London’s Financial Conducts Authority (FCA) has announced the newest projects to enter the regulatory sandbox, a testing environment where the rule book is effectively thrown out of the window as long as it is “good” men and women behind the wheels with common sense given prevalence under the supervision of FCA.
29 projects have made it this time, and tokenization is the theme. Capexmove plans to issue tokenized debt. Little detail is given but they will use “smart contracts to make debt financing more efficient.”
On the same theme, Fineqia is a “blockchain based digital platform that enables companies to issue and administer debt and equity securities, including bonds backed by cryptoassets.”
Securities, bonds, crypto, all regulated. With a third competitor friend, Globacap, using blockchain tech for a “capital raising platform for SMEs and institutional investors which facilitates the issuance process of debt and equity securities.”
There’s more. Token Market is a “funding platform that uses [blockchain technology] to facilitate the issuance of shares in private companies more efficiently.”
And for the fifth it is time for some namedropping. 20|30 is a blockchain based “platform that allows companies to raise capital in a more efficient and streamlined way. The test will be facilitated in conjunction with the London Stock Exchange Group ad Nivaura.”
Almost $14 billion have been raised in token sales this year, with the Initial Coin Offerings (ICO) market still very hot.
Europe has taken the lead, hosting twice more than America or Asia in both ICO-ed projects and the amount of funds they have raised.
But within Europe there is fierce competition. Switzerland and London are almost head to head. Estonia is not far behind. Lithuania, a new comer, is also chasing.
France plans to make an entrance. Germany is still out. Singapore leads as a single jurisdiction. America is fading out. Cowboy SEC made a mess. Trump has still not gotten around to the third world airports as he called them, giving Europe an opened window.
One of the biggest high street bank in UK, Natwest, is playing with DAOs (Decentralized Autonomous Organizations). FCA says Natwest is testing a:
“Governance model based on [blockchain technology] that enables organisations to work collaboratively on developing and running decentralised applications.
The model codifies society rules in smart contracts on a blockchain creating a digital mutual. NatWest will open source the code after successful testing.”
A digital mutual? Interesting. There is a crypto debit card too. Tokencard is in. They are testing a “service that connects a centralised payment card to a decentralised blockchain.
Consumers hold their own assets in a decentralised Smart Contract wallet and top up their card through simple exchange.”
Simple. What the Community First Credit Union is testing, however, might not be that simple. FCA tells us they are planning an “initiative to facilitate creation of an identity token that supports customers who lack traditional forms of ID, in order to assist them in accessing bank account services in the UK.”
A token ID, equity, bonds, card. Even a DAO. Is this the future and is London still leading it? Time will say, but perhaps we’ve just gotten a glimpse of what the world might look like soon enough.