With the overall digital asset markets currently in a state of disarray (i.e. UST and Luna’s meltdown), it would be easy to overlook some of the positive forward momentum simultaneously occurring. The following are a few recent examples of this, with a specific focus on digital securities.
Blockstation to Bring Digital Asset Trading to Barbados Stock Exchange
In February of 2019, Blockstation and the Barbados Stock Exchange (BSE) first established a strategic partnership. This saw Blockstation provide the BSE with the tools necessary to begin trialling support for various digital assets. Fast-forward to the present, and this partnership has clearly proved successful, and beneficial to both parties. Moving beyond the pairs original Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), it has just been announced that a new ‘Master Agreement’ has been signed which will see the BSE fully adopt Blockstation and its digital asset platform. The purpose of this agreement is primarily for the establishment of a, ‘…blockchain-driven tokenized securities marketplace’.
Upon announcing this development, Blockstation CEO, Marko M. Hafez, stated, ‘Stock exchanges around the world are seeking to integrate blockchain technology, and we congratulate the BSE on being among the first to formally adopt a platform to do so…As a technology company, we are committed to making it as efficient and seamless as possible for regulated stock exchanges to create a blockchain-driven capital markets ecosystem, removing friction and driving efficiencies for all stakeholders in the public investment lifecycle.’
In making this announcement, the BSE notes that it is, ‘…set to become one of the first regulated exchange to list Tokenized IPOs’.
Blockstation has made notable in-roads within the Caribbean beyond the BSE. Less than two months ago, the company announced a similar development between itself and the Eastern Caribbean Securities Exchange Ltd (ESCE) – a move which also involved the signing of a master agreement, under the pretense of developing a tokenized securities market. In addition to this, Blockstation also has a history of providing services to the Jamaica Stock Exchange (JSE), dating back to 2019.
SPiCE Fund II Goes Live
One of the best success stories involving digital securities is undoubtedly SPiCE VC and its inaugural SPiCE Fund I – an investment fund built around companies developing services for the digital assets sector (Bakkt, INX Limited, Securitize, etcetera). With SPiCE Fund I now closed to new capital and associated tokens being traded on secondary markets, it is scheduled to make way for the newly announced SPiCE Fund II.
SPiCE VC Managing Partner, Tal Elyashiv, elaborated on this new fund, stating, ‘It’s no secret that Blockchain is disrupting the financial industry, as well as multiple other industries, and is on a rapid growth path to becoming a multi trillion-dollar market. Now, with the launch of SPiCE II, our role in identifying and investing in companies that are key to building the ecosystem of a digital future cannot be overstated…We are excited to begin the next chapter of SPiCE VC, which has already ushered in a new era of venture capitalism in a Web3 world. We look forward to working with today’s most innovative entrepreneurs and forward-thinking investors to create immense opportunities for wealth creation now, and well into the future.’
As stated, the focus of this fund will be on companies involved in the digital asset sector, utilizing blockchain to disrupt the following areas and more.
- Real Estate
The SPiCE Fund II is being described as a more ‘traditional fund’, with a tokenized variant scheduled for launch mid-2022. Expectations are unsurprisingly high for the second iteration of this fund, with the first already seeing 3 companies go public.
Art Masterpiece ‘Carnaval de Binche’ Tokenized
Since digital securities first began to catch on, there have been a few asset classes viewed as being prime candidates for disruption through their use. These typically include expensive and traditionally illiquid assets such as real estate, automobiles, and of course – fine art. The reason such asset classes are appealing to digital securities enthusiasts, is their ability to facilitate fractionalized ownership. With this in mind, digital securities specialists, Tokeny and Rubey, have each just helped the Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp (KMSKA) become the first of its kind to tokenize a ‘masterpiece’ within Europe.
The piece tokenized and on offer is none other than Carnaval de Binche – a work completed by artist James Ensor. By enabling fractionalized ownership, pieces such as this are no longer accessible by only the super-rich, but to the masses as well. In fact, the companies involved have stated that those interested in owning a share of the painting can do so for as little as €150.
In order to achieve this tokenization, the companies opted to structure the associated digital securities as being ERC-3643 compliant, on the Polygon blockchain. Originally known as the ‘T-REX protocol‘, ERC-3643 is a custom standard built by Tokeny in 2018. It was tailored specifically towards the creation, issuance, and management of digital securities, while remaining fully compatible with ERC-20 standards.
Tokeny CEO, Luc Falempin, spoke on development, stating, ‘There is confusion in the market about NFT and security tokens, and we are pleased to see that KMSKA, an innovative traditional museum, fully understands the differences between these two types of digital assets. We share the same vision as our partners KMSKA and Rubey that security tokens will have a real impact on the art industry by allowing smaller investors to invest and engage in artworks that already have existing value. We are excited to provide a compliance infrastructure and user-friendly interfaces for them to reach these audiences. A new chapter in art investment has begun, and this is just the beginning, we can’t wait to see what happens next.’