Earlier this year I attended the “Security Tokens Realised” conference in an attempt to have a true litmus test regarding the question, “Are security tokens really something to watch, or are they just ICOs with a new coat of paint?”
This is what I found:
Yes, security tokens are worth watching, but not for the reasons I was expecting.
I anticipated that the event would be attended by washed up ICO teams who have pivoted to an STO in order to bootstrap their failing project. I also anticipated that there would be nothing but bankers and lawyers who were there to scheme deals and how they can control STOs in their favor.
Instead, what I found was palpable excitement.
Looking around the room, the shining eyes of those in attendance told me everything I needed to know: those in this industry have a catalyst for maturity and adoption.
No, STOs are not going to save cryptocurrency. They aren’t cryptocurrency, after all.
But, what they are going to do is shake things up. The institutions in the room weren’t scheming against it, they were embracing it. They see it as a necessary step in the right direction.
Those who represented funds and exchanges knew exactly the implications of a more compliant and more efficient system. They commented about how this is what regulators are looking for out of this space, and for a system that will help them compete with the world.
After all, what is the basis of disruption?
Faster. Cheaper. More Secure.
But disruption wasn’t the word being thrown around. It was evolution.
Security tokens represent an evolution in how we fundraise and build business. They don’t replace the current process, but instead build on it in meaningful ways.
That was my take-away this week: With the ICO market in the rear-view mirror, people are ready for a better model, and that’s what security tokens really do represent. The collective voice of this conference confirmed my suspicions 100% about why this new space represents. It is small and years away from a true realization of its goals, but it feels inevitable.
The level of discussions never revolved around price but instead focused on the wealth of system that was inherently more focused on the company raising capital and the investor entrusting them with it. Combine that with the cost and time savings, better compliance with global regulations, and fractionalized ownership it really seems as though there is much to admire.
But, expectations need to be in place.
This will take years and lots of hard work to get it to a place that it can truly replace the current system. Even with all its flaws, the mostly analog system we use today will remain in place until we can definitively prove that security tokens are the better choice.
But, that day will come.
As for right now, and what to expect, I like how Anthony Pompliano spelled it out:
“Venture capital, hedge funds and real estate represent a majority of the initial security tokens coming to market today. As we continue to add more and more tokenized securities throughout the coming year however, we can expect to see a broadening of the asset class varieties offered to the investing public.”