The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) approved ICHX Tech Pte, iSTOX’s parent company, as a market operator on February 1, granting it a capital markets services license, Bloomberg reports. The approval sets iSTOX up as one of the first securities token platforms to receive this license, ICXH Tech stated.
The license removes several restrictions from the platform, allowing the startup to increase the size of its issuance as well as the number of investors it can take on.
iSTOX uses blockchain and smart contract technology to offer issuance, custody and trading of cryptocurrencies to retail and institutional investors. According to the startup’s website, it provides an opportunity for firms and startups to raise capital through equity-linked products, debt markets and other illiquid-backed structures like real estate.
Planning for the Future
The startup has opened its doors to registrations for accredited and institutional investors, attracting them with opportunities not normally available to the masses. It’s also looking to expand its issuances across different asset classes.
Chief operating officer Darius Liu, stated:
“While capital markets have seen many changes and innovations over the years, the underlying core infrastructure hasn’t really changed since the advent of electronic trading decades ago.”
Startup with Powerful Backing
iSTOX was operating within the MAS’s Fintech Regulatory Sandbox, which enables financial institutions and FinTech companies to experiment with new technologies in a controlled environment. Since iSTOX’s debut in the sandbox on 1 May 2019, the firm has attracted a slew of investments from several large players in the Asian market. Some of its early investors include Singapore Exchange (SGX) and Heliconia Capital Management.
The firm then added several more investors including Thailand-headquartered investment bank Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group, Japan’s Tokai Tokyo Financial Holdings, and Hanwha Asset Management based out of South Korea.
Additionally, several of iSTOX’s board of directors are former financial regulators, including Chua Kim Leng, former special advisor to MAS.
Several other firms also received MAS’s approval, including insurtech firm PolicyPal, wealth management platform Kristal.ai and money-changing company Thin Margin.
Richard specializes in writing about cryptocurrencies globally, as well as other financial and economic articles, covering various geographies and markets. He also has experience in financial issues management, advising clients on the relevance of media coverage in the markets in which they operate.