NEW YORK, April 17, 2018 /PRNewswire/ --
The Initial Coin Offerings market is thriving in the first quarter of 2018 despite the overall decline of cryptocurrency prices. According to data from Coinschedule, companies had raised more than 5 billion in 165 ICOs since the beginning of this year. In 2016, about 95 million was raised through 43 ICOs projects. In 2017, the total number of ICOs reached 164, raising more than $3.8 billion. Encrypted messaging service Telegram's ICO is the biggest initial coin offering in 2018, raising $1.7 billion, while the communications sector raised the most funds through ICOs in 2018. Victory Square Technologies Inc. (OTC: VSQTF), Seven Stars Cloud Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SSC), Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK), Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE), International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM)
The overall cryptocurrency market rebounded last week. One of the factors that drove the sudden surge in cryptocurrency price was considered to be the approach of tax day. The cryptocurrency market was under pressure in recent weeks in part due to a tax-related sell-off. The deadline to file taxes was April 17. According to CNN, Ryan Taylor, CEO of Dash Core, which provides software used by Dash traders, said "The selling pressure associated with tax day has subsided right now…As people get their tax returns, there may be new money entering the market."
Victory Square Technologies Inc. (OTC: VSQTF) also listed on the Canadian Securities Exchange under the Ticker (CSE: VST). The company just announced breaking news this morning that, "Subject to all requisite regulatory approvals, Victory Square Technologies Inc. will acquire 9.09% of all issued and outstanding shares of LocoNoco Inc. ("LocoNoco"), a cloud-native decision-making platform, for $500,000 USD in total consideration (the "Purchase Price"). Pursuant to a definitive share purchase agreement executed between the Company and LocoNoco, the Purchase Price will be paid and satisfied by the Company through cash installments totaling $500,000 USD.
LocoNoco is a decision-making platform that offers simplicity, reusability and transportability in an era of smart, automated processes. Its proprietary framework makes it possible for developers to work collaboratively on Robotic Process Automation (RPA), smart contracts and AI on a global scale.
"LocoNoco is set to capitalize on the emerging big trends of decentralization and automation of business processes. Its platform opens up new markets to these technologies and helps developers monetize their work through new licensing models. LocoNoco is in alpha release with several clients and will be launched to a broad market later this year," stated LocoNoco CEO, Louis-Victor Jadavji.
"Victory Square is pleased to announce an investment into LocoNoco, a decision-making platform that makes it simple for developers to work with RPA, smart contracts and AI," said Shafin Diamond Tejani, CEO of Victory Square. "The entire team has a tremendous track record of executing on large scale opportunities and are set to embark on ambitious growth plans."
"This investment, along with others we have made thus far in 2018, are aligned with our thesis at Victory Square that emerging technologies such as AI and Blockchain will bring major changes to traditional business models," continued Tejani.
LocoNoco's founding team has scaled up other venture-backed businesses, including Vancouver-based Wiivv, and has experience raising venture capital from the Getty Trust, Vertex, Real Ventures, and Evonik. The LocoNoco team hails from Atlassian, Slack, Grow, and other leading technology companies. LocoNoco CEO, Louis-Victor Jadavji, is a Forbes 30 Under 30 honoree, and LocoNoco Vice President of Product, Jason Kim, was previously the Head of Product at a KPMG Top 100 Fintech company.
"The Victory Square team represents some of the brightest minds when it comes to decentralization and working with emerging technology ecosystems," said Louis-Victor Jadavji. "With our focus on making automation accessible to new markets, it was necessary for our team to have a financial partner like Victory Square that understands the capital requirements of a platform-play and can mentor our team through various growth phases."
Seven Stars Cloud Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SSC) together with Delaware Board of Trade ATS, LLC ("DBOT"), jointly announced the first and only blockchain based Alternative Trading System ("ATS"), has optimized its DBOT ATS platform with SSC's Next Gen X's global issuance and trading capabilities. The newly branded trading platform, operational and live Wednesday, February 14, will be branded as: DBOT ATS, Powered By Next Gen X. DBOT ATS LLC is regulated by FINRA. Seven Stars Cloud's Next Gen X, will "power" DBOT by bringing global digital funding opportunities, offerings and liquidity to the DBOT platform through secondary trading.
Overstock.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: OSTK) fintech subsidiary announced the terms for its purchase of a 24 percent ownership stake in StockCross Financial Services, Inc. in February. The investment in StockCross adds a key partner with the custodial and clearing functionality of a U.S. DTCC member firm to tZERO's trading ecosystem. In a separate transaction, tZERO purchased a 1 percent ownership interest in Kennedy Cabot Acquisition, LLC, the controlling owner of Siebert. As a result of tZERO's ownership in Kennedy Cabot Acquisition, LLC, tZERO will own beneficially approximately an additional 200,000 shares of Siebert. tZERO's beneficial ownership of Siebert shares will total approximately 1.4 million shares or 5.3 percent of Siebert's outstanding shares. t0.com, Inc. is a majority owned subsidiary of Overstock.com, focusing on the development and commercialization of financial technology (fintech) based on cryptographically-secured, decentralized ledgers - more commonly known as blockchain technologies. Since its inception, tZERO has pioneered the effort to bring greater efficiency and transparency to capital markets through the integration of blockchain technology. More information is available at tZERO.com.
Net Element, Inc. (NASDAQ: NETE) operates a payments-as-a-service transactional and value-added services platform for small to medium enterprise ("SME") in the U.S. and selected emerging markets. In the U.S. it aims to grow transactional revenue by innovating SME productivity services using blockchain technology solutions and Aptito, our cloud based, restaurant and retail point-of-sale solution. Recently, the company announced that Mr. Jon Najarian has joined Net Element's board of directors and will serve as a member of the Company's Audit, Compensation, Nominating and Corporate Governance committees. Najarian is a professional investor, money manager and media analyst. He is a co-founder of Investitute, LLC, the industry leading options education firm that recently launched "Crypto Basics," new educational course which covers the basics of cryptocurrency, blockchain technology, altcoins and Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs). Najarian is also a host of the International ICO Channel, a part of CoinBoost, whose goal is to bridge the divide between blockchain and mainstream media by offering distribution to traditional financial media outlets.
International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM) is recognized as the leading enterprise blockchain provider. Earlier this year, IBM and Maersk announced their intent to establish a joint venture to provide more efficient and secure methods for conducting global trade using blockchain technology. The aim of the new company will be to offer a jointly developed global trade digitization platform built on open standards and designed for use by the entire global shipping ecosystem. It will address the need to provide more transparency and simplicity in the movement of goods across borders and trading zones. Maersk, a global leader in container logistics, and IBM, a leading provider of blockchain, supply chain visibility and interoperability solutions for the enterprise, will use blockchain technology to power the new platform, as well as employ other cloud-based open source technologies including artificial intelligence (AI), IoT and analytics, delivered via IBM Services, in order to help companies move and track goods digitally across international borders. Manufacturers, shipping lines, freight forwarders, port and terminal operators and customs authorities can all benefit from these new technologies -and ultimately consumers.
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