Security Tokens Offering (STO) is now the new Fundraising Mechanism in the Blockchain space. Many experts believe it is prudent because of the scandals that saddled Initial Coin Offering (ICO) in the past years.
Recently STOs are gaining prominence in the ecosystem, and that is the route many projects are following. There have been numerous events and activities taking place around the theme across the globe.
The World Blockchain STO Summit is scheduled for the 31 July this year in Port Louis, Mauritius. QBITtimes reached out to Benito Elisa of Gulf Xellence, organisers of the event, to get more insight for our readers.
Benito, on behalf of his company, expressed profound appreciation to all 250 participants who attended the Mauritius Blockchain Conference they put together last year. Elisa went on:
“This year Gulf Xellence is organising the World Blockchain STO Summit on July 31, 2019, at the Caudan Arts Centre, Port-Louis. High calibre speakers from different countries will be discussing the adoption of Blockchain in various sectors, as well as how to raise capital through STO (Security Token Offering). We will also have top local lawyers who will explain the existing laws covering Digital Assets in Mauritius.”
Gains From Summit
Benito emphasised that Gulf Xellence has received lots of requests from international Fintech companies concerning what could be done in Mauritius in the Blockchain and Digital Assets space. He considers the Summit as a Golden opportunity for Mauritius, as a Jurisdiction, to broadcast their existing legal frameworks for Digital Assets to the International Fintech Community.
“I am also encouraging Management Companies in Mauritius to participate in this Summit for networking purposes, but also to ease the administration/licence application burdens for international Fintech companies,” he said. “Up to now, two Venture Capital firms have already confirmed their participation. I want to thank the strategic partners of the Summit, Mauritius Africa Fintech Hub, C & S Consulting, Blockchain Foundation Mauritius, Satoshi’s Lounge, Fly Holdem, and the Mauritius Blockchain Meet Up Group.”
According to Benito, there will be speaking slots assigned to experts like Aaron Tsai, Founder and Chief Capitalist at MAS Capital Inc, James Duchenne, CEO of Ducorp, Kevin Sultani, California Blockchain Alliance, Alexandra Reichert, CEO of Star Riser Business Solutions, and many others. Moreover, there will be three or four discussion panels where participants will be able to ask the panellists questions.
“We have also planned some networking sessions, including the Gala Dinner, GX (Gulf Xellence) after-party, and meetings with local Authorities,” he noted. The GX after-party will start at 4.30 P.M. on the day of the Summit to network and discuss business in a calm and relaxed environment.
Why STO Summit?
Benito maintained that Gulf Xcellence chose to run the Security Token Offering Summit instead of ICO or IEO because it is a more regularised way of raising capital than the other two. He pointed out that many scams have happened through ICOs that have damaged investors’ confidence in them. As a result, very few projects take the ICO route now.
He stated that IEO is the most recent way of raising capital using a third-party (an exchange), which ensures that tokens/coins are duly transferred to the investors after payments. “Yes, it is true that the STO process implies more cost and time, but the tokens/coins involved are asset-backed. The investors feel more comfortable and safe when investing in Asset-backed investments,” Benito remarked
Shaping STO Landscape
When QBITtimes queried how the conference can shape the STO landscape, the organiser had this to say:
“In Mauritius, we are still at the early stages of Blockchain and Digital assets adoption. The first logical move is to have the appropriate legal framework. It is a good move from the Financial Services Commission to categorise Digital Assets as an Asset-class, to issue STO guidance notes, and to have new laws to licence Digital Assets Custodian services. The conference will bring awareness about the existing STO rules and regulations and have local lawyers (specialised in Fintech) available to explain how capital could be raised through STO. It will be an eye-opener for many businesses in Mauritius too.”
Benito gave examples of how Real Estate projects could raise money through tokenisation. From his point of view, it is merely a more modern way of raising capital but with additional benefits, like asset-backed tokens/coins for investment, the ability to raise capital at an early stage of the project, the lowering of barriers to entry, the potential of attracting global investors, and the possibility of fractional ownership.
It was his aspiration that, in the coming months, there would be more STOs in and from Mauritius, subject to regulator’s approval, of course.
Background Of Gulf Xcellence
Gulf Xellence Pvt Ltd (GX) is an Event Organising company based in Bangalore, India. GX has organised 12 Blockchain conferences around the world, hosted in India, UAE, Thailand, Singapore, Mauritius, and the organisation is planning more events in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Malaysia, Africa and other jurisdictions. The CEO of GX is Mr Muzamil Ahmed, and the Chairman is Mr Younis Amin Nagoo, both who have extensive experience in organising conferences in the Oil & Gas industries in the Middle East, and now, in Blockchain. The GX Team consists of 12 staff who are all based in Bangalore, India, with local partners in 10 other countries.