Landscape of On‑Chain Asset Tokenization and Blockchain Technology’s Path Toward Maturity

Although blockchain technology has long held a certain allure for fund managers as a way to optimize their compliance practices and modernize their operations, that potential has not been actualized on any grand scale. The technology has improved and advanced with time, however, increasing the likelihood that it will eventually prove to be viable for the private funds industry. Specifically, on-chain tokenization has the potential to connect private funds with untapped sources of capital once the technology and network of providers mature, as well as when there is more regulatory certainty. Those issues were addressed in a recent paper by Boston Consulting Group and ADDX (Paper). The Paper examines current crypto market conditions and developments; the application of blockchain technology to illiquid assets; how on-chain tokenization compares with traditional fractionalization; challenges to the growth of on-chain asset tokenization; and how key stakeholders – including regulators – can assist with progress and growth. This article summarizes the key insights and takeaways from the Paper that are relevant to PE funds. For more on tokenization on the blockchain, see our two-part series: “Unique Challenges and Benefits of the Technology and Its Use in PE Funds” (Mar. 30, 2021); and “Applicability to Real Estate and Private Debt, and the Technology’s Future Outlook” (Apr. 6, 2021).

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