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Blockcast.cc: Today we have Heslin Kim from Tokeny. Hi Heslin, please start by giving us an introduction of yourself.
Heslin: Thanks Jenny. Blockchain has been lingering in the shadows around my life over the last decade. I was made aware of Bitcoin in early 2012 as several of my friends were proponents at the time. I remember asking them at one point, “Where can I buy a Bitcoin? Do they sell them on eBay or online?” The idea was still beyond me at that time and the concept did not seem to me to be one that would gain traction. Whoops. I would have easily passed up on the idea of Twitter as well, but look where we are today.
Having started within the blockchain sector in early 2017 I was able to see the rise and fall of the cryptocurrency scene. Overall, this industry still compels me to dive deeper into the work I am doing. I love that it is 24/7 and global. I love the opportunities I have been given to travel and speak while building the companies I am working for. In line with what I have enjoyed so much to date, Tokeny and I have recently joined forces, and I could not be more excited to support and grow a company with such a strong vision and legacy.
Blockcast.cc: Can you tell us more about Tokeny?
Heslin: Tokeny Solutions was incorporated in late 2017 with the vision of tokenizing securities. At this time the market was not developed enough and there was a great opportunity to develop the perfect MVP and satisfy the demand for ICOs. The issuance and investor workflows were simple and there was a strong market demand. We created compliant solutions for ICOs and when the market matured we refocused on STOs.
Today we have the full end to end solutions for businesses wanting to raise capital via blockchain technology. We deliver the technology to enable companies to benefit from the technology such as improved efficiency, transparency, and a much improved method for raising capital. To date have worked with over 30 companies, spanning across utility, real estate, funds and equity.
Last July we announced fundraising with Euronext, which is the leading stock exchange in the Eurozone. The promise of digital securities is to provide liquidity where it’s lacking or non existent, but so far the market hasn’t seen this come to fruition. In the digital security industry, the secondary markets are not fully developed yet and don’t have the transfer volumes to provide this liquidity. This is why Euronext is the perfect partner, and we are working with them to build a decentralized market place and bring a much needed solution to the market.
Blockcast.cc: What is your current view of the blockchain technology.
Heslin: I think it is important to note that while Bitcoin brought blockchain to the mainstream the concept of DLT applies across many variants of the technology. I have spoken about this many times, but I feel there is a stark contrast between the cryptocurrency industry and the security token/digital securities space. Both utilize blockchain technology, however the overall narrative, players involved, and end goal fall very differently.
STOs are providing a host of these benefits to legacy systems enabling the ability to create trustless systems thanks to DLTs. For instance, David Solomon, CEO of Goldman Sachs, said Goldman is exploring the potential of tokenization and stablecoins as part of its efforts to modernize the traditional payment systems. This is a tremendous shift from the blanket statements of Jamie Dimon in 2017, which again harks back to my point about the differences between cryptocurrency and blockchain/DLT.
Tokenizing securities was inevitable. There are benefits that exist now, and there are benefits that are highly speculative promises. The most immediate benefit of tokenizing securities is with compliance and transparency. The question about cost reduction should be addressed directly as well. Cost reduction does not occur dramatically for the issuer as legal fees for PPMs, tax advisory, KYC/AML checks, brokerage fees are all largely in line with traditional systems. Cost reduction of STOs comes in from programmable corporate actions, the immediacy of transfers, and the opportunity cost of being able to rely on smart contracts to enforce governance and automated compliance.
STOs are certainly already a trend within blockchain, and are slowly gaining more momentum and credibility. We have seen a shift from STOs focused largely on crowdfunding for start-ups to global corporations looking to utilize this type of offering. It was always clear to me that the leaders in the space would be the ones who would be able to integrate with traditional capital markets. When I learned about Nivaura’s work with the London Stock Exchange and Tokeny’s partnership with Euronext it became obvious that which players would be moving forward into the next stages of this emerging industry. We have been able to watch two waves collide over the last few years with blockchain becoming accepted across all top financial institutions.
Blockcast.cc: Thanks for sharing. Can you share with our users an inspiring quote?
Heslin: Most happy to do that.
“Security tokens put the centralization in decentralization.”