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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prometheum Acquires InteliClear Post Trading Systems
The popular security token exchange Prometheum announced the acquisition of the InteliClear clearing system this month. The addition places Prometheum as the front runner to be the first SEC-registered all-inclusive Alternate Trading System (ATS). The news showcases the growing competition in the sector and symbolizes a shift in strategies amongst the top exchanges.
An Industry First
Currently, no ATS has the ability to clear transactions in house. Traditionally, exchanges utilize a third-party clearinghouse to complete trades per the Security Exchange Act (SEA). This process adds time and additional fees to the transaction. Prometheum seeks to speed up the entire process via the InteliClear integration. Now clients can settle transactions in hours versus days.
Discussing the maneuver, Prometheum CEO, Aaron Kaplan called the acquisition a “milestone” for the security token industry. He spoke on why InteliClear’s system is an excellent addition to the company’s portfolio. Finally, he discussed the importance of Prometheum becoming the first end-to-end security token trading solution.
The Prometheum exchange entered the market with the goal to provide users with a complete ecosystem for tokenized securities. The New York-based firm was one of the first SEC approved tokenized securities platforms available to the public. The company originally filed with the SEC back in November 2017.
Today, the platform hosts some of the most notable security tokens ever launched including Lottery. The Lottery STO made headlines after providing investors an opportunity to participate in revenue derived from the company’s gaming platform for charitable fundraising.
Investors now gain access to more value after the InteliClear acquisition. InteliClear provides businesses with a host of helpful pre and post-trade services. The company uses a custom-built transaction engine that enables importation of trades and transactions from multiple sources. These turnkey and custom solutions enable businesses to fulfill their STO ambitions with the least amount of funding necessary.
The InteliClear system supports tokenized equities, options, fixed incomes, mutual funds, money/market products, and of course, tokenized assets. The global network is able to utilize a host of national currencies and can handle real-time, high volume, operations. The platform automatically calculates trade compression, fees, commissions, and billing to simplify the entire process for businesses.
Security Token Sector Gets More Competitive
The security token arena continues to see more competition develop. The recent SEC approval of numerous A+ filings enables platforms such as Prometheum to take its platform to the next level. Today, the number of security token exchanges in operation continues to expand at an impressive rate. Already, the SEC approved Blockstack, the Props Project, and YouNow’s STO platforms this year. After taking over a year to approve some of these projects, the news is welcomed by the cryptocommunity.
Prometheum Leads the Race
Prometheum now has the tools and capabilities to take a strong lead in the developing security token sector. You can expect to hear more from this exchange as it continues on its STO launch course. For now, Prometheum is the only security token exchange to provide such robust functionality in the market.
KoreConX Expands on Services Through POSConnect
It was recently announced that KoreConX has established a new alliance with payment solution specialist and tech provider, POSConnect.
This move will also see POSConnect join the KorePartners – a grouping/ecosystem of companies, brought together to provide a comprehensive suite of services to clients.
The alliance was undertaken with the goal of continuing development and functionality of the KoreConX capital markets platform. By integrating services provided by POSConnect, KoreConX will not only gain the ability to offer a secure payment solution, but build out their platform, aimed towards helping broker/dealers, and the management of security tokens.
Broker/dealers continue to play a pivotal role in the digital securities sector. Recognizing this, we recently took a brief look at the various designations doled out to industry participants, and the services they offer.
Oscar Jofre, CEO of KoreConX, stated,
“Our goal with building the KoreConX Capital Markets solution is to provide the much-needed infrastructure for the private company capital markets. We wanted to remove friction and fragmentation by bringing the tools necessary to one secure, user-friendly platform…We are thrilled to be working with a company such as POSConnect that not only provides the best technology but also follows the same governance standard that we do.”
Will Gravlev, President of POSConnect, stated,
“It is important for us to partner with companies that focus on offering the best solutions, and we believe that KoreConX is one of those. Their easy-to-use platform was created with the end-user always in mind, and the same goes for the solutions we offer.”
Founded in 2016, KoreConX maintains operations in New York. The company operates with the goal of providing a comprehensive grouping of services, aimed towards managing the core areas of a business. Through various established partnerships, along with the use of technologies such as blockchain, KoreConX is able to address a variety of needs, ranging from portfolio management, to cap-table management, and even investor relations.
CEO, Oscar Jofre, currently oversees company operations.
Acting as payment processing specialists, POSConnect is an established company, which maintains headquarters in Toronto, Canada.
POSConnect describes their core technology as a cloud-driven EMV/NFC payment solution, which was built with the intent of bringing new levels of efficiency to raising capital.
In Other News
KoreConX has been quite active over the past year, with their efforts resulting in multiple companies utilizing their services. Over the past few months, a variety of companies have decided to host a DSO through KoreConX. The following articles take a brief look at these announcements, and what to expect moving forward.
Warner Music Invests in CryptoKitties Creator, Dapper Labs
From Streaming to Blockchain
Warner Music Group has recently announced that they have invested in Dapper Labs. This investment, which came in to the tune of $11.5 million USD, was completed as Warner Music eyes new markets surrounding digital collectibles and non-fungible tokens.
In a digital world, where content pirating is commonplace, blockchain affords the ability to infuse digital content with pre-determined and ensured scarcity. As collectible markets are often driven by rarity, Warner Music believes that this move has potential to open new, lucrative doors.
CryptoKitties by Dapper Labs
If the name Dapper Labs sounds familiar, this is most likely due to the fact that they are the creators of CryptoKitties.
This blockchain based game became wildly popular in late 2017, as users worked to collect unique digital collectible kittens. Beyond its simple popularity, the game gained notoriety due to the fact that it, basically, stalled the Ethereum Network upon launch.
While the Ethereum network has grown stronger and more efficient in the time since, a simple game provided a stark reminder at the time that the blockchain industry was, and is, young and unproven.
Going with the Flow
The money being invested is intended to be used by Dapper Labs to create a new blockchain known as ‘FLOW’. This blockchain will be purpose built to handle applications such as CryptoKitties, and digital collectables.
Investors in Dapper Labs, which now includes Warner Music, will be receiving traditional securities representing company stock. What is unique about the move, however, is the future ability to convert these securities to tokens, which can be used on the platform yet-to-be developed.
The way the deal is structured, for this to occur, the SEC will need to provide their approval. Time will tell if the SEC shares the views of Dapper, and agrees on whether the tokens represent utility tokens, or security tokens.
To date, while the SEC has cracked down on many past ICOs which sold tokens viewed as securities, they have recently shown a willingness to work with companies being forthright with their intentions. This was made evident, most recently, as BlockStack completed their own token generation event. This particular event saw the SEC approve the sale of tokens, which were described by BlockStack as utilities.
In making their announcement, Jeff Bronikowski, VP of Business Development at Warner Music, took the time to discuss, with Forbes, their mindset. The following is what he had to say on the decision:
“When I was in college, you’d walk into someone’s room and you’d see 200 CDs and you would say, ‘That guy’s a big music fan.’ And now you just see somebody with a music subscription service and some playlists…We think that as people spend more time crafting their persona in the digital realm, digital goods and collectibles is a great way to express that fandom.”
Warner Music Group
Warner Music is a New York, New York, based company, which specializes in services surrounding the entertainment industry. From streaming services, to hosting a variety of record labels, Warner Music is all about helping artists, and delivering desired content to consumers.
CEO, Stephen Cooper, currently oversees company operations.
Founded in 2018, Dapper Labs is a Canadian company, which maintains headquarters in Vancouver, British Columbia.
CEO, Roham Gharegozlou, currently oversees company operations.
In Other News
The decision by Warner Music Group to enter blockchain is no surprise. Various subsets of the entertainment industry have dipped their toes into blockchain over the past year. Recently, this was seen through multiple partnerships involving film, and industry participants such as tZERO.