Anti-Money Laundering Act “AMLA” of 2020 and the implications

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By Vanessa Malone

AML compliance updates for 2021 are off to a strong start and regulated entities would do well to prepare for the scope of these changes.

On January 1, 2021, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act. In this included the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 “AMLA” which is said to be the most comprehensive set of AML compliance reforms since the PATRIOT Act of 2001. The AML Act expands the Bank Secrecy Act (“BSA”) and aims to greatly improve the current AML compliance and monitoring system.

The AML Act sets federal standards for disclosure of beneficial ownership, expands information sharing, and significantly increases potential fines for violations. The AML Act also encourages the adoption of new technology to assist in the battle against money laundering. …


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By Vanessa Malone

The global fintech industry is expected to reach $305 billion by 2025. ¹ This growth is reportedly due to the large investments being made into technology-based solutions by banks and firms.

Moreover, fintech is rapidly reshaping how we bank, invest, and perform financial transactions. Technology is gradually moving control away from institutions and into the hands of users, literally. With just a few taps on your smartphone, fintech can empower you to access and manage your finances in unique ways.

We believe that fintech will continue to make large strides in 2021. …


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By Vanessa Malone

Despite the unforeseen circumstances of 2020, Horizon reached some incredible milestones enhancing our securities technology ecosystem and establishing joint ventures to begin building and powering global exchanges.

As we approach 2021, we want to first look back at our biggest accomplishments from 2020.

February 7 — Horizon receives a strategic investment from Element ASA

In February, we announced that Horizon received a strategic investment from Element ASA, an innovative investment company with a growing interest in blockchain technology projects with defensible IP.

Element invests in global growth-stage companies which leverage the digitization of information to create shareholder value. The company identifies undervalued companies and projects, where infrastructure and other basic work, if necessary, have in large been completed and where the investee companies are executing their go-to-market strategies. …


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By Vanessa Malone

Decentralized Finance, or DeFi, refers to financial smart contracts and applications (dApps) deployed on a blockchain, most commonly on Ethereum.

The goals of these dApps are to flip traditional financial applications on their heads and “defy” the current infrastructure by developing their decentralized and non-custodial counterparts.

Instead of relying on a central entity to complete a transaction, digital contracts automatically execute transactions person to person once the established parameters are met. …


How Upstream plans to unlock liquidity in the $5bn crowdfunding market

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By Vanessa Malone

This week we announced that Horizon has signed a joint venture and licensing agreement with MERJ Exchange, an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges, to launch “Upstream,” a revolutionary app-based market for crowdfunded securities.

Over the last few years, billions have been invested in early-stage companies, yet no dedicated exchange has existed to provide exit-liquidity. Expected to launch Q1 2021, Upstream will provide the first secondary market for crowdfunded securities to trade in real-time from a user-friendly trading app.

Upstream is accepting listing applications from existing issuers who have completed their offerings on crowdfunding platforms around the world, and who are looking to provide exit-liquidity to their shareholders and offer their shares to a whole new set of fans, investors, and traders. …


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By Vanessa Malone

Recently, we announced that Horizon has partnered with former NFL executives and players Ryan McNeil, Ray Farmer, and Garrick Jones to launch Global Fan Exchange “GFX,” a sports platform that will allow fans to invest and ultimately trade shares tied to a portion of athletes and teams’ income streams.

This week, we sat down with GFX’s newly appointed CEO Ryan McNeil so he could share more about his journey. For those who don’t know, Ryan McNeil is a former NFL player, philanthropist, and serial entrepreneur. Ryan earned All-American honors at the University of Miami and is a former All-Pro defensive back who played twelve seasons in the NFL. …


The state of equity crowdfunding from the world’s most active markets

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By Vanessa Malone

The U.S. has seen some incredible movement on the equity crowdfunding front. Just last month, the SEC increased capital raising limits for Reg A+ from $50 million to $75 million and Reg CF from $1.07 million to $5 million.

Soon before, the SEC expanded the definition of what it means to be an “accredited investor” and created a stepping stone for investors to qualify based on defined measures of professional knowledge rather than just net worth.

In just 5 years, equity crowdfunding has established itself as an innovative way to raise meaningful capital from the crowd and this upward trend isn’t just taking place in the U.S. …


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By Vanessa Malone

Since the launch of Horizon’s white-label exchange software, Open Order Book, we’ve been working to deliver the technology to regulated entities and power a global network of investor-driven securities exchanges. The technology couples with a cutting-edge retail trading app where investors of all levels can buy, sell, and instantly settle securities directly from their smartphones.

Open Order Book actively powers a bond trading platform for Piemonte Holding, an A-rated Brazilian bank which closed its R$ 66m(US$ 16.2m) private bond issuance on Ethereum and became the first to include a public secondary trading platform (https://piemontetrading.com) …


KYC & AML compliance is at the forefront of sports betting. What can your company do to stay competitive & in compliance in 2021?

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By Vanessa Malone

In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Provision Act of 1992 (PASPA), clearing the way for states to legalize online sports betting.

In just two years, more than half of U.S. states have either legalized sports betting or introduced legislation to do so. As of November 4, 2020, 19 states offer single-game sports betting to consumers through retail and online sportsbooks, 6 states have legalized sports betting but are not yet operational, and 2 states have introduced bills to legalize sports betting.


What is equity crowdfunding and what could the future have in store?

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By Vanessa Malone

Equity crowdfunding is a capital raising method typically utilized by startups and small businesses, whereby companies leverage social media, email, and other digital marketing efforts to sell securities to fans and customers.

We have the JOBS Act of 2012 signed into law by President Barack Obama to thank for the Regulation A+ (Reg A+) and Regulation CF (Reg CF) exemptions that gave investors of all levels access to early stage investment opportunities. Traditionally, these private investment opportunities were reserved for high-net worth individuals. Equity crowdfunding works to level the playing field.

These new rules didn’t come into effect until 2015 and 2016 but in just 5 years, equity crowdfunding has established itself as an attractive way to raise meaningful capital from the crowd. …

About

Horizon Fintex

Horizon offers a suite of integrated securities software applications for compliant issuance through secondary trading of electronic securities.

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