Things move fast in the world of blockchain technology. From the heady days of the $20k Bitcoin to the crash and burn of the ICO craze, a new acronym has risen from the ashes : “ STO” (Security Token Offering). Security Token Offerings are a means to represent existing, regulated financial products like company equity or real estate as digital tokens, allowing a direct, streamlined connection between issuers and investors.
At BlockState, we are heading the wave of this new paradigm by building the technology to support security token issuances and connecting the ecosystem of traditional financial institutions, issuers and investors. So naturally we have a deep insight about the dynamics and players of this market that is projected to grow to eight trillion US dollars by 2025 (KPMG, WEF). We conducted this study to give an overview of where the global community of financial technology innovators stands in terms of adoption and maturity of the value chain.
In particular, we were interested in the quality and quantity of Security Token Offerings that have taken place to date. To do so, we analysed more than 120 projects that have done or are planning to do an STO and looked at factors including their funding amount, the types of assets that were tokenised, technology used and many more.
6 out of the top 10 countries are European, but the US dominates globally
Switzerland is the European champion, but still dwarfed by the US
The US is by far the leading country with 34 STOs
The number of STOs skyrocketed in 2018 and is continuing to grow
Actual amounts raised are closer to the targeted amount
The market is booming with around 30% of all STOs currently planned or live
Financial services are by far the dominating industries
Ethereum is the clear technological leader
The majority of security tokens are companies’ equity
Smaller STOs appear to be more successful
On average, STOs managed to raise 68% of their target funding amounts in Western Europe
Finance is the industry with the most successful STOS
Rising number of STOs in comparison to ICOs and IPOs
STOs closing the gap with ICOs
The following table contains the data on which the “Global STO study 2019” is based, collecting information of 120+ companies around the globe until June 18 2019.
Feel free to use the search function in the top right corner to filter by different categories, e. g. Finance & Banking, Service, Real estate, etc. (Industry); Finished, Main sale, Private sale, etc. (Status); Switzerland, France, Malta, etc. (Country).
This study was based on secondary online research on 124 companies, with data up to date until the 18/06/2019.
World comparative analysis
Data for volume and number of IPOs, ICOs and STOs were retrieved from, EY – Global IPO Trends (2017,2018,2019), ICObench – ICO Market Analysis (2017, 2018, 2019) and our own secondary research. Data points were available until the end of Q1 2019. The data for the rest of the year is based on projections.
IPOs – For IPOs, the volume forecasting was based on estimates found on Baker McKenzie’s 2019 Global Transaction Forecast. To determine the forecasted number of IPOs, we calculated the volume growth rate between 2018 and the forecasted volume for 2019 ([Volume 2019 – Volume 2018]/Volume 2018) and we assumed the same growth rate between these years for the number of IPOs (Number 2019= Number 2018*Volume Growth rate 2018-2019). We chose to exclude Q1 2019 for IPOs, this is to account for a particularly low Q1 2019 that diverges from the overall yearly trend.
ICOs – For ICOs and STOs, we made our own assumptions to come up with an estimation. This forecasting is a trend for the year to come rather than an exact estimate. For ICOs, we calculated the average growth rate of ICO volume and number from Q4 2018 to Q1 2019 ([Growth rate Q4 2018+Growth rate Q1 2019]/2; where Growth rate Q4 2018= [Q4 2018-Q3 2018]/Q3 2018). We then applied this growth rate to Q1 2019 to find Q2 2019, to Q2 2019 to find Q3 and so on (For instance, Q2 2019=Q1 2019*AGR Q4 2018 to Q1 2019). We finally summed the four quarters to have an estimation of number and volume of ICOs for 2019.
STOs – When it comes to STOs, the market has a smaller time span. Therefore, to avoid excessive bias, we decided to rely on the average of several estimations. The first forecasting was done by calculating the STO growth rate (for both volume and number) between Q1 2018 and Q1 2019 ([Q1 2019-Q1 2018]/Q1 2018) and by applying the same growth rate from the full year 2018 to the full year 2019 (2019= 2018* Growth rate Q1 2018 to Q1 2019). Our second model looked at the annual average growth rate of STOs starting from Q2 2018 ([Growth rate Q2 2018+…+Growth rate Q1 2019]/4). We then applied this growth rate to the full year 2018 to obtain another forecast for 2019 (2019= 2018*AAG). Of these two estimates, we took the average to come to a final number.
All the companies included have raised or have announced that they will raise capital through a Security Token Offering. We did not account for ICOs, IEOs and other forms of capital raising methods (unless explicitly specified). We did not exclude companies based on geographical location.
The numbers and charts above are based on usable answers for each category. We have used all STOs data (regardless of their stage from announced to finished) in most cases, the graphs regarding amount raised only include data points with funds available. Not in all cases did all sources have useful data. Where no percentage symbol is shown, the charts display all the entire set of usable answers found on the different sources.