens come in many forms:

  • Stocks
  • Futures
  • Options Contracts
  • Tokenized Real Estate
  • Tokenized Ventures

Equity tokens continue to see the most use in real estate crowdfunding platforms such as Atlant. These platforms allow investors to spread their funds more freely across the market. Real estate equity tokens represent a share of ownership in a particular property. This strategy enables investors to join multiple investments with less capital. Additionally, these platforms lower the entry bar for real estate investments and facilitate more market activity.

Equity Tokens vs Security Tokens Standards

Currently, equity tokens share the same protocols as security tokens, but in the near future, you can expect to see equity token specific standards emerge. For the time being, security token protocols can perform all the necessary functions required by equity tokens. Additionally, ERC-based equity tokens gain a bit more interoperability when compared to what a future equity token standard might include.

Notable Equity Token Projects

One of the most publicized equity token projects entered the market in October 2018 under the name Media Shower. The Media Shower platform enables companies to create and issue equity tokens. Speaking on the venture, Media Shower’s CEO, John Hargrave explained how the concept opens the doors for new investment opportunities on all levels.

SEC vs ICO

The SEC started cracking down on the ICO market in 2017 after it revealed that it believed that most offerings were really tokenized securities. Failure to seek SEC approval when dealing with security tokens can result in hefty fines and even jail time. Since that time, there have been multiple highly publicized cases, with many currently underway.

In most instances, the SEC went after these firms for selling securities illegally. Company officials paid fines and were forced to return investors funds. In one instance, a company by the name of Gladius was able to avoid major fines by self-reporting their ICO. Consequently, the firm returned all investor funds as part of the deal.

Equity vs Security Tokens – Brothers from Another Mother

Each token type provides you with a unique investment opportunity. Be sure to consider your options fully. Also, always keep in mind that both equity and security tokens require approval prior to any transactions. These requirements can affect your ability to trade these tokens in the secondary market.

More to Come

For now, the cryptospace continues to grow as the advantages of blockchain technology continue to be better understood by traditional investment firms. You can expect to see more standards and token types emerge as these trends continue.

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Security Token News

Archax Gears up for Launch with Quod Financial

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Archax Gears up for Launch with Quod Financial

AEP Integration

Today, a forth coming digital securities exchange, Archax, has announced a partnership with Quod Financial. This pairing will see Archax turn to Quod Financial for various services, ranging from smart-order routing, trade automation, to order management and more.

These services are made available through integration with Quod Financial’s ‘Adaptive Execution Platform’. Capabilities made possible through this platform will allow for Archax to effectively deliver their product to institutional investors this coming year. If they achieve this goal, Archax will become – with the help of Quod Financial – one of the first offerings of its type seen in the industry.

Commentary

In their press release, representatives from both companies took the time to elaborate on the development.

Mickael Rouillere, CTO of Quod Financial, stated,

“Archax will be the first venue to bring digital asset trading into the mainstream financial community. Existing crypto venues have been primarily retail driven, and so it has been incredibly challenging for our buy-side and sell-side clients to include any form of blockchain-based instruments in their portfolios as they have lacked a regulated and stable venue. Given the rigorous selection process, we are proud to have been selected for this market-changing project to bring both digital assets as well as our data-driven execution intelligence to a wider audience.”

Graham Rodford, CEO of Archax, stated,

“We wanted to find a best-of-breed partner with an established and proven trading platform used by both the buy-side and sell-side. And one that was ready to handle the complexities of digital assets. Quod’s open, scalable and robust platform fitted the bill perfectly and we are happy to be able to offer it to clients as one of the ways of accessing our exchange…A key decision when evaluating technology providers from the traditional world was to find a platform that could be fully customised to support the new and developing security token space. Quod’s design, using industry standard architecture, allows easier customisation when required. That, coupled with their experience of handling high throughput trading for many tier-one banks and an array of other established regulated clients, made them an ideal partner.”

Quod Financial

Quod Financial is an established company specializing in capital markets. Since their launch in 2004, the company has expanded from London to maintaining offices in New York, Paris, Hong Kong, and Dubai.

Company operations are overseen by CEO, Ali Pichvai.

Archax

This London based company was founded in 2018 by Graham Rodford, Matthew Pollard, and Andrew Flatt. The company is aiming for a 2019 launch of their platform, designed to act as an exchange for digital securities.

In Other News

Archax, in particular, has found themselves in our news feed various times in past months. They have had an impressive development period, resulting in investments from SPiCE VC among others. Check out the articles below to learn a little more about Archax.

SPiCE VC invests in Digital Securities Exchange, Archax

Archax – A Bridge to the Digital Economy

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Security Token News

seriesOne to Utilize ST-20 Standard by Polymath

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Various companies have made announcements detailing intended usage of token standards lately. As the development of various crowdfunding platforms in the digital securities sector continues, the time has come for many to choose what they feel is the most promising standard. With this in mind, seriesOne has just announced that they have partnered with Polymath.

This partnership will see seriesOne utilize the ST-20 token standard to issue and manage digital securities. The ST-20 protocol is based off of the Ethereum blockchain, and will allow for seriesOne to maintain compliance with global regulations governing the industry.

The Future is ST-20

For seriesOne, it was a simple choice to settle on ST-20. This token standard was one of the first to be developed specifically with digital securities in mind. As such, Polymath has had more time than most to develop, hone, and market their offering. This effort has seen the standard adopted by various companies, with seriesOne being the most recent.

Commentary

In their press release, the CEOs of each company took the time to express their thoughts on the announced partnership.

Michael Mildenberger, CEO of seriesOne, stated,

“Investors around the world trust Polymath, which was fundamental to our decision to work together…We are confident that working with the Polymath team using the ST-20 protocol will enhance the process of raising capital on our platform.”

Kevin North, CEO of Polymath, stated,

“Polymath is proud to work with innovative partners like seriesOne, who has fulfilled a specific demand for a turnkey financing portal for any fundraising process…We are thrilled to be the chosen technology standard for the seriesOne platform, and we look forward to demonstrating yet again how industry can work together to set a standard for creating and managing a successful Security Token Offering (STO).”

seriesOne

seriesOne is a crowdfunding platform, which specializes in the issuance, distribution, and management of digital securities. Through their platform, issuers are able to effectively, and efficiently, host security token offerings. The company is based out of Miami, and was founded in 2013.

Polymath

Polymath is a Canadian company, which maintains headquarters in Toronto. The company was established in 2017, and is spearheaded by CEO, Kevin North.

To date, Polymath and their token standards remain one of the most adopted solutions in the young world of digital securities. Their own utility token is available for trading on various industry leading cryptocurrency exchanges such as Poloniex and Bittrex.

In Other News

Each of these companies discussed here today have found their way into our headlines in recent months. For a look at what they have been up to recently, make sure to check out the few articles listed below!

Bithumb Announces New US Security Token

Digital Securities Consortium formed Between Industry Participants

Polymath Proves DEX Security Token Concept

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