Today, we continue our focus on blockchain technology and surrounding rules and regulations. It is a nascent area and the subject of much debate. Last week, we discussed the jurisdictional issues this technology poses, as well as questions of liability, contract, and intellectual property. Today, we narrow our focus to one particular area of the blockchain realm: Asset-backed ventures.
The blockchain is by definition an open-ended and malleable tool. One of its most useful applications is to provide liquidity and capital where previous market inefficiencies precluded them. This makes the biggest difference for small and mid-market ventures. Crowd-sourcing income for job-producing smaller corporations will compound wealth for the international community in the decades to come in the developed world, and even more starkly in Africa and South Asia.
An emerging innovation in the blockchain space is to hinge digital coins’ value on an asset – i.e., the area of asset-backed tokens. Variations of this idea include a coinage system based on the productivity of oil and gas ventures. Investors purchase coins and fund the venture in its early stages and throughout. Once the venture starts producing and oil is sold, the investor has a right to exchange his or her coin for the market price of that asset. Hence, the supply of oil rises, the price declines, communities prosper, and investors get a healthy return. If they do not, there is a mechanism within the coin-value determination that adjusts for the poor judgment of the investor and devalues the coin. So, it behooves owners of the coin to choose fruitful projects.