The Liechtenstein Blockchain Act, which came into effect September 2020, allows for the tokenization of almost any right and asset. It is therefore also possible to tokenize company shares. Amazing Blocks AG was the first company to tokenize equity according to the new law in Liechtenstein, generating equity tokens for registered shares on September 21, 2020. ITSA has assigned the International Token Identification Number (ITIN) XJJB-H6YC-2 to the token, and fully classified it following the International Token Classification Framework (ITC).
Authors: Maximilian Bruckner, Christian Viehof
Following the Liechtenstein Blockchain Act, formally known as the “Tokens and TT Service Providers Law’’ or TVTG, Amazing Blocks AG tokenized their equity in the form of 600 privately held shares in the form of tokens. The Ethereum-based token “Amazing Blocks AG Registered Shares’’ (ABL) is now also fully listed and classified in ITSA’s Tokenbase. Tokenbase is a holistic database developed by ITSA and contains identification and market data on over 4000 DLT Tokens. The ABL token with wallet address 0xe89671bb6c950cd2d7c5d981c132d3a7294908e5 was also the first Token in Tokenbase to be classified as an Equity Token with ITC code EEP23EQ. The full Tokenbase entry, including the entire ITC classification, is available here. Corresponding API access can also be found there.
ITSA develops standards for blockchain- and DLT-based cryptographic tokens and aims to have these implemented as market standards across the token universe. The assignment of the token identifier ITIN works in tandem with the classification according to the International Token Classification Framework (ITC), to increase safety and transparency on global token markets. ITSA then adds the identified and classified token to the world’s largest register for token data (Tokenbase).
When Liechtenstein passed its Blockchain Act in October 2019, the European blockchain scene’s jaw dropped. The “Tokens and TT Service Providers Law” was the first of its kind in Europe, and positioned Liechtenstein as a clear leader and years ahead of its peers. For context: Switzerland, the “Crypto Valley” of Europe, adopted its new blockchain laws in September 2020 — almost a whole year later. While the Blockchain Act came into force in January 2020, only parts of Switzerland’s law have come into effect yet (February 2021), with a long way to go.
The Token Container Model proposed by the Blockchain Act was (and is) groundbreaking in its approach: “With this framework, a token serves as a container with the ability to hold rights of all kinds. The container can be “loaded” with a right that represents a real asset such as real estate, stocks, bonds, gold, access rights, money.” Therefore, any security can be loaded into a token in full accordance with the law, eliminating the need for intricate workaround and re-interpretations of old documents.
Amazing Blocks AG is a company in Liechtenstein digitizing legal entities end-to-end. Their solutions help establish a digital legal entity for their clients, including the tokenization of equity in the form of true Equity Tokens. In addition, they provide a digital share register and will enable fundraising and onboarding of new investors with just one click. Amazing Blocks AG was the first to tokenize equity and the first to found a company without a bank account, using Ether as an initial on-cash contribution. In contrast to the classical formation of legal entities, a digital process will need less effort, less administration, and have a much lower cost.
In Figure 1, you can see the full classification of the ABL Token, as it is available in Tokenbase. The subcategory Equity Token (EEP23EQ) captures all tokens to be categorized as equity according to the Classification of Financial Instruments (CFI, ISO 10962), including but not limited to preferred and ordinary (convertible) shares, depository receipts on equities, and structures equity products. The token is also classified as a Relative Rights Token (LLC32), which captures all tokens that provide their owner with at least one legal claim against a natural or legal counterparty and thus with relative rights towards a third party (e.g. the right to receive a payment from a counterparty, the right to receive access to a service offered by a counterparty, the right to vote within the Environment established by this counterparty, etc.)
We have laid out a clear focus on STO Issuer integration for the further development of Tokenbase. We expect an API integration to simplify ITIN assignment and increase user participation to be available to members in mid-2021.
While ITIN assignment is a service free of cost, the classification of the registered tokens according to the International Token Classification Framework (ITC) is exclusive for our members. Also, preferred access to the Tokenbase API will be granted to members as soon as it’s ready. If you as an individual (1) and/or your organization (2) are interested in our services and in supporting the cause of ITSA e.V., we would be delighted to welcome you as a member. To find out more about current projects of ITSA e.V. and our membership options, please visit us at www.itsa.global.
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Maximilian Bruckner is Executive Director at the International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) e.V., working to create the world’s largest token database including a classification framework and unique token identifiers and locators. He has a strong international background with significant time spent in Spain, South Africa, and Canada. Currently pursuing studies at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, you can contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org and connect on LinkedIn if you would like to further discuss ITSA e.V. or have any other open questions.
Christian Viehof is Executive Director at the International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) e.V., working to create the world’s largest token database including a classification framework and unique token identifiers and locators. He completed his Bachelor in Economics at the University of Bonn, the Hong Kong University, and the London School of Economics and Political Science with a focus on Behavioral Economics and Finance. Currently pursuing his Master of Finance at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, you can contact him via email@example.com and connect with him on Linkedin, if you would like to further discuss ITSA e.V. or have any open questions.