Major Banks Santander, MUFG Lead $14M Investment in Securitize

According to a press release on Sept. 24, three major investor banks included Santander’s VC arm Santander InnoVentures, Japanese investment group Nomura Holdings and MUFG Innovation Partners, a fully-owned VC subsidiary of Japan’s bank holding MUFG.

Securitize, a Coinbase-backed token issuance protocol, raised $14 million in a funding round led by the venture capital (VC) wings of major commercial banks.
The San Francisco-based startup has conducted an extension of its Series A round to continue developing its technology platform.

The new investment round brings Securitize’s total financing up to $30 million after the company secured $12.75 million in a Series A round from major blockchain investors including Coinbase Ventures, Blockchain Capital, Ripple Ventures, Global Brains and NXTP in November 2018.

Other important investors

The new fundraising also included KDDI Open Innovation fund, the venture arm of KDDI, one of the largest telecom firms in Japan, as well as major Hong Kong blockchain VC firm Kenetic Capital, Chinese blockchain-focused Fenbushi Capital and Mitsui Fudosan-backed 31 Ventures, the press release notes.

Tezos to work with Securitize

The Tezos Foundation and United States-based blockchain VC group Algo VC also participated in the round. According to the press release, Tezos and Algo VC plan to cooperate with Securitize for digitizing securities on the Tezos and Algorand blockchains, following the strategic investment.

In August 2019, Securitize registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), claiming that the company became the first SEC-approved transfer agent with a working blockchain protocol and active securities issuers.

SEC Begins Proceedings on Wilshire Phoenix Bitcoin Exchange-Traded Fund

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has initiated proceedings regarding the Wilshire Phoenix Bitcoin (BTC) exchange-traded fund (ETF) proposal.

According to a Sept. 24 public filing, the SEC started proceedings to determine whether to approve or disapprove the proposed rule change, which would allow NYSE Arca to list and trade shares of Wilshire Phoenix’s Bitcoin and Treasury Investment Trust.

Public comments

In Tuesday’s filing, the SEC notes that it had invited the public to share its comments, which were due 21 days from when the order was published in the Federal Register on July 1. Rebuttals to those comments were due 35 days after they were published.

Only six individuals had submitted comments on the proposed Bitcoin ETF rule change, according to the SEC’s website.

The SEC has not approved or made a decision on any Bitcoin ETFs so far. The regulator has always been upfront about their concerns with market manipulation, liquidity, financial crime and other issues as reasons for their delay.
In August, the SEC delayed its decision on whether to further delay or initiate proceedings on Wilshire Phoenix’s ETF proposal until Sept. 29.

U.S. Congressional hearing with SEC

Earlier today, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Financial Services held a hearing entitled “Oversight of the Securities and Exchange Commission: Wall Street’s Cop on the Beat.”

At the hearing, lawmakers discussed aspects of the SEC’s competencies with Chairman Jay Clayton, Commissioner Hester Peirce (also known as Crypto Mom) and three other SEC commissioners.


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