Tokenization top of mind for Taurus in 2024 after FINMA approval

The crypto infrastructure firm backed by Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank looks to push tokenization further after securing Swiss regulatory approval

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T. Schneider/Shutterstock modified by Blockworks

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A crypto infrastructure firm backed by Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank looks to advance a sector trend following its recent approval from Switzerland’s financial regulator.

Taurus co-founder Lamine Brahimi told Blockworks in an interview that the firm is focused on building out its custody and tokenization platforms in 2024 amid the momentum around bringing real-world assets to the blockchain.

Buying a private company’s equity or debt should be as easy as purchasing a book on Amazon, he said.

Read more: TradFi, DeFi convergence continues through tokenizing real-world assets

Taurus raised $65 million in a February 2023 round led by Credit Suisse. German finance giant Deutsche Bank, which has since signaled it was set to establish crypto custody and tokenization services with Taurus’ help, also participated.   

Read more: ‘Landmark Transactions’ to come after Credit Suisse deal, Taurus exec says

Earlier this week, the crypto-focused company secured approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). The designation opens up its digital assets marketplace TDX to retail clients, the company noted.

Taurus has a regulated financial services business, as well as a technology arm. On the tech side, the firm boasts about 30 banks as clients, Brahimi noted. 

“Controlling the technology gives us a strategic advantage, and we have all the capabilities internally to service any type of tokenized assets for all types of clients on multiple blockchains,” Brahimi said.

Following the FINMA approval, Taurus said it is admitting new tokenized assets from various Swiss companies. These include the real estate groups Investis and Swissroc, as well as the insurance firm La Mobilière.

Keep reading for excerpts from Blockworks’ interview with Brahimi.


Blockworks: What types of clients are using Taurus’s TDX marketplace?

Brahimi: TDX has been designed for buy-side investors and traders, including retail clients and banks willing to access tokenized private markets.

It is also made for sell-side issuers, such as [small and medium enterprises] and different asset owners looking to digitize assets.

Blockworks: Which entities do you expect to dip their toe in here? 

Brahimi: At the moment, we focus on two main segments.

The first one consists of our banking clients. 80% of them are already using Taurus’ tokenization platform; they have a vested interest to tokenize and admit them on TDX. Several deals on fixed income, alternative assets and art have been made, or are ongoing.

The second one consists of renowned Swiss issuers with revenues between $5 million and $50 million. Many have already selected TDX as a preferred venue to trade their digital securities, including Investis Group, La Mobilière, Qoqa, SCCF, Swissroc and Teylor. We have tokenized real estate projects, equity including participation certificates and debt instruments.

Blockworks: What will Taurus be most focused on in 2024? 

Brahimi: In our infrastructure business, Taurus will continue to build its custody and tokenization platforms and expand internationally. We have opened offices in London, Paris, Frankfurt and Dubai in 2023 and are planning to open others in 2024 to be closer to our clients. 

Read more: Taurus expands Europe footprint after Deutsche Bank link-up

On the financial services side, we will propose multiple deals in fixed income, equity and art to our clients, and we plan to deliver a new app. We hope we can convince dozens of new issuers by the end of this year. 

Blockworks: Where does the firm believe the biggest opportunities lie in the tokenization space?

Brahimi: We see the biggest opportunities in private markets. It should be as easy to buy a private company security — equity or debt — as it is to buy a book on Amazon. The regulation is ready in several key financial centers, and the technology is there too. 

Our deep conviction is that the real opportunities will burgeon when the cash side is tokenized. We are working on multiple tokenized deposits projects with several of our clients.

Blockworks: We saw Taurus partner with Deutsche Bank last year. What other big financial institutions might the company be working with, or expect to in the future?

Brahimi: We work with multiple systemic banks and have some big announcements planned for 2024. 

This interview was edited for brevity and clarity.


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