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The Pros and Cons of Security Tokens

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Pros and Cons of Security Tokens

Security tokens continue to reshape the way we conduct business on a global scale. These unique tokens provide companies and investors with a regulated way to enter the crypto space. When a company launches a security token it’s called an STO, or security token offering. Understanding the pros and cons of security tokens makes you a better-informed investor.

Regulatory integration is a huge step forward for the cryptospace. It allows traditional business models to convert over to more efficient blockchain-based structures. While this approach is perfect for many types of business models, it doesn’t always make sense due to some of the drawbacks security tokens contain. Let’s take a moment to examine the pros and cons of security tokens to get a better understanding of these amazing tokens true capabilities and limitations.

Pros of Security Tokens

Security tokens allow traditional business transactions to be tokenized while still meeting the regulatory requirements set in place for the industry in question. Tokenization is the process of transferring an item to the blockchain. For example, a security token can represent ownership rights in a property.

Transferring property ownership rights requires that all parties involved in the transaction meet certain related regulatory requirements. Security tokens have the ability to integrate these regulations directly into their core protocol. In September of this year, the security token launch platform Polymath partnered with BlockEstate to begin the tokenization of the real estate market.

Polymath via Homepage

Polymath via Homepage

Reducing Investment Thresholds

Security tokens are a powerful fundraising tool which allows companies to lower their minimum investment requirements to nearly non-existent. In the past, companies were forced to require that participating investors provide a certain level of funding to participate in their campaigns.

This situation led to the dismissal of interested parties that were unable to meet the minimum requirements. In other words, companies were unable to accept capital from millions of investors because the cost of processing the investor’s information and was too expensive.

Blockchain technology eliminates this problem by automating the majority of the process. Security tokens take the concept further and remove the regulatory workload through the use of smart contracts.

Enhancing Asset Liquidity

Security tokens provide investors with more liquidity. In its current state, there are thousands of investors locked into long-term investments in which they must wait until the maturity date to access their funds. Since many of these are long-term investments, it can leave these individuals without access to their money for years.

Security tokens can eliminate these concerns. Once a fund is tokenized, an investor can buy and sell fund shares as they see fit. This produces a more effective flow of assets and enables the development of secondary trading platforms to handle new market opportunities.

Issuance Costs

Hosting an STO is far cheaper than hosting an IPO. Companies can see upwards of 7% of their raised capital go towards issuance and transaction cost in a traditional IPO. The reasons for these high costs are simple. IPOs require the involvement of numerous third-party verification systems. Each adds a fee to the total cost of the transaction.

STOs reduce the cost of crowdfunding significantly when compared to IPOs. Blockchain technology allows companies to automate the most costly parts of their transactions. Additionally, smart contracts can automatically monitor, track, and distribute investment funds without the need of any third party intervention.

Reduced Fees

Security tokens allow companies to host international fundraising campaigns. Sending any form of fiat currency internationally can be a huge headache. Depending on the amount of funds being invested, you could see over a week in delays. Additionally, there is a risk of losing funds during the monetary conversion.

Currency Conversion Rates via Oanda

Currency Conversion Rates via Oanda

Security token investors eliminate these international costs. These tokens can be sent across the globe for no additional fees. Also, you won’t have to wait days for your blockchain transaction to complete. In most instances, the transaction takes minutes.  Best of all, there is no need to convert your funds.

Improved Market Efficiency

The transparent nature of blockchain technology improves the current market systems significantly. Security tokens provide instant monitoring capabilities. Users can easily track their tokens and investments via a blockchain monitoring application. Investors gain untethered access to their investment’s fundraising progress.

Cons of Security Tokens

No token is without its imperfections, and security tokens are no exception to this rule.  These helpful token are bridging the gap between conventional investments and the blockchain space. That being said, they are not without their limitations.

Investor Accreditation Limitations

One of the biggest drawbacks to security tokens is the inability of non-accredited investors to own them. In the US, this means that more STOs will require you to be an accredited investor as part of their SEC compliance. Unfortunately, you need to earn at least $200,000 per year, or, have at least 1 million dollars in the bank, if you want to be an accredited investor.

More Expensive than Utility Tokens

Unlike ICOs, STOs need to include a host of other organizations in their crowdfunding campaign. Underwriting companies are a perfect example of an added cost that STO participants must foot the bill for. Regulation isn’t cheap and it’s much more expensive to host an STO when compared to an ICO.

Secondary Market Trading Restrictions

Another drawback encountered by security token investors is secondary trading market restrictions. Security tokens can only be transferred via licensed platforms. The platforms must possess a security trading’s license in the country they operate in. Additionally, security tokens feature a time-lock mechanism. You can only trade these tokens between qualified investors for a predetermined amount of time after the STO.

The Pros and Cons of Security Tokens

Now that you have a better understanding of the pros and cons of security tokens, you can make an informed decision on which is the right investment for you. Remember, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all when discussing tokens and what may be the perfect fit for one business, could be a total disaster for the next.

Security tokens are the chain that links conventional markets to the cryptospace. You should expect to see explosive growth in this sector over the coming months as the advantages of blockchain technology continue to become better understood globally.

David Hamilton is a full-time journalist and a long-time bitcoinist. He specializes in writing articles on the blockchain. His articles have been published in multiple bitcoin publications including Bitcoinlightning.com

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