Pondering an STO
SBI Holdings has recently released a financial report, detailing the health of their various business ventures. In this report, it was announced that after experiencing a successful first year in the world of cryptocurrencies, they are intending on hosting an upcoming STO in 2019.
While they intend to host an STO this year, there is no firm date set, as of yet. This is due to their inclination to wait for an updated and amended ‘Financial Instruments and Exchange Act’ to be released. This is expected to occur in the coming months.
Financial Instruments and Exchange Act
As stated above, SBI is waiting on the upcoming update to this Act. The current ‘Financial Instruments and Exchange Act’ was established in 2006, and was approved with the intent to ensure regulatory compliance among investors.
The act builds upon 4 main ideas to ensure a compliant industry.
- Establishing a cross-sectional legislative framework for investor protection covering financial products with strong investment characteristics
- Enhancing disclosure requirements
- Ensuring appropriate management of self-regulatory operations by exchanges
- Strict countermeasures against unfair trading.
A Profitable Year
While the announcement of an upcoming STO obviously piqued our attention, another main point addressed in the SBI financial report was their profitability. Given market conditions seen over the past year, it was surprising to see that during the first year of operation, SBIVC was able to turn a profit, to the tune of over $3 million USD.
Beyond their profitable first year, SBI has recently seen other positive developments with regards to their staff. It was recently reported that SBI Holdings would see their CEO, Yoshitaka Kitao, appointed as an executive with Ripple Labs.
With a strategic partnership being formed over 3 years ago between SBI and Ripple, this move isn’t overly surprising. The move was undertaken with the goal of pushing adoption for Ripple within the Asian banking system.
SBI Virtual Currencies
SBI Virtual Currencies (SBIVC) is a subsidiary of SBI Holdings. This arm of SBI Holdings was established in 2017, with the goal of disrupting the cryptocurrency industry. While their interests are varied, the most prominent product offered by them is their crypto exchange. In the time since launch, the SBIVC exchange has grown to support a variety of assets, including industry regulars such as XRP, BTC, ETH, and LTC.
In Other News
With word spreading that STOs have a bright future ahead of them, various companies, big and small, have announced their very own STO in recent months. Below are a few articles, detailing companies that have decided to utilize this new format for raising capital.
Vertalo Receives TA License Approval
This month, the tokenization sector just got a bit more competitive as Vertalo announced the firm received its TA (transfer agent) license from the SEC. The important accomplishment places Vertalo in an exclusive class of SEC approved platforms currently in operation. Now the platform is ready to expand its functionality and expand its reach into the tokenization sector.
The Vertalo tokenization platform functions as an all-inclusive security token ecosystem. The platform connects issuers and investors directly to secondary trading markets. This strategy provides much-needed liquidity to the market. Uniquely, Vertalo is the only digital asset platform to offer its services to analog clients directly. Consequently, the platform could push security adoption further.
Vertalo’s streamlined design is meant to improve on the UX. The firm’s advantageous strategy tackles many of the most common barriers to adoption. For example, users don’t need any prior crypto experience to utilize the platform. Through advanced automation, users can skip over wallet setups. In fact, you don’t need any understanding of cryptocurrencies at all to use this platform successfully.
Tokenize it All
Vertalo allows anyone to take advantage of the benefits blockchain technology provides. Companies can tokenize their existing shares in real-time and without any technical know-how. Interestingly, the platform utilizes two of the most popular blockchains in the world to accomplish these tasks.
Ethereum or Tezos
Another unique feature of the Vertalo ecosystem is the fact that issuers can choose what blockchain to tokenize on. The platform utilizes both Ethereum and Tezos for these tasks. In fact, you can even convert your STO between chains with ease.
Vertalo – Experience Matters
When it comes to matters of compliance, you would be hard-pressed to find a co-founder with more experience than former SEC Attorney, Gautam Gujral. In the past, Gujral authored the SEC’s definitive paper released earlier this year. Consequently, Vertalo is fully compliant including the most recent joint statement released by the SEC and FINRA on July 8, 2019
High Standards – Vertalo
Speaking on the importance of his firm receiving its TA license, Co-Founder Dave Hendricks stated “The Transfer Agent plays a critical role in the lifecycle management of securities. While regulators continue to come to terms with the rise of digital assets, they have not lowered their standards and expect digital asset platforms and their partners to hew closely to long-established norms. ”
Full Compliance – Vertalo
Hendricks explained “Vertalo enables its clients and partners to maintain full compliance with existing securities regulations, even while using newer instruments such as security tokens. As we onboard more analog and legacy assets onto the Vertalo platform, our transfer agent capabilities will be able to address any compliance and securities handling requirements they may have.”
Vertalo’s Data Management Platform – TREATS
Another noteworthy project in the company’s pipeline has to do with the tokenization of private REITs (real estate investment trusts). Tokenized REITS provide more liquidity to the market. Additionally, these financial instruments are now usable as collateral. Comparingly, the traditional business systems employed in the REIT markets are paper-based offerings.
In order to make this monumental task a reality, Vertalo partnered with Prime Trust to build the TREATs platform. The goal of the strategic partnership is to combine Vertalo’s compliant digital asset management platform with Prime Trust’s market-leading custodial services.
In this manner, TREATs could play a major role in the market moving forward. Currently, the firm has billions of dollars of real estate under management. Importantly, the company announced that it is already working with dozens of REITs currently.
A Better Tokenization Experience
The developers behind the Vertalo platform have the experience and network to make their strategy work. You should expect to see major moves come from this camp over the coming months as the company’s strategies unfold. For now, the tokenization sector just got a new player worth watching.
Max Crowdfund STO Promises to Fuel Tokenization Revolution
This week, European investors got their first opportunity to participate in the Max Crowdfund STO. The Max Crowdfund platform seeks to revolutionize the EU real estate sector via an aggressive tokenization strategy. Interestingly, the STO will take place across five phases with the first release already surpassing its soft cap of €500,000.
Max Crowdfund is the tokenization and crowdfunding arm of Max Property Group B.V. (MPG). The platform utilizes blockchain technology to streamline real estate investments in a major way. The platform currently boasts over 75,000 global users. Additionally, Max Crowdfund provides the EU market with much-needed liquidity.
Developers seek to expand upon the platform’ s success. As such, funds raised from the STO will go towards the final development stages of the project. Once the platform is completed, it will become a complete real estate security token ecosystem. This ecosystem will include both native Android and iOS apps.
Also, third-parties will be able to tokenize and crowdfund their own properties via the platform. This means that other real estate firms can enjoy the same benefits without the need to invest directly in blockchain technology. Notably, this strategy has the potential to revolutionize development projects. Basically, any developer can now get pre-funded for their projects if investors feel the ROI is good.
A Global Audience
Max Crowdfund will remove many of the typical barriers surrounding real estate investment. For example, investors can participate in property sales for as little as $100. Aside from making real estate investing a reality for anyone, the platform seeks to provide these opportunities to a global audience.
Currently, Max Crowdfund awaits pending regulatory approval from the Dutch financial authorities (AFM). The company filed for approval back in October 2019 but the AFM has yet to make a decision. Typically, an AFM license approval takes around thirteen weeks to complete.
Max Crowdfund is already a major player in the tokenization sector. The platform is best known for its unique combination of features. Features such as automated KYC/AML reduce the amount of time it takes an investor to enter the market. Also, the platform offers multi-currency investment options. This feature is set for major expansion as the platform prepares for its global launch in the coming months.
Max Property Group B.V.
The Max Property Group B.V. entered the EU real estate sector in 2016. The company quickly gained notoriety for its advantageous market strategy. Currently, Max Property Group B.V. controls over €7,000,000 of property assets. The firm specializes in property funds, management services, and sales. Importantly, Max Property Group B.V. started development on the Max Crowdfund platform in 2017.
It’s no surprise to see Max Crowdfund’s expansion. The EU leads the globe in terms of security token regulatory framework. Many analysts see security tokens as the natural evolution of the crypto sector. A solid regulatory framework does more than just protect investors. It allows firms to invest in R&D without concern about the legal ramifications. In turn, you get more investment capital flowing into innovation.
Max Crowdfund STO
The Max Crowdfund STO is underway currently. Given the reputation and success of the platform to date, you can expect to see further investment into its capabilities as the EU tokenization sector continues to heat up.
GreyP Scores with NeuFund STO – Black One Entertainment On Deck
While never intended to be a financially large scale STO, the event was important, as it demonstrated the effectiveness and potential for digital securities to change the way smaller, private companies raise capital.
Just prior to the launch of the STO, we detailed the events which made it possible. In the following article you can learn more about the clearance given to NeuFund by the FMA, and what it means for the platform, moving forward.
Due, in large part, to their successes, NeuFund continues to see strong growth in their client base. The company indicates that their platform investor pool now totals great than 11 thousand individuals. This growth should result in a snowball effect, as issuers are attracted to the platform due to the scope of investors. More STOs will then draw in more investors – and the cycle continues.
Details of the Raise
With regards to the GreyP STO, there were various positive figures that came out of the events. The following are a few of the details surrounding participation:
- 1017 participating investors
- Hailing from 34 different countries
- €4million raised
- Represents 179% of the target cap
This early in the developmental stage of the digital securities sector, any successful STO is an important feat. With every positive and negative experience, industry participants can adapt and grow. Recognizing the importance of the GreyP STO, Zoe Adamovicz took the time to comment by stating,
“It’s an exciting day for Neufund and huge step forward for the security tokens industry at large. We have proven that private companies can effectively utilize blockchain IPOs, whilst lowering the barrier to entry for retail investors. Neufund is the future of stock exchanges.”
Speaking with Zoe
Earlier this year, we were able to complete an exclusive interview with the CEO of Neufund – Zoe Adamovicz. In this discussion, we learn more about NeuFund, themselves, as well as the views of Adamovicz herself.
“Blockchain is one of the greatest opportunities we’ve been presented with in modern history. Decentralization is ultimately about equalizing opportunities, so a young entrepreneur from the third world receives the same access as a wealthy investor. Building solutions that perpetuate the mistakes of existing markets solely for the purpose of increasing revenues is not enough. We, as a Blockchain community, can and should do better.”
Operating out of Croatia, GreyP is a tech company, which was founded in 2013. Above all, the team behind GreyP is working to redefine ‘smart mobility’. This technology has led the company to utilize e-bikes as a development platform.
CEO, Mate Rimac, currently oversees company operations.
Maintaining headquarters in Berlin, Germany, NeuFund is a popular digital securities issuance platform, which was founded in 2016.
CEO, Zoe Adamovicz, currently oversees company operations.
In Other News
NeuFund has also announced their follow-up to the successful GreyP event. This will see Black One Entertainment look to repeat this success in early 2020. While a firm date has not been announced for this STO, more information can be found in the company’s pitch deck, HERE.