SWIFT Plans to Explore Tokenized Assets in Q1 2022

The global provider of secure financial messaging services, SWIFT, is planning to launch an innovative pilot in the first quarter of 2022 that will see it explore interoperability in the nascent asset tokenization market.

SWIFT to Test Tokenized Assets

Aside from SWIFT, other participants in the initiative will include Clearstream, Northern Trust, Citi-backed enterprise blockchain firm SETL and other industry players, the company noted in a recent announcement.

Thomas Zschach, SWIFT’s Chief Innovation Officer, said with the organization being able to link more than 11,000 institutions across 200 countries, it is strategically positioned to engage closely with the future of tokenized securities.

“We look forward to this set of new experiments and innovating collaboratively with market participants on the emerging trend of tokenized assets,” Zschach said.

The experiments, according to SWIFT, will use both Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDCs) as well as established forms of payment, which may include the United States Dollar, Euro, etc.

Interest in Tokenized Assets Surge

Although the market capitalization of tokenized assets seems small compared to that of cryptocurrencies, the market is expected to surge above $24 trillion by 2027, SWIFT added.


Based on this, interest in the asset class has been on the increase. In recent times, several financial instruments like stocks, bonds, and other illiquid assets, including commodities and real estate, have been tokenized.

Banks and securities firms are also not left out in the tokenization buzz, as these entities are responding to tokenization via fractionalization, a process whereby fractions of assets are sold as digital tokens in a bid to enhance liquidity and accessibility.

Per the announcement, the experiment will center on improving the exchange of information between the participants and systems that interact during the existence of tokenized assets.

“SWIFT plans a series of experiments in Q1 2022 leveraging its trusted role as a central platform to explore the issuance, delivery versus payment (DVP) and redemption processes to support a frictionless and seamless tokenized asset market,” excerpts of the report read.

SWIFT’s Position Threatened by Crypto

SWIFT is a communication platform that connects banks and other financial institutions for cross-border payments.

As interest in digital currencies such as cryptocurrencies, CBDCs, and stablecoins surges, there are suggestions that SWIFT’s relevance may decline in the near future.

In 2019, SWIFT’s chairman, Yawar Shah, said cryptocurrencies are causing extraordinary changes in the global financial space.


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PwC Hong Kong Buys Land in The Sandbox

Key Takeaways

  • PwC Hong Kong has purchased virtual land in The Sandbox, an Ethereum-based VR and Metaverse platform.
  • The company joins Adidas and other major brands in acquiring land and partnering with The Sandbox.
  • The value of the purchase was not disclosed.

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PwC Hong Kong has purchased virtual land in The Sandbox, according to an announcement from Animoca Brands.

PwC Hong Kong Buys Sandbox Land

The acquisition of land means that PwC Hong Kong will have a dedicated space in The Sandbox, a VR game built on Ethereum.

William Gee of PwC Hong Kong said that the acquisition will “create value through innovative business models” and introduce “new ways to engage with…customers and communities.”

It is unclear exactly how PwC Hong Kong plans to use its presence in The Sandbox, though Gee said that the company plans to advise clients who want to invest in the Metaverse.

Animoca Brands noted that this deal makes PwC Hong Kong the first member of an international professional services company to obtain land in the virtual world of The Sandbox.

The value of today’s purchase was not disclosed. However, past sales of single land parcels suggest that the purchase could range between 2.7 ETH ($11,300) and 40,000 ETH ($164 million).

Other Partnerships

Other firms have previously bought land in The Sandbox. Adidas purchased land in the VR game in late November.

The platform has also partnered with several big names including The Walking Dead, Atari, South China Morning Post, and Snoop Dogg, as well as family brands The Care Bears and The Smurfs.

The Sandbox’s non-fungible tokens, which are used as parcels of land, are currently the sixth-largest category of NFTs by volume. The project saw 4,280 ETH ($17.5 million) of NFTs move this week, according to live data from OpenSea.

The Sandbox’s native cryptocurrency token, SAND, hit $6.13 today, its highest price since last month. At the time of writing the coin is up 16.7% over the past 24 hours and is valued at $6.09.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC, ETH, and other cryptocurrencies. 

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Crypto Research Analyst Puts Ethereum At $9,000 In Six Months

Ethereum has had a good year in 2021, although the digital asset is looking to close out the year on a less than a bullish note. Nevertheless, investor sentiment around the altcoin continues to be on the positive side as most expect the cryptocurrency to do well in the coming years. One of those is a crypto research analyst at Fundstrat, Armando Aguilar, who believes that Ethereum will double in price next year.

Ethereum Heading For A Big Year

In a report on Business Insider, Aguilar noted that the year has been a choppy one for the cryptocurrency market. There were several bull rallies and crashes that rocked the market for the year, and the analyst expects to see this choppiness persist into next year. However, next year does not look to be all bad from his perspective.

Related Reading | Jack Dorsey Disses Ethereum, Web3 In Twitter Rampage

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Aguilar shared with Insider that he was expecting more adoption from institutional investors into bitcoin which would lead to what he sees to be a successful year. For Ethereum, this has some important implications as the coin has now lost its footing above $4,000. Aguilar explained that he sees the price of Ethereum doing very well going into the year 2022.

Ethereum price chart from TradingView.com

ETH begins recovery towards $4k | Source: ETHUSD on TradingView.com

He puts the price of the second-largest cryptocurrency by market cap at $9,000 by the second quarter of 2022. This will be propelled by the growth of decentralized finance (DeFi), the metaverse, and NFTs.

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Even with the explosive growth of DeFi in 2021, Aguilar sees this growth going into 2022 as institutional investors take more stake in the market. As this demand grows, Atheneum’s value will grow with it, putting it at $9,000 in the first half of 2022. “I believe that DeFi will play a major role for institutional capital next year,” said Aguilar. “As institutional and retail demand drove DeFi into new heights, the trends will continue to spill into 2022.”

Bitcoin Clocking Six Figures

For Ethereum to hit Aguilar’s prediction, bitcoin would also have to see explosive growth in 2022. This is why the analyst also expects bitcoin to finally hit six figures in the same time frame. He puts this up to more adoption from institutional investors as they turn to bitcoin to combat rising inflation rates. This will see the price of bitcoin finally surge towards the coveted $100,000 price.

Related Reading | By The Numbers: How Ethereum 2.0 One-Year Stats Stack Up

Additionally, institutional investors are already getting exposure to the digital asset through the various ETFs that have been approved by the SEC. Aguilar notes that funds like Valkyrie are tracking US public companies that are exposed to bitcoin through the Balance Sheet Opportunities ETF.

Just like Ethereum, bitcoin looks to be heading towards a year-end close below expectations. The digital asset continues to struggle at $48,000 going into the holidays, suggesting that a close below $50,000 for the year is imminent.

Featured image from BankrateAn, chart from TradingView.com


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Here’s What Triggered the Recent Crypto Market Correction, According to CoinShares CSO Meltem Demirors

Meltem Demirors, the chief strategy officer (CSO) of cryptocurrency investment firm CoinShares, is saying digital assets have done “exceptionally well” in 2021 even after retreating from their record highs.

Demirors says in a Yahoo Finance interview that one of the factors driving the crypto market correction is the expectation that, based on history, the bull run following the quadrennial Bitcoin (BTC) halving is over.

“What we see at the end of this year, in particular, is I think we have three factors.

Number one, crypto operates in cycles and certain narratives and one of the narratives is that we have these four-year cycles around the Bitcoin halving and we are reaching the end of one cycle.

So I think there’s a little bit of self-fulfilling prophecy here where people are looking for the same pattern to repeat.”

The CoinShares CSO says that the growing correlation between cryptocurrencies and the legacy markets is resulting in jitters evident in the latter impacting the former.

“But I think number two and number three are: Bitcoin has become highly financialized, the overall crypto class is more financialized.

So we are seeing a correlation with macro markets and I think the uncertainty we are seeing in equities is also translating to crypto.”

Demirors also says that the crypto market correction could be driven by investors booking profits.

“I think the third piece is again related to gains.

A lot of funds and investors that have seen significant gains in their portfolios this year are likely looking to crystalize and lock in some of those gains, you know, get paid those performance fees.

And so I think we are seeing some selling into the strength of the end of the year as people look ahead and rebalance their book and rebalance their exposure going into the New Year.”

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SWIFT Will Explore Tokenized Asset Market in 2022

Key Takeaways

  • Financial messaging giant SWIFT has announced plans to facilitate the burgeoning tokenized asset market.
  • It will conduct experiments in Quarter 1 of 2022 to assess its role as a connector of tokenized assets.
  • Estimates by the World Economic Forum project a tokenized asset market capitalization of $24 trillion by 2027.

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The Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, has announced plans to support the rapidly-growing tokenized asset market. 

New Year’s Plans

SWIFT, a leading provider of secure financial messaging services, has published plans to support tokenized asset markets globally by the first quarter of 2022.

To that end, SWIFT has announced that it will conduct “a series of experiments in Q1 2022 leveraging its trusted role as a central platform” to explore its possible utility within the burgeoning industry.  Specifically, SWIFT says it is exploring ways in which it can “enable and improve interoperability between participants and systems during the transactional lifecycle of tokenised assets.”

SWIFT’s focus will be to help “all entities” interconnect efficiently, supporting the smooth flow of tokenized assets by linking tokenization platforms. It will only deal with regulated assets, and it will not custody cryptocurrency nor act as a direct settler of tokenized assets. 

Working with other major institutions in the industry, SWIFT says it will “explore the issuance, delivery versus payment (DVP), and redemption processes, to support a frictionless and seamless tokenised asset market.” 

The experiments that SWIFT has planned for next quarter will build on its past work. In May, SWIFT published work done with the consulting firm Accenture in which it examined what role it could play in supporting the adoption of CBDCs.

Chief Innovation Officer at SWIFT, Thomas Zschach, spoke of the natural fit for SWIFT to support tokenized assets globally: 

“As a neutral cooperative with a reach across 11,000 institutions in more than 200 countries, and oversight by central banks globally, SWIFT is uniquely placed to engage closely in the future of securities.” 

SWIFT’s announcement does little to elucidate the nature of these “experiments;” however, it is at least apparent from today’s announcement that whatever the nature of its role turns out to be, SWIFT intends to be a central player in the emerging tokenized assets industry.

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this piece owned BTC and several other cryptocurrencies. 

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Argo Blockchain among most traded stocks by Fidelity customers

Financial services company Fidelity Investments’ U.K. arm reported that over the last 12 months customers were most interested in trading shares of crypto mining firm Argo Blockchain. 

In a Thursday report, Fidelity said Argo Blockchain ranked third among the top five stocks most actively traded by its customers in 2021 — the others were Rolls-Royce, British Airways owner International Consolidated Airlines, oil giant BP, and Lloyds Banking Group. Argo, which Fidelity described as a “trending” stock, also ranked third among stocks traded by Self-Invested Personal Pension, or SIPP, investors.

However, the financial services company hinted that Argo may not make the top five next year. According to Fidelity, “new arrivals” knocked the mining firm off the list of most actively traded stocks in December, including COVID-19 test manufacturer Genedrive, fast fashion retailer Boohoo Group, and engineering firm Smiths Group.

One of the first crypto mining firms to be listed on the London Stock Exchange in 2018, Argo Blockchain has steadily expanded its operations. Argo became more accessible to U.S. investors through a public listing on the Nasdaq in September. In addition, the firm is currently constructing a facility on a 320-acre land plot in West Texas, aiming for “access to up to 800 [megawatts] of electrical power” to mine Bitcoin (BTC) and other cryptocurrencies.

According to data from its website, Argo’s facilities in North America are currently using 45 MW of electricity to generate more than 1.6 exahashes per second of Bitcoin. As of the end of November, the company reported it had generated 1,831 BTC and held 2,317 Bitcoin or “Bitcoin Equivalent” — roughly $93 million and $118 million at the time of publication, respectively.

Related: Argo Blockchain mines record 597 BTC during Q3 2021

Shares of Argo are currently trading on the London Stock Exchange at a price of $130.10, having fallen more than 65% since reaching an all-time high of $380.96 in February.