Approximately 150 responses were received from both blockchain professionals and players active in a wide variety of sectors, including banking and finance. The responses confirmed interest in security tokens as new forms of financial securities and, more broadly, in the use of blockchains in finance. Over 75% of answers to the questionnaire confirmed strong interest in these types of financial instruments and the opportunities they offer.
A new tool that combines speed and savings
Responses to the questionnaire indicate that using security tokens (rather than other forms of financial securities) has operational and economic advantages. Such advantages include:
- blockchain’s ability to automate regulatory or contractual limitations via smart contracts,
- the potential reduction of operational and operating costs, resulting from various factors including the removal of certain intermediaries,
- the increased visibility of certain securities, and
- the disintermediation between the issuer and investors rendered possible by the direct registration of securities on the blockchain.
Security tokens have a number of varied advantages. They must be analysed on a case-by-case basis and in relation to the technological and operational challenges of resorting to a blockchain. The legal structuring is also key and requires that all these considerations be anticipated to ensure the project’s viability”, analyses Matthieu Lucchesi, a specialist in legal and regulatory strategy in the field of innovation (Gide 255).
A fledgling regulatory context that is still too imprecise
Responses to the questionnaire show nonetheless that resorting to security tokens, and their advantages, must be appreciated in light of certain challenges. These can be of different types, but are technical (for 45% of respondents to this question) and above all regulatory (for 82% of respondents to this question). With this in mind, even though France adopted very early a dedicated and innovative framework, certain limitations deriving from European regulations continue to pose problems in its application as regards security tokens in particular.
Respondents thus confirm the relevance of works initiated at the start of the year by the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and the European Banking Authority (EBA), which together began considering potential changes to European texts as regards this new form of securities dematerialisation.
“France positions itself as a leading reference in the fields of of crypto-assets and blockchain, especially after having adopted the PACTE law that entered into force last April. By adapting its law and regulations, France is clearly positioning itself as having a regulatory framework favourable to the blockchain ecosystem. Players must now concretely examine the potential of security tokens and analyse examples in their field that are beginning to bear fruit”, states Franck Guiader, Head of Innovation & FinTech (Gide 255).