Crypto Newsletter 1/30: Another Bitcoin ETF Bites the Dust

StartEngine Stories February 8, 2019

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Crypto Newsletter 1/30: Another Bitcoin ETF Bites the Dust

It finally happened. Last Thursday, tZERO launched its trading platform. After closing their ICO on StartEngine’s platform last year, tZERO announced they successfully raised $134M through the token sale. Two months later, tZERO issued their investors’ tokens in October with a three-month lockup. That lockup has ended, and tZERO has partnered with Dinosaur Financial Group, a broker-dealer, to facilitate customer trading. The first tZERO tokens have already traded on the platform.

This is big news for security tokens, though the trading platform is launching incrementally and so is limited as of today. For now, tZERO’s ATS will only operate during Wall Street hours (9:30am-4:30pm EST), and only accredited investors can access the platform. tZERO’s goal, per CEO Saum Noursalehi, is to open the platform to retail investors this August.

tZERO’s ambitions are much larger than that however, as their partnership with BOX Digital Markets last spring indicates their plan of becoming not just an ATS, but a national exchange, perhaps the very first of its kind, for digital assets. Whether tZERO’s team can execute these grand ambitions (and how long it will take for regulators to let them), only time will tell.

With Sharespost executing the first security token trade on its ATS a few weeks ago and now tZERO as well, January has shown promising developments for security tokens. The bigger question now is how do these platforms grow and attract new security token projects as well as new investors to buy and trade them?

What’s Happening In the News

1) Chicago Exchange Withdraws Bitcoin ETF Proposal

The Chicago Board of Exchange withdrew a proposal to the SEC to list a Bitcoin-backed exchange traded fund from Van Eck Securities, Fortune reports.

2) Securitize Joins IBM’s Blockchain Accelerator

Security tokenization platform Securitize has joined IBM’s three-month blockchain accelerator program to work on a solution to tokenize the corporate debt market.

3) Two Hacker Groups Account for $1B Stolen

Blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis believes that two groups of hackers alone are responsible for the theft of $1 billion in cryptocurrency, and they’re still out there.

Articles We Read (And You Should Too)

1) Georgia Is All-In on Crypto

This New York Times feature traces the history between the former Soviet republic and the Bitcoin tech company Bitfury and how 10% of the country’s electric power became dedicated to mining cryptocurrencies.

2) 96 Predictions for 2019

Another 2019 prediction post? Isn’t it almost February? Yes, it is almost February, thanks for asking, but this one is too good not to include. Ryan Selkis, the founder & CEO of open source database Messari, delivers not 1 but 96 predictions for what to expect this year in crypto. Did I understand all of them? No. Do I now have homework to do? Yes.

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