Despite a growing mainstream interest in the use of crypto assets and blockchains as a way to replicate and represent securities, some of the use case's earliest innovators say sky-high expectations may not be in line with reality.
For example, during a panel discussion at the ethereum conference ETHDenver this weekend, Tal Elyashiv – co-founder and managing partner of blockchain venture capital firm SPiCE VC, one of the first to release a crypto security under existing U.S. securities laws as a way to offer immediate liquidity for its venture fund – said the concept still remains very much "in its infancy."
Elyashiv remarked that when it comes to tokenized securities, the infrastructure in place to see it reach its full potential has not yet fully developed.
"We're going to start to see major pieces of the business infrastructure coming within the next few years ... We'll start to see institutional investors coming in this year," said Elyashiv.
Joined by COO of security token advisory firm Satis Group Shala Burroughs, director digital asset services of crowd equity platform Republic Frederick Allen and CPO of security tokens trading platform OpenFinance Thomas McInerney, Elyashiv was not alone in asserting a more cautious projection.
"When you talk about a security token, it's a token representing a security. It's not just a name. It means not just what the token is but how the whole process is managed ... throughout its lifetime," added Elyashiv.
Regulatory uncertainty regarding how such tokens could be issued at scale, Elyashiv says, will likely persist for "give or take a year" as government officials at the U.S. Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) come to a clear distinction between security tokens and other forms of crypto assets that, like bitcoin, function as commodities.
Until then, Burroughs cautioned investors greet with caution any exaggerated statements on the present maturity of the security tokens industry.
ETHDenver panel image taken by Christine Kim
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.
Learn more about Consensus 2023, CoinDesk’s longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to consensus.coindesk.com to register and buy your pass now.