Crypto exchange Bittrex announced that it will be listing tokenized stocks on its platform in cooperation with DigitalAssets.AG, as per a release shared with Decrypt. The move will allow traders and investors to invest in US-listed companies without paying additional fees or using the services of a traditional brokerage.
Tokenized stocks are a new-age derivative product that represent traditional securities, particularly shares in publicly traded firms traded on regulated exchanges. Such a product was not available earlier, but advancements in representing value on a digital token have paved the path forward.
“Blockchain technology has the potential to radically broaden access to financial services, and Bittrex Global is very proud to provide people with a portal to build their capital and private wealth in a way that was unimaginable a decade ago,” said Bittrex CEO Tom Albright in a statement.
As per the release, over 12 popular shares will be offered on Bittrex, including Tesla, Google, Facebook, and the SPY, an exchange-traded fund consisting of the top 500 US companies. You can buy the shares with US dollars, Tether, or Bitcoin, and will be offered around the clock.
Similar to how the crypto market operates—users can buy a fraction of a cryptocurrency—the new product will allow customers to purchase a fraction (as low as $10) of the tokenized stock. However, the exchange said that market liquidity—or the number of buyers and sellers traded an asset at a particular time—could vary depending on the time of day.
The tokenized stocks themselves derive their value from stocks held by CM-Equity, a Germany-based regulated custodian. They are, however, not initially exchangeable for the real stock but a future update may change that.
Meanwhile, Bittrex said it plans to increase its tokenized offerings and include more financial products, such as ETFs, indices, and additional asset classes, in the near future.
Issuing tokens that represent traditional equities (among other things) has been a long-sought narrative among crypto circles. But this year fills that void, with Bittrex joining crypto exchanges FTX and Bitfinex who also launched their own tokenized stocks and indices products earlier in 2020.