Cryptocurrency trading might get most of the headlines, but industry analysts expect securities token trading to be the next big thing. Wayne Trench, CEO of OSL Brokerage, joined CoinGeek.com’s Stephanie Tower to discuss how his company is navigating the space and preparing for that big wave.
Initial coin offerings (ICOs) proved to be an incredible force in the crypto market, but OSL is getting ready for security token offerings (STOs) to be the more regulated, grown up version of that. “We feel like, with the right regulation around security token offerings, that can really play an important role in raising capital for real businesses with real equities, and real dividends,” said Trench.
For that to happen, countries need to figure out their regulatory situations, and that’s not guaranteed to happen fast or smoothly. “The regulatory environment is certainly fluid; however, I think Asia is taking a leading role in that area,” he said. “Obviously we saw Japan regulate the space early on, but closer to home for us, here in Hong Kong, as well as Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, all of these countries have taken very clear and very meaningful steps towards regulating this space.”
The important thing is that those changes are coming, and OSL will be ready when they are. “Whilst it is challenging to keep pace with the evolution in the regulatory landscape, it’s important to do that, to make sure that you are well positioned,” Trench explained. “For me, the most exciting part is it’s no longer a question as to whether this is or isn’t going to be regulated and going to be part of the financial system; it is now a certainty. When regulators are regulating, tax authorities are able to generate tax revenues, and there is a clear commercial advantage. For me it’s a foregone conclusion, and that’s really what we’re focused on.”
STOs will invite a more professional, institutional level of investor than ICOs did, and Trench recognizes that their product has to be a certain level of quality to attract that investor. “With more sophisticated counter parties, they expect more sophisticated and institutional grade products and services,” the OSL CEO explained. He noted why OSL is uniquely suited for that challenge:
“A lot of our team come from traditional investment banking backgrounds or legal backgrounds to support those styles of products. Like options, lending, repo, swap, structured products. All of those types of products are required for a healthy asset class. And we’re seeing demand for that, and for us it’s just important to be able to provide those products in a safe and regulatory compliant fashion, because we want to make sure we are leading the charge with respect to compliance, risk and so on. “
The next steps for OSL are around continuing that focus on upcoming regulations, and building products that court big investments and businesses. “A core part of our strategy is white labeling our technology solutions,” Trench offered. “We are lucky enough to have what a big four auditor has described as the most sophisticated custody solution they’ve seen. It’s fully audited and with the largest insurance coverage available for anyone in Asia. We feel that we can white label that out to other people as well, as well as our brokerage platform, and our sister brand Anxone, can help provide a proper institutional grade platform for exchanges to operate on around the world.”
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