Here at securities.io, we believe that regulated, digital securities will play an important role in the continued development of the blockchain industry. Actions taken on behalf of the SEC have further cemented our stance. In weeks past, we have been greeted with news of the SEC targeting decentralized exchanges, as well as laying various charges on multiple ICOs.
While most are still looking for updated regulations to be developed by governing bodies within the United States, the SEC has failed to provide this. They have, however, remained steadfast that until something changes, those participating in crowd-sales must adhere to current guidelines.
New Statement. Old Message.
While the SEC has issued multiple statements in the past, touching on the issue, they have recently released a thorough commentary on recent events. This press release can be found HERE. While their statement touches on a variety of topics pertaining to both the issuance, and trading of digital securities, they close with strong words. They state that in conclusion, “The Divisions encourage and support innovation and the application of beneficial technologies in our securities markets. However, the Divisions recommend that those employing new technologies consult with legal counsel concerning the application of the federal securities laws and contact Commission staff, as necessary, for assistance.”
Simply put, ‘feel free to be forward thinking, just don’t do anything unless we say you can.’
These projects were AirFox and Paragon Coin. What makes this settlement noteworthy is that each of the companies have been ordered to refund ICO participants their contributions. In addition to this, each company was fined $250,000, and must henceforth register and adhere to current securities regulations.
With this precedent being set, dark times may be ahead for many other projects that are in the SEC’s bad book. Due to the drastic decline seen in overall crypto markets, companies do not have the same worth as when they first raised their funds. This means that if a company raised $50 million during the peak of the market, they will be forced to refund $50 million. Due to the market decline, their assets may total significantly less than this total, however – potentially forcing bankruptcy.
While this has not occurred yet, it is a real possibility for many projects. In the meantime, due to uncertainty within the market, and the actions of the SEC, there is an exodus of innovation from the United States. Promising projects that would otherwise be happy to set up shop within the United States, are choosing to do so elsewhere: In nations with a warmer stance towards innovation – despite the SEC’s claims of open arms.
A Bright Future Remains
All of these actions only stress the need and importance of the various platforms and projects that we report on regularly. Although the topic of non-compliance is hot right now, in the future it shouldn’t be a talking point. Projects like Securitize, Harbor, Polymath, Tokeny, etc, have all recognized this, and are working with fervor to assure a bright future.
Stellar Chosen by Wevest for Security Token Offering Platform
Wevest announced their decision to utilize Stellar as a platform for issuing digital securities. This announcement was made after what was called an ‘extensive diligence and testing’ phase, determining which of the industry’s various offerings best suited the companies goals.
With wevest catering towards SMEs, this decision was made, as it will lower the barriers of entry for attaining capital. Stellar provides the wevest STO platform with a scalable solution, which is diverse enough in its functionality to allow for the integration of compliance measures as well. This includes KYC, AML, and more.
In their press release, representatives from, both, wevest digital and Stellar, took the time to comment on the development discussed her today. The following is what each had to say on the matter.
“Stellar was an obvious choice — it combines simplicity, speed, cost efficiency and met all our requirements. We are glad to join the Stellar ecosystem along with several other European companies, contributing to the adoption of blockchain-based products and providing SMEs with easy and efficient access to equity financing through electronic securities.”
“We’re thrilled for wevest to become the latest German fintech to join the Stellar ecosystem…wevest’s investment platform takes advantage of what the Stellar network does best — facilitating the efficient transfer and exchange of value — and we look forward to the upcoming launch of their platform.”
Wevest is a German company that was founded in 2018. Wevest specializes in offering a variety of banking services to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). These range from corporate finance to wealth management, and now the facilitation of security tokens offerings.
Operations are overseen by Managing Director, Jens Siebert.
Stellar is one of the world’s leading blockchains. Firmly entrenched in the top ten assets (per CoinMarketCap at time of writing), Stellar is a fast, versatile solution. This popular blockchain allows for the use of smart contracts, cheap fees, and high speeds; A perfect trio of attributes for a company like wevest.
Stellar has seen major adoption over the past year, by various major companies. One case of note, is IBM – a partnership seemingly headed towards great things.
In Other News
Stellar is only the latest in a line of blockchains seeing adoption by the digital securities sector. While most platforms utilize Ethereum for their smart contract needs, we have seen the usage of others like Ravencoin, TRON, and others. Here are a few articles which relate to a few of these blockchains in use.
Vtoken Exchange Celebrates SEC Filing in Time Square
The largest decentralized exchange in the world, Vtoken, obtained its SEC filing from the United States Treasury Department this week. The firm took to the world-famous NASDAQ billboard in Time Square to celebrate the move. This is the second time the company graced this iconic attraction seen by millions. Also, the move symbolizes further blockchain integration into traditional securities markets.
Speaking on these developments, Vtoken’s Chief Advisor to the Asia Pacific Region explained how his firm plans to cultivate a robust blockchain ecosystem. He took moment to discuss recent global developments in the security token space. Specifically, he touched on how both Chinese and American markets experienced a huge surge in blockchain-based firms.
The Vtoken combines the regulatory protections found in the traditional securities markets with the efficiency of a blockchain -based system. The company offers transfer agents flexible solutions to many of the current issues plaguing the securities markets.
For example, traditional securities can take three days for trades to complete. This delay leaves investors in a less than optimal position. In contrast, Vtoken’s blockchain-based system can complete trades in a matter of hours. Consequently, the platform enables a more nimble trading experience.
Real World Experience
Vtoken is a unique hybrid of technology, compliance, experience, and professional customer service. The firm handles a wide range of clients but specializes in Regulation A transactions. To date, Vtoken’s clients include NASDAQ, NYSE, OTC-listed firms, IPO-issuers, and private investors.
Vtoken’s strategy is unique in that the firm created a complete blockchain ecosystem. Here, investors can get all the information they need to host a compliant STO. The company offers a full range of solutions for both enterprise and private investors. These services include pre and post token issuance and management, smart contract programming, and ownership protection.
The latter feature is unique to V-token. This functionality allows investors to restore lost or stolen tokens, an option not usually available in the blockchain space. More importantly, Vtoken is now in a very exclusive class of decentralized exchanges registered with the SEC.
Vtoken shares many of its core developers with Ripple. Additionally, Vtoken utilizes graphene underlying technology. The token has a trading gateway that is similar to Stellar Lumens. This enables the platform to maintain optimal transaction speeds. Currently, Vtoken can process transactions faster than the third-generation crypto EOS.
Last month, Vtoken made headlines after forming a strategic partnership with blockchain payment platform PayDex. The PayDex platform functions on Vtoken’s public blockchain. The system provides global crypto settlement with support for BTC, ETH, VToken, USDT, VRT, YEC, EOS, LTC, and VUST. PayDex seeks to bring crypto payments to the masses through a simplistic mobile interface.
Vtoken’s all-inclusive approach to the market is crucial to its overall strategy. V-Token provides users with everything they need to become a player in the security token market. You can expect to see this firm continue to make headlines s the platform expands in the coming months.
AlphaPoint and Elevated Returns to Develop Secondary Market
‘Making Illiquid Assets Liquid’ – That is the guiding sentiment behind AlphaPoint, a young company which utilizes blockchain to facilitate tokenization.
This idea is one step closer to becoming a reality, as AlphaPoint has just announced a partnership with Elevated Returns – A forward thinking company which specializes in real-estate.
In this announcement, the pair has indicated that they will be developing a secondary market for trading digital securities backed by real-estate. It is through secondary markets that traditionally illiquid assets, such as real-estate, will become easily tradable – all the while opening up fractionalized ownership, and opportunity for exposure to retail investors.
Elevated Returns will focus these efforts on Asian markets, following their expansion into the region roughly one month ago. At the time, the company acquired a large share in a Thai broker-dealer – a move allowing for them to commence operations through previously attained licensure.
“Elevated Returns prides itself on our reputation as a pioneer in the digital securities space. To that effect, we have a policy to partner with the best in class companies across industry verticals; AlphaPoint’s technology solutions for unlocking digital asset liquidity are unparalleled. Having already demonstrated the capability to integrate with the token standard that we are developing on the Tezos blockchain, AlphaPoint was the clear choice to facilitate the adoption of our tokenized real estate initiatives.”
AlphaPoint is a United States based company that was founded in 2013. With their sights set on ‘making illiquid assets liquid’, AlphaPoint has successfully serviced global customer through their various service offerings.
Since opening their doors, AlphaPoint has seen their diligent work towards growth land them customers in 5 continents, to date.
Company operations are overseen by CEO, Salil Donde.
Elevated Returns is a United States based company, which specializes in investments surrounding real-estate. Recognizing the potential of digital securities, Elevated Returns operates with a goal of acquiring assets viable for tokenization.
One such example was the noteworthy tokenization of the St. Regis Resort; A high-end ski resort that successfully sold digital securities representing ownership within the resort, becoming one of the first to do so.
Company operations are overseen by President, Stephane De Baets.
In Other News
We have detailed developments pertaining to both AlphaPoint and Elevated Returns in the past few months. Check out the following articles to learn a bit more about what each of these companies has been up to in this time.
- Stellar Chosen by Wevest for Security Token Offering Platform April 21, 2019
- Vtoken Exchange Celebrates SEC Filing in Time Square April 20, 2019
- AlphaPoint and Elevated Returns to Develop Secondary Market April 19, 2019
- Due Diligence Process Delays tZERO Investment April 18, 2019
- Brian Collins, CEO at Horizon Globex – Interview Series April 18, 2019