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Tokenization. Unlocking value and legal challenges


The term "token" has become ubiquitous within the crypto-asset sphere. Tokenization represents a transformative approach, fostering rapid shifts within the cryptocurrency field. Companies across various sectors, including Web3, Blockchain, SaaS and tech startups, are actively analyzing tokenization processes with the aim of achieving greater transparency and efficiency, ultimately seeking a path towards a more innovative future.


However, to manage this dynamic environment requires understanding of the legal complexities. Regulation of tokenization processes is intricately connected with jurisdictional issues, legal procedures and the development of robust compliance strategies. Establishing a clear framework is paramount, with the ultimate goal being the mitigation of risk and the fostering of a transparent environment.


  • Tokenization defined

We dive into the core concept of tokenization, exploring its role in enhancing security and privacy within the crypto realm. Tokenization essentially involves the creation of digital tokens that represent real-world assets such as property, intellectual property, or securities. Each token acts as a unique identifier for a fractional ownership stake within the underlying asset. 

This process unlocks a multitude of new opportunities beyond traditional investment and liquidity structures, offering enhanced transparency and streamlined unit management. The secure storage of these tokens on blockchain technology further minimizes the risk of fraud or tampering, a critical factor within the investment arena.


  • Regulatory shifts

The tokenization market is constantly evolving, adapting to new practices and market forces. The legal landscape surrounding tokenization, however, is still under development. This article explores the current regulatory frameworks in place within three key jurisdictions - namely UK, EU and the USA.


United Kingdom

The UK has taken a proactive approach, establishing a regulatory framework specifically designed for tokenization and crypto-asset technologies. The core focus of this framework is to strike a balance between fostering innovation and maintaining financial stability. 

The UK government has initiated various measures to achieve this balance, including calls for evidence to better understand the associated risks and opportunities, and the issuance of discussion papers exploring the potential benefits of tokenized units for authorized funds. Additionally, the UK Jurisdiction Taskforce has provided legal clarity by acknowledging crypto-assets and tokens as property under English law.


European Union

The European Union is actively working towards harmonizing the legal framework surrounding crypto-assets, aiming to establish a user-friendly regulatory space. The Markets in Crypto-Assets Regulation (MiCA) plays a central role in this endeavor, overseeing various aspects of the crypto-asset ecosystem, including token types, crypto custody, trading platforms, and token offerings. 

MiCA mandates the creation of detailed white papers for crypto-assets, ensuring investor protection and transparency. Additionally, the EU's DLT Pilot Regime allows market infrastructures to apply for authorization to trade and settle tokenized financial instruments on distributed ledger technology platforms.


The USA

The USA's existing regulatory framework for tokenization primarily focuses on secondary trading of listed securities, with an emphasis on demonstrating possession and control of customer assets. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has implemented a regulatory sandbox program to facilitate the trading of digital asset securities on DLT platforms. However, this program is currently limited in scope, and further guidance or regulatory updates are likely to be issued as security token offerings and trading gain traction.


Tokenization represents a transformative approach within the crypto-asset landscape, offering increased transparency, enhanced liquidity, and improved security. As jurisdictions continue to develop comprehensive regulatory frameworks, businesses must prioritize legal adherence to ensure success within the up-to-date tokenized economy.


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