News Room

This Past Weekend

Dear Jamie Dimon – Is The Swiss National Bank A Fraud?

Shiller Warns Against Complacency: “Today’s Market Looks Like It Did At The Peaks Before Last 13 Bear Markets”

The Demise Of The Dollar? Smith Warns “Don’t Hold Your Breath”

The Impossible Math Of The Federal Reserve

Gibraltar Financial Service Commission Plans Framework for ICOs

“A new regulatory framework for DLT which will become operational as from January 2018 will regulate the activities of firms, operating in or from Gibraltar, that use DLT to store or transmit value belonging to others, such as virtual currency exchanges”

Abacas adjusts to Brexit

Prepping for the changing of locale to reflect the uncertainty regarding Brexit. C’est la vie.

Abacas Token Generation Event

Look for the Abacas Exchange Token Generation Event  … coming soon … early 2018

Does 2016 mark the VC slowdown? We visited San Fran to find out more…

“A quick look at tech stocks so far in January 2016 reveals Box trading nearly 30% below its IPO price; hardware company GoPro down more than 40%. Square and Twitter have lost about one-fifth of the value on their share prices. ” Reported Forbes, amidst a flurry of media excitement about the pending Venture Crash at the end of the last quarter of 2015. Quick to respond was Andreessen, reportedly saying “I’m not aware of any VC who pays attention to any quarter to quarter data at all,” followed by Salent, saying “VC is a heavy rubbernecking industry with maybe 20 really independent thinkers. If you look at what drives true venture performance, it’s the folks who will consistently invest over a cycle.”

On a recent trip to San Francisco we had the chance to meet some of the VCs ourselves and although confident and clearly reiterating the fact that there is ‘no obvious slow down’ – the pressures on getting the timing right for investment had heightened. Some reflected back with a rather tortured look – “I don’t know how, but we missed Uber”. If you are a late stage investor then catching the bus for a higher fee, but nearer your home is part and parcel of the game. For those who like to get a seat on the gravy train early, it’s never good to be late to the party. “Series A will continue to happen. It’s Series A to B that is really tricky. Series C and beyond – it’s just a lot of money, ” said Accel Partners. With many VCs also hugely influential in their own right, they have slowly become the ‘influencers’ themselves – the people heralded as being able to provide accurate trend expectations and valuable insight into tomorrow’s next big thing. VC influence aside, all roads, as you would expect from a communications stand point, led back to content. Said Christina Lee from KPCB, “It’s less about messaging and more about the content strategy these days and crisis is something all start-ups under estimate. The need to protect your brand in its formative stages.”

Similar to the north and south of the river divide in London, there’s also a perception that divides the UK and US markets when it comes to VC funding. Silicon Valley has the reputation for investing in non-revenue models, literally ‘throwing money at innovative ideas’, whereas London has the reputation for needing initial revenue models before engaging. However, what unites both is the entrepreneur wanting the dream and the VC having, in many cases, the power to co-collaborate and convert that dream into reality. Regardless of a slow-down which journalists would love to see, disruption is only digging its heels in as a generation of millennials grow up with a completely different landscape. High street banks are now payments via mobile, we don’t meet, we tweet and we record our life in instant visuals. They call this ‘Instagram’. We have blockchain challenging the payment world while social emojis are connecting the emotional world. So, for the moment, while our world changes at pace – the Venture Crash seems to be very much, on hold.

Abacas Makes First Transaction on Bitcoin Blockchain

The Abacas™ Exchange has successfully issued its first digital asset, backed by custody (ABC) on the Bitcoin blockchain. The platform, that enables direct asset-to-asset trading, now has the powerful capability of validating financial transactions using blockchain technology.

As the Fintech trend continues to gather pace, speculation on the value of the blockchain as an innovation set to disrupt the financial world remains at large. In a piece entitled Blockchain Will Become a Reality in 2016, Deloitte’s Eric Piscini, Simon Lapscher and Andrew Garfrerick wrote: “We expect to see existing use cases for blockchain technology come to life, completely new cases emerge and an increased number of joint product launches mostly from financial institutions and blockchain start-ups.”

Alongside full validation of the transaction, Abacas™ can also create, track and send a financial asset via the blockchain. Says Vince Small, CIO for Abacas™ – “This is extremely exciting for Abacas™ as we fully recognise the challenges that some of our peers are having in ensuring their products can leverage the innovative benefits of blockchain technology – an inevitable component in tomorrow’s financial world. This advancement will only expedite the rapid take up of Abacas and our suite of products.” 

The Abacas™ Exchange short circuits the current lengthy process that is involved in exchanging assets. With this comes disruption to the market as the platform provides a more cost effective route that’s completely trustworthy and transparent. By being a transparent and low fee model, whose core aim is to facilitate client trading, Abacas is meeting the need for liquidity for larger firms and access to this liquidity for smaller ones.

As Abacas™ continues to lead its peer group across such innovation and in proof of existence, it is also fully engaged with the regulators in this space.

Abacas in Profit & Loss

Digital asset exchange Abacas plans to launch with the trading of asset-backed coins (ABCs), supported by physical assets held in trust.

Through the use of ABCs, asset managers can unlock the value of static assets through direct asset-for-asset trades on the cloud-based exchange.

The Abacas exchange is multi-asset class, so asset managers can go from dollar-denominated commodities to sterling-denominated equity in one move, effectively eliminating the need to execute foreign exchange hedging transactions.

Read the full story here

Abacas in Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) – London-based Abacas has launched asset-backed coins (ABCs) that will allow investors to trade a range of assets on a digital exchange, the company’s chief operating officer Morgan McDonnell said on Monday.

Rather than supplant the fund firms that buy and sell stocks, bonds and other assets on behalf of investors, Abacas has designed a new trading environment in which investors will be able to trade a range of assets using ABCs.

Full story here

Abacas exchange launches

Asset managers will be able to trade physical assets directly with each other without incurring multiple transaction fees through a new digital asset class dubbed Assets Backed by Custody (ABC), which represent assets and currencies in one,says Morgan McDonnell, chief operating officer for Abacas, the exchange for ABCs. Abacas will allow managers to exchange assets without buying or selling them in one transaction via ABCs, reducing the cost of trading and fund transfers. “I have been in financial markets for a very long time and I have never been this excited about a product,” says McDonnell, most recently global head of FX, cash and credit markets at RBC Investor & Treasury Services. “If an asset manager wanted to exchange gold for UK equities they would have to sell the gold, buy foreign exchange and then buy equities. ABCs allow them to exchange assets without having to go through all the transactions and instead they can swap through Abacus via ABCs,” McDonnell adds.

The foreign exchange leg of the swap will be a mid-point rate provided. Abacas Product Innovation Consultant, Mark Van Roon says the new exchange brings asset managers and financial technology together in a single delivery model. “Abacas means asset managers can conduct business much more effectively as they have direct access to a whole new source of liquidity, furthering the value proposition.” ABCs will be backed by physical assets held in a trust and under a custodian arrangement for assets. The units will be hard-wired to physical assets, so the intrinsic value of the digital asset will always equal the value of the physical asset. Eva Szalay. Editor.

How does Abacas™ work?

Abacas™ is a world-first cloud-based exchange model enabling the trade of Digital Assets Backed by Custody (ABCs). Abacas™ operates in three parts:

• The Abacas™ Exchange (digital assets – ABCs)
• The Trust (fiduciary)
• The Custodian (physical assets, including commodities, bonds and equities)

Abacas™ operates as an exchange and provides a rich source of liquidity and enhanced services for Asset Managers – matching the ‘buying’ and ‘selling’ of ABCs while providing operational support to ensure seamless Straight Through Processing (STP).

The Trust and Custody components ring-fence and secure the use of the physical asset while the Abacas™ Exchange permits the direct trade and transfer of the digital assets (in the form of ABCs). The Trust provides instructions to the Abacas™ Exchange for all subscriptions and redemptions.

All incoming and outgoing digital assets are held in abeyance until the physical asset is cleared and confirmed by the Trust, in tandem with the Abacas™ Exchange. This clearing process provides additional security for the assets and mitigates operational risk.

It’s a highly secure, yet simple, process for the Asset Manager to port physical assets into the Abacas™ Exchange and commence trading using ABCs. Abacas™ has designed its processes to work in tandem with existing delivery and messaging mechanisms for asset transfer, eliminating the need for costly integrations. Once the asset has been validated by the Abacas™ Exchange, the ABCs are released for trading.

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