Philippines Makes History, by Issuing Tokenized Bonds

November 16, 2023

Darko Simunovski content is written in English. Translations into other languages are automated and there may be minor text errors.

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Tokenization involves representing real assets or financial instruments as digital tokens on a blockchain or distributed ledger techology. It’s a process that converts rights to an asset into a digital token with a unique identifier, often using smart contracts to govern the ownership and transfer of these tokens.

This digitization of assets opens up several opportunities, like: Increased liquidity, because tokenization can fragment traditionally illiquid assets, such as, equities, bonds, real estate or fine art, into smaller, tradeable units, allowing a broader investor base to participate and potentially increasing liquidity. The process of tokenization gives accessibility, because It enables fractional ownership, allowing individuals to invest in high-value assets that were previously out of reach due to high entry barriers. Also tokenization gives transparency and efficiency, by utilizing blockchain technology which ensures transparent, immutable records of ownership and transactions, reducing fraud and errors. Smart contracts automate processes, reducing administrative costs and increasing operational efficiency.

And lastly, digital tokens can be traded around the clock, 24/7 and eliminates the restrictions of traditional trading hours and geographical boundaries.

However, while tokenization offers numerous benefits, it also faces challenges related to regulatory compliance, technological infrastructure, standardization, and market acceptance.

The adoption of tokenization in various industries is still in its early stages, but its potential to transform financial markets and revolutionize asset ownership and investment is driving increased interest and experimentation across different sectors.

On November 20, the Philippines will create history by launching its first-ever sale of tokenized treasury bonds, a groundbreaking step aimed at propelling the growth of its domestic debt market.

The Bureau of the Treasury has unveiled plans to introduce a minimum of 10 billion pesos ($179 million) worth of one-year tokenized bonds, leading to the cancellation of the originally scheduled regular bills auction on the same day. This move, reported by Bloomberg on November 16, signals the country’s foray into leveraging blockchain technology for fundraising through tokenized securities.

The emergence of blockchain-based tokenized securities for fundraising has been gaining momentum across Asia. Earlier in February, Hong Kong successfully issued HK$800 million in tokenized green bonds, utilizing distributed ledger technology (DLT). These innovative securities hold the potential to revolutionize debt markets by offering increased liquidity and transparency.

Moreover, HSBC Holdings recently announced successful test token deposits in intra-group treasury transactions earlier this month. This technological advancement showcases the potential of blockchain in revolutionizing traditional financial operations, potentially streamlining processes and increasing efficiency within banking systems and private sector

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