The First Swiss Companies Have Tokenized Shares: ITSA Classified the First Equity Token and Assigned a Unique Token Identifier

Berlin — February 04, 2021 — The Swiss parliament has passed a DLT act, which enables Switzerland to continue to distinguish itself as a leading innovative location for security token offerings (STO) and the empowerment of retail customers. The new law will introduce several essential elements to create the basis for the transformation from a centralized to a decentralized financial infrastructure. At its heart, the new legislation introduces a new form of securities — uncertificated securities — which are issued and transferred on a DLT register.

Authors: Christian Viehof, Maximilian Bruckner

Following the Swiss DLT acts law on uncertificated securities which took effect on February 1, 2021, ITSA is excited to announce that the Ethereum-based token “Aktionariat AG Shares” (AKS) is now also fully listed in ITSA’s Tokenbase. Tokenbase is our holistic database and the world’s largest DLT token database. AKS holds the wallet address 0x6f38e0f1a73c96cb3f42598613ea3474f09cb200 and has been assigned the ITIN JP69-SJCS-2. The token is classified as an Equity Token with the ITC code EEP23EQ following the International Token Classification Framework. The full Tokenbase entry including the entire ITC classification is available here (and corresponding API access).

ITSA aims at promoting the development and implementation of comprehensive market standards for blockchain- and DLT-based cryptographic tokens. To increase transparency and safety on global token markets, ITSA e.V. assigns a unique and fork-resilient identifier (ITIN) to each token, classifies the token according to our International Token Classification Framework (ITC), and adds the classified token to the world’s largest register for token data (Tokenbase).

  • International Token Identification Number (ITIN): A 9-digit alphanumeric technical identifier for increased operational transparency and safety in handling DLT-based fungible and non-fungible tokens. This allows the connecting and matching of other media and data to the token, such as legal contracts or price data.
  • International Token Classification (ITC): An expandable framework for the classification of tokens according to a multi-dimensional approach (technological, economic, legal, and regulatory dimensions). So far, over 200 tokens have been classified according to 6 dimensions, covering 99% of the token market by market capitalization.
  • Tokenbase: A holistic database for the analysis of tokens that combines token identification and classification data with market and blockchain data from external providers. Currently, Tokenbase holds data on over 5000 tokens with third-party data of several partners already integrated and API access in development.

Switzerland adopts new regulation for security token offerings

On September 25, 2020, the Swiss Parliament adopted the “Federal Act on the Adaptation of Federal Law to Developments in the Technology of Distributed Electronic Registers’’ providing a legal basis for the safe custody, trading, and settlement of security tokens[1]. On February 1, 2021, some parts of this law went into effect, prompting the issuance of the first equity tokens in Switzerland. Specifically, the law on uncertificated securities took effect. Today, less than 300 out of 500,000 Swiss companies are publicly traded on the stock market. Technological progress in the field of DLT and blockchain combined with innovative regulation will increase transparency and market liquidity and has the potential to unlock billions in dormant economic value countering the culture of centralized trading solutions.

The Swiss company Aktionariat issues their first equity token on the Ethereum blockchain

The Swiss company Aktionariat is a platform provider for the issuing, managing, and trading of tokenized shares connecting companies and investors via their Blockchain/DLT solutions. The AKS Token represents equity in their company and is the first Equity Token issued on the Ethereum Blockchain following all regulations of the new Swiss law on uncertificated securities. This is breaking new ground as previous regulation only permitted for the trading of Payment Tokens (Bitcoin, Litecoin, etc.) and Utility Tokens (Ethereum, Stellar, etc.). Due to the new Swiss DLT law, companies in Switzerland can finally issue their shares in the form of uncertificated securities using a DLT register.

Classification of the Aktionariat token (AKS) according to ITC

Figure 1: The AKS Token is the first Equity Token (EEP23EQ) listed in the Tokenbase (Source: https://itin.itsa.global/JP69SJCS2)

The subcategory of Equity Token is part of the category Investment Tokens (EEP23), which represents cryptographic Tokens that serve as a means of investment to the token holder (incl. trading, hedging, and/or speculation). The subcategory Equity Token (EEP23EQ) captures all tokens to be categorized as equity (category E) according to the Classification of Financial Instruments (CFI, ISO 10962), including but not limited to preferred and ordinary (convertible) shares, depository receipts on equities, and structures equity products.

ITIN assignment and Tokenbase API integration

In the further development of the Tokenbase, a clear focus on STO Issuer integration has been laid out. In the second quarter of 2021, ITSA e.V. is planning to integrate an API to simplify the assignments of ITIN’s and increase user participation among all types of clients.

Figure 2: A new ITIN JP69-SJCS-2 has been assigned to the AKS token

While the assignment of ITINs is a service free of cost, the classification of the registered tokens according to the International Token Classification Framework (ITC) has always been an exclusive privilege for our members. Also, our Members will gain preferred access to the Tokenbase API as soon as it’s ready. If you as an individual (1) and/or your organization (2) are interested in our services and in supporting the cause of ITSA e.V., we would be delighted to welcome you as a member. To find out more about current projects of ITSA e.V. and our membership options, please visit us at www.itsa.global.

Remarks

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Christian Viehof is an Executive Director at the International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) e.V., working to create the world’s largest token database including a classification framework and unique token identifiers and locators. He completed his Bachelor in Economics at the University of Bonn, the Hong Kong University and the London School of Economics and Political Science with a focus on Behavioral Economics and Finance. Currently pursuing his Master of Finance at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, you can contact him via christian.viehof@itsa.global and connect with him on Linkedin, if you would like to further discuss ITSA e.V. or have any open questions.

Maximilian Bruckner is an Executive Director at the International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) e.V., working to create the world’s largest token database including a classification framework and unique token identifiers and locators. He has a strong international background with significant time spent in Spain, South Africa, and Canada. Currently pursuing studies at the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, you can contact him via maximilian.bruckner@itsa.global and connect on LinkedIn if you would like to further discuss ITSA e.V. or have any other open questions.

References

[1] Baker McKenzien. — Swiss Legislative Package on DLT

The International Token Standardization Association (ITSA) is a not for profit organization working on holistic market standards for the global token economy.