For James Belding, the co-founder and CEO of Tokenized, the launch of his desktop app just days ahead of the London Blockchain Conference in June was the fruit of years of work, ever since he appeared at a CoinGeek conference with his team in Toronto in 2019.
Described as a “self-custodial and enterprise-grade digital wallet… for issuing, managing and holding digital assets including Bitcoin SV,” Tokenized boasts an elegant interface, an easy sign up process and an impressive range of functions.
Sure, it’s taken a while, James admits, but that’s because he wanted his product to be more than just “the hundredth wallet that wasn’t that good and that didn’t distinguish itself at all from anything else.”
Tokenized’s distinction lies in the wide range of what James calls “instrument types” that it supports. So in your wallet, you can have an eclectic mix, including bonds, tickets, coupons and loyalty points as well alongside fiat currencies.
Despite the name of the business, James plays down the tokens themselves, partly because he thinks people have a distorted idea about them from the hype around dodgy NFTs. The tokens are just “tiny, tiny pieces of the puzzle,” he says. “You just make a token on chain. Maybe it’s a five, or twenty percent improvement over current things.”
It’s the rest of what blockchain can do that is key to what he wants to achieve with Tokenized: “The real unlocking of value—and where all the hard work is—in the smart contracts and all the implications that arise from those.”
On this week’s CoinGeek Conversations, James talks about the journey from initial idea to product launch, and explains why he thinks users will agree that Tokenized was worth the wait:
“We really put our blood, sweat and tears into it to make it as compelling as we could, as simple as we could. But right now anyone can download the app and they can use it as what we think is probably the best Bitcoin wallet or even crypto wallet in the whole industry.”
Part of that claim rests on the thinking that James and his team have put into security. By reducing Tokenized’s own custody of assets, they have put their users in a more direct relationship with the blockchain: “We saw a non-custodial approach [allowing] users to connect directly with the DLT [digital ledger technology] as intuitively very compelling from a security point of view.”
That has an additional benefit when trying to sign up customers, big business especially: he can tell them that they don’t need to put their faith in Tokenized being around forever—although he is confident it will be! But if the company were to disappear, the Tokenized protocol, which is open source, would still exist and continue to operate, and users could access their assets through alternative interfaces.
“I think that resonates very well” in discussion with potential customers, James says. “It’s a really powerful message and we get a lot of positive feedback for it.”
So what are the prospects for signing up big business users? James is cautiously optimistic: “We’re in active discussions with a lot of big players that are getting their heads around it. I wouldn’t say we’re at a stage where one of the biggest players is ready to drop everything, but we’re basically at the point where I think a bunch of pilot projects are going to start rolling out quite soon.”
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