Owners of the St. Regis Aspen Resort in Colorado have started selling real estate security tokens on a blockchain with the help of Indiegogo, a crowdfunding site.
"We think we have only once in a lifetime opportunity to create a point of reference for the aspect of real estate tokenisation", said Stephane De Baets, founder and president of Elevated Returns, owner of Aspen & # 39; s St. Regis and other hotels. Tokenization refers to the process by which an asset, such as shares, real estate or fine arts, is divided into fractional shares that are digitally exchangeable.
The St. Regis Aspen Resort represents one of the first major real estate properties in the United States to test tokenization, a hot topic among cryptocurrent enthusiasts, investors and clever financial engineers. The owner of the St. Regis abruptly destroyed an IPO of real estate investments that he had planned for property in February, and the company shifted its tactics into the blockchain world.
"Having a resource as clear as the St. Regis Aspen is the beginning of signaling a change in the way people think about tokenization and investment in blockchain and crypto," said Slava Rubin, co-founder and chief business officer of Indiegogo. He made a distinction between the high-altitude, speculative ICOs or the first coin offerings, which raised billions of dollars last year against security tokens, which are backed by resources rather than dreams of new software.
Indiegogo debuted a platform for ICO, or the first coin offerings, in December, but the crowdfunding site decided not to hold public sales after the Securities and Exchange Commission began to crack down on industry bubbly. The first enforcement action of the SEC against an ICO hit RECoin, a group that claimed to have created a cryptocurrency supported by real estate.
The token associated with the Aspen St. Regis is the first Indiegogo security token offering. "Next year I would not be surprised if the security tokens became much more normal," said Rubin.
To conduct the sale, the owner of Aspen St. Regis has created a real estate investment fund, or REIT, called Aspen Digital, which is selling equity tokenized in the form of Aspen digital tokens. Alternatively, called Aspen Coin, tokens, which are not registered with the SEC, represent ordinary shares without voting rights.
Aspen Digital expects to sell 18 million tokens to an initial valuation of $ 1 per person, a fundraiser that, if successful, would increase the valuation of ownership from over $ 200 million to about $ 224 million. The pawns are linked to Ethereum, the second most valuable cryptocurrency network next to Bitcoin.
In conjunction with a vast sell-off in the cryptocurrency markets, Ether's price, the native currency of Ethereum, plunged precipitously from highs above $ 1,120 at the start of this year to almost $ 270 today.
Indiegogo is making tokens available only to accredited investors. Coin sellers intend to use Templum Markets, a registered broker that operates an alternative trading system, as a financial partner that will provide the infrastructure on which the token will be traded.
De Baets said Fortune that he was interested in pursuing tokenization so that he could "bring liquidity to the real estate industry". He said that the tokens will account for 18.9% of the capital of Aspen St. Regis while the High yields will remain on the remaining 81.1%.  The Marriott, which owns the St. Regis brand, has no involvement in the business, says De Baets.
If all goes well, De Baets intends to continue making the tokenizing properties in the portfolio of Elevated Returns. "We have deployed a substantial pipeline of global properties to bring to market after the first offer," he said, mentioning hotels in Singapore, Hong Kong, Thailand and around Washington, DC, as later.
"A lot of people do not want to sit on money in currency of devaluation in a bank account," said De Baets. "A wealth of high-profile trophies is something you can be emotionally connected to and build some of your savings portfolio."
"We think the future resides in all those who start to retain more wealth in appreciating the asset-backed cash token, he added.