AirSwap, the decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, has launched a new partnership that will facilitate the tokenization of the New York real estate market, one of the most expensive in the Western Hemisphere. In conjunction with Propellr, a broker-dealer registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), AirSwap will see its peer-to-peer protocol used to offer a platform that will allow brokers, as well as the brokers’ clients, to tokenize securities. These newly tokenized securities can then be traded in compliance with federal securities regulations.
In a company statement, AirSwap said that the technology can be useful to secondary markets. It explained, “Ultimately, we hope to reduce the time to complete secondary market transactions of private securities from months to days, with the actual execution, clearing, and settlement taking place in a matter of minutes. With a non-custodial, no order book model, our technology is far better positioned for the private securities market than alternatives that take custody, use order book matching engines, and wrongly assume that private securities will trade with the same frequency as publicly traded securities or cryptocurrencies.”
While AirSwap is billed as a decentralized cryptocurrency exchange, this isn’t a description that is completely accurate. The platform acts as a decentralized search engine, helping buyers and sellers manage trades using a peer-to-peer protocol.
AirSwap conducted an initial coin offering (ICO) presale in August and September 2017, attracting $20 million during the process. After completing the ICO, it had garnered almost $25 million. The company announced earlier this month that it was launching a cryptocurrency over-the-counter trading product, which is now being tested as a private beta option.
AirSwap isn’t the first to venture outside the box and offer a unique tokenization platform. Cryptocurrency startup Swarm is now issuing tokens that give investors the ability to own fractional shares in Robinhood. Shares in the commission-free stock trading application aren’t available to be purchased publicly; however, Swarm’s unique solution makes owning a piece of the company possible.
Working with brokers, Swarm has been able to source Robinhood equity from the company’s former employees who want to cash out before any eventual initial public offering (IPO). That equity is purchased by Swarm and held in a shell company and, subsequently, listed on the Swarm platform as SRC-20 tokens.