Into the Crypto Breach: Tezos STOs, an ETF, Updated ICO Guide, Oh My!

The march of tokenization may have steadied after the 2018 cryptoeconomy crash. And a pure cryptocurrency ETF in the U.S. may seem a pipe dream for now. But entrepreneurs and regulators are still filing into the crypto breach with their own ideas on innovation. 

Also read: A New Skirmish in the Mt. Gox Saga That Just Won’t Quit

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Prominent Entrepreneur Eyes Security Token Offerings (STOs) on Tezos

Ethereum to date has been considered the standard bearer for tokenizing real-world assets. Yet competing smart contracts platform Tezos now has a “pipeline of real assets in excess of USD $1B” waiting to be tokenized per Elevated Returns, a real-estate portfolio ran by Belgian entrepreneur Stephane de Baets.

It won’t be the first crypto play for Elevated Returns, who is working with compliance platform Securitize on the deals. Last year, the financial group leveraged the Ethereum blockchain to tokenize the St. Regis Resort in Aspen, Colorado. 

That initiative raised $18 million USD. And the group is now eyeing more than 50 times that sum in forthcoming property-backed STOs. But it’ll be turning to Tezos for the issuances, not Ethereum, going forward.

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Will tokenized real estate prove popular or not in the coming decades? Only time will tell for now.

“Having worked closely with regulators and local authorities around the world, we understand the need for the highest security and compliance features,” de Baets said of the pivot. 

“There is no better solution than working on a Tezos-based token implementation. We have a number of very high-profile deals lined up and we could not afford to compromise the technological product.”

If the plans pan out, slot it as an early adoption victory amid the cryptoverse’s wider and fledgling rat race among a growing number of smart contract platforms.

A Crypto ETF Coming? Maybe, But Not in the Way You’re Thinking

America’s first cryptocurrency ETF has yet to materialize.

But a preliminary prospectus filed by Reality Shares with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Feb. 11th points toward a different way to a crypto ETF: a fund that would focus on both virtual and fiat currency.

To do that, Reality Shares’s proposed ETF, specifically titled the Blockforce Global Currency Strategy ETF, would invest in money market mutual funds, sovereign debt instruments, and bitcoin futures.

The limited, rather than total, exposure to bitcoin in the fund may make the ETF more palatable to an SEC that’s taken a conservative approach to pure crypto ETFs to date. At least one official at the Commission thinks such an ETF is “inevitable,” however.

SEC Updates ICO Guide

Though calls for further clarity continue to sound in the U.S., the SEC has repeatedly put forth its positions on initial coin offerings (ICOs) since 2017.

Accordingly, the Commission updated its public ICO guide over the weekend with added clarifications related to securities exchanges and investor awareness.

“If a platform offers trading of digital assets that are securities and operates as an ‘exchange,’ as defined by the federal securities laws, then the platform must register with the SEC as a national securities exchange or be exempt from registration,” the Commission said in an apparently new section.

“Many platforms for trading digital assets refer to themselves as ‘exchanges,’ which can give the misimpression to investors that they are regulated or meet the regulatory standards of a national securities exchange,” the regulator added.

The watchdog is thus making sure its language is ever more precise as the cryptoeconomy continues to grow in kind.

What’s your take? What will the crypto ecosystem in America look like five years from now? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via Pixabay



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