Can Security Tokens Save Crypto From the Bear Market Blues?
"Security tokens will save crypto."
That's what Trevor Koverko, CEO of the crypto project Polymath, told CoinDesk at a blockchain technology festival in Toronto this week. There, tokenized dividends were the week's hot topic, even despite the bear market in August in which bitcoin and ether prices dipped to below $6,000 and $300, respectively. But Koverko was far from alone in his views. Alan Wunsche, CEO of the crypto startup TokenFunder and co-founder of the industry consortium Blockchain Canada, told CoinDesk he believes tokenized assets are the future of capital markets. From Fintech Canada to the Blockchain Futurist Conference, hundreds of people were buzzing about how Canadian regulators are allowing a few heavily regulated startups to sell tokenized securities to retail investors and institutional investors alike, as long as issuers conduct thorough know-your-customer checks and disclose numerous risks. On Thursday, Polymath even announced several startups will launch security tokens through its blockchain marketplace. Further, its partner CORL, an investment startup among the announcement cohort, plans to distribute monthly earnings to investor ethereum wallets directly via smart contracts. TokenFunder took the same approach with its regulator-approved token sale in April. Koverko said tokens are decoupling from "risky" transactional assets like bitcoin, which he believes are currently backed by speculative value and not "anything real" regulators can measure. However, he is hardly the first to suggest token startups and bitcoin projects are diverging, both culturally and legally.