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Changes to Services in Bermuda

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1st May 2020

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Over the last three years Hub Culture has invested significant resources into the process for digital asset licensing in Bermuda, covering Ven, our digital currency, and Ultra, our tokenized asset system. Given the wide consumer nature of the social network, we decided to help this process by creating a seperate operating company, called Ven Finance Ltd, to separate our digital asset services from the broader Hub Culture social network services.

During this time we have worked on criterion related to Bermuda's Digital Asset Business Act, for which a lot of detailed requirements are necessary to ensure compliance with the country's new digital asset laws. This has included large investments into HubID, our digital identity system, AML/KYC reporting and compliance technologies, cybersecurity programmes and risk framework enhancements which remain invisible to users.

We have also remained committed to user privacy and individual data ownership, which we feel are super important to our mission and our scope. As a result of these investments, today we have one of the world's most developed, privacy enhancing, and secure real-time compliance systems. However, regulatory limitations on our operations still exist, and look set to remain for many reasons. Lack of local retail banking services, compliance costs that far exceed the revenue per member, our global consumer focus and more make it impossible for us to meet all of the requirements for a DABA license at this time.

As a solution, effective May 1, 2020 we are regionalizing digital asset services to other markets, and will maintain only Hub social network services for Bermuda residents. This includes Hub content, HubID, Propel governance, AGREE contracting, access to knowledge services and our Pavilion venues.

Effective May 15, 2020, we will be glacierizing Ven and Ultra accounts for Bermuda residents until the local situation changes and we can re-instate digital asset services, including e-commerce Stores. We hope this will happen in the fall of 2020, when we expect new banking services to become available on the island. In the meantime, the BMA has kindly authorized us to offer withdrawals and cashout of Ven or Ultra Assets to Bermuda residents until that date. After this May 15 date, all members will have to confirm acceptance of new terms and conditions before accessing services.

If you are holding Ven or Ultra Assets and wish to make a withdrawal to BMD, you can do so easily by visiting the HubID integrated banking service. If you have membership holdings in Hub Digital Asset Syndicates, we can also provide wallet transfers to other service providers, convert you to our new regulated hedge fund or help you with an exit.

Keep in mind that if you are a US, UK, European or other citizen, you can adjust your HubID residency settings to those markets, and maintain full services. You can review your verification settings here. And please note, only Bermuda residents are affected by this change, accounting for about 1% of our global membership.

You can always email us with any questions or concerns about these changes by contacting the Valet inside the Bermuda Hub or by emailing us directly at [email protected].

What's Next

While this decision impacts our home market, and we are bummed about this reduction in services, please know we remain 100% committed to Bermuda and to eventually passing the licensing requirements set forth by regulatros. We understand deeply why these regulations are in place, and expect things to align as needed sooner or later. Hub headquarters remains located in Bermuda and the majority of our ongoing local investments, staffing, and other activities will continue without interruption.

The world is changing quickly, and for now, the more regional focus for the digital asset side of things will be great for Ven Finance Ltd. This change enables us to restart many activities which we have quietly paused over the last 18 months during the regulatory process. VFL will now be able to engage in new partnerships, to launch its Parallel Stimulus programme to assit governments tackling the COVID19 crisis, to lift Ultra Exchange with renewed services, to resume using the Ven Money app, to pursue the China blockchain initiative, to pursue involvement with Libra, and to offer amazing functions involving our new virtual reality workplace, Emerald City.

VFL have also received regulatory approval in another market for the Ven Digital Asset Fund, a fully regulated hedge fund that is one of the few in the world designed to invest in digital assets - with an ESG/SDG lens toward sustainability. For these many activities to reach their potential we need to protect our closed-loop operations for Ven. We also increasingly need new regulatory approvals in particular markets as local laws change, so everything becomes a bit more complicated. That's life.

Finally, we remain committed to promoting Bermuda, its leadership in the digital asset space, and its commitment to innovation for our wide range of other services. Don't forget to request a withdrawal if you need one, and we will keep you updated on any other changes that may lie ahead.