The week’s developments in the crypto currencies world including Europe Completes Its First Ever Blockchain Real Estate Sale

World’s First Zero-Fiat ‘Bitcoin Bond’ Now Available on Bloomberg Terminal

Luxembourg-based Argento, a securitization firm, joined forces with London Block Exchange (LBX) to issue the bitcoin-denominated bond, which is regulated by the FCA. “We are thrilled to have structured and produced the world’s first institutional grade bitcoin-denominated financial product,” Argento manager Phil Millo commented. The Argento-LBX bond represents a first in regulated cryptocurrency products, in that it contains no fiat exposure for investors. It is readily available via Bloomberg Terminal, and is the first crypto product to have its own ISIN code. Various durations are available, Argento conspicuously naming them after crypto-specific phenomena such as ‘FOMO,’ ‘HODL’ and ‘MOON.’ “This is an excellent product for people who currently hold bitcoin and aren’t planning to sell over the next few years…,” LBX CEO Benjamin Davies added. “Now, for the first time, they have an institutional grade way of making their wallets grow without exposing their bitcoin to the swings of the traditional ‘fiat’ currency markets.”

Source: “World’s First Zero-Fiat ‘Bitcoin Bond’ Now Available on Bloomberg Terminal”, available at https://cointelegraph.com/news/worlds-first-zero-fiat-bitcoin-bond-now-available-on-bloomberg-terminal/

TokenMarket Receives FCA Approval to Launch Security Token Offering (STO) in the UK

TokenMarket is an investment platform which has helped more than 30 blockchain companies raise over £240 through utility token offerings. Now, the enterprise has received FCA approval to launch its own STO in a regulatory sandbox. The launch date has yet to be announced, but is expected to be made public soon. Once the STO is launched, TokenMarket plans to subsequently launch STOs for other businesses as well. Once TokenMarket successfully completes its STO and exits the regulatory sandbox, three companies are already lined-up to launch London-based STOs:

DOVU – a token and wallet marketplace
Almond – a free app that enables users to reduce their carbon footprint and rewards sustainable consumption
Cryotech Nordic – the world’s leading provider of cryotherapy cabins

First however, TokenMarket must successfully complete its own STO, which will feature tokenized equity shares.

Source: “TokenMarket Receives FCA Approval to Launch Security Token Offering (STO) in the UK”, available at https://thetokenist.io/tokenmarket-receives-fca-approval-to-launch-security-token-offering-sto-in-the-uk/

MetLife’s LumenLab Using Blockchain to Automate Life Insurance Claims

MetLife subsidiary LumenLab is using blockchain technology to automate life insurance claims. Known as “Lifechain,” the collaboration with Singapore Press Holdings and NTUC Income will enable bereaved families who place obituaries in a local newspaper to instantly trigger searches to see whether their loved one had a life insurance policy. This month, 1,000 Income policyholders will be randomly selected to take part in a pilot scheme. The technology works by submitting the deceased’s National Registration Identity Card to Lifechain as hashed data once consent from the family has been obtained. Families are notified within one business day when a matching policy is found, and a notification is automatically sent to the insurer so the claims process can commence.

Source: “MetLife’s LumenLab Using Blockchain to Automate Life Insurance Claims”, available at https://uk.finance.yahoo.com/news/metlife-lumenlab-using-blockchain-automate-174100163.html

Europe Completes Its First Ever Blockchain Real Estate Sale

Last week, the AnnA Villa in Paris made history by becoming the first ever European property to be sold entirely via blockchain transaction. The luxury building, located in the city’s Boulogne-Billancourt district, was valued at €6.5 million, and was sold to French real estate companies, Sapeb Immobilier and Valorcim. The process involved first transferring ownership of the building to a joint-stock company (SAPEB AnnA), then dividing the company into 100 tokens to be distributed to the owners respectively. Each token can be further broken down into 100,000 units, meaning individual shares of the building can be bought and sold for as little as €6.50. The deal – which was managed by French blockchain investment platform, Equisafe – was powered on the Ethereum token, and was the latest of several worldwide efforts to bring real estate sales onto blockchain technology.

Source: “Europe Completes Its First Ever Blockchain Real Estate Sale”, available at https://www.forbes.com/sites/kamranrosen/2019/06/30/europe-completes-its-first-ever-blockchain-real-estate-sale-for-65-million/?fbclid=IwAR2UHOeuWhYJkxwXYvbx2191e-p3LI9nJa4fCiuJYHc2RFIBwX2MuKv67g0#2f88dba85a89/

Goldman Sachs ‘Looking at Potential’ of Creating Virtual Currency, CEO Reveals

Goldman Sachs is performing “extensive research” on tokenization, the group’s chief executive told France’s Les Echos newspaper on June 27. David Solomon said he believes global payment systems are heading in the direction of stablecoins. When asked whether Goldman Sachs will follow JPMorgan Chase in launching its own virtual currency, Solomon said, “Assume that all major financial institutions around the world are looking at the potential of tokenization, stablecoins and frictionless payments.” Solomon predicted that regulations will change in response to virtual currencies but said he doesn’t think new entrants in the cryptosphere will force banks to close.

Source: “Goldman Sachs ‘Looking at Potential’ of Creating Virtual Currency, CEO Reveals?, available at https://cointelegraph.com/news/goldman-sachs-looking-at-potential-of-creating-virtual-currency-ceo-reveals?utm_source=newsletter1&utm_medium=email/

Wall Street Veterans Starting To Invest In Bitcoin & Blockchain

Co-founder of the private equity firm KKR & Co., Henry Kravis is the latest big investor to get involved with blockchain and cryptocurrency. The 75-year-old Wall Street legend is specifically investing in a cryptocurrency fund provided by ParaFi Capital according to Bloomberg. Kravis joins fellow billionaire investors Peter Thiel (PayPal) and Louis Bacon (Moore Capital Management), who have both placed their bets on cryptocurrency and blockchain tech. Ben Forman, founder of ParaFi Capital has said that the risky and often volatile world of cryptocurrency provides an unparalleled upside for new investors and traders. Forman has said, “In the high-yield markets, I used to fight to outperform the index by tens of basis points. Crypto, on the other hand, due to its nascency, offers a tremendous amount of alpha to active managers”. ParaFi has invested in one of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world, Coinbase as well as the Ethereum-based project MakerDAO and Grab – the logistics, transportation and financial services application

Source: “Wall Street Veterans Starting To Invest In Bitcoin & Blockchain”, available at https://cryptodaily.co.uk/2019/07/wall-street-veterans-starting-to-invest-in-bitcoin-blockchain?utm_source=OneSignal&utm_medium=App/

Claire Cummings

Claire practises financial services law with a focus on regulatory issues, cryptocurrencies and tokens, trading and brokerage documentation and advising both existing and start-up funds and fund managers.

If you would like to discuss any of the points we raise, please contact me or one of our other lawyers.

Phone: 0207 585 1406
Email: claire.cummings@cummingsfisher.com

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