Cryptocurrencies and crowdfunding: The road from the Statue of Liberty to tokenisation

By Sebastien Flak (Director, Crypto Solutions) and Olivier Hezelot (Executive, Real Estate), Geneva Management Group

Crowdfunding, also known as “community and participating funding”, dates back to the 1700s. But it wasn’t until 1875 that it bore fruit for a landmark project which is world famous to this day. It was thanks to fundraising/crowdfunding, mainly carried out by the French citizenry, that New York’s most famous icon,  the Statue of the Liberty*, ever saw the light of day.

advertisementToken Agency

Fast-forward to over a century later and the internet has truly democratised crowdfunding.  Everyone, from startups to creatives and charitable projects, can use crowdfunding to turn their projects from dreams into reality (provided they get enough buy-in, of course).

Exciting as the online crowdfunding revolution has been, the introduction of blockchain technology and cryptocurrency has the potential to fundamentally change the way investment works.

In the era of digitisation and the emergence of blockchain technology, the tokenisation of assets has gained substantially more steam. Tokenisation refers to the process of incorporating rights related to an underlying asset into a digital token on the blockchain ledger. It is therefore quite easy to register a title deed on the ledger, thus ensuring its traceability, immutable form and ability to be audited.

In the case of an investment vehicle aimed at raising funds, the use of blockchain and the issuance of digital investment tokens offers additional advantages, such as lower costs (compared to an IPO), an automated process (via the use of smart contracts), and traceability. Investors also benefit from the new business model: disintermediation, transparency, lower entry costs and access to a local, national or international investment portfolio.

For many of us, a real estate investment remains safe, sustainable, and tangible. However, with a direct investment requiring a significant capital outlay and/or investment via a real estate fund requiring some knowledge of the financial markets, the barriers to entry can be unfeasibly high. Moreover, in countries where an absence of reliable land registers limits investment, access to property encourages fraudulent practices.

Switzerland, with its legal framework and FINMA’s position on the issuing of digital tokens, has positioned itself at the vanguard of this new tech. Any country that follows its lead is likely to benefit as startups such as TokenEstate (real estate tokenisation), Tend (asset tokenisation), and Mt Pelerin (tokenisation of shares) illustrate how just how many asset classes blockchain can unlock.

It’s easy, for example, to imagine the advantages of tokenisation on the world of real-estate. However, this would mean that the land registry adopts and recognises blockchain registration as valid and legal within an enforced legal framework. Certain countries such as England, Switzerland, Sweden or Brazil ** are already studying the feasibility of such projects and the use of blockchain may well replace the cadastre and other land registries.

As is the case with all forms of innovation, these kinds of blockchain solutions won’t be implemented uniformly. There may even be attempts to halt their progress by state and private actors alike. Those who embrace blockchain, however, will ultimately win out. We’ve come a long way from raising funds for the Statue of Liberty and there’s no turning back.

  • Cryptocurrencies and crowdfunding: The road from the Statue of Liberty to tokenisation – March 13, 2019
  • An Overview of the Best Bitcoin Exchange Apps – March 7, 2019
  • How to not get Hacked Using Cryptocurrencies – February 20, 2019
  • Ethereum Constantinople Hard Fork – What is it and How Might it Affect Prices? – January 15, 2019
  • Weekly cryptocurrency analysis from David Thomas, Director and Co-Founder of GlobalBlock – January 10, 2019
  • Bitcoin and Crypto’s Year Ahead – What does 2019 Have in Store? – December 21, 2018
  • This weeks Cryptocurrency analysis from David Thomas, Director and Co-Founder of GlobalBlock – December 17, 2018
  • Cryptocurrency Update from GlobalBlock – December 10, 2018
  • To the blockchain and beyond: are security tokens the third wave in Fintech? – December 4, 2018
  • Creating a Safer Working Environment For Freelancers With Blockchain – November 26, 2018
  • Guest Post: How To Open Bank Account for Crypto Business – a Detailed Survey – October 24, 2018
  • Blockchain in Africa: The next frontier – September 20, 2018
  • UK’s Fastest Growing Online Pharmacy, UK Meds, to Implement Blockchain Technology with Stratis – September 5, 2018
  • Will Blockchain Revive the Banner Ad? – August 28, 2018
  • Blockchain Meets REIT – A New Era in Real Estate Investing – August 27, 2018
  • How GXS Built the Blockcity: Own and Secure Data with 1.8 million Others – July 20, 2018
  • HER Private Placement, Unlocked for the First Time – July 20, 2018
  • Freelance Writer – July 16, 2018
  • Artificial Intelligence System Writes and Directs Sci-Fi Film Starring Thomas Middleditch – July 13, 2018
  • An Interview with Ameer Rosic, co-founder of Blockgeeks: “The Whole Point of Blockchain is to Democratize” – July 13, 2018

View All Articles

Molly Jane is a Russian Literature major from California with a background in writing. She joins CurrencyTimes after working as a freelance journalist and blogger.

Latest articles

Bitwage Launches World First Bitcoin 401k for Limited Set of Users

Bitwage, a platform that creates “solutions for remote workers and firms looking for work and to optimally receive their wages,” has just put...

Polkadot Goes Live After Three Years of Development

Polkadot, an interoperability project, has launched a nearly-complete version of its blockchain after three years of development. Key Takeaways Polkadot's first "chain candidate" went live...

China’s Tencent Plans $70B Investment in Emerging Tech Including Blockchain

China’s Tencent is reportedly planning to invest about $70 billion in emerging technologies like the blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) as part of...

Reddit Co-Founder Highlights Crypto Development Success

Alexis Ohanian Sr., the co-founder of online message and forum platform Reddit, has emphasized the growth of exploration and development in the crypto...

Related articles