This week, Overstock.com announced revisions to its Series A-1 Preferred Stock (OSTKO). The firm wants to drop trading restrictions and allow investors to trade OSTKO shares immediately. This pioneering strategy provides liquidity to investors in a manner that wasn’t possible before the advent of blockchain tech.
Eliminate Rule 144 – OSTKO
All traditional shares require a six-month lockup period to be compliant with SEC Rule 144. During this period a series of processes occur to finalize the purchase. Overstock automated these procedures via smart contracts. Now the company seeks SEC approval to eliminate the need to adhere to Rule 144 in this instance.
The Original OSTKO Launch Date
The original record date for the OSTKO launch was September 23, but company executives postponed the date to push their new strategy. Now, Overstock plans to announce the new record date sometime in the next two months.
The new tokenized shares will be slightly different than their traditional counterparts. For example, Overstock’s board approved a conversion rate of one digital series A-1 preferred stock to ten shares in common stocks. Interestingly, the company chose to make the new stock only available via the Dinosaur Financial Group brokerage platform.
The Dinosaur Financial Group is also a partner with tZERO, Overstock’s blockchain subsidiary. In both instances, the Dinosaur Financial Group functions as the broker-dealer. Basically, the firm provides brokerage accounts for investors seeking to trade these digital assets.
Discussing the partnership at that time, Dinosaur’s Managing Director of Equity, Elliot Grossman described his company’s pride in being a pioneer in the industry. He said that the technology has the potential to create “disruptive changes for issuance, trading, and settlement in capital markets.” Today, Grossman is the CEO of tZERO.
Speaking on the OSTKO shares, Overstock’s Interim CEO, Jonathon Johnson discussed the interest seen from broker-dealers, regulators, and shareholders. He called the technology groundbreaking before touting integrated compliance and investor protections.
Most importantly, Johnson explained that blockchain technology improves the overall investor experience. He also described the tech as having an “enormous potential to transform society for the better.”
Slow Short Selling
It was Overstock’s ex-CEO, Patrick Byrne who first thought up the idea of tokenizing shares. Ironically, the strategy originated as a way to stop ramped short selling of their stock. Byrne claims a well-organized group of fraudsters targeted Overstock for the last year via these short sales attacks.
The short sellers seemed to only work with dollars so the plan to tokenize worked great. That was until early this week when Morgan Stanly and JPMorgan started accepting fiat payments for the tokenized stock. The news caused an investor frenzy that sent Overstock shares down 40% from a recent 52-week high.
Overstock is Full Blockchain
It’s interesting to see how Overstock uses its blockchain know-how to navigate the market-scape. In this case, the use of blockchain to stop short sales attacks resulted in the development of a better investor experience. You can expect to see more from these innovative developers in the coming weeks as OSTKO goes live.
DX.Exchange Goes Bankrupt – CX Technologies Ltd
Additionally, a host of suppliers have taken suit against the company. These suits run the gambit from unpaid bills to the alleged fraud. The well-known cybersecurity firm, White Hat Ltd is one of the company’s claiming losses due to DX.Exchange actions. Another lawsuit lists Bee2See Dotan B.S. Solutions. This is the firm that handled DX.Exchange targeted marketing. Even the company supplying the servers never got paid – Malam Team.
Writing on the Wall – DX.Exchange
Employees and suppliers knew to take action earlier in the month after the firm closed its doors unexpectedly. At the time, DX.Exchange owner Pinhas Patarkazishvili cited the rising costs and dwindled profits the exchange had left. He told employees that he was searching for a merger or acquisition and if that he was unsuccessful, the company would permanently cease operations.
Security Tokens on the DX.Exchange
Will Employees and Affiliates Get Paid?
VNX Exchange Launches, Calling Luxembourg Home
While there are many hurdles yet to be cleared on the way to the mainstream adoption of digital securities, there is one that remains obvious. This would be a lack of marketplace solutions within the sector.
Looking to fill this void in the sector is VNX exchange. The Luxembourg based company has just announced the launch of their digital assets issuance platform, which will work to facilitate the tokenization and sale of assets. VNX indicates that the potential for a secondary market launch will be evaluated in time.
In an event held to mark the launch of the platform, the company even drew praise from the Luxembourg Minister of Finance, Pierre Gramegna. He stated,
“VNX is one of the success stories of Luxembourg House of Financial Technology, the LHoFT”
A Place to call Home
For those that follow the digital securities sector, a geographical trend may have been noted. With forward thinking regulations, and industry clarity, Luxembourg has begun to establish themselves as a nation open to blockchain based endeavours. This has resulted in more than just VNX calling the European nation home. The following companies are just a couple of examples of this.
While the VNX launch is a positive development for the sector, they are not the first to the table, and will not be the last. The following companies stand to be a two of the major competitors in the same space in which VNX is looking to carve out a place.
Wasting no time in the launch of their services, VNX is providing investors with access to an STO straight out of the gate.
This event will see Korean based, Streami, issue €3 million worth of digital securities. The company itself is solution provider within the world of blockchain through services ranging from a cryptocurrency exchange, to custody, and fiat gateways.
The event garnered commentary from representatives of each, VNX and Streami.
Alexander Tkachenko, CEO of VNX Exchange, stated,
“Streami offering demonstrates the real use case of asset backed tokens to finance VC investments.”
Junhaeng Lee, CEO of Streami, stated,
“I strongly believe in the development of the assets-backed digital financial instruments. VNX offering shows how fundraising for VC industry may evolve and by extension implications to the financial industry. I am very excited and proud that Streami is the first offering presented at VNX platform.”
To learn more about the structuring of these digital securities, make sure to peruse the Streami investor deck HERE.
While first conceived in 2017, VNX exchange was founded in 2018. The company operates within Luxembourg, and hopes to transform FinTech through their platform.
CEO, Alexander Tkachenko, currently oversees company operations.
Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings to Bring Digital Securities to Japan
After spending months developing within the confines of the MAS FinTech Sandbox, digital exchange, ‘iSTOX’, looks to take its first large step forward – towards Japan.
It was recently
announced that Japan based, Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, has acquired a minority share of ICHX Tech (iSTOX ‘mother-company’).
This move represents a first for iSTOX, as the company looks to eventually offer their services to investors worldwide.
iSTOX has had a successful year, as they have been on the receiving end of various investments over this time. The first major example would be the globally renowned, Singapore Exchange (SGX), followed by a series of companies in the following months.
This latest investment, which totals $4.58M, equates to a 4.58% share in ICHX Tech. By acquiring the position, it is expected that digital securities, hosted on the iSTOX platform, will now be available to Japanese investors; this being possible through the brokerage capabilities of Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings.
MAS FinTech SandBox
One of the reasons behind the success experienced thus far by iSTOX, can be owed to the fact that they are one of a very select group to be admitted into the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) FinTech Sandbox.
This program allows for companies to trial new technologies and products, within a structured environment, allowing for continued public/client protective measures.
iSTOX is a subsidiary of Singapore based, ICHX Tech, which was founded in 2017. The company is fervently working to develop, and attain, adoption for their digital securities exchange. This platform, which is currently operative and accessible by accredited investors, is expected to make a full launch in Q4 of 2019.
CEO, Danny Toe, currently oversees company operations.
The team at iSTOX recently announced new growth, as they welcomed a new CCO – Oi Yee Choo. The following article takes a closer look Oi Yee Choo and what she brings to the table.
Operating out of Tokyo, Japan, Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings is an investment firm, which was founded in 1929. The company is able to offer its clientele a variety of services, pertinent to securities, such as brokerage, distribution, and more.
Company operations are currently overseen by CEO, Tateaki Ishida.
In Other News
Singapore has rapidly established themselves as a leader within digital securities. With clear regulation, and forward thinking, companies have been able to effectively establish themselves within the Asian nation. The following articles are a few examples, highlighting industry moves which involve Singapore.
- Christian Platzer, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of Black Manta Capital – Interview Series
- The Managed Stablecoins are Securities Act of 2019 H.R. 5197
- Max Crowdfund STO Promises to Fuel Tokenization Revolution
- Securitize Increases Ties to Japan through First Acquisition
- The Future is Bright for Bison Trails as Series A Nets $25.5M