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The Millbrook Accord

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The Millbrook Accord

The Millbrook Accord

Taking place in Queenstown, New Zealand, was the recent Blockchain South Leadership Summit.  This summit was hosted at the Millbrook Resort, and led to the formation of what is being called the Millbrook Accord.

The Millbrook Accord is a title which represents a group of companies working together to advance services surrounding the digital securities industry.  While current members totalling 12, the number of participants will surely grow with time.

Founding members of the accord are as follows,

  • NEM
  • tZero
  • Gibraltar Stock Exchange
  • Techemy
  • Sharespost
  • Hyperlink Capital
  • Blockchain Labs
  • Bankorous
  • Alchemist Ventures
  • Anypay
  • Global Advisors
  • ERCDEX

Verified Token Framework

Representing some of the leading figures within the sector today, the accord has first tasked themselves with creating industry standards.  This will be known as the ‘Verified Token Framework’.

The purpose of this framework is to establish a set of standards and guidelines.  This will allow present and future digital security issuances to ensure, not only regulatory compliance, but interoperability among platforms.  This framework will take shape through a democratic environment among Millbrook Accord members.

Per the VTF website, ‘The Verified Token Framework introduces standards and procedures that can be seamlessly utilized by Token Issuers to ensure that their Security Tokens comply with worldwide transfer restrictions, thus opening up a global pool of Security Token liquidity.’

For those interested in learning more about the VTF, be sure to check out their whitepaper HERE.

NEM

While each member of the Millbrook Accord brings their own unique expertise and resources, NEM is an interesting participant. 
While, to date, a select few companies have created their own security token protocols, the vast majority rely upon variations of the ERC-20 standard.  This means that although executed in a unique manner, these tokens are still based off of the Ethereum blockchain.

Through the addition of NEM, the Millbrook accord introduces a leading blockchain platform.  This marks the first time that another platform will be used in such a manner, stressing the importance of interoperability. No other framework has yet to incorporate multiple blockchains.

NEM is a promising platform with adoption seen on varying levels worldwide.  Rather than being a variation of another project (aka ‘fork’), NEM was built from the ground up to be as efficient, and versatile as possible.

Quotes on the Matter

To date, one of the largest names in the industry is that of tZero.  A product of crypto enthusiast, Patrick Byrne, tZero has the resources and clout to see through the development of the aforementioned framework. 

tZero CEO, Saum Noursalehi, commented, “In order for the security token movement to grow, companies need to agree on an unbiased standard.  The Verified Token Frameworkis a step toward ensuring that digital assets are interoperable and that the unique challenges presented by security tokens are addressed.”

Meanwhile, Blockchain Token Association Chairman, Jeff Pulver, commented,“In the Voice over Internet Protocol era, we invited industry leaders to bring their production-ready code to quarterly bake-offs, where developers sought to make their code interoperable. The result was a free and open source set of standards, which ultimately led to interoperability of services. We believe a similar collaborative approach to technological advancement will assist in the acceleration of blockchain adoption and the maturation of the global security tokens ecosystem.”

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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.

Real Estate

Tokenizing London Penthouses and Greek Island Villas

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Sotheby's

Luxury Real Estate

With multiple STOs already on the docket from a variety of asset classes, Smartlands has just announced a new collaboration, which will, hopefully, see the addition of multiple more. This move sees the UK based company partner with Sotheby’s International Realty.

This collaboration will see the pair explore the feasibility of tokenizing multiple pieces of luxury real estate. The company notes two specific properties as holding the potential for tokenization.

  • Greek Islands Villa
  • London Penthouse Apartment

While details on the STOs are scarce, for the time being, it is indicated that the Greek Islands Villa is under management by a world renowned hotel network.

This collaboration spurred Smartlands’ Executive Director, Katharine Manderfield, into commenting. She stated that, “Deals of this level of exclusivity will open a new page in asset tokenisation.”

Past Successes

While many are still figuring out their first steps within the world of digital securities, Smartlands remain one of the few companies to have successfully completed an STO. Not only that, but they are now moving on to subsequent opportunities.

Like any experiences, they have the ability to shape our future actions. Expect Smartlands to learn from their past capital generation events, and apply that knowledge to the development discussed here today. The following articles take a brief look at just what these previous successes were.

Smartlands to Tokenize Nottingham Real Estate through STO

Smartlands Team up with ECN CrowdCamp

Popular Implementation

Due to the nature of real estate, it has caught the attention of various tokenization platforms from more than just the United Kingdom. While there have been hiccups along the way – such as the failure of Fluidity and Propellr – real estate continues to be one of the more lucrative industries, which stands to be transformed by digital securities.

Despite beginning to branch into different sectors, such as commodities and disruptive start-ups, expect for real estate to remain a popular outlet on Smartlands’ path to reaching the goal of tokenizing $1 billion in assets.

Speaking with Arnoldas

Roughly 6 months ago, we were fortunate enough to have completed an exclusive interview with the then CEO of Smartlands, Arnoldas Nauseda. While he has since transitioned into the role of Chairman, our discussion with Arnoldas Nauseda remains relevant today, offering a glimpse into Smartlands operations.

Interview Series – Arnoldas Nauseda, Chairman of Smartlands

Sotheby’s International Realty

Founded in 1976, Sotheby’s International Realty is a United Kingdom based company. While many associate the name Sotheby exclusively with fine art, there are company branches, such as Sotheby’s International Realty. This branch specializes in facilitating the buying/selling of real estate, with a presence in over 60 countries.

CEO, Philip A. White, currently oversees company operations.

Smartlands

Founded in 2017, Smartlands is a tokenization platform, which operates within the United Kingdom. Through use of the Stellar blockchain, this forward thinking company has developed a variety of solutions built to make fractionalized ownership of real world assets accessible to the masses.

CEO, Ilia Obraztsov, currently oversees company operations.

In Other News

Not content with opportunities based solely in the United Kingdom, Smartlands recently took their first steps towards operating within the United States. These steps were taken by forming an alliance with a U.S. based broker/dealer, bringing support for state-side investors on their platform.

Smartlands Set for Expansion into U.S. with New Agreement

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Security Tokens

World Chess to Host Hybrid IPO through Securitize & Algorand

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chess

World Chess

We have noted and commented, on various occasions, that the digital securities sector is seeing an influx of interest from industries that greatly vary.

We are now greeted with news that World Chess is looking to host a ‘hybrid IPO’, which will see the sale and distribution of security tokens as a precursor to an eventual IPO.

Hybrid IPO

This offering stands to be particularly unique, as it is being called a ‘hybrid IPO’.  What this will entail, is a multi-step capital generation process, which will utilize, both, traditional means of raising funds alongside an infusion of blockchain technology.

With the help of Algorand and Securitize, World Chess CEO, Iyla Merenzon, has announced that the company will be hosting an STO shortly.  This is a first step towards preparing the company for their eventual IPO and entrance into E-Sports.

In the upcoming STO, it is expected that World Chess will be selling roughly 5% of their company represented by security tokens.  Investors will retain the ability to convert these tokens into traditional shares once an IPO takes place.  Due to the infancy of the digital securities sector, investors/early adopters in the tokens are expected to gain access at a ‘discount’ when compared to an expected IPO share price.

E-Sports

With the rise of E-sports in recent years, chess stands to benefit.  This potential for growth, and introduction to new markets, is the reasoning behind the decision to host a hybrid IPO.

Ilya Merenzon indicates that the funds generated from the event will be used to support the growth and adoption of chess within E-sports.

History of Chess

Not many games manage to persevere through the ages, retaining an audience.  Most are a product of their time, and simply don’t age well.  Chess, however, is not one of these.

Arguably the most well-known game throughout the world, Chess saw its beginnings in India over 1400 years ago.  Discoveries regarding its origins are still being made today, with reports of what is believed to be the oldest surviving chess piece recently surfacing.

The love for Chess remains today, as the game has become viewed as historically and culturally significant.  This has resulted in a lucrative collectors market surrounding the game – recently made evident by the discovery of a Chess piece valued at $1.3M.

Current Champ

The game itself is not simply a relic which remains popular due to its historical significance.  Today, there remains an active population of players, with a few being true masters of the game.

As with most sports, there are usually one or two players in each generation that stand apart from the rest as true masters.  Magnus Carlsen – the current chess world champion – is viewed by many as such a player.

Magnus Carlsen is a 28 year old Norwegian, who first became world champion at 22 years of age.  To learn more about his unique and fascinating mind/skillset, streaming giant Netflix hosts a documentary detailing the champion.

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Security Tokens

Tokenized Securities Settled with Distributed Ledger Technology

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deutsche bank

Distributed Ledger Technology & Token Fueled Settlements

Deutsche Bank has recently announced the successful implementation of distributed ledger technology (DLT), in the settlement of tokenized securities.

This event, spearheaded by Deutsche Bank, saw the participation of various companies.

  • Deutsche Bank
  • Swisscom
  • Falcon Private Bank
  • Vontobel
  • Zurcher Kantonalbank

The intent of this trial was to demonstrate the ability of distributed ledger technology to provide an instant, and secure, means of settling trades involving SME securities.

What does it mean to settle?

The settlement of a security refers to a, typically, 24-48hr time frame in which the exchange of money for a security is completed. It is, essentially, the act of delivering either money or stocks to trade participants.

With the usage of DLT and blockchain technologies, many envision a near-future in which this process can be done in a much timelier, and risk free, manner. In doing so, costs can be cut, transparency afforded, and time will be saved.

Growing Trend

The trialing and patenting of blockchain and distributed ledger technology among banks is a trend that appears to be growing with time.

Just recently, there were reports of the Royal Bank of Canada attaining patents, indicating an interest in opening a cryptocurrency exchange. While the bank has since spoken out against these intentions, the fact remains that they have shown their hand, and obvious interest in the technology.

In addition to the Royal Bank of Canada, the Bank of America has also shown a keen interest in attaining a variety of patents pertaining to blockchain and DLT.

While their intent is not necessarily clear, what these banks, and others, have shown us, is that they believe there to be potential in blockchain & DLT to change the way they operate. Recognizing that, they appear determined to not be left behind.

Beyond securing patents, there have been multiple instances, in recent months, of banks completing similar actions as those by Deutsche Bank. The following articles are only a couple of these examples.

World Bank Raises $33.8M via Tokenized Bonds

Santandar Completes Fully Digitized $20M Bond Settlement

Commentary

Upon announcing the success of their trial, representatives from many of the participating companies commented on the event. The following is what a couple had to say on the matter.

Johs Höhener, Head of FinTech, Swisscom, stated,

“DLT has the potential to reach a new level of speed and efficiency in the financial services sector. In order to maintain Switzerland’s leading position in digital assets, cooperation and new platforms are needed. This proof of concept is an excellent example of successful collaboration and innovative strength across company boundaries.”

Jens Hachmeister, Head of New Markets, Deutsche Börse Group, stated,

“It is of strategic importance for us to further develop the possibilities for settlement of securities transactions using DLT. This brings us one step closer to our goal of enabling the financial services industry in Germany and in Switzerland to efficiently use the potential of this new technology.”

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