The Global Digital Securities Ecosystem
A comprehensive study of the market (2019)
The global financial markets are facing a new, digitised infrastructure paradigm. Blockchain technology and tokenisation promise to improve accessibility of capital markets both for investors and issuers of financial products. These are only a part of the equation however. In order to unfold the full potential of digital asset financing, a mature ecosystem is required. This includes players across the entire value chain, including investors, banks and secondary markets.
At BlockState, we build the technology to support digital asset financing using security tokens. Together with the renowned blockchain think tank, Frankfurt School Blockchain Center, we conducted this study to provide a current overview of the global community of financial technology innovators in the digital asset space, showing who is taking an active role in shaping the market.
We analysed more than 200 companies associated with the security token ecosystem, taking into account several general and category-specific factors like operability, the technology companies use, the types of assets tokenized and more. This report is a ‘living study’. As the security token ecosystem is quickly evolving we will frequently update its content and appreciate any contributions and updates.
A total of 213 players were identified as part of the ecosystem. The young industry is seeing strong year over year growth in changing sub segments, showing the formation of a broad and deep industry around the technology.
Summary of general findings:
USA dominates the global market, while Germany is leading in Europe
Issuance providers make up the majority of recent incorporations, with 21 in 2018
Infrastructure providers form the backbone of the security token ecosystem. In this section, we highlighted the various blockchain protocols used to issue and support security tokens. We included both open protocols as well as projects that provide a proprietary protocol.
Public chains represent the majority but private protocols are on the rise
Contrary to the crypto ecosystem Proof of Stake dwarfes its competitors
Player missing? Submit suggestion:
One of the biggest hurdles is to allow the regulated issuance of tokens, which gives the issuers a decisive role in the ecosystem. All companies providing an end-to-end STO issuance platform were included and in addition we listed their partial services for the STO issuance procedure (KYC/AML/advisory/secondary exchange/etc).
Equity remains the most popular tokenised Asset
Issuers offer the most advanced infrastructure of the ecosystem
Most issuers have not yet fully executed a STO
Issuance Provider missing? Submit suggestion:
This section highlights actors investing into ecosystem players. This means any company that invested in a firm whose primary focus is on security token and related services. As a result, our list includes traditional as well as blockchain-focused VCs, in addition to funds and digital asset managers.
Traditional ventures make up 72% of investors
Asias strongest category, yet the US are unchallenged
Investors tend to work in smaller businesses
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This section highlights secondary markets – platforms that offer the functionality to buy and sell security tokens.
Regulated secondary markets are awaiting their finalisation
Retail investors are going to have access to 89% of secondary markets
Costody is the most popular additional service
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This section shows which established financial players are actively positioning themselves in the security token ecosystem. We included a variety of actors from investment banks to private banks.
The banks’ services are rather spread out, issuance stands out though
Simpler infrastructure offerings allow for a high share of operational services
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The research for this study was executed with the goal in mind to provide an accurate and up to date overview of the security token ecosystem. The methodology clarification is supposed to make this study as transparent as possible and easy to understand.
If you wish to submit new data or propose a change, please use the “submit” button below each of the sections above.
This study does not guarantee accuracy, it is based on publicly available information and should not be taken as official information but a first overview of a complex and continuously evolving ecosystem. For detailed documentation on secondary sources apart from company websites and associated social media accounts, please consider inspecting the last few columns of each individual datasheet.
All the companies studied are part of the security token value chain. We covered companies regardless of their geographical location.
Projects that provide a working infrastructure on which tokens can be distributed were included. This was not limited to a public approach, also private ledgers that are used by corporate clients were included.
Every company that is planning to release an STO issuance platform or is already actively operating one was included. This was limited to a release of the platform under the given companies identity. Firms that are working on platforms of other projects were not included.
Any company that invested in other firms that primarily offer Security Token related services have been included. If an established company was founded with different businesses in mind and expanded into the field of Security Tokens, its investors weren’t included. Exceptions were made if an established company launched a new legal entity for this cause and investments were made solely in favor of the newly created entity.
We included companies that are currently offering secondary trading services for the ecosystem as well as companies who are developing their own trading solutions at the moment or are awaiting regulatory approval. The availability of additional services was not a factor to make a company eligible.
Banks were included as long as they’ve participated in a specific use case of securities on an institutional level. Listing in our datasheet didn’t require a primary focus on Security Tokens, neither did it require a permanently available Security Token related service.
The numbers and charts above are based on available answers for each category. The data is up to date until the 13/09/2019. Not in all cases did all sources have available data, but we avoided categories with a small sample size in favor of detailed charts. Where our dataset was incomplete, values are expressed as percentiles.
The status “Operational” implies a for specific customers accessible and usable service is available on a given platform.
“In development” can refer to both, pending regulatory approval, as well as a work in progress which can reach from the announcement of a product all the way to near completion.
Empty data points (“N/A”) do not imply a value of “0” or a “no”, but rather refer to the unavailability of the sought after information at the time of our research. In case of additional sources, an empty data point implies that all information was available on the companies website and no secondary sources were used.
This study was based on secondary online research on 200 companies, with data up to date until the 13/09/2019. We reached out to every company in order for them to update their data.
Most of the data was gathered from the official online presences of each of the companies as well as their associated blogs and social media accounts. Their websites are listed in the individual datasheets for each section. Any further information we included but that didn’t originate from given websites was included in one of the sources listed below.
Security Token related