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January 28, 2021

What is an ATS?

Chris Sutton

Last week after our press release announcing Oasis Pro Market’s regulatory approval from FINRA and the SEC, something unexpected happened. Friends, former colleagues, and family reached out and were all congratulatory as expected, but I found myself answering the same question during almost every conversation:

“What is an Alternative Trading System (ATS)?”

An ATS is simply a trading system operated by a broker-dealer where the objective is to match buy and sell orders entered by approved subscribers of the platform (accredited & institutional investors).

To quote the SEC:

“An ATS is a trading system that meets the definition of “exchange” under federal securities laws but is not required to register as a national securities exchange if the ATS operates under the exemption provided under Exchange Act Rule 3a1-1(a)”

Unlike other ATS’s, Oasis Pro has become the first US-regulated ATS that allows its investors to trade digital securities and pay using digital cash, or stablecoins, in addition to fiat.

So what does this mean for Oasis Pro and financial markets?

2020 saw the rise of decentralized finance (DeFi) and with that explosion in interest and adoption we witnessed a stablecoin surge. As of today, according to CoinGecko, the market capitalization of stablecoins is over $35 billion USD, and the daily trading volume is just under $90 billion. As we continue to build out our core capabilities, Oasis Pro believes we will begin to see growth between digital cash and digital securities trading pairs.

However, it is not just public digital security markets that Oasis Pro will cater to, but instead we will give private companies the ability to raise capital via initial private offerings directly on the blockchain. Existing companies can also expand their reach of prospective investors, in addition to offering their employees the opportunity for liquidity in the secondary marketplace.   Corporations will also be able to issue debt as digital securities, and have them trade directly on the ATS with other digital securities on the Oasis Pro platform.

We believe that as financial systems continue to evolve and adapt to new technologies, digital cash and centrally backed digital currencies (CBDC) will play a pivotal role in unlocking trillions of dollars in capital markets.

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