Request of the SEC
On December 12, Templum issued a formal letter to the SEC, outlining not only the potential impact that blockchain can have on various industries, but recommendations for asset treatment.
What did it entail?
Digital securities as a whole clearly need clarity. However, the request on behalf of Templum focused, primarily, on ‘guidance related to post-trade activities in the digital asset space.’
After listing various examples in detail that require guidance, Templum leaves the SEC with 3 simple points of recommendations. The following points are a directly from their letter:
- Clearly define when a blockchain technology platform must register as a clearing corporation and define how blockchain technology may be used by such firms.
- Provide clear guidance to the industry as to when a blockchain technology platform must register as a transfer agent and provide guidance to issuers of digital assets as to when they must use a transfer agent.
- Modernize the Custody Rule and the Customer Protection Rule to take in to account and encourage the use of blockchain technology’s ability to track securities transactions.
Closing out their request, Templum imparted their positive view on the potential of blockchain. They stated, “We believe that blockchain is a potent modernizing force in financial services. Blockchain has the potential to increase efficiencies in post-trade mechanics and increase auditability, both benefits that would greatly benefit the industry. In order to best take advantage of this potential, the SEC must modernize regulations related to clearance and settlement.”
The full request from Templum can be viewed HERE.
Not the first request
It should be noted that Templum is not the first to request clarity from the SEC. In September, 12 members of Congress implored the SEC to do the same.
This particular request was the result of a meeting in Washington. The meeting involved not only politicians, but individuals from within both the world of crypto, and wall-street.
Might be in vain
Despite the murky waters in which blockchain resides, requests on behalf of the SEC may soon become a moot point.
Recently making headlines has been the push for the re-classification of digital assets on behalf of multiple Senators. This particular charge is led by Congressman, Warren Davidson, who hopes to develop a new set of rules, better suited for modern technology. A far cry from the securities definition created 72 years ago.
SEC – A Brick Wall
Months ago, SEC chairman, Jay Clayton, made it explicitly clear that they would not be changing to definition of securities. At the time, Clayton stated, “We are not going to do any violence to the traditional definition of a security that has worked for a long time…We’ve been doing this a long time, there’s no need to change the definition.”
The SEC has every right to take this stance. However, the requests for guidance from various entities indicates that the SEC has not clearly articulated themselves.
It is baffling that at this point the SEC has not released better clarification on how digital assets are governed.
Templum was founded in 2017, and is based out of New York City. Above all, Templum specializes in offering blockchain services tailored towards digital securities. This includes platforms for both secondary markets and initial fundraising efforts.
In a past interview with Forbes, Templum cofounder, Vincent Molinari, best described what it is that Templum does. He stated, “Templum is a fintech and blockchain holding company that is focused on the modernization of securities law that intersects with the most innovative technologies. Templum will continue to create new market infrastructure in clearance, settlement, custody and transfer of digital assets as securities to create standardization, best practice, and investor protection and will allow large pools of institutional capital to enter the digital frontier market.”
AssetBlock Tokenizes $60 Million Real Estate Fund
This week has seen some dramatic events take place in the blockchain real estate sector. Notably, AssetBlock announced the tokenization of $60 million in real estate funds. The news demonstrates the further expansion of blockchain technology into the traditional real estate market, and AssetBlock’s desire to become a major player in the sector.
News first broke of the tokenization on September 17 via a BusinessWire press release. In the post, AssetBlock sheds some light on the strategies in place and how the company plans to disrupt the traditional markets.
AssetBlock Utilizes Algorand Blockchain
Uniquely, AssetBlock chose to tokenize the properties on the Proof-of-Stake blockchain – Algorand. The Algorand blockchain brings some interesting benefits to the table including compliance, global reach, and a strong team of experienced experts.
As such, the Algorand blockchain is built to be sustainable and governed by open operating standards. Another important point worth mentioning is that Algorand blocks finalize in seconds. In essence, this strategy makes it possible for investor participation globally and instantly.
As a Proof-of-Stake blockchain, the energy consumption is far less than a Proof-of-Work (PoW) blockchain such as Bitcoin. Algorand uses a proprietary version of PoS dubbed Pure Proof of Stake (PPoS). This protocol provides full participation while leaving users protected at all times. The system is able to achieve consensus without the need for a central authority making truly decentralized.
Lodging Capital Partners LCP
To make this advantageous maneuver, AssetBlock enlisted Lodging Capital Partners (LCP). LCP currently holds over $1.5 billion in international real estate. For their part, LCP provided the properties to be tokenized.
In this particular instance, AssetBlock chose to tokenize $60 million in luxury hotel properties. According to company executives, these properties are only available to blockchain investors.
AssetBlock – More Opportunities
Speaking on the decision, AssetBlock CEO, Mike Lidell touched on the importance of merging traditional and non-traditional investors in an efficient manner. He explained that this is the best way to create more opportunities for everyone in the market.
Additionally, Steve Kisielica, the Principal CIO of LCP described how the maneuver creates a new investment pool in the market. He also spoke on the responsibility companies have in terms of embracing new technology that simplifies the market.
AssetBlock officials are serious about getting these tokens out to investors. The company officially earmarked the token launch for mid-October.
Real Estate is Growing Digital
The company’s decision mirrors that of some of the biggest players in the game in some aspects. Just this week, Securities reported on Harbor tokenizing $100 million in real estate funds for much of the same reason.
You have to give it to AssetBlock for it’s out of the box thinking. Utilizing a Proof-of-Stake blockchain is a great way to avoid future issues related to energy consumption. You can expect this deal to boost the notoriety of all the firms involved, as well as the possibilities of using PoS blockchains for tokenized real estate.
TokenMarket Streamlining to Focus on Digital Securities
Today it was announced that PayRue has acquired a cryptocurrency exchange, developed by TokenMarket.
With PayRue already holding the appropriate licensing in Estonia to launch an exchange, it is expected that the service will go live sooner than later.
This move goes beyond simply taking control of a cryptocurrency exchange, however. The acquisition is part of a larger partnership which will see the pair of companies work to ensure future integration of services throughout their platforms. The companies state that this integration will benefit their client base, currently numbering over 200,000 and growing.
This acquisition caught our attention, specifically, due to the reasoning behind it. On the part of TokenMarket, this move was undertaken with the intent to focus their efforts more completely on the advancement of the digital securities sector.
Over the past few months, TokenMarket, has made it clear that this is where they believe the future lies, and are hitching themselves to the wagon. Whether undergoing their own STO, or working to develop services and obtain appropriate licensures, they are quickly setting themselves up to be a leader in the space.
Upon announcing the acquisition and re-focusing efforts discussed here today, representatives from each, PayRue and TokenMarket, took the time to comment. The following is what the CEO of each company had to say on the matter.
Mikael Olofsson, CEO of PayRue, stated,
“Working with TokenMarket on a cryptocurrency trading platform is an exciting development for PayRue. Some may see the exchange market as crowded, but our view is that regulated decentralised exchanges are the next evolution and very few companies are prepared for this. We believe that our users will benefit from the security and transparency that centralised exchanges are currently failing to deliver, as showcased with the continuous hacks and fake trading volume”
Ransu Salovaara, CEO at TokenMarket, stated,
“We are excited to work with PayRue as we believe there will be a monumental shift to regulated wallets and exchanges. This partnership allows us to put all our focus on token issuance and the tokenised securities market, which we expect will be a billion dollar business in the coming years.”
Speaking with Mikko
We recently had the pleasure of completing an exclusive interview with the Chief Technology Officer of TokenMarket – Mikko Ohtamaa. In this interview, Mikko, discusses, not only his own foray into blockchain, but the future of TokenMarket within the industry.
Founded in 2017, TokenMarket is a crowdfunding platform based out of Gibraltar. Their efforts are focused on the development of the digital securities sector, through the use of blockchain technologies. To date, TokenMarket has assisted various companies’ complete successful token sales. This includes Storj, Ethos, and more.
CEO, Ransu Salovaara, currently oversees company operations.
Operating out of London, England, PayRue is a tech company which offers services surrounding cryptocurrencies. This includes a mobile payment app, along with the acquired capabilities discussed here today.
CEO, Mikael Olofsson, currently oversees company operations.
In Other News
To date, we have detailed developments pertaining to TokenMarket on various occasions. The following articles elaborate on a few of their developments from the past year.
WORBLI Looks to Make STOs More Affordable
This week, the World Blockchain Initiative – WORBLI – announced plans to revolutionize the STO sector. To accomplish this monumental task, the firm plans to create the world’s most cost-effective and pro-developer blockchain ecosystem to date. The news signals a key shift in strategy by smaller firms, as well as, a continued interest by companies seeking a blockchain-based IPO alternative.
World Blockchain Initiative WORBLI
The WORBLI platform is an STO ecosystem which allows businesses to share in the firm’s extensive library of decentralized apps (Dapps) without the need to hire custom developers. Think of WORBLI as kind of like a blockchain a la carte. In this manner, users can pick exactly what services they require and integrate these services without creating a large workload.
According to WORBLI executives, the platform’s design enables endless possibilities for future developers. For example, a client can add GEO Fencing to their security token. This feature ensures that the token never is sold outside the compliance region.
Identity-based Financial Tiers
Another cool feature is the ability to utilize identity-based financial tiers. You can compartmentalize your STO and only allow certain investors the ability to participate in particular investments. This feature allows firms to better market services to accredited-investors without cutting out smaller contributors.
WORBLI Works on Any Blockchain
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the WORBLI platform is that it can function on any blockchain. Allowing users to choose their favorite blockchain is a smart way to facilitate market integration, and gain trust from users.
In a recent post, WORBLI developers spoke on the rising costs associated with traditional IPOs. Notably, the company pointed out that soon, only mega-corporations will have the capital to host one. To add to the point, developers also spoke on the recent closures of numerous blockchain firms after the institution of more expensive regulatory framework derailed their budgets.
However, one of the most interesting points covered in the post was the fact that these costs also stifle innovation. This innovation is critical for the development of the digital economy. This is why WARBLI set out to create a platform that delivers STO services at an affordable rate in the first place.
WARBLI Network Expands
Most recently, WORLI made headlines after partnering with a blockchain-based digital content timestamp platform called WordProof. WordProof allows content creators to prove ownership of their creations easily and with the validity of the blockchain.
Another noteworthy partnership WORBLI made is with EDNA. EDNA is a DNA firm that seeks to bring more transparency to the DNA market. Currently, DNA firms have little accountability. This lack of transparency has led to a rise in public concern about the use of their DNA after the testing ends.
WORBLI Has a Smart Strategy
WORBLI seems to have a new approach to the STO market. The fact that users can utilize their favorite blockchain could be a big draw for businesses familiar with cryptocurrencies. For now, the firm looks to become a major force in the space.