Blockchain capital markets platform iSTOX becomes fully licensed

SINGAPORE (THE BUSINESS TIMES) - Capital markets platform iSTOX has graduated from the Monetary Authority of Singapore's (MAS) FinTech Regulatory Sandbox and is now fully licensed.

This means restrictions on the platform, including limitations on the size of issuances it can host and the number of investors that can be taken on, have been removed.

iSTOX was designed by blockchain-based infrastructure firm ICHX Tech.

It uses blockchain and smart contract technology so that all issuances can be bought and sold using fiat currency more efficiently, it said.

ICHX Tech was approved by the MAS as a recognised market operator and a capital markets services licensee on Feb 1, the company said Monday (Feb 3).

iSTOX has opened registration for accredited and institutional investors to access opportunities in the private markets that are not traditionally available outside a small, closed group of participants. It also plans to bring on more issuances across different asset classes.

"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," chief operating officer Darius Liu said.

The MAS sandbox lets financial institutions and fintech start-ups experiment with new financial products or services within a well-defined environment that also includes safeguards to contain the consequences of failure.

"This has again demonstrated that proportional regulations through sandbox experimentation can foster innovation and bring new benefits to consumers and the financial industry," said MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty.

iSTOX has been operating within the sandbox environment since May 1.

Other graduates include insurtech firm PolicyPal, digital wealth management platform and digital money changing start-up Thin Margin.

iSTOX's backers include the Singapore Exchange and Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital Management.

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