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Dec 13 • 13 mins
Blockchain NFT

Real-World Asset Tokenization Made Easy

Welcome to the world of Real World Assets (RWA). In this article, we will explore the concept of RWA and its rapid growth in the blockchain industry. RWA, also known as tokenization of real-world assets, is a trend that has gained significant attention from experts and traditional financial institutions. We will delve into the reasons behind this surge of interest, the types of assets that can be tokenized, the process of tokenization, and the advantages it offers. So, let’s dive in!

What are Real World Assets (RWA)?

Real World Assets (RWA) are tokenized representations of tangible and intangible assets. By creating tokens that track these assets, their value and other indicators can be determined and recorded. The RWA ecosystem encompasses various protocols and platforms that facilitate the tokenization and trading of these assets. According to DeFi Lama, there are at least 26 protocols in the RWA ecosystem, with a total value locked (TVL) of 2.4 billion dollars as of September 2023. The number of token holders in these projects on the Ethereum network has doubled in the past year. The total value of credit secured by tokenized assets has already exceeded 4 billion dollars, and new projects are exploring the tokenization of precious metals and carbon credits.

Types of Assets Suitable for Tokenization

Tokenization can be applied to a wide range of assets, both tangible and intangible. Any asset that can be formalized and documented can potentially be tokenized. Let’s explore some examples of assets that are well-suited for tokenization:

Tangible Assets

  • Real Estate: Properties such as residential and commercial buildings can be tokenized, allowing investors to own fractional shares and benefit from rental income and property value appreciation.
  • Precious Metals: Assets like gold, silver, and other metals can be tokenized, enabling investors to trade fractional ownership without the need for physical delivery.
  • Collectibles: Rare and valuable items, such as artwork, vintage cars, and luxury goods, can be tokenized, providing investors with opportunities to own a share of these assets.

Intangible Assets

  • Equity: Shares of publicly traded companies or private equity can be tokenized, allowing for easier transferability and fractional ownership.
  • Government and Corporate Bonds: Bonds issued by governments or corporations can be tokenized, providing investors with access to fixed-income investments.
  • Trade Finance: Tokenization can be applied to trade finance instruments, allowing for more efficient and transparent international trade transactions.

It is important to note that the tokenization of assets is not limited to the examples provided above. Any asset that can be formalized and coded has the potential to be tokenized.

The Process of Tokenization

The tokenization process involves several stages, from formalizing the asset to the maintenance of the tokenized asset. Let’s break down the key stages of tokenization:

1. Formalization

The first stage of tokenization is the formalization of ownership rights and the determination of the asset’s economic value. This requires expert assessment and compliance with regulatory requirements. The asset must be evaluated and registered according to the relevant jurisdiction’s norms.

2. Information Transfer

Once the asset is formalized in the traditional world, its information needs to be transferred to the blockchain. Smart contracts and tokens of various standards are used to represent the real-world asset. Developers create smart contracts that contain data about the underlying asset, upon which the RWA token will be issued. In some cases, third-party auditors are trusted to handle the information transfer.

3. Development and Maintenance

The final stage involves the development and maintenance of the RWA ecosystem. This includes ensuring the accuracy of the information about the tokenized asset, maintaining liquidity, and facilitating trading and redemption. Platform providers play a crucial role in maintaining the infrastructure, making necessary changes to smart contracts, and ensuring legal compliance. Price oracles and experts are often involved to provide up-to-date quotes for the underlying asset.

Advantages of Tokenizing Real World Assets

Tokenizing real-world assets offers several advantages that attract both developers and investors. Let’s take a closer look at these advantages:

1. Integration with DeFi

Tokenization allows for the integration of traditional assets into the decentralized finance (DeFi) infrastructure. This increases accessibility and efficiency in trading by leveraging automated market makers and other blockchain solutions. RWA serves as a bridge between traditional and decentralized finance, transforming the landscape of the crypto market and providing new sources of capital, liquidity, and profitability.

2. Access to Traditional Assets

Tokenization provides access to traditional assets for a broader range of investors. Fractional ownership enables smaller investors to participate in markets that were previously reserved for high-net-worth individuals. This democratization of access to assets can lead to increased diversification and potential returns for investors.

3. Enhanced Transparency and Security

Blockchain technology brings transparency and security to the tokenization process. The immutable nature of the blockchain ensures that ownership rights are securely recorded and cannot be tampered with. Smart contracts automate the execution of agreements, reducing the need for intermediaries and minimizing the risk of fraud.

4. Improved Liquidity

Tokenization enhances the liquidity of traditionally illiquid assets. By fractionalizing ownership and enabling trading on blockchain platforms, investors have the flexibility to buy and sell tokens based on their investment preferences. This increased liquidity opens up new opportunities for investors and promotes market efficiency.

5. Diversification of Investment Portfolios

Tokenization provides opportunities for diversification by offering access to a wide range of assets. Investors can allocate their portfolios across different tokenized assets, reducing risk and potentially increasing returns. This diversification can be achieved within a single platform or across multiple platforms, depending on the investor’s preferences.

The Rise of Tokenization

The popularity of tokenization has been steadily increasing, driven by several factors. Let’s explore some of the reasons behind the rise of tokenization:

1. Market Conditions

The cryptocurrency market has experienced a prolonged bearish trend, accompanied by a decline in trading volumes on decentralized exchanges (Dex). As a result, there has been an outflow of funds from DeFi, and the market capitalization of stablecoins has decreased. To counter these challenges, DeFi platforms are seeking new sources of liquidity, and RWA integration provides a potential solution.

2. Attractive Traditional Financial Instruments

Traditional financial instruments, such as US Treasury bonds, have become more attractive due to higher yields. The Federal Reserve’s strategy to combat post-pandemic inflation by raising key interest rates has led to increased annual yields on these assets, reaching the highest levels in the past 15 years. Compared to stablecoins in the top-20 pools, only MakerDAO and Just Land offer comparable yields. However, investments in stablecoins and cryptocurrencies carry more potential risks compared to the purchase of US Treasury bonds, which are backed by the US government and subject to transparent regulations.

3. Blockchain Adoption in Traditional Finance

The adoption of blockchain technology in the banking and financial sectors has been gaining momentum in recent years. Swift, a global provider of financial messaging services, tested the transfer of tokenized assets between blockchains. Visa developed a solution for fee settlement in fiat currencies using blockchain technology. PayPal launched its own stablecoin. Blockchain platforms like Stellar and R3 Corda are becoming the technical foundation for tokenizing securities and central bank digital currencies (CBDCs) and facilitating interbank transactions.

The RWA Ecosystem

The RWA ecosystem encompasses various categories of projects, each serving a specific purpose within the tokenization landscape. Let’s explore the main categories of projects in the RWA ecosystem:

1. Infrastructure Projects

Infrastructure projects form the technological foundation for asset issuance and compliance. They include specialized blockchains, technical stacks, and legal frameworks that enable the tokenization of assets. These projects provide the necessary tools and infrastructure to facilitate the issuance, trading, and compliance of tokenized assets.

2. Asset Providers

Asset providers are platforms that directly engage in tokenizing assets and developing the infrastructure for their maintenance and distribution. These providers can be categorized based on the type of assets they offer. The largest sectors in the market include real estate, lending, public debt, and more. Platforms specializing in real estate tokenization enable the trading of ownership rights and allow investors to earn rental income. Lending platforms provide loans backed by tokenized assets, and public debt platforms offer access to government bonds. These are just a few examples of the many asset providers in the RWA ecosystem.

3. Physical Asset Tokenization

Physical asset tokenization covers a wide range of assets, such as agriculture, regenerative finance, insurance-linked securities, various financial instruments, and physical commodities. Tokenizing physical assets allows investors to participate in these sectors and benefit from their potential returns.

The Future of Tokenization

The future of tokenization looks promising, with projections indicating substantial growth in the RWA market. According to the Boston Consulting Group, the total capitalization of RWA could reach 16 trillion dollars by 2030. This includes tokenized stocks, government bonds, real estate, and investment fund assets. The ongoing development and adoption of blockchain technology, along with the demand for new asset classes, are driving the popularity and expansion of tokenization.


Tokenizing real-world assets opens up a world of possibilities for investors and developers alike. The ability to integrate traditional assets into the decentralized finance ecosystem, improved accessibility, enhanced transparency and security, and increased liquidity are just a few of the advantages that tokenization offers. As the RWA ecosystem continues to evolve, we can expect to see more diverse asset classes being tokenized and greater integration between traditional finance and the blockchain industry. So, keep an eye on the exciting developments in the world of RWA

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    About the author

    Dmitry K.

    CEO and Co-founder of ND Labs
    I’m a top professional with many-year experience in software development and IT. Founder and CEO of ND Labs specializing in FinTech industry, blockchain and smart contracts development for Defi and NFT.

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