The Smartlands business development team had spent the first week of February in London, building bridges, creating new partnerships and finding out ways to improve on our business model.
The schedule was tight, to say the least. Wall to wall meetings, countless presentations and meetups had shown us that the vibrancy, with which the security token space develops today promises all participants substantial returns on their investments (be those monetary or otherwise) in the nearest future.
We sat down with some of the most exciting players in the token exchange space, namely, Graham Rodford, CEO & Co-Founder of Archax and Simon Barnby, Archax CMO. Archax is showing tremendous promise in the realm of creating, holding and trading digital assets. And, although the Archax exchange is not far away from obtaining its securities trading license, we have begun discussions around a possible working model where Archax exchange would become one of the secondary markets for the securities issued on the Smartlands Platform.
The meeting with the crypto-friendly Wirex wallet went very well and can be moved to the green section of the weekly report. Wirex offers a single open platform to buy, exchange, spend and manage multiple currencies and the fact that it’s secured with 2-Factor Authentication and multi-sig protection makes it a near-perfect candidate to conduct banking for the Smartlands Platform just as soon as they launch the business account capabilities in the next few weeks. The cross-sell opportunities using a shared database abound there, and the members of the Smartlands community will undoubtedly enjoy the array of possibilities Wirex offers for various types of transactions with crypto and fiat.
The Smartlands business development team has conducted a working meeting with CMS law tax arm discussing further structuring of business from the tax standpoint. This is one of those permanently ongoing processes that are exceedingly important for the company and its investors, but due to its, well, unsexy nature is never heralded as something worth public attention. So, let’s leave it running in the background and instead talk about something as sparkling as custody of digital assets.
We’ve had a meeting with Globacap, who is rightly considered a pioneer in the digital securities space and one of the few companies that specialize in the custody matters and issuance of digital securities. It’s no secret that one of the major hurdles of the emerging digital securities markets is the custody issue; assets need to be adequately cared for on the way from issuance to secondary markets and ultimately to investors’ pockets as dividends, and Globacap has made tremendous strides in full-cycle equity issuance on blockchain under the regulatory supervision of the FCA. We feel that their business and technical expertise could be a great asset to the Smartlands Platform.
There were two meetups that we’ve had the privilege of being a part of this week. One was organized by CMS law (we’ve reported on this already). The other one was a Stellar meetup focusing on asset tokenization and the role the Stellar network is going to play in modernizing the exchange of the digital ownership rights.
Another critical aspect of the work week was countless meetings with real estate asset managers who specialize in co-living/co-working accommodations and student housing. Student housing is a particular focus of Smartlands right now: it’s one of the fastest growing facets of the commercial real estate industry in Great Britain, and we’re looking closely at some promising projects, gathering expertise and weighing out options. It’s safe to say already that the never-ending demand in cities with large student populations alone would provide investors with higher than average yields. And if we add low maintenance costs along with astonishingly low annual average vacancy rates (2+%) to the equation, investing in student housing appears to be one of the most lucrative ones on the commercial real estate market.
And finally, one of the most valuable opportunities of the week, we’ve presented the Smartlands Platform at the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance based at Cambridge Judge Business School and the genuine interest to what we do was quite apparent. CJBS is a well-known cradle of both business and tech talent on the Island and the fact that we’ve generated this kind of in-depth inquiry inside Smartlands speaks volumes. We plan on furthering our educational efforts for our community, and in that regard, a lasting partnership with such a distinguished institution would greatly benefit not only the members of the Smartlands ecosystem but the entire blockchain community.