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UNLOCK Blockchain Forum in UAE Announces first Batch of Stellar Speakers

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UNLOCK Blockchain Forum in UAE Announces first Batch of Stellar Speakers

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

Calibra – A Product of Facebook, Built on Two Tokens

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Calibra - A Product of Facebook, Built on Two Tokens

Calibra

This week, after months of speculation and anticipation, the world of cryptocurrencies and blockchain were finally greeted with Facebook’s upcoming project.  This project is being overseen by a subsidiary of Facebook, known as Calibra.

While the official launch won’t occur for several more months, details of the project have been released, including a thorough whitepaper.

Calibra will provide its clients with a digital wallet. This wallet will allow for users of Calibra, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, to easily send and receive tokens between one another. These tokens, known as Libra, are intended to function similarly to a stablecoin, and are ‘pegged’ to the various FIAT currencies, through use of currency pool known as the ‘Libra Asset Reserve’.

Anticipation

Among various factors, many believe the anticipation for this release has helped aid in the market recovery being experienced over the past months. While there has been a generally positive reaction to the project thus far, it time will tell if we see a major sell-off, post announcement.

Response

Reactions to the whitepaper release have been positive for a variety of reasons, with one being noted above all – awareness.

While it may seem odd to those involved with crypto and blockchain, the majority of the population has minimal knowledge on the industry. Facebook has a massive, global reach, and with their entrance, an enormous amount of people will gain exposure to what crypto is, and what it can offer.

Beyond simply raising awareness, there are those that have viewed this news in a negative light. Facebook has already been guilty of poor security practices, along with gathering obscene amounts of data on the public. Do we really want a corporation with such a reputation now gaining intimate knowledge on our finances as well? While there are those that prioritize privacy, the simple convenience of the offering will trump privacy for many.

Surprise Details

While much of the information divulged in their whitepaper release is unsurprising, many were not expecting the release of TWO tokens.

The tokens to be released include not only the aforementioned ‘Libra’, but a second which will act as a security token. This will be known as the Libra Investment Token. This token will be distributed to early investors, with the proceeds of its sale being used to generate the Libra Asset Reserve (the asset pool used to ‘back-up’ the frontline Libra tokens).

Investors in the Libra Investment Token will be part of the Libra Association Council. Each will receive equity share in the reserve, providing them with dividends garnered from the interest generated on the reserve, along with certain voting rights. For full details on the benefits and responsibilities of being a council member, check out the Libra Council Principles page, HERE.

Backing

While the backing of Facebook may be enough to make Calibra a success, they will not need to do it on their own. Based on the promise of the platform, Facebook has managed to get the backing of over 25 various companies. These companies include, but are not limited to, the following.

  • Spotify
  • Ebay
  • Visa
  • MasterCard
  • PayPal
  • Coinbase
  • Uber

Each of these companies is a founding member of the Libra Association Council. With a minimum $10 million contribution each, this means that the reserve pool is well on its way towards generating a beginning target of $1 billion.

Worry

While the public may be willing to accept this new offering with open arms, governments are more hesitant to do so. Simply put, governing bodies needs assurances on how the data and assets in use will be used.

This has already been made evident as the Senate Banking Committee of the United States has scheduled a hearing for July 16th. The purpose of this hearing is to discuss the Calibra project, and the potential concerns which may arise through its use.

Indian Presence

On an interesting note, Calibra has not filed with the Reserve Bank of India, for the usage and dispersion of Libra within the country. With India representing the most populous nation in the world, this is a large market set to be left untapped. While these are early days, previous stances taken by Indian authorities should prove difficult to surmount. Despite this, the global presence of Facebook should still prove enough to lift Libra to great heights.

Industry Reaction

While Facebook is a huge, global influencer, they are not the only company of this stature. Along with Facebook, there have been rumblings in recent months that competitors such as Amazon and Alibaba will be releasing their own offerings.

This, however, has recently been shut down, as these competitors have indicated that there are no immediate plans for diving in to the industry. The speculation has garnered a response from the Vice President of Amazon, Patrick Gaulthier. At a recent conference, he commented on Calibra, stating,

“It’s fresh, it’s speculative; at Amazon, we don’t really deal with the speculative, in the now…At Amazon, we deal with data a lot, so I’ll be happy to have that conversation two or three years from now.”

Impression

Overall, the Calibra project exudes more positive than negative. While Facebook stands to gain even more user data, they are providing the world with a means to efficiently transfer value. Beyond the convenience of use, this has the potential to positively impact millions of unbanked individuals around the world – giving access to a better way of life along the way. This has been a goal of Bitcoin since the beginning, and whether this is achieved through Libra, or through Bitcoin, it has come one step closer to being reality.

Word on the Streets

With the potential that this project holds, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it has caught the attention of many. Here are a variety of quotes from noteworthy individuals, expressing their thoughts on Calibra.

Jonathan DeCarteret, CEO of INDX, stated,

“Facebook’s LIBRA coin will most probably reshape the payment industry and quite possibly the de-dollarization of the world economy.”

Markus Feber, Member of German Parliament, stated,

“If Facebook will expose its two billion users to the risks of virtual currencies, this would be a good reason for the European Commission to start work on a proper regulatory framework governing the rules of virtual currencies”

Anthony Pompliano, Cofounder of Morgan Creek Digital, stated,

“Imagine a world where Facebook’s digital wallet, Calibra, didn’t just custody financial assets, but also allowed you to store and permission your data. One Wallet. Every asset you own. Low probability of happening, but high potential impact. Wilder things have happened.”

Andreas Antonopoulos, Bitcoin Advocate, stated,

“While Facebook’s Libra doesn’t compete against any open, public, permissionless, borderless, neutral, censorship-resistant blockchains, it *will* compete against both retail banks and central banks. This is going to be fun to watch.”

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Security Token News

Blockpass to Offer Onboarding Services to Polymath Clients

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Blockpass to Offer Onboarding Services to Polymath Clients

Strategic Collaboration

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.

Commentary

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

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

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.

Entoro to Act as Placement Agent in Upcoming Leonovus ‘Galaxa’ STO

Zapaygo STO to Benefit from Vertalo and DealBox Services

Ben Franklin Gives Access to ‘Go Philly Fund’ with the Help of Securitize

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Security Token News

Boston Security Token Exchange (BTSX) Seeks SEC Rule Change

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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.

BOX Technologies via Homepage

BOX Technologies via Homepage

BSTX Token

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.

It’s Time

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.

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