As distinct from traditional shares, a stock token can be fractionalized into smaller, more affordable units, meaning that more users can potentially benefit from capital returns on equities.
Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is launching tradable stock tokens that aim to enable a wider section of the public to pocket capital returns on equities, including potential dividends, without having to purchase full, traditional shares.
The first publicly tradable equity in the form of a Binance stock token will be Tesla, the share price of which currently hovers around the $700 mark. Rather than purchase a full, traditional share, for which custody of a physical share certificate is required, users can purchase as little as one-hundredth of a Tesla share represented by a digital token. Binance stated:
“Each digital token represents one share of equity stock and is fully backed by a depository portfolio of underlying securities that represents the outstanding tokens. Users will be able to trade fractional tokens.”
One-hundredth of a stock token therefore represents the same fraction of a Tesla share, and stock prices will be settled in Binance USD (BUSD), a stablecoin pegged to the U.S. dollar and issued by Paxos Trust Company. Stock tokens are not redeemable for shares.
Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao believes that digital stock tokens will provide a bridge between traditional and crypto markets and broaden access to equity markets, resulting in a “more inclusive financial future.”
Trading of the digital stock tokens will be commission-free, and the product has been developed together with licensed German investment firm CM-Equity AG and the Swiss-based asset tokenization platform Digital Assets AG. Participation in their trading is not open to restricted jurisdictions such as China, Turkey and the United States, and a Know Your Customer process must be completed to become eligible as a digital stock token trader on the exchange.
Binance’s Q1 2021 has been a strong one, according to today’s announcement, with 260% growth in traded volume and a 346% increase in users. Meanwhile, the exchange’s native token Binance Coin (BNB) has rallied by more than 900% so far this year.