EquiChain, the London-based FinTech specialising in blockchain technology for capital markets, has been accepted into the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) Regulatory Laboratory (RegLab) programme to develop and test its latest FinTech innovation.
In doing so, paving the way to become a key part of the financial market infrastructure of the United Arab Emirates and the wider Middle East region. EquiChain’s proposition is to launch “EquiChain Exchange” (EQX), a fully regulated exchange for cryptographic IPOs and secondary market trading.
Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) have surged in popularity in 2017 as a new method of raising capital and are on the verge of competing with traditional capital raising avenues. ICOs can connect investors seamlessly and directly with issuers, thereby reducing inherent risks, inefficiencies and costs of participating in today's global equity markets. However, ICOs are in a regulatory grey area and have recently seen scrutiny by financial regulators around the world.
At the intersection of ICOs and IPOs, EQX combines the advantages of both ecosystems. Leveraging EquiChain’s blockchain technology, EQX aims to provide the first ICO-inspired securities exchange in a fully regulated environment. It will create a new investment opportunity and asset class for investors. EQX complements EquiChain's vision to empower investors to invest with greater efficiency, less risk and at lower cost, thereby redefining capital markets as we know them.
Nicholas Bone, Founder and CEO of EquiChain, said, “The future just became significantly closer. We are excited to deliver on our vision of a totally reimagined capital market ecosystem with the support of our partners at ADGM. EQX’s ability to consolidate trading and post-trade venues, while seamlessly connecting issuers directly with investors is truly transformational. This will have significant implications on how investors engage with the capital markets. We look forward to working within the ADGM RegLab framework to bring this vision to reality."
Richard Teng, Chief Executive Officer, Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM, commented: “ADGM is pleased to admit EQX into the second cohort of our RegLab programme, adding to ADGM’s global FinTech community. As an international FinTech hub, we are excited that an international and innovative firm such as EquiChain has chosen ADGM to offer unique solutions and services that have the potential to enhance and impact the capital markets in Abu Dhabi and regionally. We look forward to the success of EQX and working closely with the team to enhance the ADGM FinTech ecosystem.”
In November 2016, ADGM launched its FinTech RegLab which is designed to foster innovation within the UAE financial services market for both new market entrants and existing financial institutions. Under the ADGM RegLab regime, FinTechs will be provided a safe and conducive environment where they can test innovative FinTech products, services or business models, whilst ensuring appropriate consumer protections are built in. ADGM’s RegLab authorises FinTech participants for a period of up to two years to develop and test their FinTech proposition.