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Trade finance to play substantial role in USD 30.1 trillion tokenised real-world assets market by 2034

27 Jun 2024

27 June 2024, SingaporeReal-World Asset Tokenisation: A Game Changer for Global Trade, a new paper published today by Standard Chartered and Synpulse, predicts that demand for overall tokenised assets could reach USD 30.1 trillion by 2034, and that trade finance assets could become one of the top three tokenised assets globally, at 16% of the total.

Global trade is projected to reach USD 32.6 trillion globally by 2030 and this, combined with growing industry digitisation and the specific features of real-world trade finance assets, make it an ideal category to originate tokens. Currently, the tokenised assets sector mainly comprises traditional assets like US treasuries and money market funds. However, the supply side is still in its infancy, with the total value of tokenised assets (excluding stablecoins) standing at around USD 5 billion in early 2024.

Despite its attractiveness as an opportunity to diversify risk, trade finance assets are underinvested due to lack of familiarity, pricing inconsistency and operational intensity. Tokenisation has the potential to address these challenges, whilst also reducing information asymmetry and offering transparency to investors.

Digital representations of real or traditional assets in the form of a token, or distributed ledger, enable operational efficiency and automation, with the most critical benefits being their ability to deliver enhanced access to new asset classes and improved financial market infrastructure – opening doors to innovative applications in decentralised finance (DeFi) and new business models.

Tokenisation in trade finance is also seen as an opportunity to tackle the growing trade finance gap – which is estimated to be USD 2.5 trillion globally. In addition to improving market access and increasing resilience and liquidity of supply chains, it also increases the ability to reach suppliers in the deeper tiers of supply chains.

“We see the next three years as a critical junction for tokenisation, with trade finance assets coming to the fore as a new asset class,” said Kai Fehr, Global Head of Trade, Standard Chartered. “To unlock this trillion-dollar opportunity, industry-wide collaboration among all stakeholders, from investors and financial institutions to governments and regulators is critical.

“Banks need to increasingly take on the role of bridging the existing traditional financial markets with a newer and more open token-enabled market infrastructure. As one of the top five Trade  Finance Banks globally, and with our involvement in industry initiatives such as Project Guardian and Project Dynamo, Standard Chartered aims to be a driving force in the tokenisation of real-world assets, and unlocking its potential to narrow the global trade finance gap and play our part in powering the real economy.”

Yves Roesti, Managing Partner & CEO, Synpulse Group, said, “At Synpulse, we believe real-world asset tokenisation is not just a trend, but a transformative force poised to reshape global trade finance. By leveraging tokenisation’s inherent efficiencies and transparency, we can unlock a future where the “missing middle” gains access to vital capital, investors benefit from a diversified asset class, and the global trade economy thrives. Synpulse remains committed to being at the forefront of this revolution, partnering with industry players to develop the infrastructure and strategies that will unlock the promise of tokenised real-world assets.”

For further information please contact:

Piers Townsend
Standard Chartered

Lauren Verner
Standard Chartered

Anginn May


Synpulse is a global professional services company and a valued partner of leading players in the financial services and related industries. We optimise the proximity to our clients and deep domain expertise to create sustainable value using technology as a business driver. Leveraging our strong network of over 100 ecosystem partners, we accompany our clients throughout their transformation journey – from strategy and development to implementation and management. With our tech powerhouse, Synpulse8, we collaborate with our clients to co-create digital experiences with innovative technologies and proprietary methods. Synpulse is powered by the passion and commitment of its more than 1200 employees, who come from over 30 countries. 
Further information

Standard Chartered

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