Table of Contents

Get expert insights on Drex and its use cases—stay ahead in the tokenized economy.

A Complete Guide to Tokenization

This guide provides a clear and straightforward explanation of tokenization, which involves converting assets into digital tokens using blockchain technology. It explains how smart contracts automate transactions and highlights the benefits of increased market liquidity and accessibility, giving a comprehensive understanding of tokenization's impact on various industries.

Introduction to Tokenization

What is the World Talking About Tokenization?

Traditional financial institutions are increasingly adopting blockchain technology, specifically on-chain technology, to manage asset ownership. Asset tokenization, which involves recording the ownership details of conventional assets on blockchain platforms, offers a new method for these institutions to enhance their market share. This approach is supported by blockchain technology and improves operational efficiency and transparency, making financial operations more effective and open.

Research from Boston Consulting Group (BCG) says that the tokenization of global illiquid assets is estimated to be a $16 trillion opportunity by 2030 This growth potential indicates a significant opportunity for the application of Blockchain technology in converting these assets into tokenized forms.

Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock, has commented on tokenization, describing it as an innovation that could influence future market structures. His remarks, which have attracted widespread attention, underscore the growing interest in technology-driven financial strategies.

This trend toward technology integration is not limited to financial institutions. For example, in November, the U.K. government’s Asset Management Task Force published a report that serves as a "blueprint" for the development of the asset tokenization market within FCA-authorized funds. This initiative, in collaboration with the U.K. Treasury and the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), aims to improve efficiency, transparency, and the international competitiveness of the investment management sector.

The Concept of Tokenization


Asset tokenization is a process that transforms physical assets, data, and information into digital tokens using blockchain technology. This method allows for parts of ownership in high-value and illiquid assets to be digitally recorded and managed, enhancing the efficiency of financial systems.

The process is further refined by smart contracts, which are self-executing contracts with terms embedded directly into the code. These contracts automate complex financial transactions, minimizing manual oversight and expediting settlement times. Such automation enables immediate and simultaneous settlements, potentially reducing credit risks and ensuring the finality of transactions.

Tokens are more than mere digital entries; they incorporate traditional asset records along with specific rules and logic for asset transfers. This capability allows for customization to meet the unique needs or regulatory requirements of each asset, providing flexibility not available in traditional systems with uniform ownership rules.

Practical Examples of Tokenization

Buying a Car

Consider the process of buying a used car in Brazil, where trust issues and questions about the vehicle's history, legality, and condition are common concerns. Tokenization can address these issues by representing the car's title, history reports, and other relevant information in digital tokens. This increases transparency, allows for easy access to detailed information, and relies on blockchain technology to ensure data integrity and security without the risk of tampering. You access the blockchain ledger and review detailed tokens representing every aspect of the car's history. Confident in the authenticity and condition of the vehicle, you proceed with the purchase, completing the transaction digitally and securely. This streamlined process not only saves you time but also provides peace of mind knowing you have made a well-informed decision.

Tokenization of Real Estate

Suppose you have an apartment in Rio de Janeiro valued at $700,000 and require $70,000 urgently but do not wish to sell the property. Asset tokenization offers a solution. You could divide the ownership of your apartment into 700,000 tokens, with each token representing a 0.0001% stake in the property's value. These tokens can be created and traded on blockchain platforms like Hamsa, allowing people to buy and sell tokens on various marketplaces without violating (future) asset tokenization regulations.

Supply Chain Finance

Let’s assume you own a clothing store in Brazil and purchase fabrics from a supplier in China. The traditional challenges of supply chain finance are quite apparent. Typically, you would pay for these fabrics only after they have been received, but your supplier needs funds much earlier to manufacture and ship them. This delay creates a common financial gap… and stress.

By integrating smart contracts with real-time data, this process can be optimized. For instance, a smart contract could be set up to automatically release payment to your Chinese supplier as soon as the shipment of fabrics is verified via GPS as having left the port in China. This reduces the need for trust and extensive manual checks, ensuring timely payments based on verified delivery milestones.

Moreover, integrating IoT devices for continuous tracking allows for dynamic financing adjustments. For instance, if the fabric shipment navigates successfully through a known high-risk area, the terms of financing might automatically improve, reducing interest rates or enhancing credit terms based on decreased risk. This approach not only secures the transaction for you as the buyer but also supports your supplier in managing their production costs more effectively.

Additionally, this system benefits from enhanced data capabilities. The use of real-time shipment data helps financial institutions better assess and manage risk, leading to more favorable financing conditions. It also prevents common issues like duplicate financing claims on the same collateral, as all transactions and their statuses are transparently recorded on a blockchain or similar digital ledger. This transparency and data reliability improve financial inclusiveness and access, enabling smoother operations across international supply chains.

Benefits and Advantages of Tokenization

Advantages of Asset Tokenization

Tokenization reduces the reliance on intermediaries, which is especially significant in countries with bureaucratic systems characterized by the prevalence of unnecessary middlemen. As a key feature of the Drex ecosystem, tokenization provides five important benefits:

  1. Enhanced Transparency: Each token can contain comprehensive data about the car, including its manufacturing details, ownership history, maintenance records, and any accident reports. This information is accessible to potential buyers, who can make informed decisions based on the car's actual condition.
  2. Immutable Records: Blockchain technology ensures that once information is entered into the ledger, it cannot be altered or tampered with. This immutability guarantees the authenticity of the car's history, providing buyers with confidence in the accuracy of the information provided.
  3. Simplified Verification Process: Tokenization simplifies the verification of asset authenticity and ownership, which is particularly valuable in Brazil’s import/export industry. By tokenizing goods moving through the supply chain, every transaction or transfer can be recorded on the blockchain. Importers and exporters can easily verify the origin, quality, and compliance of goods such as soybeans or beef, streamlining customs processes and reducing the risk of fraud.
  4. Improved Security and Trust: The cryptographic security of blockchain ensures that all tokenized information is protected against unauthorized changes and breaches. This is crucial in Brazil, where business transactions are often marred by concerns over corruption and fraud. For instance, a token representing ownership in a Brazilian company could contain not only equity details but also voting rights and dividend history, all encrypted and secured on the blockchain, fostering greater trust among shareholders.
  5. Potential for Fractional Ownership: In a country with significant wealth disparities, fractional ownership can democratize access to investment opportunities. For example, tokenization can make it feasible for smaller investors to buy into high-value assets like Brazilian commercial real estate or large-scale agricultural projects. This approach can open up new funding avenues for projects that were previously accessible only to large investors or financial institutions.

By minimizing intermediaries, tokenization decreases transaction costs and speeds up the process, making investments more accessible to a wider range of investors, not just large-scale investors. This broadens investment opportunities and could lead to a more equitable distribution of wealth.

The integration of Drex by the Central Bank of Brazil into the tokenization framework could exemplify and amplify these advantages by providing a secure, efficient platform for asset tokenization and trading.

How Does Asset Tokenization Work?

Asset tokenization, facilitated by platforms powered by Drex, offers a suite of tangible benefits that are reshaping the landscape of the financial market. These benefits can be broadly categorized into enhanced market accessibility, operational improvements, security enhancements, and the broadening of financial products and markets. By examining these categories separately, we can gain a clearer understanding of the value-added benefits of asset tokenization.

Asset Selection and Evaluation

  • Identification: The first step involves selecting the asset for tokenization, which could range from car documents to real estate and receivables.
  • Valuation: A comprehensive assessment is conducted to determine the asset's market value, which will inform the number of tokens to be issued and their initial pricing.

Legal Structuring and Compliance:

  • Regulatory Review: Analyze legal frameworks and regulatory requirements applicable to the asset, ensuring tokenization complies with local and potentially international laws.
  • Ownership Rights: Define the legal rights and responsibilities that token holders will acquire, including any revenue shares, voting rights, or dividends.

Token Design and Smart Contract Development:

  • Token Standards: Choose an appropriate blockchain platform and token standard (e.g., ERC-20 for fungible assets or ERC-721 for non-fungible assets) that suits the nature of the asset.
  • Smart Contract Coding: Develop smart contracts that encapsulate the rules of token ownership, transfer, and any automated actions like dividend distributions and compliance. These contracts are programmed to execute autonomously under specific conditions, ensuring transparency and trust in asset transactions.

Token Issuance and Distribution:

  • Minting Tokens: Using a Drex-based platform, create (mint) the digital tokens representing shares of the asset either privately or publicly.
  • Distribution Mechanism: Establish a secure and compliant mechanism for distributing tokens to investors, focusing on direct sales or private placements within the regulatory framework.

Secondary Market Considerations:

  • Consider that Tokenized assets facilitate the secondary market. With that, they are subject to regulatory approval and market readiness. This aspect is crucial for liquidity but should be approached with a clear understanding of the current market landscape and regulations.

What Role Does Drex Play?

Where does Drex play into this? It actually plays a pivotal role in the asset tokenization landscape by providing not only a regulatory and technological framework but also by serving as a medium for transactions. Its involvement is critical for the seamless integration of traditional financial systems with innovative digital solutions.

  • Regulatory Guidance and Compliance: The Central Bank of Brazil, together with the CVM, ensures that financial institutions adhere to the appropriate legal and regulatory frameworks during the tokenization process. It acts as a regulatory guide, providing clarity and stability in a landscape that is evolving rapidly. This aspect is crucial for institutions that are navigating the complexities of digitizing financial assets, ensuring compliance and mitigating potential legal and operational risks.
  • Authentication and Verification Infrastructure: Through a Drex-based platform, it can offer robust mechanisms for the authentication and verification of tokenized assets. This function is essential for establishing trust among participants in the digital token market, as it guarantees the integrity and authenticity of both the digital tokens and their underlying assets.
  • Transaction Facilitation with Drex as a CBDC: Drex, being conceptualized as a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), can facilitate the purchase of tokenized assets. This functionality is revolutionary, as it provides a direct, secure, and efficient method for using national currency in digital form to invest in a wide range of assets. It effectively bridges the gap between traditional financial investments and digital asset markets.
  • Infrastructure Support for Asset Tokenization: As a comprehensive ecosystem platform, Drex supports the infrastructure necessary for the tokenization, issuance, and management of digital tokens. This includes providing the technological backbone for executing smart contracts, recording transactions on a blockchain ledger, and managing the lifecycle of tokenized assets. Drex's infrastructure is designed to ensure that transactions related to tokenized assets are processed efficiently, securely, and transparently.
  • Enabling Secondary Market Activities: Although the secondary market for tokenized assets is developing, Drex's infrastructure and status as a CBDC could significantly support its growth. By facilitating regulated trading activities, Drex could become a central hub for the liquidity of tokenized assets, enabling investors to trade these assets in a secure and compliant environment. This capability is vital for increasing the accessibility and attractiveness of tokenized assets as an investment option.

Note: The practical role of Drex, both as the currency and the ecosystem, regarding tokenization is still subject to change as the launch date approaches.

Tokenization Standards and Their Role

Tokenization standards are crucial in the digitization of assets, acting as a framework that ensures the seamless conversion of real-world assets into digital tokens on a blockchain. These standards provide a common language and set of protocols that facilitate trust in the tokenization process and its outcomes.

Commonly, token standards such as ERC-20, ERC-721, and ERC-1400 are utilized for asset tokenization. These standards define the procedures and guidelines for creating and managing fungible tokens, which are interchangeable and can be replaced by another identical item.

These standards detail the representation of various asset types and outline the processes for creating, storing, transferring, and trading tokens.

Future of Asset Tokenization in Brazil

Asset tokenization is rapidly changing the financial and business sectors, making it a critical area for institutions to consider. This process converts real-world assets into digital tokens on blockchain platforms, significantly enhancing liquidity, reducing operational costs, and minimizing the need for intermediaries. Such advancements make previously hard-to-access assets more readily available for investment and management.

Leading global financial institutions, including Visa, BlackRock, HSBC, and Hang Seng Bank, are already adopting tokenized assets, signaling a robust and growing interest in this technology. Their involvement underscores the potential for significant returns and strategic advantages in adopting tokenization.

In Brazil, the Drex initiative is poised to change the environment of asset tokenization significantly. This platform aims to provide the necessary frameworks and infrastructure for efficient and compliant asset tokenization. As Drex integrates blockchain technology into Brazil's financial systems, it promotes both new methods and rigorous regulatory oversight. The advent of Drex promises to streamline the process of asset tokenization, making it more cost-effective and broadening investment opportunities across various sectors, from real estate to financial instruments.

For financial institutions not yet participating in this shift, the movement of such industry leaders and the strategic advancements in countries like Brazil should serve as a compelling call to action. Adopting tokenization now could mean accessing a broader market, engaging with new technologies, and staying competitive in a rapidly changing financial environment.

What Now?

There is no doubt that Drex will play a significant role in shaping this landscape. If your team has any questions about how to prepare and be ready for the emerging tokenized economy, we encourage you to contact us. Learn more about how you can participate in this journey with Drex.

If you have any questions about Drex, or tokenization, please reach out to us at

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