Brazil’s top exchange announces international expansion after raising $38M

Brazil’s top exchange announces international expansion after raising $38M

Leading Brazilian exchange Mercado Bitcoin has announced a regional expansion, naming Chile, Mexico, and Argentina as likely destinations.

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Brazil’s largest Bitcoin exchange, Mercado Bitcoin, has announced plans to expand across Latin America.

Chief executive Reinaldo Rabelo named Chile, Mexico, and Argentina as among the jurisdictions it will expand into first, comparing the “regulatory culture” in those countries to Brazil’s.

According to Useful Tulips, Mexico is currently the fourth-largest Latin American country by peer-to-peer Bitcoin trade volume, with Chile ranking fifth, and Argentina ranking seventh.

The strong P2P trade volume suggest there may be significant demand from local traders that is not met by centralized platforms.

The announcement comes alongside news of an investment round that saw Mercado Bitcoin raise nearly $38 million from venture capital firms including Parallax Ventures, Evora Fund, and Banco Plural.

Mercado Bitcoin will use some of the funds to invest in regulated custodian Bitrust to cater to institutional investors. The exchange will also invest in digital wallet Meubank, allowing customers to store crypto assets, gaming collectibles, and other digital assets.

Once its ecosystem has been consolidated, Mercado Bitcoin is aiming to become one of the top exchanges worldwide, with Rabelo, stating:

“We want to develop the crypto ecosystem in Brazil and create a market as developed as that of the United States. To do this, we want to be one of the five largest digital exchanges in the world.”

“Our long-term purpose is to participate in the construction of a new infrastructure for the financial market based on blockchain, smart contracts, and crypto assets,” he added.

Despite being among Latin America’s top exchanges by volume — having hosted more than $3.7 billion in trade since launching in 2013 — the exchange has almost exclusively operated in Brazil. The platform’s user base has doubled in the last two years from roughly one million to 2.2 million.

The exchange aims to surpass a user base of 3 million and expand its team from 200 to 300 in 2021.


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Leading Brazilian exchange Mercado Bitcoin has announced a regional expansion, naming Chile, Mexico, and Argentina as likely destinations.

Ebang Hits Nasdaq IPO Running With Ambitious Expansion Plan

Ebang Hits Nasdaq IPO Running With Ambitious Expansion Plan

Chinese mining company Ebang has yet to see a positive net income in 2020, but an IPO might give it a jumpstart.

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On June 26, Chinese firm Ebang was listed on the Nasdaq Global Market under the ticker EBON, becoming the second Bitcoin (BTC) mining manufacturer to go public on a United States stock exchange.

The company intends to secure up to $125 million in the offering and follow up with an ambitious enlargement — namely, it plans to open up a cryptocurrency exchange and mining farms. So, what does going public mean for the mining player, and will other crypto companies follow suit?

From telecoms equipment to Bitcoin mining

According to documents Ebang filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company was launched by Dong Hu, its current chairman and CEO, in 2010 to sell “communications network access devices and related equipment.”

The Chinese firm entered the crypto scene in early 2014 and began selling its own brand of mining equipment in December 2016. In August 2015, Zhejiang Ebang was listed on the National Equities Exchange and Quotations, or NEEQ — a Beijing-based over-the-counter national securities trading market — but was delisted in March 2018 “in preparation for the reorganization.”

Soon after being delisted from the NEEQ, the company incorporated Ebang International Holdings Inc., its current holding company, in the Cayman Islands as an exempted firm with limited liability. Shortly after, the company attempted to go public for the first time. It filed a draft initial public offering prospectus with the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, or HKEX, but the application has since lapsed. Currently, Ebang is considered to be among the top-four largest mining equipment makers globally along with Bitmain, MicroBT and Canaan.

Revenue issues

Ebang’s revenue has been falling for the past two years, as was disclosed in the SEC filing. Figures from an earlier period were not revealed, as the firm qualifies as “an emerging growth company” as per the regulator’s guidelines and is permitted to provide audited financial statements for just two fiscal years.

However, according to previous reports based on the company’s 2018 HKEX filings — which are no longer accessible because the application has lapsed — its 2017 revenue was several times lower than the 2018 figures. Seemingly flush with success, Ebang was looking to raise as much as $1 billion at the time.

According to the latest documents, Ebang experienced a gross profit of $24.4 million in 2018 after raking up $319 million in revenue. In 2019, it earned just $109.1 million in revenue, registering a net loss of $41.1 million. Explaining the slump, the company claims to have “suffered from the significant drop in the average Bitcoin price historically,” adding that it cannot make assurances that it “will be able to gain revenue growth” or that it “will not experience another significant decline.”

Notably, the company’s revealed statistics for this year don’t suggest a huge uptick in revenue. The company registered a net loss of $2.5 million for the first quarter of 2020, blaming a “significant decrease in certain non-recurring local government’s tax rebates,” although it noted that its sales volume has increased since 2019.

Expansion plans

An Ebang representative told Cointelegraph that the company has major expansion plans, intending to fill a more unique niche within the cryptocurrency industry by continuing to manufacture Bitcoin mining equipment while also diversifying its operation by setting up a cryptocurrency trading platform and its own mining farms: “We will soon establish our own mining farms with [a] flexible cooperation model […] as well as mining pools to sell our computing power and we will also start to set up [a] cryptocurrencies trading exchange.”

In addition, the company said it will explore how blockchain can be applied to “financial services, education and healthcare industries.” Hence, getting listed on Nasdaq is a cornerstone of Ebang’s expansion plans. According to the representative, the IPO will enhance Ebang’s brand awareness, help to attract “more talent” and help set up a crypto exchange:

“Credit is the most important point for establishing the cryptocurrencies trading exchange, and a Nasdaq listed company regulated by U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission should be able to strictly control the compliance and safety of the transaction.“

Indeed, Ebang described setting up a cryptocurrency exchange “in overseas jurisdictions” in the filings it submitted to the SEC. Although the company itself is based in China, where cryptocurrency trade is prohibited, its holding company is incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Experts agree that going public might give a jolt to Ebang’s operation. Russell Cann, the chief customer success officer for blockchain and artificial intelligence startup Core Scientific, told Cointelegraph:

„Generally, an IPO can be a turning point or a new chapter for companies that experience periods of hyper growth. With the massive up-tick in activity and increasing attention and focus of institutional investors on the space, Ebang’s IPO may give it the cache to be able to not only bolster its balance sheet and enable additional growth, but enhance its talent pool; potentially increasing efficiencies in R&D, Sales & Marketing and Operations.“

According to John Todaro, the director of institutional research at TradeBlock, Ebang is likely pursuing an IPO for the additional funding as well as for the purpose of “providing a liquidity event for early investors and/or founders.” Todaro noted that it seems to be an opportune moment for Ebang to go public, given that the stock market appears to be coming out of a COVID-19-induced coma in recent weeks, adding:

“IPOs are challenging in the current environment given COVID-19 as many investment banks have postponed IPOs given the anticipated weakened investor demand. With the equity markets doing surprisingly well in recent weeks, you are seeing an increase in IPOs that were initially delayed. This renewed investor enthusiasm in public markets could bode well for Ebang’s listing.”

Johnson Xu, the chief analyst at TokenInsight, suggested that raising capital seems to be Ebang’s primary focus for the IPO, although being a Nasdaq-listed company is also a key development. He told Cointelegraph: “I believe for Ebang it is a mixture of hoping to attract status and attract more funds to fund the future R&D and operations of the company,” adding that “the crypto mining ecosystem is a capital intensive industry, thus requires heavy capital investment in the very beginning.”

Ebang vs. Canaan

As noted earlier, Ebang is the second publicly traded Bitcoin mining equipment company to be listed on the U.S. stock market. In November 2019, Canaan — which is also a Chinese company — was listed on Nasdaq, raising $90 million by selling 10 million shares for $9 each.

However, its IPO was largely underwhelming. Canaan lost its biggest bank, Credit Suisse, just a week prior to the listing, raising over 75% less than the figure expected originally. Moreover, its stock has largely plunged since, as it currently trades below $2. It’s difficult to predict how the stock market will react to the new crypto mining firm, as Cann explained to Cointelegraph:

“In hindsight, some of the issues previous companies have encountered generally form excellent precedents for new entrants around what to do and what not to do. That being said, the public markets are also an efficient form of capital allocation that ensure value is appropriately distributed to the teams and projects that are growing the right way. As digital mining is still a relatively new industry we’re eager to see how the sector learns these lessons.“

TradeBlock’s Todaro is more skeptical, as he doesn’t see “how Ebang would materially outperform Canaan, either in its financial results or stock price.” He elaborated that “Bitcoin mining has come under pressure since the ‘halving’ with mining revenues falling on the reduced new issuance supply.” This fact coupled with the lower electricity costs that have come about with China’s rainy season means more miners can come back online, which means that Ebang would rely on a surge in the price of Bitcoin to turn a profit.

Related: Sichuan Rainy Season to Give Bitcoin Hash Rate a Much Needed Jolt

Xu noted that the mining industry remains “opaque” in the eyes of mainstream investors, which might result in “premium valuation” at the initial stage. But once listed, “the information costs to understand the company structure and the market information asymmetric slowly get reduced, thus the premium valuation pre-IPO wouldn’t be reasonable, thus putting downward pressure on price.”

An Ebang representative told Cointelegraph that the company is fundamentally different than Canaan:

“According to public information disclosed by Canaan Inc., its key development direction is focusing on AI. Although we are peers in Bitcoin mining machine industry, Ebang focuses on the blockchain industry chain, integrating the digital economy industrial ecosystem.”

Why are Chinese crypto companies going public?

At this point, it seems like Chinese mining companies are the main crypto representatives on the stock market. Along with Canaan and Ebang, there is also Bitmain — the largest mining maker, which is currently going through a major power struggle between its two co-founders.

Bitmain has been eying an IPO since 2018 and also went through an unsuccessful attempt to get listed on the HKEX, but it could potentially enter the U.S. equity market in the near future — toward the end of 2019, the mining giant discreetly submitted a Deutsche Bank-backed application for an IPO.

It is important for Chinese mining companies to be listed in the U.S. because it represents the most liquid public stock markets, according to Todaro. However, he noted that more crypto companies — and not necessarily the mining ones — could join the IPO race in the future:

“Many crypto projects and enterprises are decentralized, which would make a public equity IPO futile and so on that side there likely will be no public equity offerings. But there are a number of centralized companies in the space that have become large enough that an IPO would make sense, such as a Coinbase, which will likely explore an IPO in the next few years.”

Indeed, on June 24, South Korean crypto exchange Bithumb reportedly tapped Samsung Securities as its underwriter to prepare for an IPO.

Xu told Cointelegraph that it is “extremely difficult” for Chinese mining companies to access fresh liquidity internally due to regulatory uncertainty, among other things. As a result, those companies are actively seeking to access capital outside of China, with the U.S. market being the main target. Moreover, getting listed on a U.S. exchange is rightly “viewed by most tech and hardware companies around the world as the pinnacle of making it,” Cann added.

Notably, the Ebang listing comes amid reports suggesting that Nasdaq is going to tighten its restrictions on IPOs to prevent smaller Chinese companies from being listed. In its latest filing with the SEC, Ebang referenced the “Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act, or the Kennedy Bill,” which aims “to kick deceitful Chinese companies off U.S. exchanges.” The legislation was passed by the U.S. Senate on May 20.

According to Ebang, the “enactment of the Kennedy Bill or any other similar legislations or efforts to increase U.S. regulatory access to audit information could cause investor uncertainty […] and the stock price could be materially and adversely affected.”


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Chinese mining company Ebang has yet to see a positive net income in 2020, but an IPO might give it a jumpstart.

Binance Now Supports Deposits and Withdrawals in South African Rand

Binance Now Supports Deposits and Withdrawals in South African Rand

In yet another expansion initiative, Binance adds support for deposits and withdrawals in South African rand.

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Binance, one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges, now supports direct transactions in South African rand. Users will now be able to deposit rand into their trading accounts in less than 30 minutes if their bank accounts support “Faster Payments Service.”

In a blog post on May 12, Binance announced that rand will be available against five major cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH), Binance Coin (BNB) Binance Dollar (BUSD) and Tether (USDT).

This seemingly comes as part of Binance’s strategy to invest in cryptocurrency exchanges with prior banking relationships so that they may provide cryptocurrency trading against local fiat currencies.

Investing and expanding worldwide

Binance has been proactive in expanding its reach across both developed as well as developing countries. Only today, Cointelegraph reported that Binance made an investment in one of Indonesia’s major domestic regulated exchanges, Tokocrypto — though the amount of investment is yet unknown.

Earlier in April, Binance had also added support for Indian rupee and Indonesian rupiah to tap the potential of growing cryptocurrency markets in these countries. Binance had also acquired one of India’s largest cryptocurrency exchange WazirX and crypto’s most well-known data platform CoinMarketCap.

According to statements made by Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao — famously known as CZ — in April, the company invests a quarter of its profits into various investment opportunities.


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In yet another expansion initiative, Binance adds support for deposits and withdrawals in South African rand.

Overstock Plots Global Expansion for Blockchain-Based Agritech Platform

Overstock Plots Global Expansion for Blockchain-Based Agritech Platform

Medici Ventures has announced that GrainChain will migrate from Hyperledger Fabric to Symbiont’s Assembly blockchain

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Overstock’s blockchain accelerator, Medici Ventures, announced a global expansion of the distributed ledger technology (DLT)-powered agritech platform GrainChain.

Medici Ventures published a press release on March 27 announcing that GrainChain’s expansion will be executed in collaboration with fintech company Symbiont — with GrainChain set to transition from HyperLedger Fabric to Symbiont’s enterprise blockchain platform, Assembly.

Medici is a shareholder in both GrainChain and Symbiont.

Medici Ventures plots global expansion of GrainChain

GrainChain seeks to speed up and remove friction capital circulation in the agricultural market through the use of smart contracts. Farmers can also track their produce as it moves through the supply chain on a per-crate basis — reducing the risk of theft and corruption.

Overstock CEO and Medici Ventures president, Jonathan Johnson, describes the partnership between Medici’s keiretsu companies as “working to eliminate middlemen, democratize capital, and re-humanize commerce through the use of blockchain technology.”

14,000 farmers currently use GrainChain

The firm claims that roughly 14,000 farmers currently use its smart contacts — including nearly 1,300 U.S. based users, almost 900 in Mexico, and 12,000 in Honduras. GrainChain estimates that it has processed more than 2.6 million tons of produce on its platform.

The firm’s migration to Assembly is expected to bolster the agritech platform’s speed, privacy, and facilitate scaling. Medici hopes that GrainChain will launch in several new countries before 2021 — with Johnson eying South and Central America.

“GrainChain’s goal is to continue to grow into new countries to help support farmers around the globe, and Symbiont’s blockchain platform is the solution that will help us reach that goal,” said GrainChain’s chief executive and founder, Luis Macias.

Macias added that the funding will be used to “continue product development and expansion to meet market demands in more countries.”

Medici Seeks to Invest in Blockchain-Based Nation-Building Platforms

Medici Ventures announced that it had acquired an additional $5 million of equity in GrainChain on March 6 after leading an $8.2 million funding round. The venture firm had previously invested $2.5 million in late-2018.

Medici’s GrainChain invests align with the firm’s plan to develop a blockchain-based suite of national-building products and services for emerging economies.

In 2018, analytics firm Markets and Markets predicted that the global blockchain-based agricultural market will be worth nearly $430 million by 2023.


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Medici Ventures has announced that GrainChain will migrate from Hyperledger Fabric to Symbiont’s Assembly blockchain

US SEC Looks to Expand ‘Accredited Investor’ Classification

US SEC Looks to Expand ‘Accredited Investor’ Classification

U.S. SEC seeks public commentary on expansion of “accredited investor” status to more investors who can prove knowledge

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The United States Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) has announced that it is looking for ways to expand the classification of “accredited investor,” with potentially major implications for capital formation of firms hesitant to meet full public reporting requirements.

The amendments and who gets to be accredited

Per a Dec. 18 announcement on the SEC’s website, the regulator is looking for public commentary on amendments to its category of accredited investor. Currently, the SEC’s language defines an accredited investor as an individual with a net worth of over $1 million or an entity controlling over $5 million in assets. Other means of classifying include being an executive at the company making the offering. 

The issue of who qualifies as an accredited investor has long been controversial. SEC exemptions allow companies to offer shares to such investors without having to meet all the filing requirements demanded by the SEC of companies listing publicly. In theory, this is designed to protect everyday investors from predatory offerings, but criticism against these classifications says that such exemptions just help the rich to get richer while prohibiting main-street investors from wealth formation.

The new amendments would, by and large, open up the classification to new investors, including those whose professional qualifications and certifications suggest that they are knowledgable enough to invest in private offerings. Similarly, “knowledgable employees” might be allowed the same access to their firms’ offerings as executives currently have.

What are these exemptions and what do they mean for crypto?

According to a concept release on simplifying exemption filings, the SEC estimated that in 2018, investors raised roughly $2.9 trillion under various exemptions, dwarfing the $1.4 trillion in all offerings registered with the SEC. The accredited investor category applies to exemptions 506(b) and 506(c), both of which fall under Regulation D. The SEC said that firms raised $1.5 trillion in exempt offerings filed using 506(b) alone in 2018.

Source: SEC

As the SEC has expanded its pursuit of initial coin offerings (ICOs) that it determines to be illegal securities offerings — only today requiring that Blockchain of Things return up to $13 million raised in their ICO to investors — Reg. D exemptions. 

Famously, Telegram sought to use 506(c) in its $1.7 billion offering of TON tokens. The company further accused the SEC of irresponsible delays in processing Telegram’s Reg. D filing, saying that ”the SEC’s instant application is an ‘emergency’ of its own making.”


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U.S. SEC seeks public commentary on expansion of “accredited investor” status to more investors who can prove knowledge

Official: Binance Chain and BNB Will Be Traceable via CipherTrace

Official: Binance Chain and BNB Will Be Traceable via CipherTrace

Following the recent expansion to 700 coins, CipherTrace adds support for Binance Chain and its native Binance coin

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American blockchain security firm CipherTrace will provide Anti-Money Laundering (AML) controls for Binance Chain and its native asset Binance Coin (BNB).

CipherTrace to increase AML checks on Binance Chain

Binance Chain, a public blockchain of major crypto exchange Binance and the underlying blockchain for Binance DEX, is expected to improve its AML procedures through CipherTrace, Binance announced on Nov. 5.

Specifically, CipherTrace will be providing Binance Chain with institutional-grade AML controls to increase adoption of the Binance Chain blockchain.

Within the initiative, CipherTrace will enable global developers, investors and regulators to access the Binance Chain blockchain for discovering data such as high-risk addresses. Moreover, CipherTrace will be helping those entities to set various controls to protect decentralized applications, exchanges or other crypto-based applications, Binance wrote in its blog post.

Customer data will not be shared with third parties, Binance COO says

Samuel Lim, chief compliance officer at Binance, claimed that the initiative will not affect Binance users’ security and data protection. Speaking to Cointelegraph, the executive noted that customer information will not be shared with third parties as a result of the new AML practice, adding:

“Users can rest assured that Binance will uphold its usual high standards of user security and data protection.”

Lim also denied to specify to Cointelegraph whether this move would affect listing of privacy coins such as Monero (XMR) in the future, saying that Binance does not comment on specific tokens and maintains the highest integrity in its listing due diligence process.

In the announcement, Lim considered the move as a “major win for the community-driven Binance Chain,” noting that Binance users can soon expect more digital token support across its ecosystem.

Meanwhile, online critics have outlined the third party disclosure risks associated with AML practices by companies such as CipherTrace and Chainalysis. Twitter account theonevortex wrote:

“Looking forward to chain analysis companies like @ciphertrace and @chainalysis getting hacked. These people sell your data to 3 letter agencies and governments WITHOUT your permission.”

CipherTrace recently expanded its platform to support 700 tokens

CipherTrace’s support for BNB and Binance Chain follows the recent expansion of CipherTrace services to up to 700 cryptocurrencies including Ether (ETH), Tether (USDT), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and Litecoin (LTC) on Oct. 15. Claiming that CipherTrace has expanded to support 87% of the transactional volume of the top 100 cryptos, the firm denied to specify which cryptos will not be supported on the platform at the time.

On Oct. 21, CipherTrace CEO David Jevans argued that crypto regulations by global regulators such as those by the Financial Action Task Force’s would trigger a shift of criminal activity from Bitcoin (BTC) to privacy coins.


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Following the recent expansion to 700 coins, CipherTrace adds support for Binance Chain and its native Binance coin

Canadian University: Blockchain Can Solve EV Charging Trust Problem

Canadian University: Blockchain Can Solve EV Charging Trust Problem

EV charging infrastructure expansion could get a boost from a trust-minimizing blockchain solution

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Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada have used blockchain technology to improve trust in electric vehicle (EV) charging systems, reported academic publication portal EurekAlert on Aug. 14. This development could increase uptake and expand the overall charging infrastructure for electric vehicles.

New ventures have no established trust relationships

In general, an EV charging service provider will look for property owners to partner with and install charging points. Owners of electric vehicles can then use these for a fee, which is shared between the equipment supplier and the property owner.

The supplier runs the equipment, so the property owner must trust it to compensate fairly for electricity used. Equally, the EV owner must trust that they are not being overcharged for the service.

This is exacerbated by the fact that it is a very youong industry, with no established structure of trust. An open blockchain platform will let all parties access the data to see if it has been tampered with.

The added benefit of blockchain

The researchers established three steps to incorporating blockchain into the system to reduce the reliance on trust.

First is to identify the involved parties and what (if any) trust issues there may be. Second is to design a minimal blockchain solution to mitigate these trust issues. The blockchain should closely mimic any parts of the legacy system, which need to be replaced. Dependencies can therefore continue to work with minimal modification.

Stage three is a gradual migration from a legacy/blockchain hybrid into a truly decentralized business model.

Researcher and PhD student, Christian Gorenflo, said:

“Mitigating trust issues in EV charging could result in people who have charging stations and even those who just have an outdoor outlet being much more willing to team up with an EV charging service provider resulting in much better coverage of charging stations.”

Last year, a Singapore-based startup launched a fleet of blockchain-enabled electric vehicles which mined cryptocurrency while you drive.


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EV charging infrastructure expansion could get a boost from a trust-minimizing blockchain solution

How Blockchain Could Change the Real Estate Investment Landscape

How Blockchain Could Change the Real Estate Investment Landscape

The expansion of real estate’s usage of blockchain — in title verification, valuation, diligence, insurance payment and settlement, smart contacts, construction monitoring and material verification — has a strong growth outlook for 2019

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David Hodge is the director of European operations for AEI Consultants, an employee-owned international consulting firm that provides comprehensive services to commercial lenders, property owners, managers, tenants, and developers, industries, institutions, government agencies and insurers, including many Fortune 500 companies. Founded in 1992, AEI is based in the San Francisco Bay area, with offices across the United States and Europe. 

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.

An increasing number of countries have begun the process of implementing functional and legal frameworks to regulate blockchain-recorded tokens over the past several months, which has led to increasing exploration of these technologies across many investment sectors. 

Further, the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) is a powerful disruptor at the transactional level, where significant disintermediation is occurring — especially with one of the most popular alternative investments: real estate.

Much of the recent regulation — or steps toward regulation — address volatility and risk concerns related to both initial coin offerings (collectively, ICOs) and security token offerings (STOs).

For example, recent regulatory movements include: 

  • In July 2018, Malta passed into law the world’s first legislative framework for blockchain and DLT with the purpose of regulating ICOs and STOs, including a benchmark regulatory platform and process. 

  • In December 2018, the Council of the European Union published the G-20 declaration titled “Building Consensus for Fair and Sustainable Development,” summarizing the discussions at the 13th G-20 meeting in Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

  • Following the G-20 declaration, seven European Union countries — the “Mediterranean Seven“ — signed a declaration agreeing to cooperate on blockchain and DLT technologies. Malta took the initiative to launch the declaration, the other signatories included Italy, Spain, France, Portugal, Cyprus and Greece. The agreement binds the signatory countries to promote the technology and work together in the blockchain sphere. 

  • Switzerland also provided a dedicated framework for cryptocurrency, as did the Isle of Man

  • The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) continued to treat ICOs as securities until September 2018, when clarification was sought from the SEC Chairman in a formal letter, following a meeting in Washington attended by representatives from Wall Street, venture capitalists, cryptocurrency firms and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. A letter was prepared by the group and signed by more than a dozen members of Congress for the SEC chairman, ultimately inspiring four crypto-friendly bills to go to Congress in early 2019.

  • South Korea and Brazil banned investment in ICOs in 2018.

As many groups are seeking to fine-tune and standardize definitions of the different types of tokens, much of this regulation recognizes that STOs — which, unlike most ICOs, are backed by physical assets — could be the solution to security and fraud concerns surrounding ICOs and other types of crypto tokens. 

Additionally, STO raises had a 95% completion rate last year. Ultimately, this success and validation has led to broad acceptance of STOs across several sectors, including real estate. 

Fractional real estate

The biggest game changer will likely be found in unlocking the liquidity of smaller investors through democratizing access, thanks to fractional real estate (FRE) opportunities. 

Since this class of investment was previously only accessible to high-net-worth investors, real estate investment trusts (REITs), opportunity funds, investment vehicles managed by major banks, or institutional investors, the tokenization of investment-grade assets into FRE significantly lowers the barrier of entry, priced at single token value with no traditional minimum investment limits or lock-in periods — creating a simpler and more secure opportunity for investors to buy in to. 

Data

Another way that the real estate investment and transaction landscape is changing due to blockchain technologies is the use of DLT to create public, state and federal government blockchains for all types of real estate-related databases, which increases accessibility, reduces rework, simplifies transactional procedures and reduces time frames.

Universal regulatory acceptance

While there is still a long way to go when it comes to universal regulatory acceptance — for example, China, India and several other countries have banned STOs outright in recent years — crypto tokens and DLT are changing investment processes in major real estate markets around the world. 

The expansion of DLT usage — in title verification, valuation, diligence, insurance payment and settlement, smart contacts, construction monitoring and material verification — in conjunction with an increase in FRE STO opportunities, has a strong growth outlook for 2019.


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The expansion of real estate’s usage of blockchain — in title verification, valuation, diligence, insurance payment and settlement, smart contacts, construction monitoring and material verification — has a strong growth outlook for 2019

Ripple Launches Office in Brazil, Targets Further Expansion Across Latin America

Ripple Launches Office in Brazil, Targets Further Expansion Across Latin America

Ripple will launch an office in Brazil, targeting further expansion across Latin America

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Ripple, the firm behind third-biggest crypto by market cap XRP, has launched a Brazilian office with the aim to expand across Latin America, Cointelegraph Brazil reports on June 10.

According to the report, the official announcement will be made at CIAB Febraban, a major fintech and banking event that will place in São Paulo from June 11 to June 13.

The new office will be reportedly led by Luiz Antonio Sacco, former CEO at the Brazilian subsidiary of The Warranty Group, a global warranty solution provider.

Having joined Ripple in March 2019, Sacco stated that the company intends to bring more clients to its payment network RippleNet, targeting not only Brazil but also the rest of the South American continent. To date, Ripple’s payment solution has already been adopted by three clients in Brazil, including financial firms such as Santander Brasil, BeeTech Global and Banco Rendimento, the report notes.

Apart from enabling major payment benefits, Ripple is also planning to launch educational and training programs in collaboration with major universities in Brazil, including the University of São Paulo and Fundação Getúlio Vargas. Sacco noted that investment in education will play a key role in promoting blockchain technology, while the research in the field is expected to expand career opportunities in the region.

As previously reported, Ripple’s payment network, RippleNet, exceeded 200 global customers earlier in 2019, with the five clients — JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo, FTCS and Euro Exim Bank — using XRP in cross-border payments.

Recently, Ripple revealed plans to enable a higher degree of accuracy for reporting XRP volumes and sales, following a recent Bitwise report that claims that 95% of bitcoin (BTC) trading volume is fake.

On June 3, Cointelegraph reported on Brazilian state-owned bank Brazil’s National Bank for Economic and Social Development (BNDES) funding a documentary film through its own ether-based stablecoin, BNDES token.


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Ripple will launch an office in Brazil, targeting further expansion across Latin America