CAPITAL markets platform iSTOX announced on Monday it has graduated from the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s (MAS) FinTech Regulatory Sandbox, and is now fully licensed operational.
Graduation from the sandbox means the removal of restrictions for the platform, including limitations on the size of issuances it can host and the number of investors that can be onboarded.
Designed by blockchain-based infrastructure firm ICHX Tech, iSTOX uses blockchain and smart contract technology in its platform infrastructure, such that all issuances can be bought and sold using fiat currency more efficiently, it said.
ICHX Tech has been approved by MAS as a recognised market operator and a capital markets services licensee on Feb 1, the company said during a press conference on Monday.
iSTOX has opened registration for accredited and institutional investors to access opportunities in the private markets, which are not traditionally available outside a small, closed group of participants. It also plans to bring on more issuances across different asset classes.
“While capital markets have seen many changes and innovations over the years, the underlying core infrastructure hasn’t really changed since the advent of electronic trading decades ago,” chief operating officer Darius Liu said.
The MAS sandbox enables financial institutions and fintech startups to experiment with new financial products or services within a supportive and well-defined environment. It also includes safeguards to contain the consequences of failure and maintain the overall soundness of the financial system.
"This has again demonstrated that proportional regulations through sandbox experimentation can foster innovation and bring new benefits to consumers and the financial industry," said MAS chief fintech officer Sopnendu Mohanty.
iSTOX has been operating within the sandbox environment since May 1, according to previous reports by The Business Times.
Other graduates from the sandbox include insurtech firm PolicyPal, digital wealth management platform Kristal.ai and digital money changing startup Thin Margin.
iSTOX is backed by the Singapore Exchange, Temasek subsidiary Heliconia Capital Management, Japan’s Tokai Tokyo Global Investments, Thailand’s Kiatnakin Phatra Financial Group and South Korea’s Hanhwa Asset Management.