8 Security Token Market Trends to Watch Out for in 2019
As a blockchain-focused venture capital fund, 8 Decimal Capital is focused on assisting in the mass adoption of blockchain technology. We believe that this can be done by investing in the future, not only what’s popular. This is why we are consistently conducting thorough research, due diligence, and speaking to industry leaders. As of recent, our research has been primarily geared towards the security token space.
Based on our research, here are 8 security token market trends to look out for in 2019:
Note: This is merely my opinion and I expect many readers to have differing viewpoints.
1.Exchanges won't be successful in 2019
As the security token market gains popularity among the blockchain community, many people are focused on the exchanges as the gateway to liquidity. However, I believe that the market is too nascent for exchanges to bring any value to the tokens that are being listed on them. With that being said, I still believe that major traditional exchanges, such as the Nasdaq, will develop their own solutions to facilitate the trade of security tokens in 2019.
随着security token市场在获得越来越大的关注，许多人都聚焦于“交易所”——这个有望带来流动性的关卡。然而，我觉得整个市场还过于早期，交易所为上市的通证带来增值的潜力还很有限。尽管如此，我依旧相信，主流的传统交易所，比如纳斯达克，会在2019年开发出他们自己的可用于security token交易的解决方案。
As an investor in the space, I have spoken to dozens of projects launching an exchange for security tokens and I ask them the same question, How will you create liquidity for the tokens listed on your platform?” Oftentimes, they answer this question by mentioning the market makers they will partner with and their plans to attract users to their platform. In my opinion, this method won’t produce the results that these exchanges anticipate. Market makers can create liquidity for those exiting a position, but won’t be able to sell the tokens for a profit if there isn’t a market of buyers.
作为这个领域的投资者，我们和很多专门为security token搭建交易所的项目沟通过，我问了他们同一个问题，“你准备如何为在你的平台上的通证提供流动性？”，通常来说，他们会提及正在合作的造市商（注：造市商market maker是为证券交易所指定的买卖中间商，主要业务是为买方及卖方进行报价、并且为双方寻找好的价格撮合交易，本身则从买卖差价中获利），以及他们吸引投资者的策略和计划。然而我觉得这些方法可能都不会奏效。造市商可以为那些已经有了投资者的标的提供流动性，但是不太可能在一个本没有买家的市场卖出通证。
In my opinion, exchanges don’t create liquidity. Exchanges are a way of managing an already liquid market and facilitating the trading of liquid assets. Rather, broker-dealers will be essential in the security token market in 2019 as security tokens will initially be used to only digitize the fundraising process, not create liquidity.
2.More security tokens will appear, but the quality of some tokens will resemble the bad(💩) coins of 2017
Many businesses, both traditional and blockchain, are becoming curious about security tokens and how it can benefit their company. In 2019, people will become more knowledgeable about the security token space. As more tokenization platforms appear globally, the Security Token Offering process will become easier and relatively cheaper. Additionally, institutional players will become comfortable with security tokens as more custodians and other infrastructure players provide solutions for security tokens. This combination will result in businesses taking action and launching their own security token, rather than just curiously exploring the idea.
很多商家，包括来自传统行业和区块链产业的，对security token有很强的好奇心，想知道该怎么通过这个新事物造福自己的公司。2019年，人们对security token的了解会更加客观深入。当越来越多的发行平台在全世界涌现，security token发行流程将变的更便捷和便宜。同时，当更多例如托管机构这样的金融基础设施搭建的更齐全的时候，机构投资者也会更愿意参与。这两者的结合将让人们不再处于讨论概念的阶段，而是真的采取商业行动。
Along with traditional businesses, blockchain projects without revenue are also showing interest in the security token market. Investors should beware of risky security tokens, especially those backed by projects without assets or revenue. Security tokens and regulation don’t eliminate the risks of ICO businesses, they only decrease the risk.
除了传统行业，没有实现盈利的区块链项目也对Security token市场产生了兴趣。投资者应该对这个新金融产品的风险有更客观的认知，尤其是那些没有资产和盈利作为支撑的项目。Security token和监管并没有消灭爱西欧的风险，只是降低了而已。
3. Security tokens will no longer be considered "the new 1CO", a new class of security token will be created to replace 1CO
Security tokens are supposed to be digital assets (emphasis on the word assets). In my opinion, a business without any assets or revenue should not consider launching a security token, yet.
Security tokens被视作数字资产（强调资产）。我认为，截至目前为止，一个没有资产或利润的商业还不适宜发行Security tokens。
Using a utility token as an investment vehicle doesn’t make any sense to me, but I do believe that startups should be able to crowdfund their companies. With the pending downfall of the utility token investment market, ICO companies will have to find a new way to raise money.
In 2019, I’m looking forward to seeing a new class of security tokens that will allow new blockchain businesses to access capital from global investors while also protecting investors from fraudulent and worthless projects. This would have to result from the creation of information platforms, new protocols, and new regulations. As I brainstorm this idea more, I will be able to create a more concrete vision of this new class of security token.
4. More advanced security token protocols will emerge, catalyzing the creation of liquidity in the security token market
4. 更多先进的security token合约将会诞生，为security token市场巩固流动性
One major issue with the current security token market is the lack of advanced financial instruments. At the moment, I have only seen security tokens that represent equity in a business. This has been an easy way to start, but won’t be enough to lead to the mass adoption of security tokens. As the next generation of security token protocols emerges, tokens will be able to handle bonds and other derivatives.
最近security token市场面临的一个主要问题就是缺乏先进的金融工具。当下，大部分security token只能代表类股权。这是一个好的开始，但对于大规模推广还远远不够。随着下一代security token合约的成长，我们将可以处理债券和其他衍生产品。
Currently, there is a lack of debt protocols in the security token market, but I anticipate many to pop up in 2019. Debt protocols can decrease the systematic risk associated with most security tokens and provide investors with immediate cash flow. Additionally, debt holders have first priority in the case of a failing business. 8 Decimal is currently working with technology partners to release our own debt protocol in 2019 that will be used on our soon-to-be-announced tokenization platform.
5. The global economy will have an impact on the growth of the security token market
As a venture capitalist, timing must be considered when making any investment. For the security token market, the timing could have a negative impact on the growth of the market. Globally, capital markets are approaching a peak in the cycle. Recent volatility in the US markets and a 10-year bull market has led many to believe that a downturn will happen in the next 6 months. Considering this, there are two schools of thought. Some believe that the security token market will be inversely correlated to the traditional markets, while others believe that there will be a direct correlation.
作为风险投资机构，时机对于投资来说是非常关键的。对于security token市场来说，当下，对于security token市场的壮大可能不是最好的时机。放眼全球，资本市场正在触达周期的底部。最近美国市场的脆弱性和波动性，加上已经持续10年的牛市，让很多人相信未来6个月内整个市场就会发生下跌。对这一点，有两种不同的观点。一种相信security token市场将和传统市场行情负相关，另一种相信他们是直接正相关的。
I believe that there will be a direct correlation. In times of economic downturn, asset values don’t experience much growth due to the lack of capital in the market and a lack of expected short-term economic growth. The security token market doesn’t remediate either of these issues, so shouldn’t it also experience a decrease in asset values? On the other hand, investors typically flee to fixed income during an economic downturn because of the constant coupon payments. This is why I stress the importance of security tokens that represent debt. Debt tokens will be able to attract institutional investors, even during a time of economic downturn.
我认为，security token市场和全球资本市场行情是正相关的。在经济下行周期时，由于市场资金的匮乏以及对短期内经济增长的悲观预期，资产价值不会有太多增长。security token无法解决上述资金和预期两个问题，所以是否也会面临资产估值下跌的情形呢？另一方面，投资者通常会在经济下行期选择固定收益类产品，以获得稳定的利息。这是我为什么强调代表债权类的security token的重要性。债权型通证将有望吸引机构投资者，尤其是经济下行周期。
6. Securities regulation will begin catching up in 2019
As we’ve seen in 2018, some small countries, such as Malta, Gibraltar, and Singapore, around the world will continue creating security token friendly legislation in 2019. Due to the size of their governments, these countries are able to adapt at a quicker pace than larger countries, allowing them to act as nimbly as a startup.
Larger countries, with more decision-makers and gate-keepers, will take more time to create regulations specifically for security tokens. Unlike ICOs, regulators around the world are showing positive sentiment towards the STO market, even the SEC. I believe that global regulation will come quickly after the SEC creates regulations which are specific for digital assets.
大国，拥有更冗长的决策流程和更多既有利益的看门人，要想让这些大国为security token单独立法需要花费一点时间。和爱西欧不同，世界上大部分监管者对security token市场都抱着友好的态度，包括美国SEC。我相信当SEC制定出对于数字资产的相关监管准则后，全球监管将会很快更新。
7. Information plarforms will become more important
In order for large institutional players to enter the secondary security token market, investors must be provided with reliable and trustworthy information. I believe that platforms, similar to the Bloomberg Terminal, will appear in 2019. However, these platforms won’t use traditional methods to analyze businesses.
为了让大型机构投资者进入security token的二级市场，投资者必须要提供可信的信息。我相信此类平台，类似彭博终端（Bloomberg Terminal），将会在2019年出现。然而，这些平台不会使用传统手段去分析商业。
A combination of blockchain and other advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence, will be used to increase the efficiency and reliability of reporting information about and rating the underlying assets. Since we started looking at the security token market, 8 Decimal has been on the search for an information platform that could service the market in this capacity.
8. Higher quality talent will enter the space
Working in the blockchain industry requires you to be a jack-of-all-trades which is why the blockchain industry is full of diverse talent from a wide range of ages, industries, and regions. Even though this is what makes the industry so great, it is also something holding the industry back. The top tech talent is still working at large companies in the traditional tech space. The top finance talent is still working at traditional banks and financial institutions. That leaves the security token space with a smaller pool of top talent.
I believe the current talent in the security token space is highly skilled and intelligent, but the experts of the tech and finance industries could help shape a stronger industry. As the security token market gains more traction in 2019, experts from traditional industries will enter the security token industry for new opportunities.
现有的security token领域的人才已经具备很专业的技能和智慧，但是我们相信技术和金融领域专家的加入定会塑造一个更强大的产业。2019年，随着security token得到更多关注，传统领域的专业人才将会涌入这个处女地挖掘新机会。
All in all, 8 Decimal is excited to see how the security token market develops in 2019. In addition to investing in security token projects, we intend to participate in the market too. 8 Decimal, along with our technology partners, is developing an end-to-end platform to facilitate the tokenization of real assets (including equity, debt, and real estate). While this platform is being developed, we are advising a multitude of traditional and blockchain businesses that want to go through the process of launching their own security token. If you or your business has questions about launching a security token, reach out to me via Wechat，LinkedIn or email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
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