Tokenized stocks have had a shaky few months from a regulatory perspective, but that seemingly hasn’t stopped legacy financial giants and decentralized finance (DeFi) advocates from inking new deals.
DeFiChain offers trading in tokenized stocks that correspond to the underlying price of major listed firms like Tesla, Amazon and Apple. The tokenized stocks, similar to a now-retracted offering rolled out by Binance earlier this year, can be purchased in fractions without requiring investors to purchase a full, traditional share, for which custody of a physical share certificate is required.
The tokenized stocks are collateralized by cryptocurrencies, removing the need for an intermediary, and can also be purchased in the form of decentralized loans. Available to trade 24/7, the purchase of a tokenized stock does not confer ownership of the underlying asset to its holder but rather allows them to potentially profit from the asset’s price movements.
The decentralized stock trading system offered by DeFiChain makes use of a native token, DFI, as well as Bitcoin and the dollar-pegged stablecoin USD Coin (USDC). The platform’s co-founder, Julian Hosp, said that the offering will open the door to many people who are frustrated by traditional markets.” Yet advocates like Hosp will increasingly need to contend with the increased attention regulators are paying to the DeFi space.
Last week, the United States Securities and Exchange Commission was revealed to be investigating the startup behind the world’s largest decentralized cryptocurrency exchange (DEX), Uniswap. Citing growing regulatory pressure, the platform had already moved to delist dozens of tokens and tokenized stocks in late July.
Earlier that same month, sales of Binance’s highly popular stock tokens, which represented fractions of equity shares in firms such as Tesla and Coinbase, were suddenly suspended following pressure from Hong Kong’s securities regulator and earlier reports that European and British regulators had been scrutinizing the offering for possible non-compliance with securities laws.