Security tokens are coming to Bitcoin, courtesy of Blockstream.
The Bitcoin and blockchain technology company announced on May 15, 2019, the final day of the Consensus 2019 conference, that Liquid Securities, a platform for issuing and managing security tokens on its Liquid sidechain, is ready to go live. This platform will provide Liquid and its users with its first product to issue digital assets, a foundational milestone for bringing tokenization to the Bitcoin network.
Launched in October 2018, the Liquid sidechain is an auxiliary network built on Bitcoin, primarily to enable low-fee, low-latency transfers between exchanges. Blockstream has always advertised the potential for digital asset issuance on the sidechain, a promise it has now fulfilled in collaboration with Liquid Securities’ inaugural partners TokenSoft, BnkToTheFuture, Zenus Bank and Pixelmatic.
“This is big for Liquid, to move from something that is used by exchanges toward a more advanced financial network,” Allen Piscitello, director of product management at Blockstream, told Bitcoin Magazine.
Piscitello went on to say that one of the benefits of Liquid Securities includes having an asset that is both verifiable and auditable but also private. When issuing a token on Liquid, a company can keep specific details (like supply, allocation, etc.) private while allowing a trusted third party to audit operations. This means that enterprises don’t have to trade off privacy for transparency to stay compliant with regulations, all while leveraging “one of the most secure blockchain networks in the world,” according to Piscitello.
“We’ve been speaking to financial institutions for the past year and one thing that was very common in the requests they give is that they’re looking for being able to move assets privately, they’re looking for a scalable solution as well,” Mason Borda, CEO of Token Soft, told Bitcoin Magazine. “They’re all familiar with the Liquid name.”
The platform comes with a variety of issuer controls for tailoring a token to each user’s specific use case. They can, for instance, choose to manage tokens through Liquid Securities’ API or outsource this job to one of Liquid’s partners if it’s too onerous.
There are also internal controls for managing token issuance based on criteria like regulations and geographic restrictions, among others. Piscitello believes this will help to tame the “wild west of ICOs” which frequently confront “geographic or regulatory restrictions” during token sales. It will also make it easier for companies to issue tokens because they don’t need to roll out their own smart contracts, he said.
Offering an alternative to the free-for-all model of the ICO boom, Liquid’s tokenization platform could be an attractive option to regulated players, Mushegh Tovmasyan, founder of Zenus Bank, told Bitcoin Magazine.
“Being a very regulated entity, we’ve been searching for a compliant solution for our clients and shareholders,” he said.
Companies interested in the platform can apply for early access here.