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What is a Tokenized Asset Offering (TAO)?

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A tokenized asset offering (TAO) is a capital generation event which will see an asset undergo fractionalization.  This is done through the creation of tokens which act as digital securities.  These digital securities represent ownership in the underlying asset being sold through the TAO.

Antoine Tardif is the CEO of BlockVentures.com, and has invested in over 50 blockchain projects. He is also the founder of Bitcoinlightning.com a news website focusing on the lightning network, and a founding partner of Securities.io

Issuers

Validity Labs Joins the International Token Standardization Association ITSA

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Validity Labs Joins the International Token Standardization Association ITSA

This week, the Swiss-based blockchain educational and infrastructure platform, Validity Labs confirmed the firm joined The International Token Standardization Association (ITSA). The decision to join the ITSA comes at a crucial stage of the EU’s STO regulatory development. The move demonstrates a further push for a more robust framework to support the expanding security token sector.

Validity Labs is one of the leading providers of blockchain-based decentralized applications in the region. The firm gained notoriety as an early mover when it entered the market back in 2015. At that time, the firm was the first blockchain education company in Switzerland.

Validity Labs – A Premier Blockchain Service Provider

Since then, Validity Labs assisted numerous developers and startups with educational and technical support. This support included hands-on workshops that covered a wide range of blockchain-related subjects. These topics include subjects like learning to program smart-contracts. Additionally, the firm provided educational classes for legal professionals, issuers, accountants and asset managers.

Today, Validity Labs is one of the premier platforms for blockchain-powered decentralized applications. Importantly, the firm now offers end-to-end STO implementation services with the goal to bridge the line between technology and legal compliance within the sector.

International Token Standardization Association (ITSA)

ITSA is a Non-profit German law association that specializes in token taxonomy. Token taxonomy is the identification, classification, and analysis of blockchain-based tokens. As such, the group is a leading voice for the promotion, development, and implementation of comprehensive security token market standards.

ITSA via Homepage

ITSA via Homepage

Token taxonomy continues to be a hot point of discussion within the market. Recently, regulators started prosecuting tokens that they believe violated the current securities laws. As more regulations come into place, a token’s classification can have a huge impact on the overall liquidity, profitability, and functionality a token possesses. Consequently, a token’s profitability depends on its classification in many instances.

ITSA Sees Growth

ITSA continues to see expansion in the EU market. To date, the firm includes some of the biggest names in both the finance and blockchain spaces. For example, the group already works with a host of universities including the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, University of Mainz, TU Munich, and the UCL Centre for Blockchain Technologies in London.

Additionally, the group secured many important bank members over the last two years. These organizations include. Commerzbank’s Main Incubator, Bank Frick, MME, Börse Stuttgart, Bundesverband Deutscher Banken, and the German Investment Funds Association BVI).

ITSA Prepares for the Digitized Economy.

Importantly, ITSA provides startups with a plethora of helpful information. Startups can seek out support and know-how in the areas of blockchain-enabled solutions, decentralized applications, tokenization, and security token offerings. To date, the group already has helped startups SolarisBank, CryptoTax, and Ambrosus achieve growth.

Validity Labs – A Bright Future

The decision to join the ITSA was a smart maneuver. On top of all of the technical and legal support the firm now has access to, they also are a part of a huge network of blockchain professionals. This network will help Validity Labs achieve its lofty goals in the market.

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Token Solution Providers

BitGo Works Towards ‘Full-Stack Solution’ with Harbor Acquisition

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bitgo

Acquisition

With roots in custodial services surrounding digital assets, BitGo has established themselves as an industry mainstay since their 2013 launch.  In the time since, the team behind the Californian company has managed to expand their offerings, growing with the industry it serves.

BitGo has clearly recognised a major shift in the world of blockchain, as digital securities have captured the interest of investors and companies, alike.  Not content with complacency, BitGo has just announced the acquisition of digital securities tokenization platform, Harbor.

On the surface, this move may have caught some by surprise.  When looking closer, however, this isn’t necessarily the case.  BitGo has shown a proclivity for acquisitions in the past, which have each expanded their services in a direct manner.  The pairing of BitGo and Harbor is one that dates back multiple years, as the companies have long worked with one another.

Through their complimentary services, pre-existing relationship, and past actions, the deal looks closer to obvious than a surprise.

At the time of writing, financial details surrounding this acquisition have not been made available.

Services Inherited

As stated, BitGo has shown a proclivity for strategic acquisitions.  Each of their past acquisitions have provided the company access to new capabilities, which are then able to be offered to clientele in an increasingly comprehensive platform.  This acquisition is no different.

Following this development, this list touches on just a few designations now held by BitGo.

Clearly, as made evident from this comprehensive list of designations, BitGo is well on their way to achieving their goal of offering what it calls a ‘full-stack solution for digital securities’.

Commentary

Upon announcing BitGo’s acquisition of Harbor, representatives from each company took the time to comment.

Mike Belshe, CEO of BitGo, stated,

“Our vision has always been bigger than wallets and custody and acquiring Harbor furthers BitGo’s vision of building a new digital infrastructure for financial services…We believe participants will ultimately need trusted, full-stack solutions for digital currencies and now BitGo is well positioned to address institutional requirements as the market develops.”

Josh Stein, CEO of Harbor, stated,

“BitGo has been an important partner since Harbor inception. We’ve worked closely together to integrate BitGo Business Wallets and BitGo Custody into Harbor’s services…Harbor provides BitGo with a complementary technology stack for the lifecycle of digital securities, as well as important service capabilities through our digital assets broker-dealer and transfer agent subsidiaries.”

BitGo

Founded in 2013, BitGo maintains headquarters in Palo Alto, California.  The company has developed into a full spectrum service provider for the blockchain industry.  The company indicates that its operations now span over 50 countries.  Furthermore, they facilitate over $15 billion in crypto-transaction on a monthly basis.

CEO, Mike Belshe, currently oversees company operations.

Harbor

Founded in 2017, Harbor is a United States based company, which specializes as a tokenization platform.  The team at Harbor, notably, developed the ‘R-Token’ standard – tailor built to serve digital securities.

CEO, Josh Stein, oversaw operations prior to acquisition.  It is believed that BitGo will retain Stein in some capacity.

Changing of the Guards

The development discussed here today marks, not the first, but one of several major acquisitions seen in the blockchain industry over the past few months.

Only days ago, we were reporting on the potential upcoming sale of SeedInvest – a crowdfunding platform operated and owned by Circle.  This expected sale is taking place after Circle made the decision to re-focus their efforts, specifically on stablecoins, rather than exchanges, tokenization, etc.

Circle Attempts to Sell SeedInvest, Doubling Down on Stablecoins

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Issuers

Agora Innovation Secures Funding for IVE.ONE Platform

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Agora Innovation Secures Funding for IVE.ONE Platform

This week, the security token issuance platform, Agora Innovation announced that the firm successfully completed a seven-digit pre-series A investment round. Notably, the main investor was FinLab EOS VC. Now, Agora Innovation is set to expand its capabilities. Specifically, Agora seeks to launch its highly-anticipated IVE.ONE security token ecosystem in the coming weeks. The news showcases more demand for tokenization platforms within the EU and Asian markets, as well as, a major milestone for the IVE.ONE team.

IVE.ONE

IVE.ONE is a regulated issuing and investment platform for trading tokenized securities. Importantly, the platform enables the global trading of digitized securities within the legal framework of a specific region. The use of blockchain technology provides more efficiency in the sector because it enables developers to integrate compliance mechanisms directly into the platform’s tokens.

One of the main concerns for developers of the IVE.ONE platform was scalability. Scalability continues to plague Proof-of-Work blockchains such as Bitcoin. In order for large blockchain adoption to increase, projects need to emerge with the highest scalability possible. As such, IVE.ONE utilizes a unique dual-blockchain setup. The platform can accommodate both ERC20 and EOSIO blockchain tokens.

IVE.ONE promises to deliver some unique and powerful tools to the market. The platform enables advanced tokenization and investments into regulated securities. On top of the tokenization benefits, the firm also provides a proprietary verified digital identities system.

Validity Labs Co-Founder Dr. Sebastian Burgel

Validity Labs Co-Founder Dr. Sebastian Burgel

This system utilizes a blockchain verification system to link users to their respective blockchain wallet addresses. Once linked, the platform employs a rule engine to ensure all the tokens remain aligned with the varying national regulatory requirements set forth.

Agora Innovation – Dual Blockchain Approach

Discussing the new platform’s capabilities, Evgeny Matershev, Agora Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer described the excitement felt by developers after gaining access to the EOS blockchain. Matershev described how the dual-blockchain approach provides greater flexibility for issuers and investors. Additionally, he spoke on how recent updates to EOSIO can ensure the future scalability of the entire project.

Also, Phong Dao, Agora Co-Founder, and CEO chimed in on the status of the project. He described how his firm utilized a seed investment from HTGF one year ago to bring the project to fruition. Notably, he touted how the project provides a better ecosystem for digital assets on the blockchain

Dao explained that the firm will now expand marketing and sales activities into the Asian market. He also stated that the eventual goal is to expand into the EU within the coming year. Lastly, he spoke on the firm’s next moves. These maneuvers include an STO scheduled for the second quarter of 2020.

FinLab EOS VC

Importantly, FinLab EOS VC was the main investor during this funding round. FinLab EOS VC is one of the first and largest investors focused specifically on financial services technologies in the EU market. Also, Stefan Schütze, Managing Director of FinLab EOS VC Fund spoke on how the platform incorporates a complete and automated regulatory framework with an easy to navigate interface.

IVE.ONE is Set to Launch

Considering the added usability and functionality IVE.ONE promises to investors and issuers, there are sure to be some significant advantages over the competition. You can expect to hear more about this exciting project as the launch date approaches.

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