Tokenization on the Blockchain: Applicability to Private Debt and the Technology’s Future Outlook

Despite its evolution over the years, the private funds industry remains rife with inefficiencies and barriers to entry for the vast majority of investors. A potential way to break through that morass is to tokenize certain tangible assets on the blockchain. Proponents of the technology tout the streamlined operations, oversight and compliance benefits offered by the blockchain, as well as how fractionalizing those tokens can open the industry to a larger swath of accredited investors. A recent white paper (Paper) co‑authored by the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) Association, BNP Paribus Asset Management (BNPP AM) and Liquefy, a licensed financial technology platform, explored some of those concepts. In addition, CAIA hosted a complementary webinar moderated by Jo Murphy, managing director at CAIA, which featured Emmanuelle Pecenicic, digital transformation manager at BNPP AM; Adrian Lai, CEO at Liquefy; and Jack Wu, director at CAIA. This article posits ways the private debt sectors can benefit from tokenization, as well as projections of the future of blockchain technology in the alternative investments industry. For coverage of the portions of the Paper that explore tokenization’s benefits to the hedge funds industry, see “Unique Challenges and Benefits and Its Use by Hedge Funds” (May 27, 2021). For coverage of other CAIA programs, see “How Hard Is Brexit Expected to Impact Alternative Fund Managers?” (Dec. 13, 2018); and “How to Prepare for the Technological Revolution’s Transformation of the Hedge Fund Industry” (Apr. 5, 2018).

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