Today Swiss digital asset firm Taurus announced that ski and sports resort Alaïa used its platform to tokenize its stock on the public Ethereum blockchain. The shares were deposited with Credit Suisse, which integrated the Taurus suite to manage the shares digitally.
“We are committed to supporting entrepreneurs and financial institutions to make private assets digital and facilitate corporate finance 2.0,” said Lamine Brahimi, co-founder at Taurus. “The collaboration with the Credit Suisse Institutional Clients team has been exceptional.”
A key benefit of tokenization is to broaden the pool of investors for private stocks. However, because of the higher risks, most countries restrict access to qualified or professional investors. To sign up for Taurus, one has to either have investment skills plus assets of CHF500,000 or assets of more than CHF 2 million.
At a recent OECD blockchain conference, making investment more inclusive was raised, and the possibility of using investment skills rather than wealth as criteria was discussed.
Earlier this year, Taurus received a securities license from FINMA, the Swiss regulator and launched the Taurus Digital eXchange (TDX). It also has a solution for token issuance and another for custody, which supports the public Ethereum blockchain but does not require paying fees with cryptocurrency Eth, which can be problematic for banks. The platform supports corporate actions, including issuance and redemption.
The initial focus was on stocks and real assets – TDX has listings for real estate firm Stoneweg – but it plans to start trading cryptocurrencies and DeFi.
Taurus has several high profile partners, including Arab Bank Switzerland, FlowBank, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg and SEBA Bank. It also integrated with Temenos the banking software provider.
Meanwhile, Credit Suisse is active in numerous blockchain projects. It’s an investor in Luxembourg DLT fund management platform FundsDLT. It’s trialing the Paxos blockchain for listed stock settlement in the United States. And its a participant in Deutsche Börse – HQLAX platform for collateral management.