Last week, SEFToken Inc. launched a new tokenized instrument. The new token, known as a "covered warrant," will be issued through the Securitize platform on the Ethereum blockchain. According to reports, the "warrant tokens" will be convertible into equity in Mercari, a licensed exchange based in Australia. Warrant token holders will hold the right to buy or sell the underlying security at a fixed price, up until a predetermined date. In the U.K., the country's oldest Bitcoin exchange, Coinfloor Group, launched CoinFLEX (Coin Futures and Lending Exchange) ‒ the world's first physically delivered bitcoin futures exchange. CoinFLEX will offer contracts that trade against Tether (a crypto token that is pegged to the dollar) and features the world's first stablecoin-to-stablecoin futures contract, a contract to trade Tether against USD Coin.

According to reports, investors funded approximately $2.2 billion in U.S.-based crypto projects and $4.6 billion in global crypto projects over the course of 2018, a roughly 400 percent increase from last year. Last week, Bakkt, the Intercontinental Exchange's cryptocurrency project, raised $182.5 million during its first institutional funding round. After achieving regulatory approval, Bakkt plans to launch a one-day physically delivered Bitcoin futures contract along with physical warehousing. Also this week, the Nasdaq-powered DX Exchange announced plans for its new trading platform. The exchange intends to offer investors the opportunity to trade tokenized stocks in select global companies and support various crypto-to-crypto and crypto-to-fiat pairs.

On the international front, Thailand's Ministry of Finance, under the recommendation of the SEC Board, granted digital asset business licenses to three digital asset exchanges and one cryptocurrency broker-dealer. The SEC's press release revealed that two other applicants failed to meet the SEC's acceptable standards regarding the systems for custody of client assets, Know Your Customer controls and cybersecurity systems.

tZERO, an e-commerce giant's cryptocurrency subsidiary, filed a patent for a "crypto integration platform" early last week. According to the patent filing, the system will trade securities, tokens, digital shares, cash equivalents and digital assets from broker-dealers and then translate the orders into digital assets on the platform. Among other things, the platform reportedly will aggregate market data from various cryptocurrency exchanges and generate the best price in the crypto market for the digital asset or liability involved in the transaction. tZero's parent company also announced Thursday it plans to pay part of its business taxes in Ohio via the state's new cryptocurrency taxpayer platform, The e-commerce giant will become the first company to pay part of its Ohio state taxes in Bitcoin.

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