Asset tokenization can be summed up by the concept and execution of bringing traditional assets to the blockchain (on-chain) as the next leg of financial product wrappers. As the broader public financial markets transitioned from individual stocks and bonds to mutual funds to ETFs – driven by newfound efficiencies and portfolio management precision – blockchain-based securities hold much promise as the next wrapper for private and public markets alike.
Throughout 2023, the key themes on this side of digital assets held strong, more or less, across the retail and institutional levels. The year picked up where 2022 left off regarding investment banking activity. Banks like Goldman Sachs, UBS, HSBC and ABN AMRO were all active issuers of digital bonds throughout this time. For example, after teasing a $104 million European Investment Bank (EIB) pilot through its bond issuance platform, Goldman Sachs officially launched the Goldman Sachs Digital Asset Platform (GS DAP) in January 2023, roughly two months after HSBC launched its Orion platform. GS DAP was then responsible for the $102 million digital Green Bond with the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA) and presumably has additional issuances lined up with the current actively issuing banks like Societe Generale, EIB, Santander and Union Investment, who even captured 15 additional basis points (~$156,000) as the primary purchaser of Goldman’s inaugural EIB issuance. This number will likely only increase with the size of these issuances and full end-to-end digital onboarding, servicing, and management.