Boston Options Exchange (BOX) is trying again to calm regulatory concerns about Ethereum’s role in storing ownership records as it seeks permission to launch a security token platform.
To that end, the firm has filed an amended proposal with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), dated Feb. 28, which was published in the Federal Register on Friday. That opens the proposal up to feedback from interested members of the public.
BOX wants the SEC to sign off on its new subsidiary, the Boston Security Token Exchange (BSTX), a trading platform for tokenized equity that will also store ownership data on the Ethereum blockchain.
The amended filing, with notable tweaks from the version submitted by BOX in December, increases the number of market makers required for an initial listing from two to three, and makes listing standards closer to those set by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE).
The exchange also took pains to stress once more that BSTX records held on Ethereum would only be “ancillary records that would not create or convey any ownership of security tokens or shareholder equity.” In other words, Ethereum won’t be used as a substitute for conventional ownership records anytime soon.
BSTX is a joint venture announced by BOX and tZero, the company that hosted one of the first proper security token offerings (STOs) back in 2018. BOX filed its first version of a “rulebook for the first regulated security token exchange” in May 2019, which the SEC published for public consultation in October the same year.
Judging by the summing-up section, BOX looks to be trying to allay any possible concerns from the SEC so it can make the “important first step” in integrating blockchain into the U.S. financial system. Success might mean that other entities, including traditional finance institutions, could also begin experimenting with the technology, the filing suggests.
A BOX spokesperson said the firm was not able to comment at this stage of the process.
Although blockchain technology enables round-the-clock permissionless trading, BOX has also reiterated that, in keeping with U.S. financial regulation, BSTX would only be open during U.S. market hours and users would need to be approved first before they can begin trading on the exchange.