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Investment House Launches Specialist Digital Asset Financing Business

Tom Burroughes Group Editor London 28 March 2023

Investment House Launches Specialist Digital Asset Financing Business

Amid difficult times for the "digital assets" arena, the new offering will plug some gaps in the financing of this activity, its founders say.

Alpha Blue Ocean, a firm with offices in the Bahamas and Dubai, has shrugged off the turmoil in the crypto assets space by opening ABO Digital, a new private investment company that will offer alternative financing options to startups in the digital asset sector.

The new organisation brings “institutional-grade knowledge” to the digital asset and blockchain industries by drawing on ABO’s experience as a structured private investments in public equity, with more than $2 billion in executed financing commitments globally over the last five years.

Blockchain projects will have more access to creative and adaptable funding options thanks to ABO Digital’s solutions, it said. Its funding method “fills a gap” in the cryptocurrency market, especially in light of the present market environment, it said. 

“This is an important time for the digital asset space. We’re in the midst of a bear market, but there continues to be solid development by innovative protocols. A lot of large investors, such as venture capitalists, will have suffered losses from the recent crypto credit contagion. This reduces the pool of available growth capital for cryptocurrency projects that ABO Digital will help fill,” Amine Nedjai, chief executive at ABO Digital, said. “We see an interesting development in gaming as projects are working on more sustainable tokenomics, which can help drive adoption as well as the practical use of non-fungible tokens.”

The bankruptcy last year of FTX, the cryptoassets platform, and signs of increasingly severe regulatory actions in certain countries, have hit the sector. The collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank – two of the biggest such failures in US bank history – have thrown a shadow over the digital assets space. Reports yesterday saying that US authorities were suing Binance, the cryptocurrency exchange, for operating in the US without a licence, have added to nerves. 

Nedjai said the environment is difficult for the sector, but innovation is important and should be encouraged. 

“We expect DeFi [distributed finance] to continue capturing attention in this space, proving its robustness through the current crisis whilst continuing to innovate and find pragmatic solutions – such as access to liquidity for stakers of ETH [Etherium]. This difficult market situation, coupled with our positive outlook, makes it the perfect time to launch ABO Digital, enabling entities in this exciting space to source the funds they need to build,” Nedjai said. 

This publication has examined the various ways that digital assets – a term covering areas such as tokens, “smart contracts,” decentralised finance and cryptocurrencies – affect the wealth sector. 

Binance case
The sector continues to be buffeted in certain countries. The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has charged Binance, a business founded in 2017 and the largest centralised exchange for digital assets, for violating US regulations. It is led by billionaire Changpeng Zhao, who was also charged by the the CFTC. The regulator also charged Samuel Lim, Binance’s former chief compliance officer, with aiding and abetting Binance’s violations.

“The defendants allegedly chose to knowingly disregard applicable provisions of the CEA while engaging in a calculated strategy of regulatory arbitrage to their commercial benefit,” the CFTC said. A report by the BBC said Binance did not formally comment.

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