Asset Tokenisation: What It Is and How It Works

Discover the ins and outs of asset tokenisation, plus learn about the benefits of blockchain technology as the future for the digitisation of assets.

Jul 18, 2023

Key Takeaways:

  • Asset tokenisation is the process of representing ownership rights of physical or digital assets into digital tokens on a blockchain.
  • There are numerous benefits to asset tokenisation for asset owners and traders, including increased liquidity and efficiency.
  • Tokenised assets can be divided into two main categories: fungible and non-fungible tokens.
  • Tokenisation has possible applications in various industries, including real estate, art, and financial assets like cryptocurrencies and tokens.

Introduction to Asset Tokenisation

In recent years, blockchain technology has emerged as a powerful force in the world of finance, providing new opportunities to revolutionise how assets are issued, managed, and transacted. Asset tokenisation, the process of representing ownership rights of physical or digital assets into digital tokens on a blockchain, is one such opportunity that has the potential to transform the financial landscape.

How Does Asset Tokenisation Work?

Asset tokenisation involves the recording of an asset’s ownership rights into digital tokens on a blockchain. This can include physical assets like real estate, art, or commodities, as well as digital assets like intellectual property or company shares. By creating digital tokens that represent ownership rights, asset tokenisation may allow for the democratisation of trading and creation of fairer markets.

The process of tokenisation includes several steps:

  • Asset Selection: The first step in tokenising an asset is selecting the asset to be tokenised. This can include physical assets like real estate, art, or commodities, as well as intellectual property or company shares.
  • Verification and Valuation: The asset must be verified and valued to determine the number of tokens to be created and the price per token.
  • Token Creation: Created on a blockchain platform, digital tokens represent ownership rights to the asset (usually in conjunction with a set of express terms). Each token represents a fraction of the asset’s value.
  • Token Distribution: The tokens are distributed to market participants or traders, who can then trade the tokens on various exchanges or platforms.
  • Token Management: The asset’s ownership and transactions are recorded on the blockchain, ensuring transparency, security, and immutability.

Benefits of Asset Tokenisation

There are numerous benefits to asset tokenisation for both asset owners and traders. Some of the key advantages include:

Increased Liquidity

Asset tokenisation could significantly increase the liquidity of assets, as it enables fractional trading. By enabling the trading of smaller fractions of ownership, tokenisation can circumvent the need for selling an entire asset, which can be particularly beneficial for illiquid assets like real estate or fine art.

Improved Efficiency

Tokenisation streamlines the trading process by removing intermediaries and automating many aspects of the transaction process through smart contracts. This can lead to reduced management costs and increased efficiency for asset owners and traders.

Enhanced Transparency

Blockchain technology’s immutable nature ensures a transparent and secure record of asset ownership and transactions. This can make information more readily accessible, allowing traders to make more informed decisions and reducing the risk of fraud.

Greater Accessibility

Asset tokenisation opens up the world of trading to a wider audience, as it enables individuals and institutions to trade fractional ownership in a variety of assets. This can lead to a more inclusive and diverse trading ecosystem.

Types of Tokenised Assets

Tokenised assets can be divided into two main categories: fungible and non-fungible tokens (NFTs).

Fungible Tokens

Fungible tokens represent assets that are interchangeable and divisible. Examples of fungible tokens include cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ether (ETH), where each unit has the same market value and can be exchanged for another unit of the same value.

Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) represent unique assets that are not interchangeable or divisible. Each NFT has its own unique attributes and value, making them distinct from one another. Examples of NFTs include digital art, collectibles, and virtual goods.

Real-World Applications of Asset Tokenisation

Tokenisation has possible applications in various industries, including:

  • Real Estate: Tokenisation can transform the real estate market, allowing for fractional ownership and trading of properties. This could increase liquidity and enable more inclusivity for market participants.
  • Art and Collectibles: Tokenisation enables the trading of fractional ownership in valuable art pieces and collectibles as NFTs, opening up the market to a broader audience and increasing liquidity. 
  • Financial Assets: Tokenisation can be applied to financial assets like stocks, bonds, and commodities, democratising access to these markets and enabling more efficient and transparent trading. We see the main application of this so far in cryptocurrencies and tokens.
  • Intellectual Property: Tokenisation can represent ownership rights in intellectual property, such as patents, trademarks, or copyrights, enabling the trading of these rights on blockchain platforms.

Challenges in Asset Tokenisation

Despite its potential benefits, asset tokenisation also faces challenges, including:

  • Legal and Regulatory Challenges: Tokenisation involves navigating a complex legal and regulatory landscape, with different jurisdictions having varying rules and regulations governing the creation and trading of digital assets and underlying assets.
  • Security Risks: Blockchain technology can be vulnerable to cyberattacks and data breaches, potentially putting the security of tokenised assets at risk.
  • Lack of Standardisation: The absence of a code of conduct and common standards for the creation and regulation of tokenised assets may lead to potential undesired practices and market fragmentation.

The Future of Asset Tokenisation

As blockchain technology continues to evolve and mature, the potential for asset tokenisation to transform the financial landscape grows ever stronger. By democratising access to markets, increasing liquidity, and ensuring fairness and security, tokenisation has the potential to revolutionise asset management and trading.

However, overcoming the legal, regulatory, and security challenges currently facing the tokenisation industry will be crucial to its long-term success. As the market continues to develop, new solutions will likely emerge to address these challenges, paving the way for a more inclusive and efficient financial ecosystem powered by blockchain technology.

In conclusion, asset tokenisation represents a significant opportunity to revolutionise how assets are managed and traded. By enabling the digitisation of assets, tokenisation could bring numerous benefits to both asset owners and traders, ultimately transforming the financial landscape and creating a more inclusive and diverse trading ecosystem.

Explore the world of tokenisation. Trade cryptocurrencies and tokens in the App, or check out the latest NFT collections on the NFT Marketplace.

Due Diligence and Do Your Own Research

All examples listed in this article are for informational purposes only. You should not construe any such information or other material as legal, tax, investment, financial, cybersecurity, or other advice. Nothing contained herein shall constitute a solicitation, recommendation, endorsement, or offer by to invest, buy, or sell any coins, tokens, or other crypto assets. Returns on the buying and selling of crypto assets may be subject to tax, including capital gains tax, in your jurisdiction. 

Past performance is not a guarantee or predictor of future performance. The value of crypto assets can increase or decrease, and you could lose all or a substantial amount of your purchase price. When assessing a crypto asset, it’s essential for you to do your research and due diligence to make the best possible judgement, as any purchases shall be your sole responsibility.

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