Interview with Flavio Restelli: Flavio Restelli [KPMG]
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While tokenisation has great potential, it still faces a number of challenges, not least "the creation of technological standards", as Flavio Restelli, a consultant at KPMG, points out.
Many people talk about tokenisation as a given. But is it?
I wouldn't say that tokenisation is a given, but there is so much potential that everyone has an interest in seeing it develop. When I talk to financial institutions, they are all convinced that something is going to happen. Some are obviously more cautious and are waiting for confirmation, but there is no real debate about the fact that a proportion of financial assets will be tokenised in the long term. Five years? Ten years?
The future belongs to public blockchains like Ethereum
What are the limits to its development?
This transition will inevitably take time, because it is systemic, it is not a simple update. If financial institutions want to make the switch, they will have to make a very profound operational change.
The pilot scheme is a major step forward in Europe. Is this the spark that everyone has been waiting for?
Just because the European Union is well advanced does not mean that all the lights are green, especially if we are talking about public blockchain! tokenisation within a single continent. We will need international agreements on a par with the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) or the Basel agreements on banking. Today, we are still a long way from all that.
The level of regulatory maturity in different countries varies widely. From my point of view, Europe is quite advanced in this area, but Hong Kong and Singapore are quite good too. It's interesting to note that the United States is lagging behind in this respect.
Some projects are opting for private blockchains, others for public blockchains. Isn't this technological diversity also a problem?
This is indeed a subject. Some projects are based on private blockchains and as everyone has their own infrastructure, this fragments the industry enormously. HSBC has Orion, JPMorgan has Onyx, Goldman Sachs has GS DAP and so on. I believe that the future belongs to public blockchains like Ethereum for reasons of interoperability. But there are so many risks in the various building blocks that make up the protocols that I can understand why some financial institutions remain cautious.
On the other hand, there are substantial advantages such as transparency, true immutability and the fact of being autonomous.