What are Tokenised Stocks?
What are tokenised stocks?
Tokenised stocks are digital assets tied to the value of a share.
When you buy a tokenised stock, you get a digital asset on the blockchain that represents a share. Instead of the share itself, you receive a token into your cryptocurrency wallet that’s tied to the share’s value.
Tokenised stocks mimic the stock market in many ways. Tokenised stocks can be bundled together much like exchange-traded funds (ETFs), so you can buy tokenised bundles of tech stocks, for example.
There are other crypto assets that work in a similar way, such as stablecoins, which are tokens linked to the price of a fiat currency (like USD, GBP, or EUR). These can be traded in the same way as tokenised stocks.
I. What are the benefits of tokenised stocks?
Tokenised stocks remove the restrictions of regular stock trading.
When you trade regular stocks, you’re dealing with a broker or a middleman that ultimately controls how and when you can trade. Tokenised stocks are completely decentralised, so there are virtually no restrictions and you trade directly with the person on the opposite side of the trade.
Here are some of the immediate benefits of trading tokenised stocks:
- 24/7 trading, you don’t need to stick to regular market opening hours
- Lower transaction fees as there are fewer intermediaries taking a cut
- Greater transparency with all transactions visible on the blockchain
- No regional restrictions on which stocks you can trade
- You can buy fractions of shares, trade as much or as little as you want
As well as these basic benefits, there’s no way your broker can unilaterally stop you from trading. We have seen brokers like Robinhood and Trading212 do this during periods of ‘high volatility’, but when trading tokenised stocks there is no chance of that happening.
II. What are the risks of tokenised stocks?
There is very little regulation of tokenised stocks, you’re on your own.
Many of the things that are beneficial when you buy tokenised stocks also introduce a lot more risk into the bargain. Its decentralised nature means cryptocurrency and the blockchain has much less regulation than any other industry.
It’s worth remembering that when you buy a tokenised stock that’s tied to the value of an asset, you don’t actually own that asset. You won’t get any protection if the company goes bankrupt and you won’t have a vote in the company as you would with a regular share. Usually, your broker will pay out dividends, but that isn’t guaranteed and you should check the terms and conditions before signing up.
The other big risk is a lack of liquidity. As in regular markets, you need a buyer and a seller for every trade. For the top players in the stock market, there is almost always a high volume that means you can sell whenever you want. Tokenised assets can see less liquidity, which might make it hard to find a buyer for your tokens.
III. Where can I buy tokenised stocks?
Tokenised stocks are a new development, but some crypto exchanges already offer them.
Tokenised stocks are very new, so only a handful of exchanges offer them at the moment. The crypto world moves quickly, however, and it’s likely that more and more will start to in the future. It’s a good idea to check with your favourite exchange, or we’ve reviewed some of the best one you can try.
The exchanges BitTrex and FTX led the way into tokenised stocks. They offer tokenised stocks for some of the biggest companies in the world, such as Amazon, Apple, and Tesla.
You can sign up for an account with Bittrex today.
IV. How do I buy tokenised stocks?
You can buy tokenised stocks with USD or leading cryptocurrencies
The rules vary by exchange but you can usually buy tokenised stocks with USD. You can also use Bitcoin or Tether to buy them, and most exchanges make it very easy to deposit a fiat currency and buy cryptocurrency if you need to.
If you want to learn more about cryptocurrency and understand how the blockchain works, we have a number of other courses available that explain everything.