Interview Victor Busson [Taurus]
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Swiss company Taurus has established itself as a leader in tokenisation thanks to its integrated platform. Its head of marketing, Victor Busson, talks about the accelerating trend.
What is the potential of tokenisation?
Tokenisation involves digitising assets, particularly those in private, i.e. 'unlisted', markets. The idea is to reproduce what we find on public markets (listed, editor's note), which are already electronic, to apply them to private markets that are still in paper form. This includes private equity, the art world, real estate and even debt for which we have received many requests.
The point of digitising these assets is to make them transferable and therefore free up liquidity through secondary markets. According to BCG, we can anticipate a market of $16,000 billion by 2030.
Demand is rising sharply thanks to clarification of the regulatory framework_
What level of maturity are we at?
We're still in the early stages, as we were in the early days of e-commerce in the early 2000s. But demand is rising sharply thanks to the clarification of the regulatory framework just about everywhere in the world, including Europe. Just look at the weight of our tokenisation offering within our overall business. Whereas only 10 to 20% of our customers were using our tokenisation solutions until 2021, the figure is now around 70%.
We are starting to see organic growth and many of our banking customers now have dedicated tokenisation teams. We have agreements in equity, debt, structured products, real estate. Others are coming, including with major French institutions.
What could act as a catalyst?
Other than regulation, one of the main accelerators of adoption will undoubtedly be a regulated euro stablecoin. This will enable transactions to be settled/paid for entirely on-chain (directly in the blockchain). There is also the issue of education on blockchain topics beyond the crypto and Web3 communities. The general public is often unfamiliar with the crypto language. Democratisation requires the use of a simple vocabulary, which limits the barriers to use. For example, when I explain to companies based in Switzerland the advantages of tokenising their shares, I talk more about "digital or digital shares" rather than "tokenised shares" to limit the psychological brakes.
What is the level of involvement of French banks?
Most of the major banks are already working on the subject with varying levels of maturity. We have several French banks as customers: Delubac Bank and Caceis (Crédit Agricole Group). Further announcements will be made in the coming months.
What solution does Taurus offer?
We are the only ones in the world to offer an integrated solution for issuing, holding and managing the entire lifecycle of tokenised securities. In concrete terms, our customers can issue any type of instrument - shares, debt, fund units, structured products, cash, NFTs - using the same platform and with no limits. They can do this on public and private blockchains.
Which financial institutions are you working with on the subject of tokenisation? As I said, 70% of our customers use our tokenisation services and we are seeing significant demand from major banks. We have recently signed partnerships with Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse, CACEIS in France and several other systemic banks on different continents whose names we will soon be able to reveal.
The use cases are varied: tokenisation of financial instruments (securities, debt, fund shares and structured products, cash), digital currencies and payment systems, but also NFTs.
Why is Taurus particularly popular with financial institutions?
I think it's because we speak the same language and offer comprehensive solutions, well beyond cryptocurrencies. Because we are regulated, we have a very high level of maturity and compliance. There are nearly a hundred of us in the company, with the necessary expertise, so we are capable of managing such clients.
Our strength is that we have complete control over the technological stack of our platform: this means that all the lines of code have been developed by our teams, who combine skills in cryptography, distributed ledger (to support public and private blockchains), as well as in blockchain signature mechanisms and devOps.
Our platform is agnostic in terms of blockchain, smart contracts and asset types (cryptocurrency, tokenised assets, NFTs and digital currencies).
You have set up an office in Paris. Do you feel that France has potential in tokenisation?
France is way ahead on Web3 topics. The regulations are very favourable, and between the European MiCA regulation, which will soon provide a framework for the sector at continental level, and
the pilot scheme whose mission is to encourage experimentation with marketplaces for tokenised financial assets, there are many opportunities.