The Growing World of Security Token Protocols
Security tokens are one of the fastest growing sectors in the cryptomarket. These tokens allow companies to remain government compliant and utilize blockchain technology to enable more secure business transactions. As the security token market expands, more security token protocols become available to the public.
The Right Token for the Job
Security tokens contain regulatory protocol directly within their coding. This self-contained script is perfect for use in tokenization scenarios. When a token represents ownership rights to a piece of property, revenue sharing, security or other regulated item, security tokens are the only option.
Security token adoption increased significantly in the last few months. Currently, Security tokens make up around 6.54 percent of the total crypto market according to a recent study provided by Hashgard. Service tokens account for the largest percentage of the market at 49.05 percent, followed by utility tokens (25.3%), and hybrid tokens (12.47%). Another report published by ICORating showed that STO growth climbed 1.66 percent during Q3 2018. At the same time, utility token issuance decreased by 10 percent.
Security token protocols come in a lot of different styles nowadays and depending on the functionality of the security token in question, certain protocols are better suited to handle the tasks. Consequently, this need for function-specific security tokens ushered in a wave of new security token protocols.
Polymath’s ST-20 protocol was one of the first security token standards to enter the market. The token features integrated KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti-MoneyLaundering) mechanisms. Polymath users can issue customized security tokens directly through the platform using the simplistic interface. What makes the ST-20 unique is that the token is issued on Polymaths custom built blockchain.
The token is hugely popular as Polymath is one of the largest security token launch platforms available to the public. The company was the first firm to launch a global security token conference. As an early entry to the security token race, Polymath wanted to take all the regulatory shortcomings of the ERC-20 protocol and give companies a more secure alternative. The firm succeeded in creating a widely used security token standard.
SFT(Secured Financial Transaction Protocol)
The SFT protocol entered the market on November 28, 2018. This security token protocol uses Solidity. Solidity is a programming language used by Ethereum developers. SFT tokens live on the Ethereum blockchain.
This protocol features many of the robust and modular features found in the popular ERC-20 protocol such as easy smart contract programming.SFT tokens enable the tokenization of debt and equity-based securities.
German-based Hyperlink Capital entered the market on July 1, 2018. The development team created the SFT protocol for their digital securities platform which is intended to expand adoption of blockchain-based capital markets. The company has a history of activity in the blockchain space. Recently, Hyperlink Capital’s focus is on tokenized securities.
News of the ERC-1450 protocol entered the market in November 2018 via a medium post by StartEngineFounder Howard Marks. This protocol was developed for creating digital stock certificates. The company behind the protocol, StartEngine Secure, seeks to offer entrepreneurs democratized access to funding.
StartEngine Secure entered the blockchain sector in2012 shortly after the signing into law of the Jumpstart Our Business StartupsAct which was an effort to provide access to more capital for startups. The platform features full transparency and a registered transfer agent updates ownership details in accordance with securities laws. The data is published via the Ethereum blockchain.
CAT-20/ CAT – 721
The CAT-20 and CAT-721 protocols are the world’s first multi-ledger security tokens. These tokens can be transferred across blockchains including Ethereum, Ripple, EoS, GoChain, and Stellar. Tokens issued on CAT-20 and CAT-721 protocols support Securrency‘s full suite of token issuance tools.
Washington-based Securrency entered the market in2015. The Securrency platform features an automated source of funds verification system and an easy to learn user interface. Additionally, the company behind the protocol, Securrency, employs a Service and Rules engine which maintains compliance across secondary market trading.
The DS protocol is an open-source development infrastructure designed around the needs of the security token industry. TheDS Protocol is open-source and designed to support third-party applications. Tokens issued on this protocol reside on the Ethereum blockchain.
Securitize issued the DS Protocol on Jun 5th, 2018 via a press release. DS includes integrated compliance and registry services. Also, token holders receive regular updates about relevant events via their tokens. The DSProtocol focuses on creating more liquidity within the security token arena.
The R-token standard entered the market on February 6th, 2018. R-tokens are ERC-20 tokens with built-in regulatory smart contracts. The regulatory services of these tokens configure to meet the needs of the issuer. The R-token standard features integrated KYC, AML, and taxation services.
Harbor developed the R-token protocol for use within their popular token issuance platform. In April 2018 Harbor successfully raised $28 million to further development into their tokenized securities platform.
The SRC20 protocol allows users to tokenize any item. The protocol is a cryptographic standard with integrated governance. Users can tokenize securities, buildings, farms, businesses, hedge funds, and even ownership in development projects. The flexibility of the SRC20 token is its strong point.
SRC20 operates on the SWARM platform. The SWARM platform incentivizes users for their positive contributions. The platform learns from your fundraising campaigns and uses the data to facilitate a more user-friendly experience every time you start a new campaign.
The tZERO protocol integrates the benefits of blockchain technology into the existing market systems. ThetZERO platform will one day facilitate both the issuances and easy trading of security tokens. The developers seek to create the first national securities exchange specifically designed for security tokens.
tZERO is the direct result of a strategic partnership with BOX Digital Markets. Earlier in the year tZERO filed an SEC form D. Form D is required by companies that seek to issue securities. IF the form is approved, tZERO would be the first SEC regulated security token issuance/trading platform in the cryptospace.
MoreSecurity Token Protocols on the Horizon
The Security token sector is just heating up and you can expect many more entries into the market as the year wraps up. Companies want the benefits of blockchain technology and security tokens provide these features without worry. It will be interesting to see how each of these protocols fair in the coming months as the market’s competition increases.
Security Token Issuers to Benefit from alliance of ‘Issuance’ and ‘VStock Transfer’
Issuance partners with VStock Transfer
Just announced today, deal marketing platform, Issuance, has partnered with stock transfer agent, VStock Transfer. This alliance was formed as Issuance saw a need on behalf of security token issuers. This was the ease of token registration and transfer.
As a result, partnering with a transfer agent such as VStock Transfer, allows companies having completed a digital security offering the ability to utilize services and experience based upon decades of experience in securities law.
These teams should be able to hit the ground running, as Issuance CEO, Darren Marble, has had previous experience working with VStock Transfer. Through their ability to provide experience, along with cost saving measures, it’s no wonder why Issuance has partnered with VStock Transfer.
The CEOs of each company discussed the partnership at hand.
Yoel Goldfeder, CEO of VStock Transfer, stated, “As an SEC-compliant transfer agent who has had the pleasure of working with a range of companies from private to pre-IPO issuers to NYSE American, NASDAQ and OTC listed companies, it was a seamless pivot into digital securities…We look forward to working with Issuance, an industry pioneer who will help to fuel the capital raising component for our clients.”
Darren Marble, CEO of Issuance, stated, “As digital securities continue to merge with the capital market infrastructure, support from companies such as VStock Transfer are critical to remain compliant throughout the lifespan of a DSO…We are thrilled to add VStock Transfer to our growing network of strategic partners and provide valuable registry and transfer services for our clients and their shareholders.”
VStock Transfer is based out of Woodmere, New York, where they provide services as an SEC registered ‘stock transfer agent’. The company is spearheaded by CEO, Yoel Goldfeder – a seasoned attorney specializing in corporate and securities law.
For a deeper look at what services VStock Transfer is able to provide, make sure to visit their website HERE.
Issuance was founded in 2018, and is based out of Los Angeles, California. Above all, the main purpose of the company is to act as a bridging platform. For example, this means working to connect investors with appropriate digital securities issuers.
Make sure to check securities.io again for future news on Issuance, as they have indicated future plans to tokenize themselves.
Issuance is rapidly developing into a well-rounded company. For instance, this marks just one of various strategic partnerships announced in recent weeks.
Here is a look at a few of our other articles detailing those endeavours.
Digital Securities Platform DX.Exchange, Survives First Week Scare
Dx.Exchange has had quite the tumultuous week. As the exchange closes its first week of operation, the team behind the project was able to dodge a potentially damaging situation.
From hordes of investors signing up pre-launch, to potentially disastrous glitches, here is a brief look at the problems that plagued week 1.
Details of the Problem
Upon launch of the platform, an anonymous user took it upon themselves to evaluate DX.Exchange. Shockingly, the user found information leaks that could potentially be harmful to a variety of parties.
Information being leaked ranged from password reset links, to names, email addresses, and more. With this, if someone were so inclined, they would be able to create backdoor entrances to user’s accounts.
It isn’t hard to imagine what kind of havoc a malicious individual could wreak.
In an attempt to allay investor’s fears, Dx.Exchange has reached out the public with the following statement.
“We would like to thank the vigilant reporter, and our supportive community, who together with, brought his issue to our attention. We are happy to report that the vulnerability has been successfully patched, and no user funds were compromised. Our launch was met with a stellar response from our community eager to trade cryptocurrencies and digital stocks. Customer funds were always safe, our multi layer advanced monitoring and defense mechanism was able to avoid any further issue.”
This statement came after the company scheduled platform maintenance within hours of the news breaking.
WE SCHEDULED FOR TODAY AT 11:00 AM (ESTONIA TIME ZONE) A MAINTENANCE UPDATE TO IMPROVE OUR PLATFORM FUNCTIONALITY AND PERFORM SEVERAL BUG FIXES AND UPDATES. THE PLATFORM WILL COME BACK FULLY FUNCTIONAL AFTER FEW MINUTES. THANK YOU FOR YOUR PATIENCE
— DX.Exchange (@DXdotExchange) January 9, 2019
Caught out Attention
DX.Exchange originally caught our attention due to the manner in which they offer their services. Rather than hosting digital securities of companies that have decided to tokenize, DX.Exchange has taken a different approach.
They are purchasing traditional shares of publically traded companies, and then issuing their own security tokens to investors, representing ownership of the shares. Due to the method in which this transaction takes place, the shares are held by DX.Exchange. However, investors holding the associated security token receive the full range of benefits associated with them (dividends, equity etc.).
Examples of these companies notably include Apple, Tesla, Amazon, and others.
The CEO of DX.Exchange has stated that due to their licencing and region of operation, the SEC has no means in which to stop them from offering these services.
However, there are many skeptics of the exchange that believe it will eventually face due recourse. Through what means is unclear, but there are certainly going to be companies that do not want their shares tokenized in such a fashion.
DX.Exchange is based out of Estonia, and was founded in 2018. Above all, the company acts as an online exchange, providing investors access to a variety of digital assets.
Prior to the events discussed here today, we recently spoke about DX.Exchange and the companies recent launch. To learn more about DX.Exchange, make sure to read the article below.
tZERO Completes Distribution of Security Token
In a recent press release, tZERO has announced that it has finished distributing their native token. This token goes by ‘TZROP’, and is known as a digital security – representing ownership in tZERO itself.
While tZERO finished the token creation process months ago, per regulations, it was mandated that they remain in lock-up for a 90-day period. During this time, tokens were to be held by a third party custodial service. Finally, this 90-day lockup came to an end on January 10th, resulting in the aforementioned distribution and press release.
This issuance process comes months after tZERO completed a wildly successful security token offering, or ‘STO’. For example, taking place over a roughly 2 month span in mid-2018, tZERO was able to raise $134 million USD. In addition, this raise was made possible through investments seen from over 1000 parties worldwide.
Commentary on the Issuance
Multiple representatives from tZERO spoke on the importance of this token issuance.
tZERO Executive Chairman, Patrick Byrne, stated, “The issuance of the world’s first public cryptosecurity, OSTKP, in 2016 was tZERO’s Chuck Yeager moment: we broke the speed of sound by introducing the concept of real-time trade settlement. Today marks our Yuri Gagarin moment, where we leave behind the confines of the known world of traditional capital markets and take the first steps towards a new market powered by blockchain.”
tZERO CEO, Saum Noursalehi, stated, “This is one of the first Security Token Offerings on a decentralized public network, and was conducted in full compliance with the U.S. securities laws…This is an exciting milestone for tZERO, and we are even more enthusiastic about the opportunities this will create for private and public companies wishing to raise capital through security token offerings, and for investors who wish to trade those securities.”
The next step to be taken by tZERO, and the most anticipated by investors, will be the launch of a trading platform. The company originally launched a prototype of this platform on April 9th of 2018. However, it is anticipated that a full launch will occur midway through 2019.
The launch of this platform will facilitate trading via secondary markets. Thereby, imbuing new levels of liquidity to previously illiquid assets.
We have recently reported on progress being made by tZERO. For instance, here are a look at a few noteworthy events from recent days.
tZERO is based out of New York, and is a subsidiary of Overstock.com. Each are products of Patrick Byrne’s, who has recently noted that he will be increasing his focus on the development of tZERO. Above all, this subsidiary acts as a platform to facilitate various services aimed towards security tokens.
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- Security Token Issuers to Benefit from alliance of ‘Issuance’ and ‘VStock Transfer’ January 15, 2019
- Interview Series – Dave Hendricks, CEO & cofounder of Vertalo January 14, 2019
- Digital Securities Platform DX.Exchange, Survives First Week Scare January 14, 2019
- tZERO Completes Distribution of Security Token January 13, 2019
- SharesPost trades Security Tokens on Secondary Markets Platform January 12, 2019