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TWG and The Blockchain Society take Manhattan

Are security tokens the 'killer app' blockchain has been looking for?

OK, so maybe that’s a dramatic headline, but we WERE on Broadway. Specifically, the offices of Withium, an advisory, tax and accounting firm that, like most in the New York fintech scene, is putting substantial investment in to the blockchain space. Organized by The Blockchain Society, a Toronto-based events and conferences group, the one-day, executive-focused event focused specifically on security tokens. Distinct from cryptocurrency (used for storing or exchanging value) or utility tokens (consumable tokens used to access a service), security tokens promise to transform asset ownership, financing and investment by significantly reducing transaction friction and the associated costs of traditional contracts.

After a keynote from Ned Myers, SVP of Product at Security Token firm Alphapoint, TWG’s New York GM Rob Kenedi kicked off the first panel discussion of the day. Joined by Simon Grunfeld, founder of white label crypto exchange platform Ibinex Exchange, and securities lawyer, VC partner at Republic Labs and writer for Forbes Nisa Amoils, Kenedi probed for insights into investing in the security token space. It’s clear that investors and entrepreneurs are taking security tokens seriously, both as an industry to build and invest in as well as a mechanism to open up investment opportunities in previously illiquid assets.

The day’s agenda was stacked with great speakers and panels covering the differences between security tokens and utility tokens and applications for security tokens in real estate, where the advantages of highly-liquid, low-friction transactions of fractional ownership are obvious.

As with many blockchain events in the past six months, there was a broad acceptance that working with regulators and progressive leaders in fintech is the key to building a sustainable business. The hard lessons of ICO mania and it’s ‘move fast and break things’ ethos (and the incompetence and outright fraud that resulted) hasn’t been forgotten by the current wave of smart, ambitions entrepreneurs (and the investors eager to back them).

For the serious professionals who filled the room last week sustainability, not speculation is the new normal. And security tokens, which are typically backed by hard assets, just might prove to be the killer app blockchain has been looking for.

 

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