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  • Set Labs is an upstart platform for creating structured DeFi investment products on Ethereum
  • They managed to haul $14 million in funding
  • Cryptocurrency venture capital Hashed and budding token fund 1kx led the fundraising

Crypto venture capitalist firm Hashed and token fund 1kx led the round. Series A will help Set Labs decentralize its protocol. Alongside them, Set Labs welcomed new as well as existing supporters such as Mechanism Capital, Defiance, Spartan, ParaFi, Coinbase Ventures, Craft, Threshold Ventures, and long-term Set community members.

Alongside this, Felix Feng, who is the Chief Executive Officer, said that the funds will be used in increasing the number of its multi-coin investment vehicles. These will be considered as crypto-native, exchange-traded funds or ETFs and will range from four to 20.

Set’s Achievements

They have managed to manifest their mission through the Index Coop, which is Crypto’s Blackrock, that provides decentralized exchange-traded products or ETPs such as the DeFi Pulse Index, Metaverse Index, and the ETH 2x Flexible Leverage Index. Since the inception, they have seen growth with TVL reaching $400M, and the development of a robust community alongside the cultivation of significant ties with the ecosystem partners as well as the fostering of trusted brands. 

Then they have the Set Protocol, which is Stripe for Asset Management that provides an asset management infrastructure for anyone that is looking to launch an ETP or delegated management solutions. In fact, Index Coop, Ember Fund, Yam Finance, and others use Set for many use cases such as social trading, structured product creation, and treasury management.

Lasse Clausen, Founding Partner at 1kx had the following to say “Asset management is a core component of financial services, and Set Labs approaches the problem space with a highly crypto-native and community-driven approach. Set has been able to attract some of the brightest product contributors in DeFi to their communities, which we believe is key to establishing a long-lasting competitive advantage.”

Furthermore, the Set Labs CEO said that for a start-up that has “seen its protocol’s tokenized portfolios which are kind of like ETFs balloon to $400 million in value”, attaining full decentralization of the protocol is a critical point.

He pointed out that, for projects such as them, the more customers they end up acquiring, the more decentralized they have to be. Feng Estimates Set Labs has somewhere along the range of 20,000 users.

The Future of Set Labs

Experts say that the goal of the start-up implies that projects seek to copy traditional financial services, such as borrowing, lending, and trading but want to do them without the downside as well as baggage that comes with a centralized solution. 

Feng said: “What we aim to be is the BlackRock of crypto.”

To get there, however, they have homed in on portfolio development. The protocol allows users to gain exposure to many coins, through purchasing a single token, and there is the UNI-heavy DeFi Pulse Index, the Metaverse Index long on tokens from virtual worlds as well as a pair of leveraged products. Everything is non-custodial, with the cash of the investors pooled into a single contract.

Furthermore, the DeFi Pulse Index (DPI) which has had a market cap at $140 million, is Set’s oldest and most popular portfolio according to Feng. Most of their portfolios have spiked from $30 to $50 million in total value locked (TVL) throughout the 2020 DeFi summer to $400 million today.

Set Labs will advance its mission through continuing the decentralization of its protocol as well as furthering community ownership and through building and innovating on the suite of financial products on offer by Index Coop. They also plan to partner with more asset management businesses to deliver end-to-end solutions and enable a higher level of use-cases as well as increased accessibility through L2 and alternative chain developments. 

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Naabiae Nenu-B is a Medical Health Student and an SEO Specialist dedicated to flushing the web off fake news and scam scandals. He aims at being "Africa's Best Leak and Review Blogger" and that's the unwavering stand of Xycinews Media.

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Fx Analysis

How Digital Securities Are Disrupting Private Real Estate Marketplaces – Thought Leaders

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A Bird’s Eye View: Real Estate as an Asset Class

On a global scale, real estate has historically performed similarly to public equities (7.05% vs 6.89%). Not only does this asset class offer consistent returns with lower volatility, but in recent years, it has become relatively common to see real estate investments returning above 10%. Real estate as a whole tends to be quite cyclical — it goes up when times are good, and down when times are bad. On a more granular level, however, multifamily real estate is often seen as a defensive investment as opposed to the more volatile commercial real estate segment. The current low interest rate environment also creates the perfect landscape for the steady fixed income-like cashflow features of this investment. Historically, this asset class was reserved for property developers, wealthy individuals and institutional investors. But as fund managers and property developers look to pool capital from a larger group of investors, and individual investor platforms and options open up, real estate marketplaces are becoming increasingly prevalent in the private investments sphere.

The biggest barriers to entry in the real estate investment world are large ticket sizes and high legal and transaction costs. Investing in physical real estate can be extremely exclusive, especially in today’s economy. Individuals who want to finance their investments often need to undergo extensive credit checks and demonstrate material earnings or wealth. Further, the real estate market is relatively opaque, and information asymmetry can often lead to significant mispricing.

Real estate investment trusts were the very first iteration of a “solution” to the aforementioned issues. These funds essentially pool capital from public markets, and distribute the properties’ revenue to investors in the form of dividends. Investors can also profit from the assets’ appreciation. But investors are unable to pick and choose which properties and projects they want to invest in — their returns and risk appetite are left to the discretion of fund managers. In essence, REITs limit investors’ options.

Private real estate marketplaces, however, allow individuals to take a more selective approach to building their own portfolio, having more power over the way in which they allocate funds and vet property. Over the past decade, the most prominent private real estate marketplaces have produced an average yearly return of 12.16%, while the S&P 500 has averaged 10.88%. In terms of risk level, real estate is known for producing reliable, consistent cash flows, since most of the dividends come from properties’ rental revenue. Development deals can be slightly riskier, but usually yield higher returns. Debt issuings are also common in the real estate crowdfunding space, although more than two thirds of the offerings are classified as equity or revenue sharing.

Some of the top US real estate marketplaces have raised more than $1 billion and have distributed sizable cash returns to investors. See below:

The total real estate online marketplace is estimated to be worth close to $90 billion, up from $80 billion in mid-2018.

Benefits for Investors

With lower minimum requirements and greater granularity, real estate marketplaces are changing the way the average investor is able to allocate funds towards property. This is leading to a democratization of the real estate market. By choosing individual properties, investors are able to better accommodate their risk appetite. Since individuals directly control which properties are included in their portfolios, risk-averse investors can pick low-risk deals while risk-seeking investors have the option to look for higher risk profiles in exchange for higher returns. See below:

For each incremental unit of return, a risk-averse investor’s utility will increase less and less (diminishing utility). For a risk-seeking investor, it goes up incrementally. Since a public REIT is somewhere in between the two, both investors will be dissatisfied with the fund’s risk level. A risk-averse investor will not be compensated enough for the amount of risk they are taking, while a risk-seeking one will want higher returns than the fund can provide.

With private real estate marketplaces, investors are given a menu of projects, and they can pick the ones they find attractive at their own discretion. This allows for a more efficient distribution of risk tolerance, since investors can choose which deals they are most comfortable with, depending on their particular circumstances.

Although real estate marketplaces allow participants to invest in individual deals, investors may face single-asset risk (i.e. their investment is overly reliant on a single project). In order to successfully address this concern, marketplaces must encourage investors to build highly diversified portfolios. Crowdstreet, for instance, offers investors the option to buy into a custom-built portfolio tailored to their risk appetite. It is also important to curate deals as thoroughly as possible in order to minimize counterparty risk for investors.

There are challenges, however, when it comes to finding the most efficient way to streamline this particular investment process. Real estate marketplaces have to vet participants from various jurisdictions, as well as ensure that their deals offer full disclosure to investors. Furthermore, dividend distributions and transaction settlements are almost always manual, as they are generally done through outdated financial routes. Hence, there are tremendous opportunities for real estate marketplaces to leverage digital securities.

A New Market: Real Estate Marketplaces using Digital Securities

There is no doubt that a real estate investment platform of the future must leverage distributed ledger technology. These platforms have the ability to offer investors the same benefits as traditional real estate marketplaces, with the added value of digital securities. To date, there are around 16 real estate investment platforms using digital securities around the world. They are concentrated in the United States and Europe, but very few have their assets listed on secondary exchanges.

Some of these marketplaces (particularly in the Middle East and Europe) are multipurpose digital security issuance platforms that also feature real estate offerings. Some are solely dedicated to the issuance of real estate backed digital securities. As more issuers begin to tokenize multifamily properties, adoption of digital securities in the real estate market is likely to increase substantially over the coming year.

Digital securities provide an innovative solution to an outdated mechanism. By digitizing real estate, issuers are able to streamline the process for viewing holdings and analyzing asset performance. The concept of an online platform where transferable digital assets can be safely stored is set to transform the way people own fractionalized equity.

Broker-dealer networks are at the core of what makes digitization so important. Blockchain and distributed ledger technology provide the underlying infrastructure for transferability of digital securities. By creating a system that allows for the seamless flow of securities across platforms, broker-dealers are able to connect with each other and offer investors a wider array of assets. This enhances deal distribution by removing opacity in the market and eradicating the barriers between entities. Since investments are sourced online, the overall amount of opportunities available to investors is much higher than with traditional private securities.

Moreover, higher levels of transparency can result in lower barriers to entry for investors, due to more accurate security pricing and risk assessment as well as lower middlemen costs. In the future, Investors can gain liquidity by accessing licensed trading venues, significantly increasing the speed at which these private securities circulate and become accessible to investors.

Real estate marketplaces are at the centre of a trend in increased access to real estate investing and digital securities are the perfect vehicle to expand and accelerate that trend.

* * *

Disclaimer

The information provided on Atlas One’s research, social media channels, website, webinars, blog, emails and accompanying material (collectively, the “Information”) is for informational purposes only. It does not constitute or form any part of any offer or invitation or other solicitation or recommendation to purchase any securities. The Information should not be considered financial or professional advice. You should consult with a professional to determine what may be best for your individual needs. The Information is drawn from sources believed to be reliable, but the accuracy and completeness of the information is not guaranteed, nor in providing it does Atlas One assume any liability. Atlas One assumes no obligation to update the information or advise on further developments relating to these areas.

  1. Source: Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF) & Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), The Rate of Return on Everything, 1870–2015, page 13, https://economics.harvard.edu/files/economics/files/ms28533.pdf
  2. Source: Investopedia, Real Estate Crowdfunding Sites, https://www.investopedia.com/best-real-estate-crowdfunding-sites-5070790
  3. Source: Macrotrends, S&P 500 Historical Annual Returns, https://www.macrotrends.net/2526/sp-500-historical-annual-returns
  4. Source: EY, Real Estate Crowdfunding, https://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/Real_Estate_Crowdfunding/%24FILE/EY-Real%20Estate%20Crowdfunding-March%202019.pdf

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Fx Analysis

Fintech Wise Planning Direct Listing

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Wise, the fintech formally known as TransferWise, has announced its intention to direct list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE). According to estimates, the company could list at an evaluation somewhere in the $6 billion to $7 billion range. Foregoing the traditional Initial Public Offering route, Wise’s direct listing will be the largest ever on the LSE. The listing is expected to be finalized by July 5, with the company aiming for an estimated free float of 25 percent.

Low-fee Money Transfer Alternative 

Founded in 2011, Wise specializes in the cross-border transfer of money. While traditional banks charge high transaction costs and conversation fees, Wise entered the market and offered a low fee alternative. With a transparent pricing structure, Wise has proven to be a profitable company in a very competitive sector dominated by big players like Western Union and MoneyGram. The company’s revenue grew from $422 million to $586 million in its most recent fiscal year. In any given month, 10 million customers will send over $7 billion dollars worth of money within the Wise system.

In addition to money transfers, Wise has also branched out to offer additional services over the past several years. Wise has recently added the capacity for accounts to hold 56 different currencies. By providing this option, Wise attracted a swathe of new users who were looking to take advantage of this feature. This feature was useful for groups like freelancers who worked with clients in other regions or were constantly moving around to new countries. Additionally, the company also began to offer Wise Business. While Wise was is not registered as a bank in the United Kingdom, the company was able to provide accounts to business owners and issue Business Debit Mastercards. However, due to the status of the company, the company is not insured through the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

The Decision to Direct List 

The move to direct list came as a bit of a surprise to potential investors, as most companies going public tend to choose the IPO route. The main difference between the two options is that in an IPO, new shares are created and sold on the open market. In contrast, no new shares are created in a direct listing, and only existing, outstanding shares are sold.  Company’s often choose to go the direct listing route when they do not feel that raising additional money is necessary. As a company that has been profitable since 2017, raising cash for growth is not the main priority for Wise.

Recent names that have chosen the direct listing route include Spotify, Coinbase and Slack. The company is planning on introducing a dual-class share structure, meaning that existing shareholders will have more voting power in the short term. The list of existing shareholders includes employees of the company as well as high profile investors such as founder of Virgin Group Richard Branson and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel. The move was also surprising because the company had originally planned for an IPO in Janurary of 2020.

Another surprising aspect of this news is the fact the company is choosing to list on the LSE. Bringing more technology investment into the country has been a stated goal of the British government, and Wise’s decision is a step in the right direction for the country’s fintech sector. 

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Fx Analysis

Investing In Zap Protocol (ZAP) – Everything You Need to Know

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The Zap Protocol (ZAP) operates as a decentralized infrastructure provider and cryptocurrency. The network combines a variety of useful features to simplify the creation and integration of smart contracts. The protocol incorporates a DEX, NFT launchpad, and data feeds in a unique manner.  The goal of the project is to reduce the friction encountered by Dapp developers when integrating external data in blockchain-based smart contracts.

What Problems Does the Zap Protocol (ZAP) Solve?

There are a lot of issues that the Zap Protocol helps to alleviate. Primarily, the platform’s oracle marketplace helps to reduce centralization and technical restrictions slowing large-scale blockchain adoption. Today’s smart contracts can handle advanced functionalities which incorporate real-world data. In this way, they enable a new level of efficiency across multiple industries.

The Zap Protocol (ZAP) provides an open platform for creating, sharing, and monetizing deterministic oracles from data feeds. This data originates from off-chain sensors known as oracles. For example, you could set up an oracle to monitor exchange rates, sports scores, IoT sensor data, and much more.

Zap Protocol (ZAP) - Homepage

Oracles can send and receive data and trigger smart contracts on the blockchain. However, because these sensors are often centralized source feeds, they reduce the decentralization of the entire network. Consequently, whenever an oracle provides slow or incorrect data, it can affect the validity of the blockchain. Recognizing these shortcomings, the Zap Protocol enables developers to create Ðapps that incorporate outside data via decentralized oracles in a more streamlined manner.

Ethereum Scaling Issues

The Zap protocol serves a vital role as a layer 2 solution. Its unique technical structure alleviates Ethereum congestion and lowers Gas fees. Second layer protocols are common in the market today. They function by removing some aspect of a transaction from the blockchain.

Network Data Delays

Delays in oracle data transmission can limit developer’s capabilities. The Zap Protocol is structured to provide seamless access to oracle data across an excellent selection of use cases. As such, the platform has a disruptive potential across a wide range of global industries, including finance, insurance, real estate, and shipping.

Benefits of the Zap Protocol (ZAP)

The Zap Protocol also provides a number of benefits that make it ideal for developers For one, the platform is a multifunctional blockchain solution for a wide range of applications. The network offers tokenizing services, low fees, secure transactions, and earning opportunities.

Flexibility

Dapp developers enjoy a high level of flexibility when operating within the Zap Protocol ecosystem. The open nature of the marketplace ensures that there is always an excellent selection of oracles available. Notably, developers even encourage the creation of duplicate oracles. This strategy enables the network to provide more reliable multi-sourced data feeds.

Zap Protocol (ZAP) - Twitter

Zap Protocol (ZAP) – Twitter

ROI Potential

The Zap Protocol (ZAP) was built with a goal to incentivizes oracle creation. Anyone can become a data provider on the network. Data providers are incentivized to publish secure data feeds from a variety of endpoints. This strategy provides new monetization opportunities for individuals and emerging economies.

Interestingly, data streams are monetized via resource-specific bonding markets. Zap was one of the first platforms to integrate bonding curves into the smart contract equation. A bonding curve is simply a mathematical concept that is used to describe the relationship between price and the supply of an asset.

How Does the Zap Protocol (ZAP) Work?

The Zap Protocol lives on the Ethereum network. The developers created it as a second layer that could simplify Ethereum smart contract creation and oracle integration. As such, Zap Protocol developers gain access to advanced features such as the ability to set bonded pricing curves.

Zap Oracle Marketplace

The Zap Oracle Marketplace is where users can create and access oracles with ease. The platform operates as a prediction market for data. It provides instant access to oraclized data feeds from across the globe. Notably, anyone can create, list, and sell, data feeds on this open market.

Oracle Network

The oracle network is comprised of Zap Protocol data feeds. Keenly, the project’s developers seek to operate a robust, source agnostic data-sharing platform to empower the next generation of Dapp developers. To accomplish these tasks, the developers removed all of the technical barriers related to oracle integration.

Starting an Oracle

The first step in creating a new Zap Protocol oracle is for both the provider and subscriber to bond their ZAP. This process is similar to staking in that you will lock your tokens up in an individual oracle. Once the oracle is bonded, the provider and subscriber will then gain control over an oracle-specific integer value known as Dots.

The amount of ZAP necessary to bond to produce one Dot is determined by a price/supply curve. Notably, one dot is equal to one query to its respective oracle. This information is delineated by the data provider during oracle creation.

Nick Spanos - Zap Protocol Co-Founder

Nick Spanos – Co-Founder

Subscribers

Data feed subscribers must stake ZAP tokens to data providers in exchange for data-provider-specific access tokens. This task is done by bonding Zap to the desired oracle which then redeems a quantity of Dots. Subscribers must also select the conditions upon which they will receive data and provide an IPFS key pair for encrypted peer-to-peer communications to subscribe.

NFT Marketplace

Zap Protocol users can create non-fungible tokens using the NFT marketplace. The NFT marketplace provides users with a place to buy, sell, and trade their creations. Content creators, artists, influencers, athletes, and celebrities can utilize this platform to connect with their fans in new and exciting ways.

NFTs differ from regular cryptocurrencies in that they represent a unique asset. As such, their value isn’t determined by their market cap. Instead, factors such as scarcity and personal demand dictate the value of these tokens. This unique pricing structure has led to NFTs selling for millions of dollars. Consequently, NFTs are one of the fastest-growing sectors in the blockchain industry.

DEX

The Zap DEX (decentralized exchange) enables users to trade ERC-20 tokens securely. The Zap DEX provides fast transaction times and low fees when compared to centralized platforms like Coinbase or Binance. Best of all, the DEX is non-custodial. This designation means that your coins remain safely stored in your wallet until they are traded in a peer-to-peer transaction with the other party.

Non-custodial exchange users never have to worry about not having access to their tokens. There is no centralized organization to lock you out of your account, block trades, or confiscate your assets. The entire DEX operates as pure code. In this way, it remains free from human error.

Zap Development Tools

The Zap Development tools are designed to streamline the creation of monetizable, encrypted peer-to-peer data feed subscriptions. These tools remove the technical barriers associated with integrating data feeds into oracles for use in smart contracts. This section also features extensive documentation, tutorials, and other helpful tips to get your project off the ground.

ZAP

ZAP is the main utility and governance token of the network. ZAP is an ERC-20 token. As such, it resides on the Ethereum blockchain. As an ERC-20 token, ZAP users are privy to significant interoperability within the market. You can trade ZAP on any ERC-20 compliant exchange.

ZAP Markets - CoinMarketCap

Markets – CoinMarketCap

ZAP is listed on a variety of centralized platforms which has helped to deepen the liquidity of the token. Users must hold ZAP to interact with the Zap Protocols features and DEX. The total supply of ZAP is capped at 520,000,000 tokens. There is currently 236,144,465.00 ZAP in circulation.

Community Governance

Another cool aspect of the Zap Protocol is its focus on community. This quarter will see the platform integrate its community governance mechanisms. Once the contracts and Treasury are transferred to governance token holders, the community will gain the ability to vote on all vital upgrades. These upgrades can include anything from coding alterations to changing the fee structure of the network. Community governance systems are gaining in popularity because they ensure that only those that are invested in the network get a say in its development.

History of the Zap Protocol (ZAP)

The Zap Protocol launched in May 2017 and is based out of Switzerland. The platform was co-founded by Benjamin YoungNick Allen, and Nick Spanos. The network has seen considerable growth since its launch date. Notably, the platform secured $7 million in funding to start the project. Over $2 million came from an ICO held from Oct 20 – Nov 20, 2017.

How to Buy Zap Protocol (ZAP)

Poloniex – Founded in the US in 2014, Poloniex has quickly risen to become a very popular exchange of choice for many crypto traders looking to combine a strong range of assets, with great value. They are currently the best exchange to buy Zap Protocol (ZAP) for all international users.

Read our Poloniex Review or visit Poloniex.

Zap Protocol (ZAP) – Providing Relief to Ethereum Users

The Zap Protocol is positioned excellently in the market at this time. The current record high Ethereum congestion has led to gas fees skyrocketing. The Zap protocol enables users to avoid these fees and still benefit from the overall security of the Ethereum blockchain. As such, the Zap Protocol should see continued adoption as more features and services go live.

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