A Month Ago

Fidelity, the global asset manager which looks after over $6.7 Trillion of customers’ funds, has carried out a survey with Greenwhich, which has a database to interview of up to 3,000 institutions.

This gives Greewhich un-paralleled access to some of the world’s biggest pension, hedge, mutual and alternative managers’ insight. The survey found that 47% of institutional investors thought Digital Assets are worth investing in. The survey also found that 46 percent of respondents like the low correlation between Cryptocurrencies and other asset classes. Of the 441 institutional investors that were interviewed for this survey, between November 2018 and February 2019, 72% preferred to buy investment vehicles that hold digital assets, while 57 % chose to buy Cryptocurrencies directly. Custody continues to be a challenge for institutional managers, with 76% of the respondents saying that security is a problem, and there is a preference for well-known established custodians to offer custody services.

Amazingly, over 22% of the respondents had already invested in Digital Assets, compared to almost 0% in 2016. One suspects that we will see another substantial jump in ownership by institutions as more Security Token Offerings (STOs) come to the market, which is typically backed by “real assets”, as well as being subject to greater regulatory controls.

It is, therefore, no surprise that Andreessen Horowitz, the legendary Venture Capital firm, has generated $10 billion-plus on paper in estimated profits for its investors. Over the next year or so, no less than five of the firms it backed - Airbnb, Lyft, PagerDuty, Pinterest and Slack - are going public. Andreessen Horowitz has also been investing in Blockchain technology-related business and Cryptocurrencies, and itself has just raised over $2.7 Billion.

Another sign of institutional interest in Digital Assets can be seen by the ongoing Merger and Acquisition (M&A) activity, as this is a sign that Digital Assets, as an asset class, is beginning to mature as corporate brokers and organisations look for synergy and undervalued opportunities.

As the graph shows, M&A has been mainly focused on firms which are building the digital infrastructure i.e. exchanges and services that support them, with companies like Kraken being particularly active. So as ever, nothing changes, as it was the merchants who sold picks and shovels in the California gold rush that made money, more often than the prospectors who panned for gold itself.

#FrontierInsights
Digital Assets
Initial Coin Offering (ICOs) have been used to raise capital by over 5,400 organisations - the largest amount of money being generated was EOS, that reportedly raised $4.3 Billion followed by Telegram with $1.7 Billion, so it is not hard to see why ICOs have attracted so much attention globally.

Unfortunately, it would seem that a number of ICOs are potentially fraudulent, with some estimates saying that over $500 million has been raised for questionable/phony projects. This type of crowdfunding is being replaced by Initial Exchange Offerings (IEOs), which in many ways are very similar to an ICO. The difference is that an IEO is launched and managed by a Digital Exchange, instead of the organisation that is raising capital, itself, carrying out the marketing and distribution of the token. The exchange typically conducts due diligence on the token to be issued and holds and sells the tokens on behalf of the project team. The buyers of the IEO are existing clients of the Digital Exchange, and while this means that there are considerable savings in terms of marketing and promotional costs, many of the exchanges that offer IEOs are charging companies to have access to their distribution capabilities.

It is ironic that ICOs offered the ability for anyone to get access to the potential profits of a token rising in value in a highly decentralised manner. IEOs seem to be moving back to a more centralised model, where investors will need to “sign up” to particular exchanges to get access to individual IEOs and be subject to compliance and regulation. This more centralised style could appeal to regulators, as they may impose regulations on exchanges issuing IEOs and, in effect, treat them like a Nominated Adviser (NOMAD) or a corporate broker.

We are starting to see more asset-backed tokens i.e. Security Token Offerings (STOs) that offer the ability to trade property, commodities, publicly quoted and private shares, and bonds. The institutions that are more likely to buy these STOs ought to draw comfort from this enhanced level of regulation that IEOs may bring.

#FrontierInsights
ICO
Digital Assets
https://blokt.com/guides/what-is-an-ieo-initial...-explained
The market for offering custody services globally is massive, with the top 15 providers having over $131 Trillion of assets in custody.

As we see more institutions investing in Digital Assets, we will need to have organisations offering custody services to cater to this new asset class.

This opportunity has not been lost on custody providers, as one of the largest custody providers Northern Trust has for a while been rumoured to be launching a custody service for Digital Assets. Fidelity, Goldman Sachs, and Coinbase are already offering custody services for Digital Assets.

Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), that runs 12 different stock exchanges and with a revenue of over $6 Billion, has just acquired DACC which offer Digital Asset custody services for over 100 Cryptocurrencies for 13 Blockchains. It is understood that one of ICE’s subsidiaries, Bakkt, has applied to the New York Department of Financial Services to be a trust company, which will enable the firm to serve as a Qualified Custodian for digital assets.

Kingdom Trust, which is a US-based custodian, was the first custody provider to get Lloyds of London to ensure its Digital Asset custody service last year.

Nomura, the massive Japanese bank with over 26,000 staff and offices globally, announced last year a joint venture with Ledger and Global Advisor Holdings, (a Cryptocurrency manager based in Jersey in the Channel Islands), to launch an institutional-grade custody solution for digital assets. The three parties have established a company called Komainu, which is looking to offer custody services that will also cover the insurance, regulation, and certification of the Digital Assets that it offers custody services for.

It would appear that we are seeing a reversal to where we were before asset managers relied on nominees and custodians. In the 1970s, due to the huge amounts of paperwork that bearer securities created, nominees like DTCC were created. Interestingly, Digital Assets which can be traded and transferred using Blockchain technology, are not dissimilar to bearer securities as records of the ownership of these assets are not held by a third party.

This means the “bearer” (the person presenting the asset), is paid directly, should they wish to sell. Blockchain technology is able to record the transfer digitally of assets, efficiently and potentially at a cheaper price, and without the need for many of the current intermediaries - all of whom charge fees for their services, so adding to the friction costs of trading securities.
There is an argument that with the creation of Multisig wallets custodians are no longer required. A third party, like a trustee, could be appointed and authorised the transfer of assets from a digital wallet under agreed terms and conditions.

This type of trustee service is currently being investigated by trustee providers, like PTTrustees, for the holders of digital assets. So we can see that, as the adoption of Digital Assets increases, there are new as well as traditional custody service providers beginning to offer a range of services for pension funds, asset managers and banks, and no doubt there will be more to follow…

It is of note that trust companies are moving from The Channel Islands, where they...


#FrontierInsights
Banking
Digital Assets
https://cointelegraph.com/news/ices-bakkt-annou...dium=email
Jaguar Land Rover (Jag) has been actively investing in various businesses involved with AI and  Blockchain technology for a while as it looks at how its vehicles are going to be more digital, and potentially driverless.

Jag has now announced that it is going to be rewarding people who drive certain Range Rovers and F-Pace vehicles with Cryptocurrencies, in exchange for sharing data about road conditions such as congestion or potholes. Jag has announced it is teaming up with IOTA and will be giving its drivers these Digital Assets, which could then be exchanged for the payment of tolls, drinks or electricity to charge a car. While Jag has not confirmed when this scheme is going to be commercially available, it is already trialing it in Ireland.

Mercedes Benz last year was rumoured to be launching a Mobi Coin to reward drivers who drove in a more economical manner, with data automatically being sent to Mercedes to monitor the way its cars are being driven.

Using Digital Assets to pay people for data, whether that be personal information or about what people are actually doing, is likely to become an important way for companies to track behaviour and then design goods and services that are more relevant and appealing.

#FrontierInsights
AI
Blockchain
Digital Assets
https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-crypto-curren...KKCN1S40UP

2 Months Ago

The London Stock Exchange (LSE), which is one of the largest regulated exchanges globally, has issued an STO worth £3 million on the LSE’s Turquoise platform.

This is the first STO, or as some are calling it an Equity Token-Offering (ETO), for The LSE, and has been carried out within the Financial Conduct Authority’s (FCA) Fintech Sandbox for a company called 20/30.

Nivaura helped with the 20/30 issue, and had previously been involved in launching a bond on the Ethereum network, claiming that by using Blockchain technology the costs of issuing a bond could fall by as much as 65% to 80%.

Nivaura recently raised over £20 million from Linklaters, Allen Overy, and the LSE to develop their business as they believe that Digitising the issuance of bonds and equities for private and publicly quoted businesses is here to stay.

No doubt other exchanges around the world will be keeping a close watch on the LSE, as they will not want London to steal too big an advantage in this sector, which is attracting considerable institutional interest around the world!

#FrontierInsights
Finance
Digital Assets
STO
The key to success for many businesses is having strong and effective distribution, and this is what Telegram (200+Million), Twitter (300+Million), Facebook (2.3 Billion + 1.5 Billion using WhatsApp and 1 Billion using Instagram) have already done.

So, all three firms, with their existing distribution could enable each one of them to launch their own Digital Currency and try and take a slice of the $5+Trillion foreign exchange market (as estimated by the Bank of International Settlement). On top of this, there are the internal cash, credit and debit card transactions every day within each country across the world, so the potential size of the market to go for is huge.

In the $508 Trillion global publicly quoted equity and bond market, there is also the potential for a successful Digital Currency provider to target these assets too, if the former NASDAQ CEO and chairman, Robert Greifeld is right. He believes that by 2022, all Wall Street financial instruments such as bonds, real estate, and equities will be tokenized. For tokenised, think of digital, and Silicon Valley organisations have many of the digital skill sets needed to become competitors to the traditional Wall Street incumbents.

One of the key factors holding back mass adoption of Digital Assets, is that dealing in Digital Assets is not very user-friendly, but I suspect Facebook, Telegram or Twitter will soon work out how to solve this challenge.

Facebook is looking to issue Facecoin, Telegram is rumoured to be going to launch GRAM and Jack Dorsey, the founder of Twitter, also the founder of Square - a financial services payments business are currently hiring engineers as it gears up its Crypto skills. Jack Dorsey is known to be supportive of Digital Assets, just look at his Twitter feed, so will Square’s Crypto skills be used within Twitter?

#FrontierInsights
Social Media
Digital Assets
https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/will-telegram-...major-way/
The French Finance minister is trying to encourage other European countries to develop a set of rules as to how Cryptocurrencies are to be regulated and taxed, following France’s parliament passing legislation last week on how intermediaries handle these assets.

Known as the “Plan d’action pour la croissance et la transformation des entreprises,” (Pacte) it reportedly enables insurance companies in France to invest in Digital Assets.

France is keen to encourage tech innovation and different types of funding that Digital Assets have been using like Initial Coin Offerings. The French are keen to have some controls and regulations, to ensure that investors are protected from fraudulent activities from firms looking to create Digital Assets, but not to protect investors from losses should they occur.

Regulations vary wildly by country within Europe as there is no pan-European legislation. However, local regulators across Europe are imposing restrictions on platforms that do not have the correct permissions to offer brokerage services. The European Union has previously proposed that firms offering services in the Digital Asset sector be subject to its anti-money ‎laundering and countering terrorist financing regulations.‎

As more governments understand the transformational impact that Digital Assets are able to have on their economies, we are likely to see more jurisdictions formulating legislation to encouraging the adoption of Digital Assets. The alternative is, that because these assets are Digital, companies will base themselves in countries that are more accommodative.

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Finance
Regulators
Digital Assets
https://uk.reuters.com/article/us-france-crypto...KKCN1RR1Y0
In the USA, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has released guidance on the issuing of Digital Assets and the way these assets are treated.

The inference is that if certain Digital Assets comply with its direction, then no action will be taken by the SEC, but each company that has, or intends, to create a Digital Asset will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

The guidance, which is called ‘Framework for Investment Contract Analysis of Digital Assets’ attempts to clarify whether a Digital Asset will be treated by the SEC as a security, and therefore will be subject to federal securities laws. The guidelines explain how the Howey Test may be used in connection to Digital Assets, and in particular to Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs).

The SEC outlines some examples, which create the impression that many ICOs launched previously may have breached SEC regulations, as they did not register with the SEC.

Some ICOs may have sold tokens that could be classified, under existing federal legislation, as an investment contract.

However, Bitcoin is not in the SEC’s spotlight, as it has been created in a decentralised manner. Which may help explain why Bitcoin has performed so well this week.

#FrontierInsights
Information Security
Regulations
Digital Assets
https://cryptonomist.ch/en/2019/04/03/sec-crypt...-guidance/
Stated in a recent article, Hong Kong forbids Security Token Offerings (STOs).

However, if you read the article, it also goes on to say that if you have the correct regulatory licences, you can sell STOs. STOs are now widely accepted as being seen and treated by regulators as a security, in the same way as buying a share in a company, like Apple or BMW, is processed. It is not illegal to sell these shares to raise capital, but the company, i.e. Apple or BMW as well as its corporate broker, need to follow the correct regulations in each jurisdiction around the world.

The reason behind treating STOs as securities are because they typically are backed by real assets such as property, commodities, bonds or indeed shares in private or publicly quoted companies. Due to the need to be regulated, STOs costs to raise capital are higher than Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Different regulators globally have taken different stances to ICOs; several of them saying that regulation of ICOs is not the same as those used to regulate the buying and selling of cars and houses. While some countries have banned Digital Assets, others have passed legislation to encourage the issuance of these assets.

PWC’s 4th report on ICO/STO looked at global trends, the amount of money raised and how legislation is evolving. One of the trends which PWC highlighted is “Asset tokenisation, i.e., the conversion of real-world assets to the Blockchain, is a dominant trend in 2019”. As we see greater clarity from regulators, we are more likely to see increased use of Digital Assets by institutions. If this creates more liquidity and the ability to trade 24/7, many assets, restricted to standard trading hours today, could result in Digital Assets being a compelling alternative and potentially may reduce asset price volatility.

#FrontierInsights
Token Offerings
Digital Assets
https://www.pwc.ch/en/publications/2019/ch-2019...1-2019.pdf
America’s CFTC has been looking at regulation and the adoption of Digital Assets.

Significant as the International Settlement Derivatives Association (ISDA) has just published its Common Directive in an attempt to try and initiate an industry standard conventions on how derivatives are traded and processed.

The current system is manual intensive and the industry faces increasing regulatory costs. ISDA is looking for ways to introduce greater automation in the industry.

The derivatives market is said to be worth as much as ten times the world GDP, being valued at over $1.2 Quadrillion and was considered to be responsible for the onset of the 2008 financial crisis. If ISDA is successful with its Common Directive, it could make Smart Contracts much easier implement leading to much greater use of Blockchain technology in the derivatives market.

Regulators should welcome the greater transparency and traceability that this could bring. Paradoxically there are concerns that public Blockchains could enable “bad actors” to manipulate or falsify transactions when this is feasible only in DLP / permissioned chains.

CFTC in the USA, like a number of other regulators elsewhere , is trading a fine line as it offers guidance as to how to embrace Blockchain technology and Digital assets. If they are too draconian countries more receptive to the use of Blockchain technology will have a competitive advantage resulting in a loss of financial services revenue to laggards.

#FrontierInsights
Blockchain
Digital Assets
https://cointelegraph.com/news/cftc-technology-...t-adoption
There are currently eight debit cards that allow soending of Digital Assets using a “flexible friend”:  Bitpay, Shift, Wirex, Cryptopay, Fuzex, Crypto.com, Aximetria and Revolut.

However, there are some issues facing debit cards that offer cypto payment option, due to differences in legal requirements in jurisdictions around the world.

Wirex CEO, Pavel Matveev, highlighted one of the challenges being the need for a “BIN sponsor”. Bank Identification Number (BIN) sponsorship which refers to the company that possesses membership of a card payment network, such as Visa or Mastercard.

He revealed: “Several BIN sponsors were hesitant to work with Wirex at first when they learned that part of our model encompasses cryptocurrencies.” Since then, however, Matveev says that “BIN sponsors have become more receptive to crypto”.

Some countries have banned the use of Digital Assets to pay for goods such as China, Columbia, Ecuador, Bolivia and Vietnam, while others like USA, Canada and Australia are more supportive. There have been reports that Russia has banned the use of Digital Assets, but recently Deputy Finance Minister Alexei Moiseev was quoted as saying, ‘Using cryptocurrency debit cards to pay for goods and services does not contradict Russian law’.

Despite the challenges and confusion it appears not to have stopped Baanx from looking to launch a new Fiat and Crypto enabled debit card with Near Field Communication (NFC).

NFC technology enables point of sale payment with any supported cryptocurrency, instantly converting into fiat currency to pay for goods and services.

The ability to use Digital Assets with a Debit card could significantly increase the number of people involved in Digital Assets, as more and more people turn away from using cash and rely on debit and credit cards.


#FrontierInsights
Crypto
Digital Assets
https://coinnewstelegraph.com/crypto-debit-card...d-species/
Ratuken, the Japanese online trading giant with over 14,000 employees valued at over $15 Billion, has announced that it will be launching a new crypto exchange platform.

Rakuten is also launching its mobile application platform, Rakuten Pay. This will have an integrated cryptocurrency payment option, along with fiat, meaning its customers can pay in fiat or use Digital Assets.

Meanwhile, Amazon has registered domain names AmazonEthereum.com, AmazonCryptocurrency.com and AmazonCryptocurrencies.com. How long will it be before they start accepting Digital Assets, or indeed launch “AmzCoin”?

Amazon has just entered a new partnership with World Pay, which in turn were recently acquired by a US Fintech firm who have a close relationship with Ripple.


Like Facebook has the critical scale and global reach to successfully create its own Digital currency, and bypass much of the banking system.


#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Digital Assets
https://www.coindesk.com/e-commerce-giant-rakut...o-exchange
Sometimes when you look beyond a headline you discover some interesting relationships that may not be obvious initially.

Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter, also co-founded Square who offer payment services for small businesses and mobile payments solutions. Square Payments in 2017 invested $25m into Eventbrite, which itself did an IPO last year. Square are now hiring crypto engineers. Jack Dorsey’s co-founder at Square is Jim McKelevy, who is, incidentally, an independent director of the St Louis Federal reserve.

Meanwhile,
Jack Dorsey is increasingly vocal about his support and interest in Digital Assets, admitting to buying $10,000 of Bitcoin a week, and believes that we are not far from seeing mass adoption of Cryptocurrencies by the public.
So it is not too big a leap to see Twitter and possibly Eventbrite in the not too distant future both licensing, using, being involved in Square’s Crypto payment offering - and follow Facebooks foray into Digital Assets?

More evidence of West Coast US firms looking to target the lucrative banking and financial services world that east coast American companies have dominated for decades?

#FrontierInsights
Bitcoin
Financial Services
Digital Assets
This was the message reported from China this week as they confirmed that they are cracking down on organisations raising capital via Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and Security Token Offerings (STOs).

It was only in December 2018 that Beijing’s Municipal Bureau of Finance said “The ICO (initial coin offering) model is getting left behind for a new concept called STO. I want to issue a warning to anyone considering running an STO in Beijing,” Xuewen said. “Don’t do it in Beijing – it is illegal. You can only engage in such activities with the approval from the government.” Government approval, what does this mean?

This is at odds with recent promotion of a
book on Crypto assets on a Chinese state-run TV last month that reportedly has an audience of one billion. The presenters telling viewers that Crypto assets could be one of the best investments they could ever make.

It was only in December 2018 that there were rumours that the People’s Bank of China was looking at ways to create its own cryptocurrency. It apparently thought this type of digital asset could replace Bitcoin and perhaps even the U.S. Dollar.
Given these conflicting messages, we spoke to GlenBit in Edinburgh that owns a Digital Asset platform powered by Japanese technology, as they have close contacts in China. GlenBit looked at various Chinese government websites and national publications and could find no mention of this ICO/STO ban. They did find an article on a well known Chinese website that follows Crypto news, called ‘Bi Hu’, which using Google translated this article https://bihu.com/article/1601678341 which said “After the ICO foam was broken, many countries began to ban ICO… Thus, a new form of new currency, STO, was born that will become the main mode to raise money for Chinese blockchain project”

Time will tell the actual stance the Chinese are taking…


#FrontierInsights
ICO
STO
Digital Assets
https://www.investinblockchain.com/china-says-i...ctivities/
It was only at the beginning of March we bought your attention to a New York-based company called BlockFi who are offering 6.25% a year if you deposit your Bitcoins or Ether with them.

Before you ask who actually has control of the Cryptos, well it is Gemini Trust, founded by Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss who act as custodians, thus BlockFi does not have access.

While 6.25% looks attractive, you may want to read these thoughts on
Twitter who point out the potential concerns and risks you could be exposing yourself to...


There is an old expression - all that glitters is not gold. Innovation in the sector is welcomed, but Caveat Emptor – Buyer beware.


#FrontierInsights
Bitcoin
Cryptocurrency
Digital Assets
https://www.cryptonewsz.com/blockfi-booms-as-in...eks/12075/

3 Months Ago

They say ‘there’s nothing new under the sun’... We’ve had gold-backed currencies for thousands of years.

The UK’s Royal Mint itself, a thousand years old, was by far first out of the blocks in the modern, digital, era, until RMG (Royal Mint Gold), until it was ‘paused’ at the last minute. This was followed in May 2017 by a firm in Dubai aiming to sell 12 million coins worth over $550million. However, Paxos, who claim to be the first new trust company in America created since the 2008 financial crisis, raised $65million in May 2017 and now run the fourth largest Stablecoin by market capitalization worth $113m.

Paxos is now using their experience to launch a Stablecoin, later this year, which will be backed by gold deposits held in a vault - allowing traders the ability to trade gold 24/7, currently not possible. Paxos also plans to expand the use of its service to tokenise and asset type, including stocks and bonds “to move assets and settle transactions more quickly and securely and with lower fees”.

In the same way, we have recently seen BitBond in German tokenise bonds and Nivaura and GlobalCap in London.

#FrontierInsights
Bitcoin
Digital Assets
http://fortune.com/2019/03/11/gold-cryptocurren...lockchain/
The German government has issued a paper laying out how it wishes to encourage the spread of Blockchain businesses and “electronic instruments “ i.e. Digital Assets.

They want to ensure that investors are protected while expanding Germany’s global role - so that they’re not left behind in these sectors. 
Interestingly, German firm Naga was the first publicly listed company in Europe to carry out an Initial Coin Offering ( ICO), in 2017 when it raised Euros 40m from over 50,000 investors.
This announcement from the German government comes hot on the heels of its financial regulator, BaFin confirming that they have approved BitBond to issue Digital Bonds. This will be Europe’s first fully regulated Security Token. Bitbond has already issued $15m of loans and its platform has over 165,000 registered users. So like Naga seems to be attracting considerable interest from investors. 
The issuing of bonds using Blockchain technology is believed to be able to reduce the associated costs by over 60% so ought to enable smaller companies to be able to offer bonds creating an alternative source of finance. 
If issuing bonds using Blockchain technology is successful in reducing costs and allowing SMEs to issues bonds, then the Peer To Peer (P2P) lending market could face new competition. The P2P market is expected to grow to nearly $900 Billion by 2024. 

#FrontierInsights
Blockchain
ICO
Security Token
Digital Assets
https://www.devdiscourse.com/article/internatio...egulations
The $800 Billion fund manager company Invesco has launched an Exchange Traded Fund (ETF) on the London Stock exchange that will be investing in 48 different companies that have exposure to Blockchain technology.

The EFT will be investing in business such as microchip manufacturers, financial services companies, and IT firms that are using Blockchain technology. While the EFT will not be investing in actual Cryptocurrencies right now, it will have exposure to organizations that are building the infrastructure that Digital Assets require to gain wider adoption. While Invesco’s EFT will not be investing in Cryptos to trade Digital Assets, it is another sign of the importance that Blockchain is beginning to have on institutional investors.

As fund managers gain a better understanding of Blockchain and its ability to improve efficiency and profitability for companies, we expect to see more money finding its way into Digital Assets as the old barriers preventing asset managers buying into Digital Assets i.e. banking facilities, Professional Indemnity Insurance, independent custody services or regulated exchanges, are now being removed.

The infrastructure for fund managers is broadly in place. This is why we are now seeing more Security Tokens being launched and no doubt we will soon see new funds launched to invest in this NEW asset class.

#FrontierInsights
Blockchain
Cryptocurrency
Digital Assets
https://www.coindesk.com/a-blockchain-etf-is-la...ange-today
San Francisco based Forte has just been given $100 million by Ripple to invest in Blockchain gaming companies.

Gaming is seen as an attractive sector that can use Blockchain and Digital Assets. It is a $140Billion industry and growing fast.

Chinese company Tencent have been active buyers of online gaming companies, so offers an exit to many emerging firms in the gaming sector according to UBS. China looks to be well positioned as it expects its gaming industry to grow to three times its current size by 2030. Tencent distributes some of the most played games in the industry and is the largest video game company in the world based on game sales. In 2018 over $1.3billion was invested into Blockchain projects from Venture capitalists. Considerably more than in 2017.

This trend is continuing according to Tim Bird, corporate partner at lawyers Field Fisher, who claims that “Blockchain is still one of the Top 5 sectors VCs are investing in at the beginning of 2019”.

Meanwhile, we are seeing Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and Security Token Offering (STOs) being used to help finance Blockchain powered businesses which, on the whole, are far better structured and thought through propositions compared to those seem a year ago.

#FrontierInsights
Capital Markets
Digital Assets
https://www.growthbusiness.co.uk/top-5-sectors-...9-2556086/
Specialist financial instruments exchange, Drive, has announced they are now offering institutional clients access to spot prices, CFDs and Futures in a selection of Cryptocurrencies.

This ought to help provide greater liquidity and acceptance among institutional investors as it enables them to easily go long or short of a variety of Cryptocurrencies via a platform that they are already using, so gain exposure to Digital Assets by osmosis.

The pronouncement from SEC Chair Clayton has confirmed that certain cryptocurrencies, like Ethereum and Bitcoin, are not securities and has provided the clarity many have been seeking. Which ought to assist lawyers, insurance underwriters and compliance departments at asset management firms as to where and how these Digital Assets can be used.

Meanwhile, back in main street in the US, or as some would say in the UK for ‘Joe Public’, of those that own Digital Assets like Bitcoin less than 40% said they were happy to use Cryptos for payments. So while adoption of Digital Assets is increasing there is still a long way to go before we see cryptos replacing cash…

#FrontierInsights
Cryptocurrency
Financial Services
Digital Assets
https://www.leaprate.com/forex/institutional/dr...th-gold-i/
Fusang in Malaysia is the first exchange in Asia to get a license to operate a Digital Assets securities exchange.

The Asian securities exchange will promote tokenization as an option for traditional companies holding real assets, while also simplifying trading of digital securities, Crypto, and Fiat currencies on a single platform. This exchange follows on the heels of Fusang group having launched an institutional managers custody service for Crypto assets last year.

Interestingly, we are seeing Asia being more open and embracing Digital Assets compared to Europe and USA as Thailand are expected to be launching a Digital Asset exchange in 2019.


#FrontierInsights
Security Token
Digital Assets
https://bitcoinexchangeguide.com/malaysia-welco...-platform/
Signature bank of New York has announced that it is now offering bank accounts for businesses based in Bermuda that deal in Digital Assets.

There are believed to be over 60 companies that initially this will be of great assistance to, as despite the Bermuda government changing it’s law no locally based bank offer accounts in the Crypto sector. However, Signature bank claims that they are signing up companies that are also not involved with Cryptos.

The lack of banking facilities is a major hurdle facing businesses that deal in Digital Assets globally as it is extremely difficult to get a bank account in many jurisdictions around the world.In the UK Clearbank  which is the first bank in over 250 years to be granted clearing bank status, is one of the is one of the few banks to offer bank accounts to firms engaged in Digital Assets but the company needs to be FCA regulated or in the process of applying to the FCA to be accepted by Clearbank.

#FrontierInsights
Banking
Cryptocurrency
Digital Assets
https://coinfomania.com/signature-bank-services...n-bermuda/
ICOs are still being used as a method to fund small businesses as demonstrated by Fetch.AI who attracted over 19,860 people register to buy and successfully raised $6million from 2,758 investors in 10 seconds.

Fetch.AI based in Cambridge in UK said they were “aiming to get as many people involved as possible so they limited the maximum number of tokens one could buy to only $3,000”. It is likely we will see a lot more firms using Digital Assets to raise relatively small amounts of capital; from platforms like Binance and Token Market

#FrontierInsights
Artificial Intelligence
ICO
Digital Assets
https://cryptonomist.ch/en/2019/02/15/binance-l...oken-sale/
Julius Baer with $382 Billion under management plans to offer access to digital assets through a partnership with Swiss start-up SEBA Crypto in the latest move into cryptocurrencies by a Swiss private bank.

Julius Baer markets head Peter Gerlach said, “We are convinced that digital assets will become a legitimate sustainable asset class of an investor’s portfolio,”

This announcement is just another sign of traditional banks offering Digital asset services as their clients are asking how they can get involved in this sector, so helping this new asset class to be more widely accepted. It follows the announcement that of the JPMorgan Coin and  Fidelity Investment and Goldman Sachs both offering Crypto custody services to its clients and no doubt we will see more institutions getting involved…

#FrontierInsights
Banking
Cryptocurrency
Digital Assets
https://www.ccn.com/major-swiss-bank-julius-baer-crypto