The Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Heliconia Capital Management, a wholly owned subsidiary of Singapore state fund Temasek, have invested in iStox, a platform for issuing and trading blockchain security tokens.
While the sum of the seed round was not disclosed in the announcement, public filings show that the two investors contributed about US$730,000 each (or a 6.67 percent stake) for a total of US$1.43 million.
IStox will launch once the company behind it, ICHX Tech, obtains a license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore as a “recognized market operator.”
Blockchain tokens are a form of virtual currency issued to the public, and they fall under two camps. Security tokens give buyers ownership of the company that issued it and are regulated by the Singapore government. Utility tokens simply have practical utility to unlock services within the blockchain network, and are not regulated.
IStox will let companies offer security tokens in exchange for cash, but will not permit the trading of tokens for cryptocurrencies. The platform will also allow secondary trading, which is the buying and selling of tokens after an offering. At launch, only accredited investors and institutional investors will be allowed to trade on the site.
Companies issuing security tokens through iStox will still need to adhere to Singapore Securities and Futures Act. However, they will be exempted from some of the requirements, such as the need to submit a prospectus if the tokens are offered only to accredited investors and institutional investors.
IStox appears to be similar to Funderbeam, a blockchain based exchange where users can invest in companies in exchange for tokens. Hailing from Estonia, the startup, which raised US$9.46 million to date, has set up an office in Singapore.
It appears that Temasek has been warming up to blockchain investments lately. Vertex, its venture capital arm, has invested in Binance, one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges in the world.