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Horizon and MERJ Launch ‘Upstream’ Securities Exchange and Trading App for Novel Digital Assets, Securities and NFTs

Horizon and MERJ Launch ‘Upstream’ Securities Exchange and Trading App for Novel Digital Assets, Securities and NFTs
Strategic investors & partners include Pitbull and Timbaland’s Beatclub platform

MERJ Exchange Limited and Horizon Fintex (“Horizon”), a blockchain technology company that builds and operates securities exchanges, have announced the launch of Upstream, a global marketplace for digital assets, securities, and NFTs to trade on the Ethereum blockchain. Upstream is available for download on iOS and Android.

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“Beatclub is thrilled to be partnering with Upstream to offer fans the ability to purchase and trade music shares, NFTs and other digital experiences”

Upstream launches with investment and formal partnerships from high-profile artists and entertainers including Armando Christian Pérez “Pitbull,” whose involvement brings opportunities for fans to own a stake in artists’ music royalties; Timbaland’s marketplace ‘Beatclub’ which includes artists like Justin Timberlake, J. Cole; and Sports & Media Entertainment 360, each bringing a wide-ranging network of potential fan-driven IPOs and NFT opportunities across music, entertainment, and sports, with exclusive NFT drops expected in the months ahead. Horizon is also backed with investment from Wall Street service providers including law firms, PR Firms, IR Firms, Edgarization and compliance firms.

“Beatclub is thrilled to be partnering with Upstream to offer fans the ability to purchase and trade music shares, NFTs and other digital experiences,” said Beatclub co-founder Timbaland. “Allowing fans to buy shares in their favorite songs while benefiting from music royalties, tours and other ventures gives musicians and songwriters a powerful new tool for self-funding while heightening fan engagement. We’re excited to be part of this new renaissance for music and to expand opportunities for our Beatclub creatives through this partnership.”

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Fan-driven IPOs sourced from strategic partnerships will be available on Upstream for the global community to own an equity stake in their favorite artists’ success and then trade with other fans, something that has never been done before on a national securities exchange. The first fan-driven IPO available on Upstream is for Jennifer Esposito’s FRESH KILLS, the first feature film financed and traded on a global stock exchange.

First securities exchange built on the Ethereum blockchain

Upstream is the world’s first digital asset securities market built on the Ethereum blockchain and operated under a fully-fledged securities exchange license and regulations. The app-based marketplace facilitates real-time trading and instant settlement of unique asset classes – such as tokenized IPOs, music royalty rights, feature films, celebrity ventures, SPACs, crowdfunded companies, equities, and compliant security tokens. Tokenized securities listed on Upstream are based on the ERC-20 standard and qualified issuers can dual-quote on many global markets in the U.S. and globally.

On the buy-side, users can purchase and trade securities on the platform using USDC stablecoin, PayPal, credit and debit cards, and U.S. dollars in FDIC-insured cash accounts. Investors have direct access to the exchange and transparent orderbooks through the Upstream app – preventing distortionary pricing caused by market makers and order flow. Tokenized shares sold on Upstream are tradable immediately following an offering, so traders avoid lock-up periods.

“Upstream represents what we believe to be a powerful next step forward in trading digital securities,” said Horizon CEO Brian Collins. “The platform was built to provide users with utmost flexibility and ease of use while also abiding by regulations and next level investor protections that are necessary for markets to function fairly. Upstream aims to connect traditional and decentralized finance by combining the best of both worlds.”

As a MERJ Exchange Limited (“MERJ”) market, Upstream benefits from MERJ being an affiliate of the World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), recognized by HM Revenue and Customs UK, a full member of the Association of National Numbering Agencies (ANNA), a Qualifying Foreign Exchange for OTC Markets in the U.S. and is licensed in the Republic of Seychelles. Upstream has also adopted the Financial Action Task Force (“FATF”) standards to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing, offering both regulatory compliance and security to investors and issuers alike.

NFT Minting on a Safe and Regulated Marketplace

Upstream also provides this rapidly growing marketplace with a secure one-stop-shop in which to create and sell NFTs. Any Upstream user can mint NFTs on the platform and place it up for auction in less than 30 seconds. Because Upstream onboarding includes identity verification, anti-money laundering (AML) and copyright protection, buyers and sellers are safeguarded from bad actors. Upstream charges only a 2% sales fee and $1 NFT creation fee, constituting some of the lowest fees in the NFT space. Notably, as a layer-2 Ethereum rollup, there are no gas fees. Investors purchasing NFTs have the opportunity to support, fund and engage with their favorite brands, celebrities.

“The explosion of the market surrounding NFTs and digital objects – which now totals more than $2.5 billion – necessitates a safe, regulatory-compliant environment for innovators in this space to flourish,” said Horizon President Mark Elenowitz. “By minting NFTs on Upstream, digital creators have access to a one-stop shop where they can not only reach a wide audience, but also be assured that KYC and AML guidelines are stringently enforced.”

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