While blockchain itself provides the technology constructs to facilitate exchange, ownership and trust in the network, it is in the digitization of value elements where asset tokenization is essential. Tokenization is the process of converting the assets and rights to a property into a digital representation, or token, on a blockchain network.
Distinguishing between cryptocurrency and tokenized assets is important in understanding exchange vehicles, valuation models and fungibility across the various value networks that are emerging and posing interoperability challenges. These are not just technical challenges, but also business challenges around equitable swaps.
Asset tokenization can lead to the creation of a business model that fuels fractional ownership, the ability to own an instance of a large asset. While discussing asset tokenization in a previous article, I also mentioned the value of an instance economy in democratizing finance, commerce and global access, as well as in creating a broader global marketplace at a scale never before seen.
With digital assets and their fungibility in a blockchain ecosystem, there are various drivers of valuation. These include: 1) tokens based on crypto economic models that are driven by supply and demand, and the utility of the network; 2) nonfungible tokens, or NFTs, which have an intrinsic value such as identification, diplomas and healthcare records — essentially, tokens that are simple proof validations of the existence, authenticity and ownership of digital assets; and 3) fungible tokens that are valued on various bases, such as the sum total of economic activity in the network (cryptocurrency), its utility (smart contracts and transaction network processing), assigned values (stable coins and security tokens), and so on.
In this article, I address the complex issue of the hyperbolic and rapid rise of NFTs, after a similarly meteoric rise of decentralized finance, or DeFi, creating amazing innovations — with…