What Are Security Tokens? May They Revolutionize Pre-IPO Investing?


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As blockchain know-how advances and turns into extra standard, we proceed to seek out extra attention-grabbing methods to make use of it. And safety tokens are a chief instance.

Security tokens are purchased and bought utilizing the identical blockchain know-how as cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). However, this digital know-how is used to suggest possession of an asset, just like a inventory.

Here’s a more in-depth take a look at how safety tokens work and what to look out for when investing on this comparatively new asset class.

The Short Version

  • Security tokens are the blockchain equal of shares or pre-IPO shares, representing possession in an organization or mission.
  • Any inventory that trades on the inventory market may be transformed right into a safety token (referred to as a tokenized inventory), however the place safety tokens may be particularly useful is for investing in firms earlier than their IPO.
  • Pre-IPO safety tokens may be very dangerous as they mix options of startup investments with cryptocurrencies.

What Is a Security Token?

A safety token is a digital foreign money asset representing possession of an underlying firm or mission. Each token is saved on a digital pockets utilizing blockchain know-how, just like cryptocurrencies and NFTs. In reality, they usually use the identical software program as present blockchain tasks.

While cryptocurrencies comparable to Bitcoin and Ethereum act extra like fiat cash in that you just use them to purchase and promote different property, safety tokens characterize a portion of an asset’s possession, making them extra like a inventory.

Any inventory that trades on the inventory market may be transformed right into a tokenized inventory. In reality, there are already tokenized shares for a lot of standard firms such Tesla and Amazon. However, the place safety tokens may be particularly useful is for investing in firms pre-IPO.

Access to pre-IPO shares has historically been restricted to enterprise capital corporations. But safety tokens make it simple for anybody to put money into an organization earlier than its IPO. Still, investing in safety tokens carries lots of the identical dangers as investing in pre-IPO shares. You may see your funding develop by 10x or extra. But your funding may additionally crater if the mission falls by way of or goes bankrupt.

While you may earn large returns, you might also lose every little thing. With the dangers and potential advantages in thoughts, it’s best to tread fastidiously when investing in pre-IPO safety tokens.

Read extra >>> How to Determine Your Risk Tolerance

How Do Security Tokens Work?

Security tokens are blockchain property tracked utilizing a public ledger referred to as a blockchain. If you’re not acquainted, blockchains are distributed databases. Many computer systems worldwide, referred to as “miners,” both work collectively or compete in opposition to one another to course of and validate new transactions. This results in a trusted, undisputed supply for the historical past of possession of all property on that blockchain.

Like cryptocurrencies, safety tokens are held utilizing digital wallets. Each digital pockets consists of a public handle and a non-public key used to ship and obtain transactions. If you personal a cryptocurrency pockets that’s appropriate with the specified token, you should purchase it, possible with cryptocurrency, and might maintain proving possession of that asset by controlling your digital pockets.

When tokens are first bought to the general public, the vendor will get to maintain the entire proceeds from that sale. Like when an organization goes public with an IPO, these funds are sometimes used to assist put money into and develop the mission. However, the cryptocurrency business is ripe with scammers.

Be extremely conscious and cautious of cryptocurrency tasks that could possibly be seeking to make off together with your hard-earned cash and provide little or no in return.

After all, one thing is simply price what another person pays for it. If the cryptocurrency safety token you purchase seems to be a rip-off, you may lose your whole funding.

Stay secure on the market >>> How to Avoid Cryptocurrency Scams

Examples of Recent Security Token Launches

In April 2022, make-up firm ODDITY introduced the launch of its safety token that runs on the Ethereum blockchain. If Oddity goes public, the token shares will convert into common shares at a 20% low cost to the IPO value. But till then, they will not be tradeable.

In June 2022, the blockchain-based investing non-public fairness firm Realio revealed that it might enable secondary buying and selling of the Realio Security Token (RST) on the tZERO ATS different buying and selling platform. The firm says that RST is the “world’s first DeFi hybrid fairness token.”

Are Security Tokens Legal?

Because safety tokens characterize possession in securities, they have to comply with the identical legal guidelines as shares and are regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). For a token to be authorized, it should register with the Securities and Exchange Commission and comply with all SEC tips and different relevant authorities laws.

Some cryptocurrencies have been accused of going afoul of those laws. Most notably, maybe, is Ripple. Also referred to as XRP, Ripple has been accused of performing as an unregistered securities supplier. This is why it’s so onerous for brand new consumers to seek out Ripple listed in exchanges concentrating on customers within the United States.

To summarize, safety tokens may be authorized, however they don’t seem to be at all times authorized. If you’re contemplating investing in a single, doing loads of due diligence is crucial to make sure the funding is authentic. That consists of working inside the confines of the regulation.

Pros & Cons of Security Tokens


  • Security tokens provide an progressive methodology to launch shares of possession in an organization to most people.
  • Security tokens democratize entry to preliminary choices for brand new tasks and firms that inventory brokerages might in any other case reserve for rich traders.
  • Thanks to the blockchain, safety tokens keep a powerful report of possession historical past, and there must be no dispute about who at the moment owns the property.


  • There’s an elevated danger of scams, fraud, and losses within the securities token business.
  • Digital property require some technical data and laptop abilities to make use of.
  • This newer funding class is topic to fewer laws and oversight.

The Bottom Line

Many safety token choices have been for small tasks which can be unsuitable for many traders. But just a few blockchain-related firms have taken steps to supply safety tokens for his or her companies or tokenize different shares for customers to purchase and promote as tokens.

With safety tokens, you may ship your good friend or member of the family a share of inventory with the identical ease as sending an NFT or bitcoin. As know-how and laws develop, that is an thrilling improvement for the inventory market’s future.

Further studying:


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