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SEC Issues Statement Reaffirming Stance on Securities

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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.’

Recent Crackdown

Beyond news of the EtherDelta founder being charged, along with the organizer of multiple United States based ICOs, the SEC has, in recent days, settled charges with two other projects.

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.

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Joshua Stoner is a multi-faceted working professional. He has a great interest in the revolutionary 'blockchain' technology. In addition to this, he is a licenced Paramedic in Nova Scotia, Canada. As such, he can provide emergency care/medicine to any situation necessitating it.

Security Token News

TokenSoft Extends Reach with ‘Global Markets’

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Broker / Dealer Acquisition

TokenSoft has announced the acquisition of a stake within an SEC registered broker / dealer.  As a result, this move will see ‘Marpine Securities’, rebranded as ‘TokenSoft Global Markets’.

Although the initial stake only equates to 20%, the option remains for TokenSoft to acquire the full 100% of Global Markets.  If desired, further acquisition is, however, contingent on the approval from industry regulators.

TokenSoft customers will have access to a variety of new services with the completion of this move. For instance, one such service will be for digital security issuers to now have hosting options. They can both manage and host an STO themselves, or through Global Markets. Beyond this, TokenSoft now gains the ability to refer custody solutions, exchanges, and more.

This move follows a trend being seen in the sector, as various companies are pushing to become true end-to-end solutions. TokenSoft is now one step ahead of most of their competition.

TokenSoft

Based out of San Francisco, California, TokenSoft finds itself as a leader within the digital security sector. Catering to customers like Andra Capital, Hedara HashGraph, and more, TokenSoft specializes in blockchain solutions. They provide customers with the platform and services needed to issue and manage digital securities.

TokenSoft CEO, Mason Borda, commented on the acquisition of Marpine Securities LLC. He stated, “As a result of rapidly growing interest in the security token market, we have been inundated with requests for broker-dealer support services that we historically have not been able to provide…We heard our clients, and now we’re answering. With this investment, we are building a one-stop-shop for digital asset issuance and management – enabling us to expand our security and compliance support to every stage of a digital asset’s lifecycle.”

TokenSoft Global Markets (Formerly Marpine Securities LLC)

With this acquisition, Marpine Securities LLC will now become known as TokenSoft Global Markets. Despite this move, The ‘Global Markets’ division of TokenSoft will continue to act independently from the ‘mother company’. The pair, however, will function with a shared vision, and seamless integration with one another.

TokenSoft’s Lawson Baker, Head of Project Zero, commented on the merger. He stated, “The new services offered by TokenSoft Global Markets will be fully integrated into our high touch customer experience…We are committed to providing our clients with everything they need to participate in the future of security tokens, and TokenSoft Global Markets is a reflection of that commitment.”

Competition

Those looking to take market share away from TokenSoft are numerous. For example, recent months have seen the rapid development of various companies looking to provide token issuers with end-to-end STO services. Recently we have covered multiple of these endeavours, as shown below.

Above all, with these moves being made, look for TokenSoft to continue their presence at the forefront of the digital security sector.

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OpenFinance Network launches first U.S. Security Token Trading Platform

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From Beta to Live

In a long awaited announcement, OpenFinance Network has indicated that their platform has gone live.  In doing so, OFN becomes the first platform to facilitate the trading of digital securities within the United States.

Until this point, the project had been in beta – meaning it was a nearly finished product, being offered to only select users for the purpose of hashing out any remaining ‘bugs’.

By going live, OFN essentially heralds a new age of liquidity, efficiency and opportunity for investors.  Secondary markets, representing a massive investor base, now allow for greater exposure of tokens distributed via STOs.  It is this ability to openly trade that equates to high levels of liquidity.

This platform is what many competitors are marching towards.  OpenFinance Network is the first one to achieve the goal.

Those that are interested in taking part in STOs, but are not accredited investors, should take solace.  Use of the platform is open to both accredited, and non-accredited investors.  This applies to both United States residents, as well as those outside of the nation’s borders.

OpenFinance Network

Founded in 2017, OpenFinance Network is based out of Chicago, Illinois.  Since launch, OFN has established themselves as an industry leader.  Their specialties lay in their established framework for security token services.

Speaking on the live launch of OFN was company CEO, Juan HernandezHe stated, “2018 is said to be the year of security tokens, but, for us, this is only the beginning…We are committed to supporting all levels of investors in participating in this burgeoning alternative asset ecosystem. As we continue to partner with more security token assets, we are able to offer people more opportunities for wealth generation.”

With their sights set on industry advancement, the sector should look very different during 2019.  Already boasting a plethora of tokens for investors to trade, expect for OFN to continue this growth.

One of the more notable tokens to be traded on the platform is that of Blockchain Capital (BCAP).  This was one of the industry’s first STOs to ever have been completed.  This is just one example of some of the projects that can be found on OFN.

Read more on BCAP here.

Commentary

Various industry leaders have commented on the progress made by OpenFinance Network.  Here is what a few of them had to say:

CEO of Securitize, Carlos Domingo, says, “Security tokens, or digital securities, will only begin to make a meaningful contribution to the financial landscape when compliant trading can take place on a wide scale. We are proud to have partnered with OpenFinance Network to make this a reality.”

Co-Founder of Blockchain Capital, Brad Stephens, says “As creators of the world’s first security token, the BCAP, we are encouraged by the growth of the security token market and related infrastructure. We are excited to be partnering with OpenFinance Network that is enabling liquidity of security tokens in a regulatorily compliant way.”

 

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Security Token News

BANKEX to Open Security Token Trading Platform

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BANKEX Platform

In addition to developing an STO/DSO framework, BANKEX has now announced the launch of a digital securities trading platform.

While multiple frameworks for the issuance and distribution process are in the works, few announcements have been made with regards to trading platforms.

 The main benefits being offered by digital securities typically hinge around liquidity and efficiency.  To achieve these sought after traits, retail investors must have access to secondary markets which host said tokens.

The planned trading platform by BANKEX will make these benefits a reality.  With plans to facilitate trading for both utility and security tokens, the platform stands to appeal to a diverse crowd.

While various security token protocols are on the market, the BANKEX platform will initially support the following:

Each of these token standards are products of the Ethereum blockchain.  They vary from the typical ERC-20 token by incorporating various features. These include, but are not limited to, facilitating KYC checks, adhering to AML, and more.

As of Oct. 30th, the exchange has launched with basic features. For now, trading is limited to BTC, LTC, ETH, BKX, and BCH.  In time, expansion of supported coins will see the inclusion of security tokens.

Custody

Straight from the SEC, it has been said that a major hurdle within the blockchain industry is that of custody solutions.  While various companies have indicated theirintent to create such services, very few have actually done so at this point in time.

Along with the launch of their trading platform, BANKEX also intends to offer custody services as well. This means that investors will be able to entrust their tokens to beheld by BANKEX in a safe manner.  A safe manner implies practices such as insurance acquisition, cold storage, etc.

End-To-End

Instead of focusing on a subset of the digital securities industry, BANKEX intends to be a comprehensive platform.  While this makes the hurdle towards widespread launch higher, it also raises their ceiling for potential as a platform. 

If BANKEX is successful in what they want to achieve, investors will have no need to utilize outside services, thereby increasing the influence of BANKEX within the sector.

BANKEX

Founded in 2015, BANKEX is based out of New York, New York.  They are a financial service company with self-described mission to… “Add liquidity to assets that have an underrated value due to the way that classic financial markets currently operate.”

Beyond the news of their intended platform launch, BANKEX recently made news as they were the recipient a Maltese VFA Licence.  This opens the door to various financial services, which are detailed in a recent BANKEX blog post, HERE.

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