Seychelles’ stock exchange has just listed a tokenized security for trading, becoming the first in the world to do so.
The exchange, MERJ, is licensed by the Indian Ocean nation’s Financial Services Authority as a securities exchange, clearing agency and securities depository (CSD), and is launching the token to represent its own equity.
Revealed exclusively to CoinDesk, MERJ said it will follow the listing by offering 16 percent of the tokenized shares in a public offering later in 2019. The exchange is also in discussion with “several companies” over potentially listing their tokenized shares on its platform.
Edmond Tuohy, CEO of MERJ, said:
“MERJ has fully leveraged its end-to-end ecosystem to deliver the world’s first publicly listed securities token. We are combining the best of the old world and the new to provide a key piece of missing infrastructure for the growth of digital assets.”
MERJ told CoinDesk it is using the ethereum blockchain to record the share register ownership, saying that, currently, “it is the best supported protocol for these purposes.”
Now seen on MERJ’s listings page, the tokenized security takes the ticker symbol “MERJ-S” and is currently trading at $2.42, with a stated market cap of $21,015,781.
More widely, MERJ also has plans to cut costs for investors and issuers by using blockchain technology to streamline a number of securities markets processes, including issuance, shareholder registers, compliance, distribution and voting.
“The technology creates an access point to the capital markets, which is particularly suited to the ‘mobile first’ ecosystems in many emerging markets,” the exchange said.
Founded in 2013, MERJ says that being licensed as an exchange, clearing house and CSD, it’s well placed to “deliver on the many benefits of tokenization.”
“Whether they’re issuing tokenized or traditional shares, companies are not going to want to go to a jurisdiction that doesn’t meet high international standards because it will attract greater scrutiny from global regulators,” said Tuohy. “We’ve spent three years working with our regulators to build a robust and compliant framework for issuers wanting to leverage the benefits of distributed ledger technology within a publicly listed environment.”