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AX Trading LLC (AX), a technology-enabled registered broker-dealer and Alternative Trading System (ATS) operator, today announced a strategic partnership with Quant Network a pioneering technology company providing financial and regulatory technology as well as interoperability in financial services, payments and capital markets infrastructure. Through this partnership, Quant Network’s technology, Overledger a blockchain operating system, will enable universal interoperability for regulatory-compliant security tokens and digital assets to be traded on AX ATS, a regulated secondary trading market. AX intends to integrate Overledger to help foster the evolution of traditional capital markets infrastructure to facilitate the mass implementation of interoperable regulated digital assets. With the increased market adoption of digital assets and banking “coins” such as JPMorgan Coin, AX and Quant Network are at the forefront to enable the transferability and movement of digital assets. George O’Krepkie, AX CEO said: “we look forward to partnering with Quant. Their technology will allow our blockchain agnostic security token exchange to communicate seamlessly with issuers, traders, investors, and regulators across different blockchain protocols. This is a key technological breakthrough that will help us bring the benefits of security tokens to Main Street and Wall Street.” It is expected that the first interoperable digital asset offering may commence as soon as January 2020, and that the AX Trading ATS may be ready to enable and list interoperable digital assets and securities in 2020.Let’s have a closer look at what that means to truly appreciate the significance of the partnership by covering the basics for those not familiar with wall street.
What is an Institutional Investor / Trader?An institutional investor is an organization that invests on behalf of the organization's members. They consist of hedge funds, banks, investment banks, pension funds, insurance companies, endowment funds, or any other type of money management firm.
Institutional investors account for about three-quarters of the volume on the New York Stock Exchange (which alone handles more than $20 Trillion a year in volume). In the US, Institutional investors own about 80 % of the total market value of the equity (stock) market, which globally is worth more than $73 trillion.
Wall Street refers to the institutional investors I mentioned above whereas Main Street refers collectively to members of the general public who are not accredited investors and the overall economy as a whole.
Whilst the Equity Market is huge, Institutional investors also invest in other securities which are prime to be tokenised such as Real Estate Market (Globally worth $217 trillion), the Debt Market (Globally worth $215 trillion) and the Derivatives Market (Low end estimates at $544 trillion and high-end estimates at $1.2 quadrillion). All of which makes the current market cap for cryptocurrencies look like a drop in the ocean.
Who are AX Trading?AX Trading is a SEC-registered broker-dealer and Alternative Trading System (ATS) Operator. They are a member of FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority)and SIPC ( Securities Investor Protection Corporation) regulated authorities. The SEC has some of the most stringent regulations in the world for listing securities and there are fewer than 50 SEC-registered Alternative Trading System Operators in the United States, of which only a handful are currently implementing Digital Assets. Others are awaiting regulatory approval with Coinbase, Circle etc are all looking at getting into this huge market.
AX Trading have investors and sponsored brokers including the likes of Credit Suisse, (a multinational investment Bank and Financial services company worth $27.5 billion). AX currently have over 800 Institutional traders (these are not individuals, but corporations such as hedge funds, banks, investment banks, pension funds, insurance companies, endowment funds etc).
AX Trading have also partnered with Euronext, the largest Stock Exchange in Europe with a market cap of $4.65 trillion as of 2018, in the creation of Euronext Block which utilises AX Trading.
What is an Alternative Trading System?An Alternative Trading System (ATS) is an SEC-regulated trading venue which serves as an alternative to trading at a public exchange. ATS account for much of the liquidity found in publicly traded issues worldwide. They are known as multilateral trading facilities in Europe, electronic communication networks (ECNs), cross networks, and call networks
AX is the world’s first “Electronic Trading Network” (ETN) where institutional traders can proactively connect and trade with other counterparties in a secure environment. Unlike traditional stock exchanges/ECNs that show orders to everyone and traditional dark pools/crossing systems that show orders — presumably — to no one, AX allows institutional traders to pick and choose WHOM they want to notify and also WHAT information they want to share with them.
Institutional investors may use an ATS to find counterparties for transactions instead of trading large blocks of shares on national stock exchanges. These actions may be designed to conceal trading from public view since ATS transactions do not appear on national exchange order books. The benefit of using an ATS to execute such orders is that it reduces the domino effect that large trades might have on the price of an equity.
How does AX Trading Work?The AX Trading process begins when one trader sends an “initiated” order to AX. The order can be routed to the AX ATS via one of our broker sponsors such as Credit Suisse. The initiated order triggers a “Call Auction” on AX, a period of time when the order will rest in AX to be matched against other orders from auction responders.
The Initiator of an AX auction decides who they want to invite to participate in the auction, whether they be all 800+ institutional members or targeted to specific ones, as well as how much info they want to disclose about the order. Based on these instructions, the AX ATS then notifies the members inviting them to participate in the trade.
The invited members can then participate in the trade by either placing buy orders of their own or placing sell orders. At the end of the AX auction period, all orders are brought together, and a match is performed.
In the traditional, continuous market with displayed bids and offers, traders are often chasing liquidity. In other words, the price may move away from them the more they buy or sell to what is commonly called “market impact.” On AX, the advantage of their call auction model is it brings liquidity — in the form of participant orders to the buyer rather than them chasing liquidity.
What is a Security Token?Security Tokens are different than Utility Tokens or Cryptocurrencies. A security token is a digital representation of a traditional security. It may represent shares in a company, interest in a fund, real estate, art collectables, or essentially any asset a party can own. Anthony Pompliano wrote an article explaining tokenised securities in more detail which you can see here
Security Tokens are digital assets subject to federal security regulations. In layman terms, they are the intersection of digital assets (tokens) with traditional financial products — a new technology improving old things. If cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are considered “programmable money” then you can consider Security Tokens a version of “programmable ownership.” This means that any asset with ownership can and will be tokenized (public & private equities, debt, real estate, etc).https://preview.redd.it/21cz6zvus0m31.png?width=569&format=png&auto=webp&s=883eb844e1061cddd585903549dde829098765c2
Quant Network community member David W also wrote an excellent piece on the benefits of tokenisation of assets in a lot more detail than what I will briefly cover here and strongly recommend you check it out.
The Tokenisation of assets is therefore inevitable, because it is a better way to record, exchange and monitor asset ownership for all parties involved. The amounts at stake represent many hundreds of trillions of US dollars
What are the benefits of a security token?
Security Token Issuance PlatformsSecurity token issuance platforms allow issuers to issue Security tokens that represent the security such as Shares in their company etc in return for capital. This is known as a Primary Market. Importantly it’s not just the issuance that they look after, it’s the whole life cycle of a digital security to ensure they remain continuously in compliance as they are traded etc. They also provide reporting to the issuer so they can see who owns the tokens and what dividends to pay out.
Securitize are one of the leading security tokens issuing platforms. They have created the DS Protocol, a blockchain agnostic protocol for security tokens which manages the whole lifecycle of a digital security, ensuring it remains continuously in compliance. They have issued a number of security tokens on the Ethereum network as well as recently working with IBM to tokenise the Corporate Debt Market (worth $82 Trillion). On the back of this they joined Hyperledger, an open source project which includes Enterprise blockchains such as Hyperledger Fabric which IBM is heavily involved with.
They recently also became the first SEC-registered transfer agent, which means Securitize can now act as the official keeper of records about changes of ownership in securities.
There are many companies in this sector which are utilising various blockchains, Other examples include:
Trading VenuesWhilst the issuance platforms above generally also include their own exchange where the token can be traded on, secondary markets such as those offered through traditional stock exchanges and Alternative Trading Systems provide significantly more liquidity.
Traditional Stock Exchanges have been very active in blockchain with some going through proof of concepts, to those like SIX SDX Digital Exchange which is due to launch later this year. They are using various blockchains and cover the full process from Issuance, Trading and Post Trade / Settlement services. I have briefly outlined which blockchain they are using / testing with along with source to read more about it below:
Post Trade — Central Security DepositoriesSituated at the end of the post-trading process, CSDs are systemically important intermediaries. They thereby form a critical part of the securities market’s post-trade infrastructure, as they are where changes of securities ownership are ultimately registered.
CSDs play a special role both as a depository, involving the legal safekeeping and maintenance of securities in a ‘central depository’ on behalf of custodians (both in materialised or dematerialised form); as well as for the issuer, involving the issuance of further securities by issuers, and their onboarding onto CSDs’ platforms.
CSDs are also keeping a number of other important functions, including: dividend, interest, and principal processing; corporate actions including proxy voting; payment to transfer agents, and issuers involved in these processes; securities lending and borrowing; and, provide pledging of share and securities.
Blockchain technology will enable real-time settlement finality in the securities world. This could mean the end of a number of players in the post-trade area, such as central counterparty clearing houses (CCPs), custodians and others. Central Security Despositories (CSD) will still play an important role according to reports:
“CSDs could have an important role to play in a blockchain-based settlement system. As ‘custodians of the code, CSDs could exercise oversight of, and take responsibility for, the operation of the relevant blockchain protocol and any associated smart contracts.” Euroclear Report
Another group of 30 central securities depositories (CSDs) in Europe and Asia are researching possible ways to “join hands” in developing a new infrastructure to custody digital assets. The CSDs will attempt to figure out how to apply their experience in guarding stock certificates to security solutions for crypto assets.
“A new world of tokenized assets and blockchain is coming. It will probably disrupt our role as CSDs. The whole group decided we will be focusing on tokenized assets, not just blockchain but on real digital assets.”
You can read more about how blockchain will affect CSD’s here
Examples of CSD’s in blockchain
The Importance Of Interoperability
The evolution of DLT and the wide adoption across industries and across different market segments is resulting in many different ledgers networks, but the ultimate promise of DLT can only be realized when all ledger networks can seamlessly interoperate. — from the recent DTCC whitepaper with AccentureIt’s clear from the above that interoperability will be crucial in order to unlock the true potential of Distributed Ledger Technology. Issuance platforms will seek to interoperate with as many secondary exchanges as possible to provide maximum liquidity for issuers. Issuance platforms and secondary exchanges are each using a wide range of different blockchains that all need to interoperate as part of the trade process. CSD’s will also need to have interoperability between other CSD’s as well as to the secondary exchanges (again each using different blockchains).
Enter Quant Network’s OverledgerQuant Network’s blockchain operating system, Overledger, provides interoperability between any current and future distributed ledger technology as well as easily connecting Off Chain / Legacy networks as well as plans to connect directly to the Internet. Within 10 months it has proven it can provide interoperability with the full range of DLT technologies from all the leading Enterprise Permissioned blockchains such as Hyperledger, R3’s Corda, JP Morgan’s Quorum, permissioned variants of Ethereum and Ripple (XRPL) as well as the leading Public Permissionless blockchains / DAGs such as Bitcoin, Stellar, Ethereum, IOTA and EOS as well as the most recent blockchain to get added Binance Chain. All without imposing restrictions on connected chains, being Internet scalable and able to easily integrate into existing networks / infrastructure.
Overledger a blockchain operating system, will enable universal interoperability for regulatory-compliant security tokens and digital assets to be traded on AX ATS, a regulated secondary trading market. AX intends to integrate Overledger to help foster the evolution of traditional capital markets infrastructure to facilitate the mass implementation of regulated digital assets. With the increased market adoption of digital assets and banking “coins” such as JPMorgan Coin, AX and Quant Network are at the forefront to enable the transferability and movement of digital assets
Overledger enables Universal Interoperability where digital assets can move across blockchains so that they can interact with smart contracts on different blockchains. It does this by locking the asset on one blockchain and then representing it on another blockchain either by creating a representing token or representing it via metadata. This will enable all of these different parties such as Issuance platforms, Exchanges, CSD’s, traders etc to move the digital asset from their respective blockchain onto AX Trading’s platform for secure, immediate and immutable trading to take place. Potentially it would even allow Digital Assets / Securities to settled on a public permissionless blockchain such as the recently connected Binance Chain in a completely safe, secure and compliant way.
Regulators would be able to run a node and view transactions in real time ensuring that compliance is being kept. Potentially they could also benefit from using Quant Networks Multichain Search capability http://search.quant.network/ to be able to fully track assets as they move across blockchains.
George O’Krepkie, AX CEO said: “we look forward to partnering with Quant. Their technology will allow our blockchain agnostic security token exchange to communicate seamlessly with issuers, traders, investors, and regulators across different blockchain protocols. This is a key technological breakthrough that will help us bring the benefits of security tokens to Main Street and Wall Street.”
SecurrencyAX Trading have also partnered with Securrency (who have previously tokenised over $260 million in real estate assets). Securrency provide a protocol that enables security tokens to remain in compliance regardless of what blockchain the token is on. Due to the layered approach that Overledger has adopted from the learnings of TCP/IP, this protocol can be easily integrated on top of Overledger to enable security tokens to move across blockchains as well as ensuring they remain in compliance with regulations programmed into the token.
Delivery vs Payment (DvP)
A DvP transaction involves the settlement of two linked obligations, namely the delivery of securities and the payment of cash. DvP avoids counterparties being exposed to principal risk, i.e. the risk that the seller of securities could deliver but would not receive payment or that the buyer of securities could make payment but would not receive delivery. Following this requirement, a DvP securities settlement mechanism has to ensure that the delivery of securities and the payment of cash are linked in a way where one leg (obligation) of the securities trade is conditioned to the final settlement of the other leg (obligation) of the trade. Thereby final settlement is defined as “the irrevocable and unconditional transfer of an asset or financial instrument, or the discharge of an obligation by the FMI or its participants in accordance with the terms of the underlying contract”. — STELLA — a joint research project of the European Central Bank and the Bank of JapanWe have seen how Overledger can provide interoperability for the securities to move across Issuers platforms, integrate with Stock exchanges, Central Security Depositories and AX Trading. Now we need to be able to ensure that payment is guaranteed and in a way that offers immediate settlement which is irrevocable. To do this we need to represent FIAT on the blockchain so that it can interact with smart contracts and settle transactions on the blockchain.
J.P.Morgan’s CoinJ.P.Morgan is the largest bank in the United States and ranked by S&P Global as the sixth largest bank in the world by total assets as of 2018, to the amount of $2.535 trillion.
J.P. Morgan was the first U.S. bank to create and successfully test a digital coin representing a fiat currency. The JPM Coin is based on blockchain-based technology enabling the instantaneous transfer of payments between institutional clients.
With J.P.Morgan’s $2.6 trillion balance sheet, expertise in blockchain and global payments network, J.P. Morgan can seamlessly and securely transfer and settle money for clients around the world. J.P. Morgan are supervised by banking regulators in the United States and in the international jurisdictions in which it operates.
How does JPM Coin work?A Buyer purchases JPM coins in advance which get represented on the Permissioned Quorum blockchain ($1 =1 JPM Coin). Quant Network’s Overledger could then provide interoperability to lock those tokens on Quorum and represent those onto another blockchain / AX Trading’s Network. By being able to represent securities and FIAT on the same blockchain (even though the underlying assets are on different blockchains) this provides instant finality / settlements to occur.
Once the seller receives the JPM coin in exchange for the securities they have sold they will be able to redeem them for USD. It also doesn’t necessarily mean that they have to have a JP Morgan account to redeem them, you could imagine in the future that the Bank instead redeems the JPM Coin and credits the users account. Similarly the buyer of the security token redeems the represented token and unlocks the security token on the original blockchain.
You can read more about JP Morgan’s Coin here as well as its use cases
J.P Morgan is betting that its first-mover status and large market share in corporate payments — it banks 80 percent of the companies in the Fortune 500 — will give its technology a good chance of getting adopted, even if other banks create their own coins. “Pretty much every big corporation is our client, and most of the major banks in the world are, too,” Farooq said. “Even if this was limited to JPM clients at the institutional level, it shouldn’t hold us back.”Overledger enables different securities tokens / digital coins representing FIAT currencies to be brought together from the various permissioned / permissionless blockchains onto one platform where trading / settlement can take place. Overledger is the only technology that can do this today across the leading permissioned and permissionless blockchains as well as existing networks, all in a secure, scalable and easy to integrate way.
Quant Network are working with AX Trading to bring more digital assets, securities and tokenised assets to their existing 800 institutional traders in an already live and connected FINRA and SEC regulated exchange. AX Trading is not just about trading securities but other digital assets such as Bitcoin, Ethereum and potentially even Quant in the Future.
This is a multi-trillion dollar market with huge global enterprises, traditional exchanges and global banks are all adopting DLT at a rapid pace and going into production at scale in a matter of months, examples include the NYSE Bakkt launching Bitcoin futures later this month, Swiss Stock Exchange ($1.6 Trillion market Cap) is due to launch their digital exchange running on Corda (SDX) by the end of the year. The DTCC are due to launch their Trade Information Warehouse which processes $10 Trillion of cleared and bilateral derivatives by the end of the year. JP Morgan who transfer $6 Trillion every day are due to launch their JPM coin at the end of year and AX Trading is due to offer their first digital asset by January 2020.
Quant Network’ Overledger enables the bridging of traditional finance infrastructure with the new decentralised finance infrastructure DeFi of the future, helping to redefine Wall Street and Capital Markets.
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Despite all of the bad press that the digital asset industry continues to receive on an almost daily basis, it appears as though the overall sentiment of the online communities in regard to this burgeoning domain is still pretty positive. For example, Comparitech — a research firm that provides its consumers with a host of specialized data that allows one to make more informed decisions — recently used a machine learning-based analysis tool to study more than 48K Redditposts to determine which cryptocurrencies were viewed most favorably by the masses. Not only that, the study also took into consideration a total of 7,500 crypto/blockchain-related articles from a variety of different national and international media outlets.
All of the posts, tweets and articles analyzed by the researchers were scored on the basis of their positive/negative sentiment — primarily in relation to other articles included in the study. In this regard, there were a few notable trends that jump out at the reader upon first glance. While over 85% of the analyzed Reddit posts were deemed to be positive in nature, articles published by various mainstream media publications such as HuffPost, Business Insider and The International Business Times were, by and large, dismissive of the crypto market.
To get a better overview of the matter, Cointelegraph has reached out to Craig Russo, owner of Peer, a Boston-based startup that is behind the popular crypto and gaming media outlet SludgeFeed. When asked about what the overall sentiment of the average social media user toward the crypto industry (at large) was like, Russo pointed out:
“While there will always be different camps or schools of thought on the crypto industry, the overall sentiment across social media continues to be bullish, both on future price growth and mainstream adoption of the technology.”A similar point of view is also shared by Sritanshu Sinha, an independent crypto author and analyst, whose work has been shared online by the likes of John McAfee and Kim DotCom. Sinha pointed out that the overall reception that the crypto industry has received thus far on forums such as Reddit and Twitter has been quite warm. He is also quick to point out that, since the Reddit community as a whole views itself as being anti-establishment, the platform’s users are usually drawn to crypto much more than your average investor. Similarly, in the case of Twitter, he believes that there are a few independent analysts who have hundreds of thousands of followers and therefore have the power to influence the community toward fostering a positive view regarding various altcoins/digital offerings.
Has the public views on crypto changed over the years?Another pertinent question is how the crypto industry’s general perception has evolved since the novel asset class came into the spotlight a few years back. For example, it is no secret that all through 2018, investor confidence in this space has been dwindling. However, Russo believes that Bitcoin’s (BTC) financial upswing over the last eight months has been a turning point for the industry, especially across different social media outlets. Further elaborating on his views, Russo added:
“This is in stark contrast to those invested in the altcoin markets, as many are in disbelief towards the poor performance of their assets. The regulatory environment definitely plays into the latter, as increasing pressure from the U.S. government has undoubtedly hurt investor interest in Bitcoin alternatives (i.e., Binance shutting down to U.S. customers).”When compared to the previous years, the general sentiment toward the crypto sector has certainly become less hostile. For example, back in 2017, a time when Bitcoin was witnessing astronomical growth, the industry was still facing a lot of heat from many financial experts of differing pedigree. And while the market, at the time, was replete with countless scams(especially Twitter bots) such activities have largely died out now.
As mentioned earlier, a host of recent surveys seem to suggest that more than 80% of all crypto talk online is positive. This number seems abnormally large for an industry that is usually on the receiving end of a lot of criticism from various traditional media outlets. Sharing his thoughts on the subject, Sinha pointed out:
“80% seems about right. Mostly, because that’s the nature of evangelism. Most of us on social media seems to be crypto-evangelists. However, positive sentiments and bull markets are highly correlated and they seem to be feeding off each other to create a positive feedback loop. If I have to prophesize, the 80% positive sentiment will not be the case during a bear run. Then the voices of the skeptics will become louder and sentiments will turn increasingly negative.”
Tweet interpreters are being used to gauge global investor interestA number of hedge funds and asset managers are currently turning tosoftware developers to help them interpret and harness sentiment signals to their advantage. Speaking to Reuters on the subject, Bin Ren — CEO of Elwood Asset Management — was quoted as saying that this latest trend of identifying price clues from tweets and other social media messages is slowly turning into an “arms race for money managers.”
To put things into perspective, it can be seen that the costs involved with conducting such types of research analyses are quite steep. As per Andrea Leccese, president of New York-based investment firm Bluesky Capital, a simple bot-driven Twitter data exploration can cost firms anywhere between $500,000-$1 million.
Will increasing regulations stifle the industry’s growth?Ever since Facebook announced its decision to enter the digital asset market — via its much-hyped stablecoin offering called Libra, which is backed by the Libra Foundation — the regulatory noose surrounding this space seems to have tightened considerably. However, contrary to popular belief, a number of crypto analysts seem to believe that increased regulations can be a good thing for the industry.
Cointelegraph spoke to Mohanned Halawani, the founder and CEO of Crypto PR, one of the first blockchain-specialized communication firms. He seems to be quite optimistic and believes that some of the latest regulations are actually quite advantageous for prospective investors, especially those regarding security token offerings (STOs) and initial coin offerings (ICOs). Halawani went on to add:
“The SEC has facilitated the emergence of Security Token Offerings which it felt was a more worthy investment vehicle when compared to traditional Initial Coin Offerings… Security tokens allow their investors to get information about the issuer on a fully transparent framework, providing complete visibility on all token allocations. Thanks to the regulatory benefits of these assets, authorities are beginning to their raise their standards among tradable asset classes and even support their implementation.”Similar opinions are also provided by Joe Mercurio, project manager for Comparitech, who believes that the goal behind these regulations is to ultimately make consumers and businesses more comfortable with using cryptocurrencies on a regular basis. Mercurio shared his thoughts with Cointelegraph:
“I think that government entities will eventually adopt blockchain technology and new cryptocurrencies will begin to emerge. That said, I do believe that the market will remain volatile.”Whether we like it or not, government regulations are crucial for any financial commodity — be it crypto or otherwise — to gain mainstream acceptance. And while these rules and guidelines may appear to hamper an asset’s growth at times, a majority of these regulations are a step in the right direction. Also, because Bitcoin and other digital currencies are basically tools for individual financial freedom, governments do not want to give up financial control over their citizens.
Simply put, when we see the history of such revolutionary technologies getting adopted by countries en masse’, we are sadly faced with a long and painful path that eventually leads to widespread human well-being.
How much of a role does social media play in shaping the public’s opinion on crypto?Mercurio, whose core field of work includes the analysis of tweets and other online content to gauge public sentiment, is of the belief that there currently exists a strong correlation between the volume of social media posts related to a particular digital asset and its price. As part of his research, he claims to have often observed spikes in online articles when the price of a specific cryptocurrency changes. Mercurio went on to add:
“Social media posts remain more positive during times of price fluctuation compared to media coverage overall. Online enthusiasm regarding crypto has been overwhelmingly warm. We found that cryptocurrency-related subreddits were 55% more likely than media publications to have content with positive sentiment toward various cryptocurrencies.”In a similar vein, to look at the impact that social media influencers have on the crypto industry, we can turn to a few high-profile individuals such as Elon Musk and LA Chargers’ star Russell Okung, both of whom have been advocating for the widespread adoption of crypto for quite some time now. In fact, Okung has sent out several requests to the NFL, asking the league (since the start of 2019) to provide its employees with the option of getting paid in crypto — a petition that is backed by fellow NFL star Matt Barkley.
Looking aheadIt thus appears as though the crypto market will continue to grow, mainly because people want to find newer economic avenues that are free from the involvement of any corporations or government-controlled agencies. However, a lot of this growth will depend on the use cases that emerge from this space. Also, as social media continues to play an ever-increasing role in arenas such as politics and public affairs, there is no reason to doubt its utility when it comes to crypto adoption.
On September 14th, INNO x Austrade China-Australia chain high-end exchange will be successfully held. Activities, the core members of the NEO Council, also to cloud founder Chen Rong and a number of Chinese block chain experts invited to attend the exchange. And the Australian delegation ADCA (Australian E-Commerce Association), the Australian Bureau of Standards, the University of Science and Technology, Sydney and many other block-chain project experts on the block chain in the global development of the exchange of seminars.
2015 Forbes China, 30 under 30
2017 Forbes Asia, 30 under 30
Davos Global Shaper in 2014
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AMA with CEO William Heyn
“Good Morning fellow, TIOnauts, Bill here, getting ready to answer your questions in the upcoming AMA
I wanted to get an early start by addressing one big question we have been getting. It is always a bit unsettling when a big name leaves a company's board, we understand. However, please remember, there is a lot more to being on a corporate board than just advising a company on its business path. There are meetings, board votes, board minutes and so on, all of the things that the public doesn't see that directors do - and spend a lot of time on.
But let's be honest about what you all want from a big player like Chien, you want him to be involved in advising the company and helping us move forward and grow, right? Do you care if he is going to cast a vote to second the board motion to approve the minutes from the last board meeting?
So as we have said, Chien is going to stay involved as an advisor, he is just letting go on some of the more mundane aspects of being a board member. As most of you know, Chien is a rock star and we are lucky to have had him on the board for the last year, now he is going to spend some of his time on other things - most importantly Forbes Crypto, which directly benefits trade.io - but he is still going to be involved in the strategic direction of the company.”
Q. how much trade.io own from Forbes?A. Hi Pacimaker, got it, thanks for the question, so all I can say is that it is a meaningful amount - beyond that I am not at liberty to say
Q. Bill what are your thoughts on both trade.io for 2019 & the crypto market in general?A. Thanks for the question CB, so I mentioned in my first letter that I am a market optimist, I feel that crypto in general will find its natural bottom and come back. As for trade.io, we are looking forward to a great year with lots of things to develop and improve
Q. What are the changes in the company strategy with the recent changes in trade.io management and the crypto market as well?A. I don't think that we have changed a lot in the company strategy, we just have some new faces to help move the company forward as we see best
Q. Why do much dump? Just because of Chien Lee?A. You got me Ironfist - I don't know why anyone would be dumping - it sure wasn't me
Q As trade.io is into many initiatives it is good to know how much already spent and how much they have reserves.
A. Agreed and understood, please keep faith, we are committed to transparency and openness, we are in good shape for now, but some things we need to keep a little quiet on - so no exact number just yet
Q. Hope it won't seem too negative but I'm wondering if in the future the company will try more to consider the optics of moving around the big names. Maybe the news that Mr Presissler was stepping down could have been done at the same time as this latest announcement to get it all over with instead of pulling off the band-aid much slower.
A. Thanks for the question, so you are completely right, optics are important, and I think you will believe me when I say if there was a way for it to be less painful we would have found it but in these cases we need to be transparent - so for example, waiting a significant amount of time after I took over just to make it one announcement with Chien wouldn't have been responsible.
Krisoffer added “Thanks guys, I appreciate the answer. But as you know, a lot of people might just see the headlines and make decisions based on that, that was my concern. But thank you!”
Bill “Agreed Kristoffer, but we need to balance being as transparent as possible with what is easy, right?”
Jim P added: “Agreed, but we are still working closely with Bill. We are in constant communication.”
Q. Who do you think is the most difficult thing to be done now?A. So, I'm not sure my fingers would take the typing of the full list here, lots to be done, but in general, I look at it like this, trade.io is growing up, companies go through stages and we are entering a new one, we have grown so fast and done so many great things we need to take stock now and see what is working and what is not going exactly as planned and then adjust - very typical for a company of this stage
Q. Is the Forex platform planned before the end of this year?
A. That is planned for Q1 2019
Q. Bill, what was your previous experience in the management of startups like trade.io? You look like to me like a SP500 guy.....that’s the reason of my question.
A. I'm not ashamed to admit were talking about my favorite subject now (me) - So Carlos, boiling it down to the most relevant, I left Merrill Lynch in 2001 after working there and at JP Morgan and Morgan Stanley and founded my own investment bank, just me and a computer. I have built that up over the last 17 years into a full service registered investment bank - so I have done lots of other startups in the past but I think that is most relevant
Q. So u are better than Jim?
A. Pacimaker - Jim and I have been friends for nearly 30 years... you trying to break that up?
Kidding aside, Pacimaker, Jim and I have worked together for almost 20 years now
Q. How are things going to be any different with you as CEO as opposed to Jim?
A. We have different skill sets and have always used them in conjunction with each other on projects, just like now. Between the two of us, Jim is an idea and inception guy, he is brilliant with coming up with new ideas, launching them and getting them through their first stages. I am more of the second stage development guy. Once the company is up and running that's where I can add value. I'll admit, not nearly as exciting as what Jim does but we feel what trade.io needs at this stage.
Q. Do you think at some time trade.io will focus also on Advertise itself on communities whose tokens are listed here? Ex: OMG, BAT etc.... I personally asked this in their TG group and they seemed neither aware that we are listing their tokens.
A. So many of these tokens are already listed on other exchanges, we are working to differentiate ourselves by offering more product, the LP, FX trading etc., we need to get these up and running first
Q. Okay the exchange is getting pretty damn good, now I feel like it’s time to be innovative like setting up a "crypto/forex university" where folks are drawn to and can learn and communicate and plan the future together, is there a timetable for the "learn platform"? And what are your main marketing strategies?
A. Something like this?
Q. Is this accessible somewhere already?
A. No we are still developing it. It's in the pipeline and I didn't want to share until it was further along (within a few weeks of deployment) but I figured since you asked now is as just a good of time as any.
Q. Where u can see trade.io in next 3 months?
A. So three months, you have seen all of the timelines and things we are planning to roll out so I won’t repeat them - but more importantly within three months we will have taken stock of the company - like I have said, what is going well, what, if anything isn't and we will hopefully have fixed or being on the way to fixing everything that we can.
Q. Why did you take this challenge?
A. Got it, thanks Carlos, I love challenges, so that's easy, this is what I like to do, help build new companies, so this challenge is right up my alley. Why this one as opposed to others? I genuinely believe that DLT is going to upend the finance world that I have been a part of for decades, I want to be a part of that
Q. Good morning Bill. I think one pressing question on everyone's mind, is the state of finances of the company. We see not much trading going on, so obviously no revenue there, and we don’t have any idea of the other areas making profit... The bear market can be long and drawn out, and those companies that can weather the storm, will prosper obviously. Question is straightforward.... do you feel comfortable that trade.io is in a position to continue operating for 6 more months under current conditions?
A. Hi Dustin, good morning, and thanks for the question. Easy answer is yes, I'm comfortable that we are good to go for 6 months and beyond, the bear market is rough on all of us but our reserves are just fine. But this is always something we focus on, every day making sure that we are keeping operations running
Q. One other thing I know everyone wants an explanation of: is how the liquidity providers work on the exchange. We see lots of small trades by bots that appear as wash trading, which is one thing trade.io has always been against.. Can you give a brief explanation of how that works?
A. Sure, very briefly, as you know the market markers are there to create liquidity and orderly markets - just like the old time guys on the floor of the NYSE, right? So while it may look like a wash, it should only be liquidity and matching - keeping the market moving. That's the market theory, if you want more of the technical aspects of how they work I might have to leave that for our tech guys
Q. Great... I know it is a major question for everyone, and to understand how that works would be a great help
A. From Jim P market makers are there to create an orderly market, and provide a minimal level of liquidity. That’s what ours are doing. We are not manipulating the tape, fake buy walls or sell walls, spoofing, or inflating with millions of fake volume like many others.
Q. Bill Do you think the future is the STO’s?
A. So the STO question is a good one, and really boils down to all of the regulatory issues out there, as the markets have changed and regulations have been maturing I do think that STO's will be part of the path forward - basically between the ICO and the traditional IPO, but there is a lot of evaluation left to do and regulations are changing
Thank you all, I do have to run, it has been a pleasure talking with you all this morning (for me), I look forward to working with you all going forward
Q. Do we have any bombastic announcements to the short and mid terms???
A) We always may have some surprises, but for now we’re focused on executing the initiatives outlined in https://howsitcoming.trade.io in a timely manner.
Q: According to Jim Preissler, trade.io had plans to dual-list traditional stocks on our exchange at some point in the future. There isnt much talk about it anymore. Is that something that we could expect next year?
A) Yes, the goal has always been having a multi-asset platform; we are still hopeful that we will have this running in 2019, but do not have a specific timeline yet.
Q: What coins will be available for depositing on FX platform of trade.io in first time?
A) Ethereum, Bitcoin, TIOx with reduced commissions for TIOx users.
Q: When will fiat be available for depositing on FX platform?
A) Targeting early Q1 2019
Q: Why hasn't the company endorsed and advertised trade.io into communities of the Tokens that we are listing (BAT, OMG etc...)? Thx
A) There is no specific reason, and I agree we need to do a better job of doing this going forward, as it gains more exposure to to trade.io and TIOx.
Q: Hi Mr. William Heyn. May I know when does the "Stop Limit" function to be added into our platform? As a trader, I believe that becoming more important as trading in the downtrend market now.
A) Targeting Q1 2019
Q: Will the launch of forex be a beta or Full version?
A) We’re expecting full version, with standalone FX sites to be up in early Q1 2019.
Q. Will trade.io become dex in the future?
A) Possibly, but its not on our timeline at this point.
Q. What do you think of the idea to take another fast token as the base like XRP or maybe even something like nano? That would still be pretty unique…
A) Something we are considering.
Q. When we can use TIOx to get discount when we trade( same like BNB)?
A) TIOx is used for the LIquidity Pool, and can be used on the FX platform, once released, for discounted commissions.
Q. Any news about that stores where TIOx should be implement this year?
A) We will be starting with our NEST shared workspaces where TIOx can be used for payment and significant discounts.
Q. What is the reason trade.io list so hard ERC- 20?
A) We’re starting to ramp up roll outs of tokens, as you witnessed last week, we added 4 new ERC-20’s including a stable coin. New chains are on the horizon, as well, as can be seen in our timeline.
Q. My question is related to trading competitions. Lastly we added MITH token but at the same time Binance added the same with trading competition. Then how new traders will be attracted towards trade.io? Not a single trading competition since exchange launch!
A) I’ve already spoken to the team about the trading competition and agree its needed, and have given them directives to launch a trading competition in Q1 of 2019.
Q. December-Q1 sounds like an amazing month with lots of good stuff, but do you have a rough time-frame for when the exchange will be able to accept fiat? That's a feature I'm really looking forward to.
A) Q1 as well, as you noted there is a lot that I have the team working on, with tight timelines, as I want to see progress in a fairly short amount of time.
Q. But what is not fair is they are using the API is open to these and not to the other traders? These are trade.io or third party partners?
A) API will be open for everyone, very, very shortly.
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