Bitcoin and other novel “tokenized” assets—so called because ownership is documented as a unique digital token on a ledger such as blockchain—recently reached more than $3 trillion in total value. The race is now on to tokenize all types of assets. Embodying ownership, rights and obligations in blockchain-based tokens is in many ways superior to our legacy financial infrastructure.
Tens of billions of dollars of tokenized assets change hands daily on markets that operate seamlessly around the clock. The nascent cryptocurrency market is the tip of the financial-information technology iceberg. Below the water’s surface lie vast, interconnected payment networks and credit and securities markets that exceed hundreds of trillions of dollars in asset value. We all use these markets and depend on them, but they are ripe for functional change.
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