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CIBC Exits NextBlock Global Public Offering [UPDATE]

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NextBlock Global Ltd, led by CEO Alex Tapscott, are due to hit the Toronto Stock Exchange with a $100 million CAD listing.

News broke just days ago, though, that the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) is pulling out of NextBlock Global’s public listing. CIBC confirmed in an email to their investors that they had “withdrawn as an agent from the NextBlock Global Limited private placement.”

Forbes reported contradictions in the venture capital firm’s investor decks on Wednesday, releasing details of further misrepresentations on Friday.

Through a reverse-takeover, not an IPO, the move by NextBlock would create a vehicle to make investing in blockchain technology more accessible to the masses. Underwriters CIBC would have added approval to the process by insuring NextBlock Global’s shares and offering them to their network.

NextBlock Global incorrectly lists digital currency key players in their investor deck

CIBC have not confirmed their reasons for withdrawing. It’s assumed the “falsehoods” reported in the NextBlock Global investor decks have led to the move.

Amongst a number of reported discrepancies from Forbes, NextBlock Global included four major players in the cryptocurrency markets as their advisors in one version of their investor deck, which had been circulated, but not confirmed as the final version. All four subsequently confirmed to reporters they had not agreed to be listed. They include the founder of Ethereum, Vitalik Buterin, and the Ripple special advisor for global regulatory affairs, Karen Gifford.

Canaccord Genuity, a second major underwriter, emailed their investors on Friday morning sending a revised investor deck which did not list any advisors.

While unusual for digital currency investment firms to list publicly, since most prefer to stick to their decentralised origins, it’s not unexpected as digital currencies continue their journey into the mainstream

NextBlock Global’s CEO Alex Tapscott believes that accredited investors “could unlock even more capital for the sector” and says he has held “numerous” meeting with Canadian regulators.

Who is involved in NextBlock Global and what’s happened so far?

Alex Tapscott is co-founder of Toronto’s Blockchain Research Institute, the co-author of “Blockchain Revolution,” is an advisor for the World Economic Forum, and has written for Forbes and Fortune.

NextBlock Global has already raised millions from unnamed high worth investors, according to Bloomberg, and has invested in a number of ventures who develop blockchain technology, including Aion, Cosmos and Icon.

NextBlock’s focus is on the digital asset space, helping entrepreneurs to launch ICO’s, and to find partners and markets. If successful, the firm would be the first publicly traded investment company to concentrate on initial coin offerings (ICOs).

At the time of writing neither NextBlock Global, CEO Alex Tapscott, or CIBC have commented on the withdrawal. Though Tapscott has defended the discrepancies. What the developments will mean for NextBlock Global’s plans is not yet clear.

Correction: As of November 7th, 2017 NextBlock Global has aborted their public listing, and will return capital to investors in full as well as any profits earned.


Image credit: CIBC


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