A marketplace provider specializes in providing a trading platform for blockchain based digital securities. These platforms act as a secondary marketplace where investors can buy/sell digital securities. In doing so, these assets gain higher levels of liquidity, which would not be attainable otherwise.
A Month in Review – March 2020
March has, unfortunately, been a dark month for the world. Nary an industry remains, that has not felt the effects of COVID-19. Despite this, there were select events over the past few weeks that brought positivity, as the world of digital securities and blockchain marches forward. This edition of ‘The Digital’ highlights a few of the interviews we’ve completed over the preceding weeks, in addition to a look at how COVID-19 has influenced the sector.
Partnerships + Upgrades
As an SEC regulated security token issuance platform, high hopes are held for TokenSoft. Led by a strong team, this Californian company caught our attention on multiple occasions in March. First, for their noteworthy partnership with ‘Hub Security’. Secondly, they managed to develop and launch an upgraded wallet, in an effort to provide users with an intuitive and flexible experience.
Strategic Investments + Raising Capital
While asset classes, such as real estate, have dominated capital generation events thus far in the digital securities sector, there are an increasing number of ’boutique’ offerings. March saw two examples of this, as new events surrounding Bourbon and eco-friendly chocolate took the stage.
From around the world, banks are recognizing that, not only are cryptocurrencies not going away, but that they hold real merit. March saw both, the Reserve Bank of India and The Bank of Canada, take varying stances towards them. While India’s central bank continues their fight to suppress the technology, Canada appears on the edge of potential adoption, through their own CBDC.
In The News
The COVID-19 Effect
As the global pandemic known as COVID-19 continues to play out, we took a look at a few of the ways the virus has affected blockchain and digital securities. From designating essential services, to reallocating mining resources, and the suspension of services – change is afoot.
Vertalo CEO, Dave Hendricks, didn’t mince words when commenting on the recent decision by the DTCC to suspend handling of paper-based certificates.
“It’s time for issuers and investors, especially with respect to private assets, to effect digital transformation and improve the resiliency and response time of securities transactions. Only fully digital transfer agents like Vertalo are capable of this sort of step-function improvement.” Read Here
‘The Runway Fund’ Looks to Provide Relief for Start-Ups Impacted by COVID-19
While difficult times often lead to innovation, and the advent of new technologies, there are many that suffer greatly. Young companies, not yet fully established, are particularly susceptible. Thankfully, there are those that have extended a helping hand, through the creation of a new relief fund.
“Whether you were about to close a funding round, or sign your first revenue deal, we know that COVID-19 has caused unanticipated disruptions and delays that may force you to take some tough decisions and maybe even to shut down.
Our goal is to help you through this tough time and to maximize your chances of survival.” Read Here
Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Bitfinex and Tether
With the volatility recently seen in basically every market, stablecoins have established themselves as more important than ever. We were fortunate to have completed this exclusive interview with Paolo Ardoino, CTO of Tether and Bitfinex. While competition for Tether has grown greatly in the past year, this stablecoin remains one of the world’s most popular. Their endurance as a popular choice, is no doubt due to constant innovation – such as the potential for future upgrades including the Lightning Network, and more. Read More
Adam Vaziri, CEO of Blockpass
KYC and AML are critical procedures, required to be completed by basically every reputable company. As such, there is a definite demand for services which facilitate the processes. Enter Blockpass – A company led by Adam Vaziri, set on specializing in Identity services. Read More
Marko Hafez, President and CEO of Blockstation
This promising Canadian startup has managed to establish various strategic relationships with regulated stock exchanges. In this exclusive conversation, we speak with Blockstation CEO, Marko Hafez, and learn more about his experience, and how Blockstation found themselves where they are today. Read More
HODL Your Hoopla Over SEC Changes for Exempt Offerings
The first, in a pair of contributions by Matthew Unger (Founder of iComply), examines his take on recent proposals put forth by the SEC. Should we be excited for potential changes to exempt offerings? Or are we getting ahead of ourselves? Read Here
Why EU Blacklisting the Cayman Islands Matters for the STO Industry
In a second contribution, Matthew Unger of iComply, took a closer looks at the recent treatment of Cayman Islands based companies by the EU. Is the treatment warranted? How can companies ensure their AML practices are up to snuff? Read Here
Around the Web
South Korea Passes One of the World’s First Comprehensive Cryptocurrency Laws – Techcrunch
While many nations remain undecided on their stance towards cryptocurrencies, South Korea continues to march to the beat of their own drum. March saw the tech-savvy nation pass new laws pertaining to these virtual assets, potentially providing other nations with a blueprint of feasible approaches. Read More
Draper Goren Holm Adds Rodney Sampson as Venture Partner
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
TokenSoft Launches Major Wallet Upgrade
This week, the SEC-regulated security token issuance platform, TokenSoft introduced a major upgrade. The new functionality comes in the form of a self-managed wallet for traders. The revamped system promises to be an easy-to-use interface coupled with advanced safety measures. Notably, the upgrade falls in line with TokenSoft’s recent expansions in the market.
Importantly, the new wallet features a less technical user interface. As such, users can easily maintain and manage investments directly from the wallet portal. Additionally, the new wallet integrates a host of regulatory-compliant safety measures, most similar in nature to Ethereum’s ERC-1404 protocol. Also, the wallet includes benefits for issuers as well. For example, there is built-in reporting to simplify auditing systems. Additionally, users receive automated dividend distributions, which also reduces transaction costs.
ITokenSoft added some important security updates to their wallet as well. For accounts that hold over $1 billion in investments, a new Multi-signature system is available. The system utilizes a key mannequin to provide the highest level of protection for your digital assets. Multi-signature wallets provide more protection than traditional wallets. Mainly because there are multiple keys required to complete a transaction.
Discussing the upgrade, TokenSoft CEO, Mason Borda described the excitement surrounding the project. He explained how the new wallet pairs a “safety package” with a simplified UX. This simplification of the STO process is sure to benefit the firm’s 100,000 registered traders.
Additionally, Jordan Davis, Director of Enterprise, described the effect of the upgrade within the financial markets. He stated that these new features apply pressure on traditional financial institutions to reply with a similar product. In turn, all investors benefit because of the new administration instruments. Davis envisions a day where you can easily choose what providers have access to your account, as easy as you choose Netflix shows to watch.
Last Wallet Upgrade
TokenSoft’s last major wallet upgrade came in January 2019. At that time, the firm announced the launch of its Knox Wallet. Impressively, the Knox Wallet was one of the first mobile, cold-storage solutions for securing digital securities.
TokenSoft entered the market in 2017 with the goal to simplify the issuance and management of digital securities on the blockchain, at scale, and within compliance. The San Francisco-based firm currently offers a full suite of security token and tokenization services. Since its inception, the company continued to gain popularity. Today, TokenSoft is one of the most recognizable names in the market.
In December, the firm’s subsidiary, DTAC LLC registered with the SEC as a Transfer Agent. Importantly, the firm also partnered with Ex- Israeli military cybersecurity firm – HUB Security this month. HUB now provides TokenSoft advanced end-to-end encryption protection on USB and Bluetooth devices.
TokenSoft Gains Momentum
TokenSoft continues to make headlines across the sector for its innovative approach to the market. The firm consistently advances its functionality and positioning. You can expect this latest upgrade to further cement TokenSoft as an industry leader.