The owner of the luxury St Regis Aspen Resort says this will be the first major commercial asset to be “tokenised”.
New York-based asset manager Elevated Returns says it will use the crowdfunding platform Indiegogo to sell equity stakes in its St Regis Aspen hotel in, Colorado, using digital tokens and blockchain technology. The sale is scheduled for next month.
The stakes sale in the luxury ski-town property is the first of its kind that will use blockchain technology to store the shareholders’ equity. Owners will be able to buy digital tokens that represent equity in the hotel.
If it precedes as planned, the blockchain deal would seriously boost the new technology’s credibility as a tool for real estate investment – and could be a sign of things to come, the Commercial Observer reports.
At least in the US, until now no company has used blockchain tokens to represent shares in as prominent an asset as this uber-luxury St Regis resort, which is worth almost $200 million.
“A lot of money is being deployed towards real estate tokenisation platforms. We wanted to be the first one to tokenize” a flagship property, Elevated Returns explains.
The asset management firm bought the Rocky Mountain resort in 2010. The blockchain proposal follows a cancelled IPO in February, and it is not clear what prompted the change in strategy.
But the new plan aims to take advantage of a set of digital tools that has, in the words of the Commercial Observer, “sparked fascination throughout the worlds of finance and business”.
Blockchain technology uses cryptographic techniques that allow networks to record transactions that all members of the network can trust, without the need of a centralised institution. The idea paved the way for bitcoin, a decentralised currency whose bubble burst abruptly this year.
Shares in the St Regis will be denominated not in bitcoin but in a securitised token created especially for the hotel’s sale.