Open-source blockchain developer Iota has taken another step to meet institutional demand for asset tokenization by integrating its Shimmer Ethereum Virtual Machine (EVM)-compatible chain with Fireblocks.
Data from VanEck Research shows the total market capitalization for tokenized real-world assets (RWA) reached $342 billion in September despite the bear market and the crypto industry headwinds. According to Dominik Schiener, co-founder of Iota, the network is building infrastructure and solutions to address the escalating demand for real-world asset (RWA) tokenization.
“We can expect many large institutional investors and financial institutions to give their public support for digital assets in 2024. With clear regulations and newfound public support through these institutions and the imminent ETFs, we are well on our way to make institutional investors the dominant market participants,” noted Schiener.
Tokenization of assets refers to bringing tangible or intangible assets from the traditional financial world to the blockchain. There are a variety of assets that can be included here, such as real estate, commodities, company shares and even financial instruments like bonds and invoices. One of the main benefits of tokenization is the increased liquidity of assets.
ShimmerEVM is an Ethereum-compliant smart contract built on top of the Shimmer blockchain, which serves as a staging network for Iota, meaning it’s a testing and development environment where new features and applications can be validated before being integrated into the Iota mainnet.
The integration will allow Fireblocks customers to custody tokenized assets on ShimmerEVM, as well as initiate transactions on the chain directly from the Fireblocks console and API. Fireblocks offers direct crypto custody and other solutions for institutional investors. The company claims to have 1,800 clients, including notable financial institutions such as BNY Mellon and BNP Paribas.
In November, Iota disclosed its distributed ledger technology (DLT) foundation in the Middle East to push for accelerated growth of decentralized technologies and asset tokenization in the region. “With the recent registration and approval of the first DLT Foundation in the UAE, we are on a path to tokenize RWA assets on Iota and on Shimmer,” Schiener added.