Harbor’s Tokenized REIT Gets Cancelled

13 April 2019

Each week we share the latest news in the Security Token industry. This is newsletter #31— subscribe here to get it in your inbox every Thursday.


As shown in the quote and news below, a large tokenized REIT deal backed by Harbor got cancelled.

Nonetheless, experimentation is integral to the development of new technology. Bigger companies may prefer to conduct such experimentation under the radar; with proofs of concept and pilot projects. In contrast, startups like Harbor often experiment out in the open.

The downside of open experimentation is of course the negative press you get with projects that fail, as is the case now. However, such projects also provide a learning to other companies — which in the case of under-the-radar PoCs, we wouldn’t have had.


My thesis about RE tokenization is simple: structures that provide price transparency across the entire capital stack of RE may be successful. This one didn’t, and wasn’t.

— Dave Friedman discussing Harbor’s unsuccessful tokenized REIT deal on Twitter (for more, see below).


🏗️ In our 12th newsletter sent back in November, we reported on Harbor’s plans to tokenize a $20-million student dorm in South Carolina. According to the news publication The Block Genesis, the deal has since fallen through (article behind paywall).

⛓️ Asset tokenization company Swarm will allow issuers to issue tokenized securities on the TRON blockchain. The idea is that issuers can choose the chain they prefer; this now includes Ethereum, Stellar and TRON.

💱 Templum has partnered with Miami International Holdings, which operates three security exchanges. The goal of the partnership is to launch a digital security exchange.

🏘️ R3-backed Instant Property Network is running a trial with RBS, Barclays and Clifford Chance to test its Corda-based platform facilitating property transactions.

💾 Tokenized security platform Securitize has launched the Securitize Ready Program, a sort of referral network for broker-dealers, law firms, custody providers, etc.

💱 The Gibraltar Stock Exchange has begun listing blockchain-based securities, particularly bonds and funds. No specific listings have been announced, however.


🌐 The World Economic Forum published a whitepaper on Central Banks and DLT. A far cry from decentralized finance, the report looks at the different (research) projects on DLT and digital currencies by central banks around the world and the benefits/downsides of Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC).
One interesting conclusion: “Emerging country central banks may experience the greatest gains from DLT implementations”.

🌊 In our newsletter of 23 March, we linked to a list of all token contracts created using the Polymath Token Studio. Here is a deep(er) dive into Polymath activity, including an estimate of the (limited) revenue recognized by the company.


🍔 NY-based Blockstack, which raised $50m in a 2017 ICO, filed its Reg A Offering Statement today and plans to raise another $50m, offering so-called STACKS tokens.

🇦🇹 Austrian crypto tax solution Blockpit is planning a $5m STO, sharing its revenue with investors. More info in this article in German.


There are several global industry associations that focus on tokenization, tokenized securities and blockchain more generally.

Global Digital Finance is one, the Tokenization Standards Association and the Blockchain Token Association are others. With a more thorough Google search, we could surely find others; one of those is the Dutch Cryptodelta, which launched a week or two ago, here in the Netherlands.

It will be interesting to see what such associations can and will achieve. On the one hand, the work they do is laudable, as they further the interest of the ‘tokenization industry’. On the other, I wonder if we need so many; do more associations mean a lower overall impact?

What do you think?

See you next week! 👋

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