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
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
Horizon Globex Eyes Growth through Series A
One of the leaders within the digital securities sector – Horizon Globex – has just announced the launch of their Series A raise.
This move represents the first time that ownership in Horizon Globex has been made available to outside investors. It marks an important juncture for Horizon Globex, as they look to ramp up their operations through various means.
By taking this step, it validates the hard work that the company has put in over the past few years. No longer are they simply an idea with great potential. They are now a company with various strategic partnerships, working products, and growing levels of adoption (primarily through technology licensure).
Details of the Raise
Over the course of this raise, the company hopes to generate up to $5 million in investments. The event will be structured in accordance with Reg D (rule 506).
Horizon Globex notes the following areas as those which will benefit from the funds generated:
- Global expansion of digital marketplaces
- Research and development
- Strategic acquisitions
- Sales and marketing
- Develop a Multi-Lateral Trading Facility (MTF)
The Game Plan
Looking forward, Horizon Globex indicates that their intention is to generate future revenue streams through the licensure of their tech solutions. The funds generated in their Series A are noted to be used to further develop these solutions. The following are a few examples of the solutions they offer:
- Open Order Book
Horizon Globex CEO, Brian Collins took the time to elaborate on their Series A, and what it is they are trying to do. He stated,
“We’re gearing up to help power a globally connected network of regulated blockchain-trading venues which we believe have the potential to drive the next generation of secondary market liquidity…We are thrilled to give investors the opportunity to own a stake in our fintech business as well as in any future growth in our software licensing business…Capital markets are evolving right now, and we believe that Horizon is at the forefront of this evolution with our proprietary end-to-end suite of blockchain solutions and services that deliver a harmonized rule-book for transparent secondary trading of securities using a blockchain.”
Speaking with Brian
We were fortunate to have completed an exclusive interview earlier this year with Horizon Globex CEO, Brian Collins. In this discussion we learned more about various solutions developed by the company.
Founded in 2010, Horizon Globex is a ‘software-as-a-solution (SaaS) provider, which operates out of Zug, Switzerland. In the time since their launch, the company has managed to develop a diverse stack of blockchain based solutions, meant to serve the nascent digital securities sector.
CEO, Brian Collins, currently oversees company operations.
In Other News
Going back to the Horizon Globex game plan of licensing their solutions – they already have a track record of successful pulling this off. In recent months, we reported on, both, the development of their exchange software and its subsequent licensure to the Antiguan Government. Check out the following articles to learn more.
Byte-Sized Investing with Fraxtor
Democratic Investing with Fraxtor
Another company is looking to make their mark on the digital securities sector, as they ramp up operations surrounding their real-estate investment platform.
Naturally, as these types of investments represent ownership in an underlying asset, with an expected positive return over time, the Singaporean government views them as securities. What this means is that participation is restricted to accredited investors only, at this time.
Fraxtor notes a distinction in what separates their projects apart from others. Specifically, the vast majority of real estate based investment opportunities are restricted to developed properties. While these may represent great investments, the ability to gain exposure to such an asset on the ground floor typically proves to be more lucrative in the long run.
The issue with this, however, is that the amount of funds needed to invest in yet-to-be-developed properties is financially prohibitive. The result is that these opportunities are typically restricted to large property developers, not retail investors.
Fraxtor saw this, not as a problem, but as an opportunity to leverage the capabilities of digital securities, bringing the masses access to such investments; essentially democratizing real estate investing.
Representatives from each, Proptech and Fraxtor, took the time to elaborate on the need for their solutions, and how they will work.
Oliver Siah, CEO of Fraxtor, states,
“Investing in premium real estate is often out of reach for the average investor as it requires high capital outlay and is very illiquid. This makes property investment riskier for investors as they are not able to effectively diversify their portfolio. REITs, on the other hand, do not provide the returns that Private Equity Real Estate Funds can achieve. With Fraxtor, I hope to be able to democratize real estate investment…We have placed a digital wrapper around a physical asset which allows us to issued digital securities to our global investors so that they are able to participate in that particular investment.”
Jordan Kostelac, Director of Proptech, states,
“Now everyday investors like you and me can actually own a piece of grade A office tower in the biggest cities in the world. From an asset holder standpoint, it creates new sources of liquidity and allows them to improve that asset or creating yields from that asset by dividing up the ownership. In the same way as companies do in public offering of their equity.”
To date, Singapore has established themselves as one of the leading countries, with regards to acceptance of digital securities. Not only does the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) host a FinTech Sandbox, they have been quite forward thinking with their endorsements towards companies such as iSTOX. Check out the following articles to learn a bit more about a few Singaporean based endeavours.
Operating out of Singapore, Fraxtor was founded in 2017. This young company specializes in bringing real estate based investments to the masses, through the use of blockchain based technologies.
CEO, Oliver Siah, currently oversees company operations.
Smartee looks to Change the Way Investors Store, Use, and Access, Digital Assets
Smartlands is back at it, with the announcement of another new product. The popular, U.K. based, company has used the tagline ‘One Friendly and Secure App for All Your Money’ to describe what they call ‘Smartee’.
The first steps taken by a new service can often be the most difficult. Recognizing this, Smartlands has decided to incentivize users into becoming early adopters of Smartee. They are doing this by reserving 10% of shares in Smartee for the first 1 million active users.
What can it do?
This new product brings with it multiple capabilities. Smartee functions, primarily, as a wallet for securely storing digital assets and FIAT currencies. Beyond simply storing such assets, Smartee also offers users cashback, based on their activity.
What makes this offering extra interesting is the future capability of the app to function as a ‘robo-advisor’ for accredited investors. This feature will take a pre-set percentage from a user’s account, and automatically invest these funds into STOs being hosted on the Smartlands platform (along with other investment vehicles, yet to be announced). Naturally, preferences for types of investments, amounts, etc., can be tailor set. The result is a passively generated personalized investment portfolio.
Of course, as these opportunities represent participation in the sale/purchase of digital securities, this feature is limited to accredited investors only; meaning that the user must pass required KYC/AML standards.
While this functionality is not live just yet, it is a feature that will be added in the future.
For those wondering what a ‘robo-advisor’ is, you probably aren’t the only one. The term typically refers to a form of investing that is based upon custom algorithms.
The appeal of such a service is the ability to remove human emotion and biases from the act of investing. In doing so, trading fees can be reduced, and minimum balances lowered/removed.
The main con, which people associate with such services, is often the same as its strength – a lack of human interaction. While fees may be kept down and human biases removed, there will, obviously, be a lack of human interaction. It is much easier to become educated, and personalize a portfolio, when opening a dialogue with a human.
Due to their low fees, and low minimum balances typically required, robo-advisors have opened the doors to investing for many non-traditional market participants.
Some of the more popular robo-advisors which invest in traditional markets include,
Upon announcing Smartee, Smartlands CMO, Yaroslava Tkalich, took the time to comment. He elaborated on their incentivization package by stating,
“Smartlands is a community-inspired company: our investors have voting rights, they get a say in investment projects Smartlands puts forth. We are building the Smartee ecosystem with the same community-first approach and are allocating 6 million member-shares (10% of the entire Smartee equity) for the first million of active Smartee users. In order to get the special Co-owner payment card and get the first 3 (three) of their member-shares, users need to register an account and pass KYC.”
Smartlands CEO, Ilia Obraztsov, also took the time to elaborate on the future functionality as a robo-advisor, stating,
“As accredited investors, Smartee customers will be able to configure the type and scope of their investment portfolio based on the offers available on Smartlands, and automatically transfer, for example, 1% of their daily expenses to a “digital piggy bank”. It’s a true definition of passive income with no hassle when your money just hums in the background 24 hours a day working quietly with no direct participation from you.”
Speaking with Arnoldas
To learn more about Smartlands, make sure to read an exclusive interview we conducted with Arnoldas Nauseda. While residing as CEO at the time, he has since transitioned into the role of Chairman.
Operating out of the United Kingdom, Smartlands is a forward thinking company, which has developed a variety of solutions built around digital securities. The company has found themselves at the forefront of the sector since their founding in 2017.
CEO, Ilia Obraztsov, currently oversees company operations.
In Other News
Smartlands has had a busy week, as they found themselves gracing our headlines only two days ago. While the promise of a secure wallet, which facilitates automated investing in STOs, is an intriguing idea, there needs to be STOs hosted in the first place. With this in mind, Smartlands recently began to collaborate with Sotheby’s International Realty. The pair are looking to tokenize multiple pieces of high-end real estate in the coming months.