Tokenizing Stocks Is The Next Financial Instrument

Binance is offering a new financial instrument on its digital exchange. They are offering a way to purchase fractions of a company’s shares using a tokenized stock trading service. This will provide stock traded equities in financial markets for investors. Binance will begin with Tesla stock on their exchange. The instrument is called a Binance Stock Token, and this allows users to buy a stock or a fraction of a share and earn dividends as well. The prices will be settled in Binance’s BUSD stablecoin token.

For users who have no access to financial markets, they now have an opportunity to own as little as 1/4 of share in an equity like Tesla (TSLA). There is no more need to purchase several stocks when you can have just a fraction and earn from it. This gives exposure to the non-traditional crypto investors who don’t have to wait for other platforms to offer the service.

S = Shares of A Stock
p = Price of the Stock
b = BUSD

b = S(p)

The user will purchase the stock in BUSD prices (b).

Binance claims that they are not creating synthetic assets to offer as stock. They have an asset that is backed by a depository portfolio of underlying securities, which is also managed by a German investment firm. In order to follow compliance, the service is not available to all jurisdictions and only where the exchange is allowed to offer such a service. Those interested will definitely be required to submit a KYC/AML document for legal purposes.

Two things that I can expect to see:

  1. Increase in BUSD trading as a result of the tokens use for investing in stocks. BUSD prices will not surge because it is pegged 1:1 with the USD.
  2. Open up the stock market to first time investors who have never had exposure to equities. This allows users who were either not allowed to trade because of lack of funds or not have access to stock investments to get their chance.

It is interesting to note if other DeFi products will follow that can interact with the Tesla stock. Binance also has its native Binance Smart Chain(BSC) which uses smart contracts that can lock tokenized stocks in a different protocol and earn from it. Some DeFi protocols may even accept tokenized stocks as collateral, depending on how valuable it is in the market.

This can also further boost Tesla stock prices as it has seen a phenomenal surge. Binance can gain more investors while helping bring Tesla stocks higher. While the trends look good for Tesla, investment always involves risk so users must do their due diligence and research always before investing.

Disclaimer: This is not financial advice. The information provided is for educational and reference purpose only, not for making investments. Do your own research always.

Your Funds Are #SAFU With Me, CZ

Binance is one of the largest cryptocurrency exchanges. There are threats from bad actors, who can affect the operation of digital exchanges that also affects users. When an exchange gets hacked, holders of coins who have left funds on the exchange usually have no way of getting their digital assets back. This is why a form of mitigation to be able to recover funds is becoming important. The Mt. Gox hack wiped out that digital exchange of 850,000 BTC (Bitcoin). To this date there has been no formal settlement with former coin holders.

Binance provides its own security measure to address this problem. It is called the SAFU (Security Asset Fund for Users). It is an emergency insurance fund announced back in July 3, 2018.

According to Binance:

“To protect the future interests of all users, Binance will create a Secure Asset Fund for Users (SAFU). Starting from 2018/07/14, we will allocate 10% of all trading fees received into SAFU to offer protection to our users and their funds in extreme cases. This fund will be stored in a separate cold wallet.”

The story of SAFU goes back to a time Binance CEO Changpeng “CZ” Zhao tweeted “funds are safe”. It became a regular message from CZ to assure exchange users on their status. Later a content creator named “Bizonacci” uploaded a video called “Funds Are Safu” on YouTube. It went viral and the term “Safu” instead of safe has stuck ever since.

This insurance fund collects a percentage of fees from transactions on the exchange. This would be used in the event of a serious breach that compromised the funds stored by the system. It is also stored in secure hard wallets away from online access to hackers. The fund is released in the event of an emergency only, so it continues to accumulate unless otherwise.

These are good measures to provide customers if you are a digital exchange. However, if you are the customer you might consider not storing your coins or tokens on an exchange because of the risk. Since exchanges do not guarantee the safety of your funds, if anything should happen like a software glitch or hack, your funds should they get stolen cannot be fully reimbursed by exchanges. Depending on jurisdiction, you can only pursue a lawsuit if there is any responsibility on the part of the digital exchange to reimburse you based on the policy agreement. Most of the time there is no obligation by the exchange, so storing funds in their custodial wallet is at your own risk.

The best solution is to have your own SAFU to store your funds. That means a hardware wallet that is offline in your own possession. This also gives you control of your own private key, something that digital exchanges don’t provide. Using online wallets (e.g. Exodus, Metamask, MEW, etc.) are also options, but since they are online they are still at risk from being attacked. Whichever wallet a user chooses, what is important is to keep the private key and seed phrase secure.

The Different Types Of Cryptocurrency Assets

Not all cryptocurrency are the same. They have different purposes, from utility tokens that provide a service to tokens that transfer value. Tokenizing a certain industry (e.g. cannabis, music, entertainment) is also possible using digital transformations with the use of a cryptocurrency with a blockchain or distributed ledger. Although they were based on the foundations of decentralization, some are more decentralized than others. It is because of the problems of scalability. In order to become more scalable, many assets have become more centralized in order to handle more transaction volumes.

Platform Cryptographic Assets

Ethereum, NEO and EOS are examples of application development platforms. Developers can use these platforms like an operating system to build applications called DApps (Distributed Applications). They are based on the concept of gas as unit of cost for computation. The logic is encapsulated in smart contracts, which contain conditions for executing code that can perform transactions. Gas costs, measured in units called gwei, are smaller denominations of the main token like ether that are spent on processing the transaction (much like a transaction fee). Many proponents do not classify these assets as securities, but a platform token needed for operations on the network.

Payment Cryptographic Assets

Bitcoin is the classic example of a P2P digital currency or payment cryptographic asset. This asset class is used as a medium of exchange for payments on goods and services. The use of these asset tokens provide a fast and efficient way to transfer value for cross-border payments and direct payment transfers without requiring a third party like banks. This circumvents jurisdiction regulations, so there are plenty of legal implications regarding these assets. There are many of them based on the original Bitcoin architecture. Although Bitcoin’s token BTC was meant for payments, it is fast becoming a store of value.

Side Chains

These complement the main network of a blockchain. This enables BTC and other payment assets and other ledger assets to be transferred between multiple blockchains. These implement an off-chain solution and are primarily used for the purpose of scaling the network. It removes the burdens of transaction processing from the main network. However, settlements are still made on the main network to record the state of the transaction. Side chains merely facilitate the transfer of value while the main network records it. The Lightning Network is an example of this.

Application Token

There are many ways cryptocurrency can be applied to real world business and financial solutions. It has also found its way to certain industries with interesting applications. Stablecoins are an example with the Tether project. This allows pegging fiat to a cryptocurrency asset for the purpose of trading in a volatile market. These allows traders to store the value of their fiat currency without losing from the speculative cryptocurrency market. Golem and Veritaseum are other examples of how tokens can be used for computing distribution and capital market connections. It is related to protocols, because applications run mostly on top of a protocol built for a platform.

Protocol Token

Protocols refers to rules of a particular ecosystem. It can be in the finance or energy market. These tokens were designed with incentivization as a purpose. This allows more value to enter blockchain based cryptocurrency. Protocols provide a supporting layer for applications built to run on platforms. They are mutually beneficial to each other. For example the Ethereum protocol can be used to support smart contract development running DApps. In order to run the DApp it will use a protocol token like ether. The DApp itself can generate its own value using an application token as an incentive.