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The St. Regis hotel in Aspen, Colorado, is all set to be tokenized after Indiegogo announced a sale of AspenCoin in August 2018. The development represents the first instance of a major hotel chain positioning itself for crypto-funding.
The St. Regis Token
After the debacle of ICOs as a credible and regulatory-friendly fundraising method, companies interested in the concept of digital tokens are turning towards security tokens – a type of crypto-token representing a real-world asset and processing payouts to holders based on their total holdings.
For investors, the opportunity to trade a real-world asset defined by a token is preferred over investing in ICOs, usually with no working products and plagiarized code. The bifurcation is not limited to property either, as security tokens can represent a data set of bonds, equities, and even hedge funds indices.
Moving forward in this regard is the St. Regis ski resort in Aspen, Colorado, which announced it would launch tokenized shares of its sprawling 179-room property via Indiegogo, a crowdfunding platform.
In August 2018, Indiegogo revealed it would allow businesses to sell their tokens on their retail platform, providing investors access to security tokens via a credible and reputable intermediary.
With over 10 million users registered on the site, Indiegogo could well be on its way to becoming the next Ethereum platform – fueling the security token race like the latter propelled the ICO craze in 2017.
Called Aspen Digital Tokens, the asset-backed crypto-token will be available for sale on Indiegogo and Templum Markets, an SEC registered broker-dealer and member of the Financial Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
A “Blockchain Revolution”
The so-called Security Token Offering (STO) will be filed under the SEC’s Reg D, Rule 506 (c), General Solicitation, and is available to accredited investors from the U.S. and abroad.
Slava Rubin, the founder of Indiegogo, highlights that the business aims to offer the most innovative technologies to its clients, including blockchain-based products, cryptocurrencies, and other big data embodiments.
Rubin considers the “blockchain revolution” to be underway, and believes security tokens may cause disruption globally.
Although a part of the St. Regis group, the Aspen property is owned by Elevated Returns, an asset management fund focusing exclusively on luxury properties. Apart from facilitating a security token sale, the company is also conducting a single-asset real-estate investment trust (REIT) fundraiser.
The latter ensures $12 million is set aside for investment in Aspen Digital Tokens, each unit of which represent a single share of the St.Regis resort. Investors can purchase the tokens with U.S. dollars, or cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ether.
Speaking of the security tokens, Stephane de Baets, founder and president of Elevated Returns, expressed his thoughts:
“By opening access to investing in traditional assets like real estate, we are creating a new opportunity for investors to explore an ownership stake in something previously only accessible to private investors and high net worth individuals.”
STOs the new ICOs?
The need for a security token instead of a traditional crypto-token is multifold. According to the Security Token Academy, the tokenization of global assets presents a tremendous potential opportunity.
Historically, the real estate market suffers from a lack of accessible liquidity and fractional ownership. But, security tokens opens the gates to millions of investors worldwide, with markets set to gain more liquidity as the interest in them increases.
The total equity market is worth over $70 trillion, with the global real estate market valued at $230 trillion. Such numbers present an opportunity for hedge funds, banks, and retail investors to tap the global asset market with a single token.