Italy never stops to amaze me. It is what we Italians call "genio e sregolatezza" - genius and insanity. It is a country which has produced talents and excellence since the Roman times in many areas and still does. Italian artists, products, style and technology are known, appreciated, sought after and often imitated worldwide. It is a country full of talents which could still lead in the world in many ways, but it is chronically plagued by internal conflicts, self-interest and lack of leadership. This makes it very hard for Italian businesses to compete internationally and many young Italian talents are compelled to leave "il bel paese" to look for better opportunities abroad ...
In the UK, the FCA has recently issued a consultation paper on its proposed Guidance on crypto-assets which is open to stakeholders to provide their feedback by April 2019. The objective of the Guidance is to determine the regulatory perimeter within which existing UK laws or implemented EU Directives (such as the MiFID, MAR or Prospectus Directive) will apply to crypto-assets based on the standard categorization of exchange, security and utility tokens.
The Guidance indicates when crypto-assets may be considered "specified investments" under local UK law or "financial instruments" under MiFID II or e-money under Payment Services and Electronic Money Regulations.
The key points of this Guidance can be summarized as follows:
Just one year ago - at the top of the ICO mania - the EU was well positioned in the race towards crypto use and blockchain/DLTs adoption. When regulators around the world, led by the US, started cracking down on ICOs and crypto markets, the EU took a bit of a "laissez faire" attitude. In hindsight this was good since - despite the initial worries - the damages were very much contained and there was a substantial growth of new businesses and investments in the sector.
And whether this was due to the slow reaction of EU regulators to new developments or - rather - a voluntary policy stance, is anyone´s guess. The result was however positive, specially when compared with ...
One of the key events of the year took place last week in Zurich´s "Crypto Valley". The Cryptosummit was - for me - both engaging and stimulating because the broad focus and main topic of it was the tokenization of securities, which is where - with Untitled-INC - I am more involved.
Among the high level speakers were ConsenSys Joseph Lubin in video streaming, Charles Hoskinson, CoinDesk´s Michael Casey, VC investor Jalak Jobanputra, Outlier Venture´s Jamie Burke and many other top businesspeople.
Of course, with such a packed agenda and thought-provoking panels running simultaneously on 3 stages, I had to make a choice and follow only those which were - for me at least - the most compelling. Most certainly I have missed interesting stuff, but the following were for me the key "take-aways" from the event...
When I wrote this article about the dramatic collapse of the Morandi Highway Bridge in Genoa, I did it out of anger. Though it was clear to me that the roots of this tragic event were to be found in the wrong privatization model and its wrong incentives, I did not yet realize how this was a global issue. In the sense that the discontent and the failures of the privatizations are a worldwide phenomenon, little known, mostly unacknowledged and little debated.
Indeed a quick web search under the key words "failed privatizations" results in a long list of global failures anywhere from Europe, to Africa, the USA, South America and Asia. This Columbia University paper and this Michael Hudson´s paper "Let us glory in inequality" are worth reading.
Tokenization is nothing new
The term "tokenization" is mainly associated with securities, equities and real assets and indicates the creation of a digital token which represents ownership rights to the underlying assets and which is issued on a Blockchain.
But tokenization is per se nothing new. It is an evolution of derivative instruments and securitized assets such ABS.
Despite the promises that I also share about the potential of STOs and ...
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