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Masha and Xenia Vyazemskaya, Founders of ValueTokenized – Interview Series

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Masha and Xenia Vyazemskaya are known as the Crypto Twins. They host the popular podcast ValueTokenized which provides free educational content to help businesses tokenize the world.

How did you first discover blockchain and cryptocurrencies?

By lucky chance! We have always been in communications, and a good friend once asked for our assistance and PR advice for a blockchain project back in 2017. Fast forward several months, blockchain has entirely captured our attention, and we’ve been helping blockchain projects with content marketing and PR ever since, helping the tech guys tell their stories and educate audiences.

 

Which was the first token that you purchased and what motivated you to purchase this token?

I believe it was XRP. Xenia liked the idea and completely ignored the “buy low, sell high” principle, which turned out to be a pretty bad investment. The sum was insignificant, though.

Bitcoin was our second crypto investment. And it quickly became more. It took us over a year to understand the real beauty of bitcoin and the values behind it. We're big believers in bitcoin vs. fiat currencies, and we’re doing our best to facilitate the adoption.

 

What inspired you to get involved in the space?

It is fascinating to watch the new industry emerge and mature. For us, it started with curiosity and excitement for the brand new space, which then turned into a clear understanding of the demand for unbiased expert content and the value we can bring in this regard. The most inspiring thing for us now is when experts contact us to arrange an interview or a panel discussion, and receive feedback from the audience.

 

You’ve done multiple YouTube videos, including discussing some recent industry trends such as IEOs replacing ICOs. How do you personally feel about IEOs?

Our podcast ValueTokenized is dedicated mostly to asset tokenization and practical applications for blockchain technology in capital markets. When the IEO trend was growing half a year ago, however, we couldn’t help but cover it.

Our opinion on IEOs is pretty much aligned with that of our speakers – including an early investor in Bitcoin, Uber and Airbnb Jeffrey Wernick. IEOs merely seems to be an attempt to prolong the fading life of ICOs – which per se had nothing bad to it as a concept, but the implementation left a lot to be desired.

In any case, we strongly believe that the future for blockchain and cryptocurrencies lies within:

1) asset-backed tokens and;

2) Bitcoin.

 

You’ve also conducted multiple interviews which feature different jurisdictions for launching an STO. These jurisdictions include Singapore, the United States, Israel and Liechtenstein. Based on these interviews and your knowledge of the space, which jurisdiction would you personally favor to launch an STO and why?

The choice of jurisdiction for conducting an STO depends on many things: whether you want to target retail (non-accredited) investors, in what regions do you want to sell your securities, and so on.

Switzerland and Liechtenstein are probably our favorites in Europe due to clear rules and industry specific regulation that doesn’t require any legal workarounds. The United States, however, attract a lot of attention as a jurisdiction because there are many tech-advanced investors who currently might be more open to purchase new financial instruments in the form of tokens. An important thing to remember: if you want to do an STO and sell your tokens in Europe and in the US, you must be compliant with both.

 

You’ve also discussed tokenizing various assets. What are some of these asset classes and which asset class do you personally believe has the most potential to scale?

Real estate offers the biggest use case with clear benefits for tokenization. In October, we have seen multiple cases including Tokyo-based Lead Real Estate funding development of condominiums and hotels ahead of the 2020 Japan Olympics through issuing security tokens; a consortium of Gulf families’ plans to tokenize US$ 1 billion worth of property assets and other exciting projects.

There are several reasons: fractional ownership offered by tokenization is a natural fit for real estate. Moreover, programmability of the tokens allows a structure to represent various economic interests – ownership rights, different income rights. On top of that, real estate is something investors understand, it’s a fixed income asset class and a rather low-risk investment.

From the perspective of the issuer, tokenization can offer a more cost-effective way to fundraise with a significant reduction in cost and friction for further management of securities.

We also believe venture funds to be a promising field for tokenization. Today, it enables easier and more cost-effective management of funds, easy ownership transfer, and so on. Potentially, tokenization can provide for democratization of VC market, opening it to millions of investors with small checks. For the latter, however, the technology is not enough – it requires corresponding amendments in the regulation. Whether we will see it or not soon remains debatable. Nevertheless, the existing benefits are already exciting.

 

What are some of the companies in the space that personally excite you?

Tokeny, Rivver, Securitize

 

Where do you see the industry being in 5 years?

We share the vision that capital markets on blockchain is the question of when, not if. In 5 years, we most likely won’t be talking about blockchain as a separate industry, as it will be the essential part of global financial markets.

Whether tokenization will unlock the liquidity for previously illiquid assets, democratize access to venture capital and fulfill other promises that are widely discussed today, remains to be seen.

In any case, communication and education is what is need for the industry to grow and mature. The more we focus on this today, the more outstanding results we will see in 5 years.

 

Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers?

Just one thing: feel free to reach to us anytime with podcast and collaboration ideas.

Let’s do something cool together 🙂

[email protected]

[email protected]

To watch some of their podcasts visit ValueTokenized

Antoine is a futurist and the founding partner of Securities.io & a member of the Forbes Technology Council.

He is also the Founder of Unite.ai a news website on AI & robotics, the generative AI platform images.ai, & is he is currently working on launching genius.ai a platform that will offer users the ability to configure and deploy autonomous agents by breaking prompts into sub-tasks.