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TokenMarket Streamlining to Focus on Digital Securities

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TokenMarket Streamlining to Focus on Digital Securities

Acquisition

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.

Increased Focus

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.

Commentary

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.

Interview Series – Mikko Ohtamaa, CTO at TokenMarket

TokenMarket

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.

PayRue

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.

TokenMarket Gains FCA Approval, While Partnering with CMS equIP

TokenMarket to Host Security Token Offering

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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.

Crowdfunding

Genobank to Bring Privacy to DNA Testing with Blockchain

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Genobank to Bring Privacy to DNA Testing with Blockchain

Connectivity

We live in an age of connectivity.  Technology has enabled us to stay in constant contact with the world, in real time.  This connectivity has transcended communication, however, and changed the way we view our connectedness with others.

One company, by the name of Genobank, provides its clients with the ability to discover their origins, and connection with others.  This is done through the examination of DNA.

What sets Genobank apart from the competition is their approach towards data ownership/privacy.

DNA

Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) refers to the molecules held by all humans, which contain their unique genetic coding.  By examining this code, we can learn about an individual’s ancestry, predispositions to mental and physical ailments, and more.

DNA first became popularized, and a household term, when it began being used as a means of identification – particularly in crime scenes.

The Details

In an effort to continue developing their product/services, and carve out their place in the industry, Genobank is currently hosting a crowdfunding campaign through equity investing platform, Republic.

This event, which has seen Genobank bring in roughly 175% of their minimum target, at the time of writing, is scheduled to remain live until March 14, 2020.

Investors partaking in the event will be compensated with a ‘Crowd Simple Agreement for Future Equity (Crowd SAFE)’.  This is a form of agreement created by Republic, better structured towards use in crowdfunding campaigns than a traditional SAFE.

Essentially, those that hold a SAFE do not immediately acquire equity in the company.  Transfer of equity only occurs when certain pre-set parameters are met, with regards to future progress/developments.

Privacy

Our understanding of the insights, which the examination of our DNA can offer us, has led to a boom in companies such as Ancestry Health, 23andMe, and more.  The data generated from services such as these represent the most important and intimate data of all – it represents you.

Unfortunately, we have seen time after time, in recent years, that data is abused, stolen, and generally misused.  Naturally, this has resulted in large movements advocating for better privacy practices surrounding data generation and use.

Empowerment over your own data is the driving force behind Genobank.  The company notes that they specifically make use of blockchain technologies to anonymize usage of their platform – allowing for clients to discover more about themselves, while retaining power over their most intimate data.

The company states,

“We use blockchain at its full potential by registering your DNA data as a unique digital asset also known as a non-fungible-token (NFT). This grants you exclusive ownership over it.”

For Better or Worse

While a lack of privacy may justifiably scare many, there are instances where access to DNA databases have proven beyond valuable.

A perfect example of this occurred in 2018, when one of the United States most infamous serial killers was identified and captured.  Known as the ‘Golden State Killer’, Joseph DeAngelo was identified when a relative of his used a DNA service.  This data was then able to be cross examined with DNA found at his crime scenes – providing authorities with enough information to deduce who their killer was.

While this particular instance had a positive outcome, it raises questions surrounding access to such data.  If individuals who have never even used such a service can now be identified and tracked down, are any of us truly safe?

While you may not be able to control the actions of others, you can control your own data.  Genobank plays to this, stating,

“Since there is only one private DNA Wallet per user, third parties will never have access to your DNA data without your explicit consent (digital signature). Only you can grant/revoke access and modify/delete biodata & records. YOU are in control!”

ATM

While Genobank has various plans for the usage of funds raised through their crowdfunding campaign, one of their more interesting plans is the launch of DNA kit ATMs.

These kiosks would deliver exactly what their name implies – a kit allowing for the analyzing of one’s DNA.  The goal of which is to provide these services to everyone, as no personal information is required.

Genobank indicates that these ATMs represent one of their two projected revenue streams.  The other will be a ‘white-label’ version of their kits, which is sold to health clinics, hospitals, etc.

Genobank

Founded in 2014, Genobank maintains headquarters in Palo Alto, California.  The company specializes in developing solutions which allow for analyzing ones DNA in a privacy centric manner.

CEO, Daniel Uribe, currently oversees company operations.

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Equity Crowdfunding in North America

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Equity Crowdfunding in North America

Since roughly 2009, crowdfunding in North America has grown steadily.  The continent, however, is a large place, with clear discrepancies in regulatory approaches between Canada and the United States.  The result is that these variances have led to U.S. crowdfunding becoming a runaway market, relative to Canada.

What is it?

As the name implies, crowdfunding is a means of raising capital from a large pool of investors/donators, rather than select venture capitalists.

Crowdfunding started off simple enough – give a wider audience the chance to help young companies out of the gate.  However, when first capturing the attention of many, securities laws prohibited issuers from compensating non-accredited investors/participants with equity in their companies; Meaning that participants weren’t really investors at all, but simply contributing to the growth of a company with the promise of potentially getting a product one day.

Fast forward to 2012, and a group of companies surrounding the industry successfully worked with regulatory bodies in the U.S. to amend existing laws.  These efforts eventually resulted in the formation of, what is known as, the ‘Jumpstart Our Businesses Act’ (JOBs Act).

JOBs Act

What the JOBs Act did was open the gates for the general public to gain exposure to true investment opportunities.  Until it was enacted, securities were only able to be sold and distributed to accredited investors.

The goal of this was primarily to help young companies, as one of the largest obstacles a start-up will face is attaining funding (regardless of potential) for the development of their products and services.

Previously, to attain said funding, regulators required that a detailed prospectus be filed and approved for the sale of any asset deemed a security.  This is a cost prohibitive, and time consuming, undertaking – meaning it is most likely not feasible for a small start-up.  While this undertaking may be inconsequential for a company raising millions upon millions of dollars, start-ups looking for modest amounts may find it a steeper hill to climb.

Naturally, this new act came with restrictions.  In an effort to maintain appropriate levels of investor protection, safeguards were put into place.  The following are only a few examples of these:

  • Capital generation events must be moderated by registered broker/dealers
  • Net-worth based investment limits
  • Generation caps on crowdfunding hosts

While this may sound restrictive, what this did was open the doors, ushering in a time where investment opportunities were no longer restricted to those that were already wealthy.

Lagging Behind

That brings us to the United States’ northern counterpart – Canada.  While crowdfunding exists in Canada, the flexibility and freedom for issuers/investors is simply not the same as it is in the U.S – despite being years removed from the advent of modern crowdfunding.

The main issue is the fact that there is no nationwide ‘rulebook’, similar to the JOBs Act, in Canada.  Each of the various provinces and territories may vary slightly in the structuring of their regulations, making it difficult to comply with all at once.

This segregation among Canadian regulators, means that issuers are often limited in their investor pool, as they are not necessarily eligible to host their offering in all regions – somewhat defeating the purpose of crowdfunding to begin with.

However, with the moves taken by the U.S. government over the past decade widely viewed as a success, the Canadian government has indeed taken notice.  It was announced in early 2019 that they would be reviewing their policies; the goal of which is to eliminate the current segregation among regulators, by creating their own variant of the JOBs Act.

With the Supreme Court of Canada opening the door to the potential national securities regulator in 2018, and plans to develop a national crowdfunding rulebook announced in 2019, the great white north looks primed to play catch-up.

Popular Platforms

With all of this talk about crowdfunding, many in the U.S. may be wondering where access to such investment opportunities are offered.  In an effort to answer these questions, securities.io’s very own, Antoine Tardif, recently penned an opinion article discussing his favourite portals offering equity based opportunities.

Top 5 Equity Crowdfunding Websites

For those in Canada interested in equity crowdfunding, the following are a few of the more notable portals active today.

In Other News

Always striving to adapt and improve with the times, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has recently announced a proposal which would see access to more traditional investment opportunities become even easier for investors.

This proposal is based upon the restructuring of what defines an accredited investor.  With the vast majority of investment opportunities restricted to those fitting the bill, broadening the definition, to reflect the modern world, will ideally democratize investing to an extent.

SEC Proposes Amendment to Criteria Surrounding ‘Accredited Investors’

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WeFunder Brings Total Raised to over $15 Million with Latest Round

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WeFunder Brings Total Raised to over $15 Million with Latest Round

Raising Funds

WeFunder, one of the most popular crowdfunding platforms around, has recently raised another $5,128,679.  This event, which took place between Dec. 18 and Dec. 13, saw a total of 16 accredited investors participate.

This funding came through the issuance of equity based securities, which were sold to investors.  The amount marks roughly 58% of the shares made available, as sold.

Cumulatively, WeFunder has raised roughly $15 million, to date, through participation from >850 investors.

The Goal

While, at this time, it is unclear what these funds are earmarked for, WeFunder clearly outlines the company’s greater mission and goals.  The following are, simply, a few of what WeFunder lists as their commitments:

  • Democratize access to high-growth start-ups
  • Educate investors
  • Help communities fund local businesses
  • Modernize laws surrounding investors and crowdfunding

Track Record

For anyone curious if WeFunder has been successful in their endeavours thus far, rest assured that the answer is ‘yes.’  The company provides the following figures on their website, demonstrating the scope of their influence and reach within crowdfunding:

  • >324 start-ups
  • >320,000 investors
  • >$115 million raised
    • VCs have invested gone on to invest >$2 billion in WeFunder start-ups

With WeFunder referring to themselves as ‘Kickstarter for investing’, it should come as no surprise that the opportunities that they afford investors vary wildly.  That is part of the beauty in this type of platform – start-ups of any ilk have a chance to shine.  With that in mind, WeFunder elaborated on a few of the industries they have become involved in, in the following video.

The Competition

In their industry, Wefunder views themselves as giants (and rightfully so).  Not only are they responsible for having a hand in the creation of the industry itself, but they indicate that their investment volume equates to more than their top 3 competitors – combined.  Impressive indeed.

We recently took a brief look at a few of their competitors, which include, but are not limited to, the following:

For more information on these competitors, make sure to peruse the following article.  Here, Securities.io CEO, Antoine Tardif, discusses his favourite crowdfunding sites.

Top 5 Equity Crowdfunding Websites

Commentary

On the Wefunder site, a quote is provided by CEO, Nick Tommarello.  Here, he touches on his mindset, which led to the creation of this company.  He states,

I started Wefunder because I wanted to invest in my friends – to help them dream bigger, be the best versions of themselves, and reach their ambition. Seven years later, we do that for the rest of America. So much raw talent is being wasted. The purpose of my life is to fix that, to help tens of thousands “take their shot”.

WeFunder

Operating out of San Francisco, WeFunder is a crowdfunding platform, which was established in 2011.  After successfully aiding in the creation and implementation of the JOBS Act, WeFunder has gone on to be wildly popular within the world of crowdfunding, helping start-ups raise in excess of $115 million to date.

CEO, Nick Tommarello, currently oversees company operations.

In Other News

Whether operating a crowdfunding platform, providing tokenization services, etc., there have been various recent successful raises completed by promising companies.  The following articles are just a few examples of this:

Upvest Secures €7 Million in Successful Series A

Securitize to Expand within Japan after Recent Investment

The Future is Bright for Bison Trails as Series A Nets $25.5M

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