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2019年加密圈将发生这十件大事

全新的互联网金融模式国际资讯

2019年加密圈将发生这十件大事

2018年,人们都发现曾经放任自流的加密代币终将被受到监管的证券型代币取代。而在2019年,对该类代币实施监管即将拉开帷幕。基于这种转变,我预测2019年将发生十大加密事件:

1.大型银行将启动加密币保管业务

机构即将行动!从2017年底到2018年,比特币和以太坊因其前景吸引了大批专业交易员,其中许多交易员依然在最近的低迷期镇守着。在美国证券交易委员会宣布比特币和以太币成为货币之后,加密代币实现机构监管和交易也为期不远了。预计摩根大通或高盛将进入市场,纽约银行或将加入。(可信度:100%)

2. 传统券商将开通另类交易系统

如果你密切关注加密领域,可能已经听说了最近获得许可且受到监管的另类交易系统——美国证券代币交易平台(Open Finance Network,OFN)。在美国和加拿大,另类交易系统是撮合买卖双方交易的非交易所交易系统。该交易系统受券商监管而非交易所。美国证券代币交易平台在未来的交易系统中一马当先。最近,Coinbase收购了一家券商,证券型代币发行平台Tokensoft也立刻出击。在2019年,我们有望看到更多券商(例如Entoro Capital、US Capital Global和SeriesOne)获得另类投资许可。(可信度:100%)

3. 2017年在美国发行的加密代币将成为交易所交易的首批证券型代币

由于代币受到了长达一年的限制,再加上只出现了小幅的上涨和波动,就别期待很多在2018年听说的证券型代币能够在交易所交易。相反,预计已在美国证券交易委员会注册股票的加密代币将成为第一个在合规交易所进行批量交易的卖方。如果真的存在能让证券型代币交易成真的圣诞老人,那么他就是证交会主席Jay Clayton。2018年,他把Airfox和Paragon变成礼物放在圣诞树下,而这两个加密代币接到了美国证券交易委员会要求其进行注册的“命令”。换句话说,首批广泛交易的证券型代币的原型乃是加密代币。也许现在我只是说说而已,以后你们就会相信了。(可信度:99%)

4. 亚洲投资者和基金不断涌入

亚洲投资者在传统比特币和加密代币交易中仍占据主导地位,但在过去的六个月中,随着其价格下跌和新技术(如数字资产代币化)的面市,投资集团(例如Huobi和Binance)和新的风投(例如8 Decimal、Alpha Omega Capital、Aurablock Capital和Alpha Square Group)扭转了方向,开始转向有明确监管的美国市场。由于中国政府表示将抵制证券型代币,所以中国投资团体在美国的证券型代币市场中表现得尤其活跃,以求学习如何构建这些产品。这是令人兴奋的,足以说明美国至少是加密领域的创新堡垒,这也是华尔街和大型投资者所愿意看见的。(可信度:95%)

5. 美国证券交易委员会将批准符合Reg A+修订法案的交易

《JOBS 法案》(Jumpstart Our Business Act)第IV章的Reg A+修订法案规定,非授信投资者可以为创企提供资金。撇开加密代币鼎盛时期的状况,部分从业人员将Reg A+修订法案奉为圭臬,以此来与受信投资者规定抗衡;但他们仍旧会按照美国证券交易委员的规则行事。Reg A+修订法案允许公司向普通民众筹集资金,一年的融资上限为5000万美元,这才让加密代币在美国合法化。等到Circle今年第四季度收购Seedlnvest之后,也就为Reg A+修订法案的成功奠定了基础。预计美国证券交易委员会今年将批准部分合规公司以一种基础代币发行产品。(可信度:90%)

6. 部分金融机构将成为数字资产基础设施买家

一旦加密代币克服了困难,早期主流用户(early majority)就会开始形成(预计为2019年中到后期),那么整个加密生态系统内将会出现一些重大的并购活动。Coinbase聘请了此前在领英负责企业并购的高管艾米丽娅·崔(Emilie Choi),这就是一个很好的例证。部分人也许认为Coinbase、Circle、火币、Binance和Cumberland-DRW等早期大型加密基础设施企业会成为这一活动的主要推动者,但另一些人认为,纳斯达克、纽约证券交易所、欧洲交易所和日本交易所,甚至美国存管信托和结算公司(The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation,DTCC)或Cede and Co.也将以收购者的身份进场。(可信度:90%)

7. 以太坊将不再是下一代代币的主要平台

以太坊的ERC-20智能合约标准在加密代币领域拥有不可质疑的地位,自2015年以太坊首次推出以来,发行了1000多个独特的ERC-20加密代币。尽管以太坊因加密代币饱受欢迎,且兼容度高、稳定性好,但它即将不再是加密代币的主要平台。当人们开始关注证券交易所认可的代币产品时,更快捷便宜的智能合约平台(例如NEO、Stellar、Hyperledger Fabric和Hedera Hashgraph)将变成大家关注的中心。虽然退出以太坊的原因有很多,但平台仍将凭借开发人员的专业知识集约化和安全代币发行项目(例如Polymaths、Harbor和Securrency)的标准化在2019年保持领先地位。(可信度:70%)

8. 各国监管当局向美国监管政策看齐

越来越多的加密代币项目在美国以外都相继失败,所以更多的卖方用看似安全的术语来包装产品,以期外国监管机构能采用这种类似美国证券交易委员建立的框架。马耳他就是一个例子。虽然马耳他一直在吸引项目、寻求融资,但该国在银行监管机构中的声誉不佳。为了实现成为“区块链之岛”的目标,马耳他需要通过并维持更严格的KYC & AML(了解你的客户和反洗钱)规定,让银行储户有信心使用这些资金向不在岛上的开发商和供应商支付工资。马耳他并不是唯一一个试图保护投资者的国家,新加坡最近也加大了努力,或将成为代币在受监管交易所交易的真正先驱。(可信度:60%)

9. 代币将在“主流”交易所进行交易

这可能是最简单的一起预测了,因为内部人士在去年12月举办的Consensus Invest峰会中放出了相关消息。据投资管理公司Van Eck数字资产战略主管Gabor Gurbacs所言,纳斯达克计划在2019年第一季度推出比特币期货交易。但这一消息在落定之前都不作数。代币也会在tZero和Open Finance上交易。(可信度:50%)

10. 授信投资者迎来政策放宽

针对授信投资者的相关规定区分了加密代币和证券型代币。他们的存在削弱了其他人对于“开放金融”这一概念的积极性。这些规定表明,当下只有富人才能参与证券型代币的交易。最近开始在OpenFinance平台上交易的Spice VC就是一个例子,它可能会吸引更多的投资者,但这些人的年收入起码要达到20万美元,或者是资产已超过100万美元。只要大部分潜在投资者还被排除在市场之外,资本形成和流动就会难以持续下去。然而,由于之前加密代币留下了许多残局,所以针对授信投资者的相关规定短期内基本不会变动。(可信度:1%)

If 2018 was the year we all realized unregulated cryptocurrency offerings (ICOs) would have to be replaced by regulated “security token” offerings (STOs), 2019 is shaping up to be the year we see that regulation implemented.

As a result of that change, here are 10 events I predict we’ll see in the crypto space within the next 12 months:

1. A large bank will enter into the crypto custody business

The institutions are coming! It’s hard to get through a day on crypto Twitter without someone associating the current price of Bitcoin with the imminent entrance of so-called “institutional money.” It’s hard to imagine the “suits” won’t soon enter the community. The promises of Bitcoin and Ethereum (and their profit-producing volatility and liquidity) attracted professional traders in droves in late 2017 and 2018, and many of them stayed through the latest downturn. With the SEC declaring BTC and ETH as currencies, the path towards institutional custody and trading isn’t far behind. Expect JP Morgan or Goldman to enter the market, with perhaps BoNY joining them. Confidence level: 100%.

2. Several traditional broker-dealers will open ATSs for STO trading

If you have followed the crypto sector for any amount of time, you are probably familiar with OFN, aka The Open Finance Network, a recently licensed regulated alternative trading system. In the U.S. and Canada, an ATS is a non-exchange trading venue that matches buyers and sellers to find counterparties for transactions. They are usually regulated as broker-dealers instead of as exchanges (note: my company’s General Counsel and cofounder, Gautam Gujral, was an author on the SEC’s first Concept Release on ATS and Exchange regulations). OFN is just the first of these businesses that will be popping up. Recently, Coinbase purchased a broker-dealer, as did token issuance platform Tokensoft. In 2019, we can expect more broker-dealers (perhaps firms such as Entoro Capital, US Capital Global, or SeriesOne) to obtain licenses to trade in alternative investments like security tokens. Confidence level: 100%.

3. 2017 ICOs issued in the U.S. will be the first security tokens traded on exchanges

With year-long restrictions, small-ish raises, and tiny floats, don’t expect many of the 2018 STOs you’ve heard about to trade on exchanges (some have fewer than five holders and asset values in the low single digits). Instead, expect “remediated” ICOs that have registered their shares with the SEC to be the first issuers to trade in volume on compliant exchanges. There really is a Santa Claus for the security token exchanges, and his name is SEC Chairman Jay Clayton. In 2018 he put some presents under the tree in the form of Airfox and Paragon Coin, both ICOs that received “orders” from the SEC forcing them to register. In other words, the first widely traded STOs will have started life as ICOs. Hear me now, believe me later. Confidence level: 99%.

4. Asian investors and funds will pivot to the US to invest in digital assets

Asian investors are still dominant in traditional Bitcoin (mining) and ICO-driven crypto activity, but over the course of the last six months, as prices have dropped and new technologies (like digital asset tokenization) have come to the market, investor groups such as Huobi and Binance, and newer VCs like 8 Decimal, Alpha Omega Capital, Aurablock Capital, and Alpha Square Group are inverting the market and coming to the U.S. for its regulatory clarity. With the Chinese government saying that STOs will be kicked out, Chinese investment teams have been especially active in the U.S.-based STO community, seeking to learn how to structure these offerings. This is exciting; the U.S. may in fact be a bastion of innovation in at least one realm of crypto — the kind that Wall Street and big investors prefer. Confidence level: 95%.

5. The SEC will approve several Reg A+ deals related to tokens

The JOBS Act Reg A+ exemption, for those who don’t remember, allows unaccredited investors to fund startups. Ignored in the heyday of the ICO, Reg A+ is now considered a holy grail by those in crypto who oppose the idea of accredited investor requirements but still believe in playing by the SEC’s rulebook. Reg A+ lets a company raise up to $50 million annually via non-restrictive crowd fundraising, enabling a form of ICO that’s legal in the U.S.

When Circle acquired SeedInvest in Q4 2019, it laid the groundwork for some successful 2019 Reg A’s. Expect the SEC to approve several Reg A+ issuances this year with an underlying token, from firms like Issuance.com and SeedInvest. Confidence level: 90%.

6. ‘Legacy’ financial institutions will become digital asset infrastructure buyers

Once crypto tokens cross the chasm and the so-called early-majority starts to form (in mid-to-late 2019), expect to see some significant M&A activity within the ecosystem. Coinbase’s hiring of former LinkedIn M&A boss Emilie Choi, is a good indicator. While it’s tempting to expect large and early crypto infrastructure ventures like Coinbase (and Circle, Huobi, Binance, Cumberland-DRW, etc.) to be the primary drivers of this activity, some believe we will see the Nasdaq, NYSE, EuroNext, JPX, or even more likely DTCC or Cede and Co., come in as acquirers. What could prevent this from happening? Not enough data/signal to create institutional FOMO, where fear of insurgent innovation drives M&A. Confidence level: 90%.

7. Ethereum will lose ground as the predominant platform for the next generation of coin offerings

Ethereum’s ERC-20 smart contract standard is the undisputed coin of the ICO realm, with more than 1,000 unique ERC-20 crypto tokens issued since Ethereum debuted in 2015. Despite its overwhelming popularity with ICOs, widespread exchange compatibility, and developers’ familiarity with Solidity (the programming language for Ethereum-based smart contracts), Ethereum’s time as the predominant platform may be coming to an end. Faster and cheaper smart contract platforms like NEO, Stellar, IBM’s Hyperledger Fabric, and Hedera Hashgraph are coming along to steal the limelight just as the world starts paying attention to SEC-compliant token offerings. Also not helping Ethereum is the Constantinople hard fork coming up later this month, which could damage the community supporting the chain. While there are many reasons to move from Ethereum, the concentration of developer expertise and the standardization efforts of security token issuance projects like Polymath, Harbor, and Securrency will keep Ethereum in the lead for 2019. Confidence level: 70%.

8. Regional authorities will increasingly match U.S. crypto policies and may surpass the U.S. in STO activity

As more ICO projects launched outside of the U.S. fail (shut down, etc.) and more issuers wrap their offerings in safe-seeming nomenclature (i.e. calling any offering an STO, regardless of how it is structured), expect foreign regulators to adopt frameworks similar to what the SEC has established in the U.S. Exhibit A: Malta. While Malta has been attracting projects seeking to raise capital, it suffers from a poor reputation among banking regulators. In order for Malta to attain its goal of becoming “Blockchain Island,” it will need to pass and maintain stricter KYC & AML rules so depositors in its banks (i.e. crypto projects) can be confident they can use the funds to pay developers and vendors who are not on the island. Malta is not alone in its attempts to normalize and provide investor protections. Singapore recently stepped up efforts and may be the real pioneer in trading tokens on regulated exchanges. Confidence level: 60%.

9. Tokens will be traded on ‘major’ exchanges in addition to new broker-dealer operated Automated Trading Systems

This might be the easiest prediction, because an insider made news of it at December’s Consensus: Invest. According to Gabor Gurbacs of Nasdaq partner Van Eck, the Nasdaq plans on launching Bitcoin futures trading in Q1 2019. But before you say this is a safe prediction, remember what Bakkt said about ICE-Bakkt in August. There is no such thing as a “gimme putt” in crypto, and yes, tokens will also trade on tZero and Open Finance. Confidence level: 50%.

10. Rules related to accredited investor requirements will be relaxed

Accredited investor rules are what separate ICOs from STOs. They dampen excitement and enthusiasm among fans of so-called “open finance.” With these rules in place, only the wealthy are able to participate in current STOs. Spice VC, which recently began trading on OpenFinance, is an example of an offering that might be interesting to more investors, but is only available to those with a $200k annual income or more than $1 million in assets. The market will struggle to foment revolution in capital formation and liquidity as long as most of the potential investor pool is excluded from investing. However, in the harsh light of the ICO hangover, changes to accreditation rules have little chance of a quick modification. Confidence level: 1%.

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