BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION, a global accelerator program designed to build blockchain start-ups and enterprises into successful businesses, has announced a strategic partnership with TOKEN FACTORY, the blockchain technology enabler behind the successful real-estate tokenization platform blockimmo and the pioneers innovating with STX.SWISS — the first decentralized security token exchange.
We spoke with Stefan Deiss, CEO and Founder of BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION, about the new project.
Could you tell us a bit about BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION?
BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION is a Swiss-based global accelerator program that enables start-ups and enterprises to launch successful blockchain-powered businesses and raise capital through a variety of methods, including Security Token Offerings (STOs), traditional Venture Capital (VC), and private equity placements. The program is led by a group of leading international blockchain entrepreneurs and practitioners who firmly believe in the future of blockchain and the global adoption of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), as game-changing technology with a positive social impact.
As blockchain entrepreneurs, we understand the challenges our peers face when attempting to launch their projects. We are committed to empowering the projects enrolled in our program with expertise in strategy, business model design, token economics, technology, legal and regulatory matters, and beyond.
Unlike most traditional accelerator programs that onboard startups in multiple batches or rounds, BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION works on a rolling basis. Each project receives customised project planning, subject matter expertise and guidance on how best to position themselves in order to gain sustainable competitive advantage in the new decentralised and tokenized digital economy.
What gave rise to this new partnership with Token Factory?
TOKEN FACTORY’s vision and strategic ambition of bringing asset tokenization to the masses, is well-aligned with BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION’s vision and mission to fundamentally change the way we invest in illiquid assets today, disrupting many industries and enabling the fractional ownership of real-estate and other assets. In this context, TOKEN FACTORY is an ideal strategic partner for BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION.
TOKEN FACTORY is the go-to provider for asset tokenization. It is a fully regulatory compliant tokenization solution enabling fractional investment and ownership — all assets are officially and legally represented on the public Ethereum blockchain.
Why do you think people are suddenly interested in investing in tokenized assets?
Tokenization is not a new concept. However, blockchain technologies has resulted in the practice of tokenization evolving, making it much easier to trade and exchange liquidized real-world assets than it was in the past. The World Economic Forum has predicted that in the next ten years, 10% of the world’s GDP will be stored in crypto assets, meaning $10 trillion of financial products and services will become digital tokens.
Previously, tangible assets such as real estate, gold, art and agriculture have been illiquid and difficult to trade. Investors traditionally trade these assets on paper — a slow and expensive process. These trades are also more difficult to track due to the regulatory nature of paper transactions, especially when it involves cross-border legislation. Tokenization’s ability to make illiquid assets liquid, is a major use case for crypto, and will serve to merge the traditional and digital economies.
Increased interest and investment in tokenized assets indicates that the market is ready for widespread optimization, and that investors and enterprises see the value in its potential to increase transparency, accessibility, and liquidity, and to make transactions faster and cheaper.
Could you tell us a bit about your new workspace facility?
In close collaboration with our strategic partner TOKEN FACTORY, we plan to open the largest workspace facility in the Canton of Zug (“Propulsion Token Factory”), with up to 250 workspaces available for startups and enterprises to tokenize their assets. We have already held preliminary meetings with the Economic Department of the Canton Zug to discuss how they can participate and contribute in terms of connecting the local universities and businesses to our workspaces.
Your company has hubs in Switzerland, Brazil, UAE, India, and China. In terms of private and public company responses to your business model, what differences have you seen between the various regions?
We offer aspiring entrepreneurs access to affordable workspaces in our hubs around the world to enable them to not only build the next-generation of blockchain solutions, but to also promote and scale their blockchain-powered businesses in new markets where we have established hubs. For example, our hub in Bangalore with swissnex India has received positive reactions from various private and public companies, reaffirming that we have the right business model in place.
The world is much more focused on renewable energy. How do you feel blockchain and crypto can fit into this green future?
The blockchain and crypto industry can’t afford to neglect this as we strive to accelerate widespread adoption of the technology. To qualify for BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION’s global accelerator program, projects must meet high standards across a selection of key criteria, including: business idea/concept; high disintermediation; network effects; team and talent; environmental, social, and governance (ESG) impact; initial funding; legal & risk assessment. The inclusion of ESG factors addresses the increasing emphasis investors place on these specific areas when making investment decisions. BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION is extremely conscious of this investment criteria and encourages blockchain projects and the wider industry to have a positive social and environmental impact. By encouraging blockchain and crypto projects to act responsibly from the beginning we can help ensure the industry’s long-term market sustainability.
What else does BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION have in store for the next half of 2019?
In the coming months, we will continue to onboard talented blockchain entrepreneurs to further strengthen our global practitioner team and create new strategic partnerships to nourish those we have already established. Already this year, BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION has opened hubs in Switzerland, Brazil, UAE, India, and China. Later this year, we will also be expanding into the United States, Singapore, South Korea, and Japan.
Since the official launch of BLOCKCHAIN PROPULSION in May 2019, we have secured valuable strategic partnerships with leading niche players in the blockchain/crypto space. We look forward to on-boarding and enabling new blockchain-powered projects and will soon be announcing new partnerships to further enhance our true end-to-end service offering for startups and enterprises.