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Liquid.com to exclusively offer Telegram Open Network token, Gram, via Public Token Sale

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Global cryptocurrency platform Liquid.com (“Liquid”) has been selected by Gram Asia, the largest holder of Grams from Asia, to lead the upcoming public sale of Telegram Open Network (“TON”). Gram is the native token of TON Blockchain, a decentralized network being developed by privacy focused messaging platform Telegram. The Gram public sale will be hosted on the Liquid platform (“Gram token sale”).

The Gram token sale has been highly anticipated by the public markets and can only be bought once it is released on secondary listing platforms such as Liquid. Liquid had hosted its own Qash token sale successfully in 2017, selling out 350 million Qash tokens, equivalent to US$105 million, in three days. Liquid is the exclusive platform for the Gram token sale globally. The Gram token sale will take place on Liquid on the July 10th 2019, 8am UTC. Participants of the Gram token sale on Liquid will be able to purchase Grams with the following currencies: USD and USDC. All Gram token sale participants on Liquid will need to have a verified and funded Liquid account in order to qualify for the offering. Minimum electronic verification requirements to participate in the Gram token sale include submitting a government ID and a selfie. All documents can be submitted online on Liquid, with the assistance of a 24/7 live chat team.

Liquid will have TON-compatible wallets integrated into its platform, where Gram token sale participants will have their Grams delivered upon the launch of the public mainnet launch of the TON Blockchain, which is expected to take place by October 31st, 2019. All proceeds from the Gram token sale will be kept in custody of Liquid and will be fully refunded in the event the TON mainnet is not launched.

Telegram Open Network is a fast and inherently scalable decentralized multi-blockchain architecture, designed to be the first mass-market cryptocurrency project. Relying on its 10-year experience of building highly-encrypted distributed data storage systems in user-friendly interfaces, Telegram is uniquely positioned to realize a truly decentralized digital economy saturated with goods and services sold for Grams. Telegram will drive demand for the TON blockchain by leveraging its existing ecosystem of developers, publishers, payment providers, merchants and most importantly, its 260 million users.

In April, a private beta testing of the TON testnet has been launched to a limited number of global developers. Preliminary findings from setting up TON blockchain nodes in these developer labs revealed “extremely high transaction speed“, as reported by Russian-language business daily Vedomosti.

In the same month, TON Labs, an independent company focused on developing the core infrastructure projects for TON, inked a partnership with Wirecard AG, a global payments services company, to develop a joint platform for digital financial services, payments and banking.

According to Cointelegraph, an internal memo sent to investors in May reportedly said: “[the recent] test process reaffirms our belief that the TON virtual machine and the TON-specific Byzantine consensus algorithm are capable of meeting the goals stated in the original White Paper.”

Cointelegraph further revealed a repository that includes a preliminary version of the TON Blockchain Lite Client along with the relevant portions of the TON Blockchain Library necessary for building and deploying smart contracts in a test-version of TON Blockchain.

Developers can now install a configuration file to connect the lite client to a test server. Developers can start creating new smart contracts, audit the state of existing smart contracts, send external messages to smart contracts, among other capabilities. Fift, a programming language specifically designed for creating and managing TON Blockchain smart contracts, can also be deployed to compile, execute, and debug smart contracts.

Mike Kayamori, co-founder and CEO of Liquid said: “We are excited to be partnering with Gram Asia to launch the Gram token sale, which is wonderful news to our community who are native users of Telegram. We share the vision for a more secure and open value transfer system in order to enable the mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. The TON Blockchain infrastructure can help enhance Telegram’s current capabilities as a peer to peer network of value, with the launch of their cryptocurrency light wallets for Telegram’s highly engaged user base.”

Dongbeom Kim, founder and CEO of Gram Asia said: “The Gram token sale is the first step towards The Open Network, a truly decentralized form of TON blockchain. Gram Asia, as the largest holder of Grams from Asia, is excited to bring the opportunity for retail investors to join the TON ecosystem. As the first Japan FSA licensed global exchange, Liquid has demonstrated strong governance capabilities for protecting its users; therefore, I firmly believe Liquid is the right partner to launch this historic token sale. We are excited to invite all believers in Telegram’s vision, globally and in Asia, to build on top of TON, leveraging the critical mass of Telegram’s user base.”

Interested participants of the Gram token sale can register for a free account on Liquid at https://liquid.com, with no minimum deposit fees.

 

SOURCE Liquid.com

Blockchain

Intertrust acquires Viteos for USD 330 million

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Intertrust N.V. (“Intertrust”), a leading global provider of expert administrative services to corporate, fund, capital markets and private wealth clients, today announces the acquisition of Viteos1, a provider of leading-edge technology solutions for U.S. funds, from PPC Enterprises LLC, FiveW Capital LLC (an affiliate of 22C Capital) and Viteos management.

Viteos is a tech-enabled alternative funds industry leader providing end-to-end middle and back office administration for top tier hedge funds, private equity, real estate, private debt and other alternative asset managers. Viteos has approximately 715 employees and operates a global delivery model with its headquarters and sales team in the U.S. supported by Centres of Excellence in India. Viteos delivered revenues of USD 52 million2, 94% in the U.S., having grown at an organic CAGR of 22% over the last two years, and an EBITDA margin of 36.6%.

Transaction highlights

  • Competitive game-changer for Intertrust, accelerating our strategy to become a global leader in tech-enabled corporate and fund solutions through:
    • Gaining a material presence in the U.S., increasing exposure to funds and accelerating our growth potential
    • Leveraging Viteos’ digitalisation and automation technology
    •  Building on Viteos’ offshore Centres of Excellence
  • Enterprise value of USD 330 million (EUR 294 million3), resulting in a post-synergy multiple of 8.0x FYE March 2019EBITDA
  • Significant net run-rate annual cost synergies of approximately USD 22 million4 expected primarily from offshoring
  • ROIC expected to exceed Intertrust’s WACC by 2021 and reach double-digits by 2022
  • Mid-single digit EPS accretion expected by 2020 with double- digit accretion expected by 2021
  • Sound financing structure: approximately 4.1x leverage ratio5 at closing, with strong cash generation expected to drive leverage ratio below 3.0x by 2021
  • Medium-term guidance increased to reflect enhanced revenue growth and cost synergies
  • Viteos’ co-founders, Shankar Iyer and Chitra Baskar (formerly CEO and COO, respectively), will join our Executive Committee and, along with other key employees, have reinvested approximately 35% of their after-tax proceeds in Intertrust shares

Strategic rationale

The acquisition of Viteos is an acceleration of our strategy to become a global leader in tech-enabled corporate and fund solutions, adding a high growth provider of leading-edge technology solutions with a top 10 position in U.S. fund administration and over 80 top tier clients.

The combined group will build on the existing technology partnership between the two companies and the professional relationships between the management teams to drive further growth and lead the digitalisation and innovation of the industry. Viteos’ world-class client base and technology solutions, developed by a team of 130 technology experts, significantly expand the market potential for Intertrust into higher growth adjacencies with attractive cross-selling and upselling opportunities.

The acquisition of Viteos meets the strategic and M&A objectives set out in our Capital Markets Day and, in particular, delivers:

  • Meaningful presence in the U.S. and increased exposure to funds – the combined group will hold a top 10 position in U.S. fund administration providing mission-critical services to asset managers.
  • Accelerated growth potential – Viteos brings new clients, services and technology solutions which expand Intertrust’s market potential into higher growth adjacencies with an annual market value of >EUR 3.5 billion, resulting in a total market potential in excess of EUR 10.0 billion growing at 4-6% per annum (up from EUR 6.5 billion growing at 3-5%).  
  • Strengthened technology foundation – Viteos is at the forefront of digitising and automating fund administration with leading-edge technologies including blockchain, workflow automation, RPA6, and digitalisation/OCR7. Leveraging these tools, the combined group will have the potential to drive incremental revenue growth through service innovation and reduce costs through service automation.
  • Significant step towards operational excellence – building on Viteos’ offshore Centres of Excellence in India will allow us to fast-track our standardisation, centralisation and shared services initiatives, improving the efficiency and quality of our services.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Stephanie Miller, CEO of Intertrust, said:

“Today I am thrilled to announce the acquisition of Viteos. This is a significant leap forward for Intertrust which will accelerate our strategy in every way.

The combination of these world-class businesses enhances our global position in fund services, expands our presence in the U.S. and unlocks many opportunities to cross sell our products and services. It will provide tremendous benefits to our existing clients through advanced technology, a digitised delivery model and a solution-oriented service suite. With the addition of over 700 employees including 130 technology experts, I am particularly excited for the future innovations that our combined organisation will bring to the industry.

These benefits are reflected in the strong value creation from the transaction in the form of double-digit ROIC, double-digit EPS accretion as well as increased growth and margin guidance.

Furthermore, we welcome a Viteos team who is dynamic, engaged and will further our goal of becoming the employer of choice in our industry. Earlier this year Intertrust started a powerful collaboration with Viteos. Today we move forward together as one company to lead the digitalisation and innovation of our industry.”

Shankar Iyer, CEO of Viteos, said:

“This is a very exciting opportunity for Viteos to become an integral part of a successful, global business. We have longstanding relationships with the Intertrust team who are familiar with our industry-leading technology solutions. By bringing together our complementary strengths and capabilities, we will significantly enhance the future prospects for the combined group. We look forward to working with Stephanie and her team and are deeply committed to delivering on our shared strategic objectives.”

Financial benefits

The acquisition of Viteos has compelling financial benefits. The transaction is expected to deliver mid single-digit EPS accretion in the first full year of ownership (2020) and double-digit EPS accretion by 2021 including phased synergies. The ROIC of the transaction is expected to exceed Intertrust’s WACC by 2021 and reach double-digits by 2022 including phased synergies.

USD 22 million of net run-rate annual cost synergies have been identified on a detailed bottom-up basis by Intertrust, Viteos and an expert offshoring consultancy. The synergies will primarily come from offshoring selected support functions for client-facing teams, back office and IT support, with India Centres of Excellence balancing existing jurisdictions and enabling 24-hour support for our clients. We expect to deliver approximately 90% of the synergies by 2021 with approximately 20% coming through by 2020. The aggregate one-off costs over the period to deliver the synergies are estimated at approximately USD 30 million.

Terms and financing

The enterprise value for the acquisition is USD 330 million (EUR 294 million), resulting in a pre-synergy multiple of 17.3x FYE March 2019 EBITDA. Including net run-rate annual cost synergies of USD 22 million, the equivalent post-synergy multiple is 8.0x FYE March 2019 EBITDA.

The acquisition was funded through debt (new USD 150 million term loan plus RCF) and cash on balance sheet with USD 11 million re-invested by Viteos’ management and key employees in Intertrust shares. Leverage ratio8 at closing amounts to approximately 4.1x and is expected to decrease to below 3.0x by 2021.

Following receipt of regulatory approvals, simultaneous signing and closing of the transaction occurred on 17 June 2019.

Guidance

In connection with the acquisition of Viteos, Intertrust is increasing its medium-term guidance as follows:

  • 4-6% underlying revenue growth year-on-year9 (increased from 3-5%);
  • Adjusted EBITA margin of at least 40% for 2021 (increased from at least 38%), from at least 36% in 2019 (unchanged);
  • Capex around 2% of revenue in the medium-term (unchanged) and up to 3% in early years to deliver the Centres of Excellence;
  • Effective tax rate of around 21% (19% previously);
  • Dividend policy and target leverage ratio remain unchanged.

 

SOURCE Intertrust

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Blockchain Platform FLETA and Security Auditor CertiK Forming a Strategic Partnership

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A blockchain platform FLETA announced a partnership with CertiK, a leading blockchain security auditor. The partnership agreement started to be discussed since April 2019 when FLETA’s smart contract audit was verified with a high score of 99 out of 100. Not only do both companies expect FLETA’s blockchain infrastructure to be reinforced, but they also plan to offer effective security service to blockchain projects in FLETA’s ecosystem.

CertiK is a blockchain and smart contract audit platform, led by prestigious experts and computer engineers including Dr. Zhong Shao, a professor of computer science at Yale and Dr. Ronghui Gu, an assistant professor of computer science at Columbia University. It offers a service that can effectively strengthen blockchain’s security and credibility through mathematical proofs. It has audited more than 175 projects and cooperated with many top companies of the industry such as Ethereum Foundation, IBM, and Universal Protocol and well-known exchanges like Binance, and OKEx. Recently, on June 1st, the company announced that it was selected as an EOS Block Producer.

FLETA is a blockchain platform that offers a fast and stable service with reasonable fees to both developers and users so that it can create a user-friendly ecosystem. It aims to solve problems that existing platforms have such as slow speeds, scalability limitation, and excessive fees. By doing so, FLETA is aiming to drive the commercialization of the blockchain with its own core technologies. FLETA has developed outstanding blockchain technologies like Independent multi-chain Structure, Block Redesign, and PoF (Proof-of-Formulation) which is its own consensus algorithm.

Paul Park, CEO of FLETA, said, “FLETA’s advanced blockchain technology and its stability were verified by CertiK, one of the world’s best blockchain security company.” He also added, “As a blockchain platform, security is something that we never compromise. This FLETA-CertiK partnership will allow both DApp developers and users to use the blockchain platform with high-quality security.”

Meanwhile, FLETA plans to launch its mainnet in August after it successfully launched its testnet in last March. Through the testnet launch in March, FLETA demonstrated its performances by achieving 10,000 average TPS and 15,000 peak TPS with 6 core CPU.

 

SOURCE FLETA

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UCBA Summer Summit Features California’s Cannabis Industry Leaders

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The United Cannabis Business Association (UCBA), the premier trade association for legal retail cannabis in California, announces its second annual Policy Summit, presented by Linx. The one-day event is on June 21, at the Montalban Theater in Los Angeles.

The Summit provides access to key decision makers and industry leaders in a unique environment to give cannabis professionals insight on changing regulations and market conditions that will significantly impact their businesses. The one-of-a-kind event will conclude with a sun-filled rooftop VIP mixer featuring a Sessions short order kitchen by Chef Holden Jagger of Altered Plates, live music and entertainment.

The Summer Summit will also serve as the launch of the California Bureau of Cannabis Control’s new public awareness and education campaign, designed to help businesses and consumers recognize the differences between legal and illicit cannabis products and retailers.

The summit will feature candid discussions on issues that impact California cannabis businesses and consumers, with notable speakers that include:

Nicole Elliott – Senior Advisor on Cannabis to Governor Newsom
Lori Ajax – Chief of the CA Bureau of Cannabis Control
Cat Packer – Executive Director and GM of the LA Department of Cannabis Regulation
Fiona Ma – CA State Treasurer
Councilmember Herb Wesson – Los Angeles City Council President
Senator Steven Bradford, CA Senate District 35
Assemblyman Tom Lackey, CA Assembly District 36
Richard Parrott – CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, CA Department of Food and Agriculture
Rasha Salama – Branch Chief, CA Manufactured Cannabis Safety Branch
Laurie Holcomb – CEO of Gold Flora Farms and King’s Crew Dispensary

The UCBA Summer Summit is presented in collaboration with the Humboldt County Growers Alliance (HCGA) – the trade association representing the most legal cultivation businesses in California, and brings together two of the most influential cannabis industry associations in the state.

Attendees to the Summit will enjoy Linx giveaways, specials with neighboring dispensaries, a rooftop lounge, and a brand education mezzanine with executives from some of the most successful businesses in the industry, including Gold Flora, Original Pot Company, Canndescent, Beboe, Cresco, Born from Flora, Genius, Delta 9, 1 PUFF, Kanha Treats, LA Kush, Boxcar Supply Company and more.

The Second Annual UCBA Policy Summit and BBQ is on June 21, 11a-6p, at the Montalban Theater, 1615 Vine Street, Hollywood, CA 90028. For tickets, visit: bit.ly/UCBA2019Summit

Veterans and Social Equity applicants receive free admission.

 

SOURCE United Cannabis Business Association

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