Osaka Digital Exchange will begin trading security tokens backed by real estate assets next month, opening up alternative investments to more individual investors.
Osaka Digital Exchange is set to launch Japan's first-ever trading of digital securities next month, in a move that aims to tap into individual investors' growing appetite for alternative assets.
The exchange will begin trading security tokens issued by real estate firms Ichigo Inc. and Kenedix Inc. starting December 25, Ichigo announced in a filing to authorities yesterday.
Ichigo, a Tokyo-based company, plans to initially sell around 3 billion yen ($20.1 million) worth of securities backed by its property investments. Market observers say the modest size of this first sale indicates that the market is still cautiously testing demand.
But it is part of a broader push in Japan to develop digital securities to channel individuals' funds into riskier, higher-return investments. Japanese households currently hold over 2,000 trillion yen ($13 trillion) in financial assets, over half of which are near-zero interest bank deposits, according to Bank of Japan data.
Other Asian financial hubs like Hong Kong and South Korea have also recently eased regulations to allow more digital securities issuances and trading, setting the stage for growth in this nascent asset class.