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ST8 Launched in an Effort to Help French SMEs

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ST8 Launched in an Effort to Help French SMEs

ST8

A trio of companies has just announced a joint effort, aimed towards SMEs based in France. The result of this is known as ST8.

ST8 is described as a ‘digitized financing solution’. By taking advantage of accommodating regulations within France, ST8 looks to provide SMEs with more effective access to capital, through the use of security token offerings.

Through the strength of each company, ST8 is able to offer a bevy of services, which cover the entire gamut required to successfully issue, and manage, compliant security tokens.

Commentary

In their press release, representatives from each of the three founding companies took the time to comment on the event discussed here today. The following is what each had to say on the matter.

Fabien Aufrechter, Head of Havas Blockchain, stated,

The expertise of our three firms forms a complementary and strategic offer for companies looking for innovative funding solutions. The tech and reputational expertise we provide allows us to deliver an institutional grade service for our clients.

Paul Bougnoux, President of Psion Finance, stated,

ST8 is a strategic alliance between digital and finance. As technology has advanced, digitalization is becoming more and more useful for the financing needs of firms. Hence the fact that we are proud to participate in the creation of this consortium to carry a new, end-to-end digital financing solution. This offer is also built on our core expertise: the financing of French businesses, which is the core of our economy.”

Luc Falempin, CEO of Tokeny, stated,

In the near future, the tokenization of financial securities will become the main source of funding for SMEs. The benefits on both the buy-side and sell-side are overwhelming and allow for lower costs, and therefore reduce the barriers of entry for actors. Its a matter of creating trusted and compliant tools in the ecosystem that these players can rely on. This is the main inception behind ST8, a 360° solution for a significant driver of the French economy.”

Havas Blockchain

Havas Blockchain is based out of France, and was founded in 2018. Company services revolve around blockchain related endeavours. The company strives to provide ‘comprehensive support for blockchain projects and crypto-assets’.

Psion Finance

Psion Finance is also based out of France, and represents the STO division of Largilliere Finance. The goal of Psion is to provide end-to-end services for companies considering tokenization.

Tokeny

Tokeny is a Luxembourg based company that was founded in 2017. Above all, Tokeny is a compliance platform. With a focus on the digital securities sector, Tokeny has developed various solutions to facilitate compliance among industry participants.

In Other News

Tokeny has made the news lately in a variety of ways. They have announced services solving industry problems, while facilitating the STOs of promising upstarts. Here are a few articles detailing recent achievement by Tokeny.

Blockport Partners with Tokeny on STO

Digital Securities Alliance formed by Tokeny and DLA Piper

Tokeny Announces European Launch of investorID

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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 Tokens

FINMA Releases Annual Report – List Security Tokens and DLT

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FINMA Releases Annual Report - List Security Tokens and DLT

This week, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) published its annual report for 2019. Interestingly, the report highlights developments surrounding security token offerings (STO) and distributed ledger technology (DLT). The news falls in line with efforts by Swiss regulators to further develop the country’s blockchain sector.

Challenging Questions

Discussing the results of the report, FINMA officials pointed out that there continues to be “challenging questions” the group encounters. Specifically, regulators face questions regarding the trade, custody, and settlement of different token types. Additionally, FINMA continues to receive questions about possible licensing requirements pertaining to the central securities depository pursuant to Art. 61 of the Financial Market Infrastructure Act (FMIA).

Importantly, FINMA regulators believe that tokenized securities need to be met with an updated regulatory framework. Specifically, regulators would like to create a new licensing category for institutions looking to trade, settle and custody securities under a single entity. These concerns are echoed by US regulators who also face tough questions regarding streamlining the securities settlement process for tokenized assets.

Stablecoins Are in the Spotlight

Also, the FINMA report gives special attention to the emerging market of stablecoins. Stablecoins are tokenized assets that are pinned to real-world assets such as gold, or in most instances, fiat currencies. Stablecoins have been in the spotlight lately as a myriad of major non-governmental concepts have come to light. Specifically,  Switzerland is home to Libra, Facebook’s stablecoin project. As such, regulators seek to control, but not stifle these efforts.

ICO Data

FINMA also included data on initial coin offerings (ICO) for the year. Importantly, there were 1185 individual ICOs that took place last year within the group’s jurisdiction. Of these ICOs, the group started investigations into approximately 60. Out of the 60 investigations, 30 resulted in enforcement actions. Surprisingly, these numbers are a decrease over 2018. In 2018, 42 investigations concluded in enforcement actions.

FINMA Releases 2019 Report

FINMA Releases 2019 Report

Specifically, FINMA identified a breach of the Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) in around 10 ICOs. Another 8 cases narrowly missed prosecution but did make it to FINMA’s warning list. Ultimately, FINMA brought enforcement proceedings against three firms in 2019.

Increased Enforcement

Interestingly, this year’s report highlights a focus on the secondary-markets regarding digital assets. The group continues to explore structuring for the trading and custody of these tokens. As such, regulations continue to develop surrounding the operation of trading venues and other security token associated support activities.

FINMA

FINMA continues to play a pivotal role in security token adoption in the EU. Currently, the group oversees over 29,200 financial services firms and products. These products include a diverse range of blockchain-based applications. Additionally, FINMA has been actively collaborating with the Swiss Federal Council to develop a framework for blockchain tech through amendments to the current federal laws.

FINMA – A Step Ahead

FINMA’s forward-looking stance and flexibility in regards to the STO sector has allowed Switzerland to remain a financial hub for blockchain activity within the EU. Given the overall tone of Swiss regulators, it’s apparent that this group seeks to increase blockchain integration to new levels. As such, you can expect to see Switzerland retain its title as a global financial powerhouse for years to come.

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Draper Goren Holm Adds Rodney Sampson as Venture Partner

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Draper Goren Holm - Philanthropist Rodney Sampson

The Los Angeles-based venture firm, Draper Goren Holm announced the addition of well-known Philanthropist Rodney Sampson this week. According to reports, Sampson is now a venture partner in the firm. As such, he will play a key role in identifying projects of interest to the group moving forward. The news showcases the further expansion of the US-blockchain sector, and a desire by Draper Goren Holm to remain ahead of the curve in terms of blockchain integration.

Draper Goren Holm

The investment firm of Draper Goren Holm specializes in accelerating and incubating early-stage blockchain and fintech startups. Currently, the firm handles over 65 partnerships with top venture capital funds, media companies, and service providers in the sector. Notably, the firm is named after its three primaries – Tim Draper, Alon Goren, and Josef Holm. Together, this triad is able to catapult innovative tech projects into stardom.

Rodney Sampson

The addition of Rodney Sampson will only strengthen Draper Goren Holm’s positioning in the market. Sampson is one of the most recognized investors in the market. Much of his recognition comes from his astounding investment history and the events he hosts yearly. Importantly, Sampson participates in around 300 events per year. Consequently, he regularly works closely as an advisor to high growth startups and seed-stage venture funds.

Rodney Sampson Has the Experience to Excel

As one of his early business ventures, Sampson co-founded, built, and sold Multicast Media Technologies for $24 million in 2010. Additionally, he retains a partnership and is the largest minority LP at TechSquare Labs which is valued at over $1.5 billion. Sampson is also the Executive Chairman of OHUB and a Nonresident Senior Fellow at the leading inclusive ecosystem building platform – The Brookings Institution.

Rodney Sampson

Rodney Sampson

How the Team Met

Not surprisingly, these individuals didn’t decide to join forces out of pure chance. Sampson met Alon Goren and Josef Holm at a crowdfunding event in Las Vegas nearly a decade ago. Tim Draper also knew Sampson from the time they both judged a pitch competition for 43North in Buffalo. Importantly, Sampson believes the team wasn’t brought together by accident. He believes that together, they can work to “solve our planet and society’s hardest challenges.”

Discussing the important addition, Draper Goren Holm’s Founding Partner, Goren spoke on how Sampson will become a key contributor to the team’s unified efforts. He commended Sampson on an impressive career and his “grit, deep industry insight, and entrepreneurial spirit.” Finally, he discussed how the team will one day build the next generation blockchain hub in Los Angeles.

Goren’s thoughts were echoed by the other Founding Partners of Draper Goren Holm. Specifically, Holm spoke on Sampson’s new role in the firm. He states that Sampson will help the group scout out industry talent. In this way, the firm seeks to leverage Sampson’s decades of experience to ensure only the best and brightest concepts make it to the table.

Tim Draper

The American venture capital investor Tim Draper was born on June 11, 1958, to a long line of venture capitalists. Perhaps it was this early start that allowed him to become one of the most successful venture capitalists in the world. His most prominent investments include some of the best-known companies in the world. Draper helped start Baidu, Hotmail, Skype, Tesla, SpaceX, AngelList, SolarCity, Twitter, DocuSign, Coinbase,  Ancestry.com, Twitch, Cruise Automation, just to name a few.

Tim Draper Crypto

Draper has been involved with blockchain technology since the very beginning. In early 2014, Draper started to acquire Bitcoin in small batches. The price was around  $2 at that time. Aside from his early savings, Draper also received international media coverage when he purchased the Bitcoin confiscated during the Silk Road trial by US Marshalls. According to reports, he purchased 40,000 Bitcoins at around $632 apiece.

Alon Goren

Alon Goren is another well-known investor in the market. His career includes becoming the CEO and Co-founder of InvestedIn. Importantly, the platform specializes in social fundraising and crowdfunding platforms. Prior to founding InvestedIn, Alon held multiple high-ranking positions at tech giants such as IMDB and MySpace.

Importantly Goran is a strong advocate for tokenization. Especially in regards to securities. In the past, he hasn’t been shy about what he considers antiquated securities laws. In a recent interview, he explained that “people operating in good faith” need more flexibility to develop the market properly.

Josef Holm

Not surprisingly, Josef Holm is also a leader in the crowdfunding industry. He has over 17 years of start-up, business development, digital marketing, and social marketing experience. Notably, he co-founded and is the CEO of Tubestart.com. The platform is a fan-supported content development platform. In 2014, he founded Krowdster.co. This platform was the first to introduce to the market crowdfunding campaign analytics, optimization, and promotion software based on big data, machine learning systems and predictive analytics.

Draper Goren Holm

Draper Goren Holm entered the market in August 2018. Originally founded by Alon Goren and Josef Holm, the company added Tim Draper only months after its start. The company focuses on incubating and accelerating early-stage blockchain startups. As such, the company helped launch Totle, Ownera, Innovesta, LunarCrush, Degens, Giftz, Vertalo, Coinsquad, CasperLabs, Element Zero, DeFi Money Market, to name a few.

Additionally, the firm hosts some of the most important summits of the year. These summits include CIS, the Security Token Summit, and the LA Blockchain Summit. Importantly, the CIS conference was one of the firm’s first ventures. Today, it is the largest blockchain conference on the West Coast.

Draper Goren Holm – The Men Behind The Magic

You can expect to continue to see innovative and disruptive technologies receive a boast from this firm. Their unmatched experience, coupled with a unique market outlook, is what keeps Draper Goren Holm one step ahead of the competition. Sampson is no stranger to the fast-paced tech capitalist world. His experience is sure to prove valuable as the group seeks to push blockchain adoption to the masses. For now, the cryptocommunity awaits the firm’s net major move.

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EUR/USD Forex Market Weakening as Virus Spread Continues

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EUR/USD Forex Market Weakening as Virus Spread Continues

• Signs of Strength in Previous Days Removed
• USD Position as Safe Haven of Choice Remains
• Oil Also at Decade Low as Impasse Continues

The Euro has faced a challenging start to the week as it stalls after record rallies last week to regain a foothold against the Dollar. The market confidence again seemingly shaken by the continued spread of COVID-19 across the bloc and the possible lack of a cohesive plan to stimulate the economies of the key nations. The USD has again gained on being the destination of choice for worried traders, while oil markets continue to plummet to new lows.

Euro Rally Looks to be Discontinued

The currency had rebounded quite well from the turmoil of recent weeks to post record gains last week. This has stalled at the $1.11 mark and dropped back almost 1% at the time of writing. This has been largely pushed by the ramp up in cases reported by Germany, the largest economy of the Union, and similar continued struggles in both France, and Spain.

The market sentiment here has also certainly not been helped by disagreement between countries about how they should deal with the economic impact of the crisis. There have been much needed injections into the markets of almost all countries in the EU, and multiple joint efforts to ensure the people have the emergency equipment and other things they need. Then came the question on how it should be paid for. This laid bare a division between several of the nations which still has not been clearly resolved.

USD Improving Again as Markets Panic

The balance of this pair will also have been impacted by the influx of traders moving back toward the USD. This may be seen as a retreat of sorts, with the confidence that was starting to grow toward the mid-point of last week receiving a knock back.

The only significant data to come out of the US today is that regarding February pending home sales. This, in combination with the expected drop back in major markets at the sounding of the opening bell, all spells a backward step for the country in lockdown. The market has not responded to various attempts at stimulation and it looks as though traders will remain steadfast in the USD for the early part of the week at least.

Oil Face-Off Continues as Price Hits New Lows

Amid the continuing coronavirus chaos, Russia and Saudi Arabia continue their standoff in the oil price war. This, at an already economically uncertain time has done the economy no favors. Crude Oil stands at the lowest point since 2002 at the time of writing. There also appears to be no breakthrough in sight.

With both nations refusing to budge, and Saudi Arabia signaling an intention to flood the market at a time when demand is already at rock bottom, there may well be further for these prices to fall before any positive progress is seen. This in turn is sure to be felt in the forex market, particularly with the Canadian Dollar which is heavily linked to oil prices.

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