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UNLOCK Blockchain Forum in UAE Announces first Batch of Stellar Speakers

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The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is prominently present at this year’s UNLOCK Blockchain Forum

November 26th 2018, Dubai:

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 15-16 2019 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, DIFC.

Walid Abou Zaki, Founder & CEO of UNLOCK, stated, “ We launched our first UNLOCK Forum in Dubai in January of 2018 and it was a great success with over 550 attendees, 60 blockchain startups from more than 35 countries and more than 58 high level speakers from the region and globally. As supporters of blockchain ecosystem, we have launched not only the UNLOCK media platform but also are providing services to help propel and build networks and relationships between all stakeholders in the blockchain arena.” He adds, “We are proud to be holding our second series of UNLOCK Blockchain Forum in the UAE, as more and more blockchain use cases emerge across the governmental and private sector in the MENA region. We believe that despite the bear market conditions in the crypto space, there will be a lot of startups who are confident enough to forge forward with their solutions and offerings. We also believe that institutional and private family investment offices would benefit by tapping into blockchain market and invest as little as 5% from the $300 billion worth of budget from GCC investment firms, family offices, and pension funds.”

UNLOCK Blockchain Forum will discuss the following topics such as Security Token offerings, the future of exchanges, the advent of scalable and interoperable Blockchains, how governments are utilizing blockchain, institutional investment, utilizing blockchain for trade , supply chains and business as well as blockchain in healthcare sector and tokenization of economies. In addition, the second day will discuss Blockchain and AI in Smart Cities, Blockchain and GDPR compliance, Blockchain and Digital identity, Blockchain in payments and finance as well as the state of Blockchain in energy sector and the role that telecom operators will have as blockchain as service providers.

Lara Abdul Malak, Editor in Chief of UNLOCK, stated, “We have invited an array of high level speakers from around the GCC and MENA region as well as expert speakers from across the globe. This year we are highlighting the Blockchain initiatives in countries such as the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.” UNLOCK Speakers from KSA include Mr. Mohsen Al Zahrani, Vice President of Strategy and Excellence, Saudi Pay, a subsidiary of SAMA (Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority), Dr. Hesham Bin Abbas, Senior Consultant and Head of Blockchain Initiative at the KSA Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Dr. Abdulraham Al Olayan, Chief Executive Officer of Taibah Valley  which recently opened the first Blockchain lab in KSA, as well as other prominent speakers from UAE including Mrs. Amna Al Owais, Chief Executive Officer Registrar DIFC and CEO Dispute Resolution Authority, Dr. Ramadan AlBlooshi, CEO of  Dubai Healthcare City Authority – Regulation (DHCR), and international speakers that include David Siegel Chief Executive Officer of Pillar Project & 20/30, Bart Brands President of European Blockchain Foundation, Dr. Yannis Kalfoglou, AI and Blockchain Advisor to top tier multinational companies and many more. AbdulMalak adds, “We are in final talks with other speakers from the UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as Bahrain, Kuwait. We want this UNLOCK to showcase the blockchain achievements across the GCC as well as globally.”

UNLOCK has also signed up Avanza Innovations, an Avanza Group Company as well as Swisscom Blockchain as sponsors and will be adding more in the weeks to come. Abou Zaki states, “We are always proud to sign up sponsors who are working to build the blockchain ecosystem and who believe in the MENA region as a center for not only implementation of blockchain but also the development. We are inviting as well all blockchain startups in the region and globally to participate at this year’s UNLOCK”

UNLOCK has also signed more than 30 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

Security Token News

TokenSoft Extends Reach with ‘Global Markets’

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Broker / Dealer Acquisition

TokenSoft has announced the acquisition of a stake within an SEC registered broker / dealer.  As a result, this move will see ‘Marpine Securities’, rebranded as ‘TokenSoft Global Markets’.

Although the initial stake only equates to 20%, the option remains for TokenSoft to acquire the full 100% of Global Markets.  If desired, further acquisition is, however, contingent on the approval from industry regulators.

TokenSoft customers will have access to a variety of new services with the completion of this move. For instance, one such service will be for digital security issuers to now have hosting options. They can both manage and host an STO themselves, or through Global Markets. Beyond this, TokenSoft now gains the ability to refer custody solutions, exchanges, and more.

This move follows a trend being seen in the sector, as various companies are pushing to become true end-to-end solutions. TokenSoft is now one step ahead of most of their competition.

TokenSoft

Based out of San Francisco, California, TokenSoft finds itself as a leader within the digital security sector. Catering to customers like Andra Capital, Hedara HashGraph, and more, TokenSoft specializes in blockchain solutions. They provide customers with the platform and services needed to issue and manage digital securities.

TokenSoft CEO, Mason Borda, commented on the acquisition of Marpine Securities LLC. He stated, “As a result of rapidly growing interest in the security token market, we have been inundated with requests for broker-dealer support services that we historically have not been able to provide…We heard our clients, and now we’re answering. With this investment, we are building a one-stop-shop for digital asset issuance and management – enabling us to expand our security and compliance support to every stage of a digital asset’s lifecycle.”

TokenSoft Global Markets (Formerly Marpine Securities LLC)

With this acquisition, Marpine Securities LLC will now become known as TokenSoft Global Markets. Despite this move, The ‘Global Markets’ division of TokenSoft will continue to act independently from the ‘mother company’. The pair, however, will function with a shared vision, and seamless integration with one another.

TokenSoft’s Lawson Baker, Head of Project Zero, commented on the merger. He stated, “The new services offered by TokenSoft Global Markets will be fully integrated into our high touch customer experience…We are committed to providing our clients with everything they need to participate in the future of security tokens, and TokenSoft Global Markets is a reflection of that commitment.”

Competition

Those looking to take market share away from TokenSoft are numerous. For example, recent months have seen the rapid development of various companies looking to provide token issuers with end-to-end STO services. Recently we have covered multiple of these endeavours, as shown below.

Above all, with these moves being made, look for TokenSoft to continue their presence at the forefront of the digital security sector.

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Security Token News

OpenFinance Network launches first U.S. Security Token Trading Platform

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From Beta to Live

In a long awaited announcement, OpenFinance Network has indicated that their platform has gone live.  In doing so, OFN becomes the first platform to facilitate the trading of digital securities within the United States.

Until this point, the project had been in beta – meaning it was a nearly finished product, being offered to only select users for the purpose of hashing out any remaining ‘bugs’.

By going live, OFN essentially heralds a new age of liquidity, efficiency and opportunity for investors.  Secondary markets, representing a massive investor base, now allow for greater exposure of tokens distributed via STOs.  It is this ability to openly trade that equates to high levels of liquidity.

This platform is what many competitors are marching towards.  OpenFinance Network is the first one to achieve the goal.

Those that are interested in taking part in STOs, but are not accredited investors, should take solace.  Use of the platform is open to both accredited, and non-accredited investors.  This applies to both United States residents, as well as those outside of the nation’s borders.

OpenFinance Network

Founded in 2017, OpenFinance Network is based out of Chicago, Illinois.  Since launch, OFN has established themselves as an industry leader.  Their specialties lay in their established framework for security token services.

Speaking on the live launch of OFN was company CEO, Juan HernandezHe stated, “2018 is said to be the year of security tokens, but, for us, this is only the beginning…We are committed to supporting all levels of investors in participating in this burgeoning alternative asset ecosystem. As we continue to partner with more security token assets, we are able to offer people more opportunities for wealth generation.”

With their sights set on industry advancement, the sector should look very different during 2019.  Already boasting a plethora of tokens for investors to trade, expect for OFN to continue this growth.

One of the more notable tokens to be traded on the platform is that of Blockchain Capital (BCAP).  This was one of the industry’s first STOs to ever have been completed.  This is just one example of some of the projects that can be found on OFN.

Read more on BCAP here.

Commentary

Various industry leaders have commented on the progress made by OpenFinance Network.  Here is what a few of them had to say:

CEO of Securitize, Carlos Domingo, says, “Security tokens, or digital securities, will only begin to make a meaningful contribution to the financial landscape when compliant trading can take place on a wide scale. We are proud to have partnered with OpenFinance Network to make this a reality.”

Co-Founder of Blockchain Capital, Brad Stephens, says “As creators of the world’s first security token, the BCAP, we are encouraged by the growth of the security token market and related infrastructure. We are excited to be partnering with OpenFinance Network that is enabling liquidity of security tokens in a regulatorily compliant way.”

 

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Security Token News

BANKEX to Open Security Token Trading Platform

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BANKEX Platform

In addition to developing an STO/DSO framework, BANKEX has now announced the launch of a digital securities trading platform.

While multiple frameworks for the issuance and distribution process are in the works, few announcements have been made with regards to trading platforms.

 The main benefits being offered by digital securities typically hinge around liquidity and efficiency.  To achieve these sought after traits, retail investors must have access to secondary markets which host said tokens.

The planned trading platform by BANKEX will make these benefits a reality.  With plans to facilitate trading for both utility and security tokens, the platform stands to appeal to a diverse crowd.

While various security token protocols are on the market, the BANKEX platform will initially support the following:

Each of these token standards are products of the Ethereum blockchain.  They vary from the typical ERC-20 token by incorporating various features. These include, but are not limited to, facilitating KYC checks, adhering to AML, and more.

As of Oct. 30th, the exchange has launched with basic features. For now, trading is limited to BTC, LTC, ETH, BKX, and BCH.  In time, expansion of supported coins will see the inclusion of security tokens.

Custody

Straight from the SEC, it has been said that a major hurdle within the blockchain industry is that of custody solutions.  While various companies have indicated theirintent to create such services, very few have actually done so at this point in time.

Along with the launch of their trading platform, BANKEX also intends to offer custody services as well. This means that investors will be able to entrust their tokens to beheld by BANKEX in a safe manner.  A safe manner implies practices such as insurance acquisition, cold storage, etc.

End-To-End

Instead of focusing on a subset of the digital securities industry, BANKEX intends to be a comprehensive platform.  While this makes the hurdle towards widespread launch higher, it also raises their ceiling for potential as a platform. 

If BANKEX is successful in what they want to achieve, investors will have no need to utilize outside services, thereby increasing the influence of BANKEX within the sector.

BANKEX

Founded in 2015, BANKEX is based out of New York, New York.  They are a financial service company with self-described mission to… “Add liquidity to assets that have an underrated value due to the way that classic financial markets currently operate.”

Beyond the news of their intended platform launch, BANKEX recently made news as they were the recipient a Maltese VFA Licence.  This opens the door to various financial services, which are detailed in a recent BANKEX blog post, HERE.

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