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Tend token sale points to a regulated future for ICOs

The luxury-asset investment platform is to raise funds by selling tokens that mirror participation certificates under Swiss law, with full KYC and AML checks on buyers.

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Marco Abele, founder of Tend As cryptocurrency markets collapsed in January and regulators threaten to clamp down further on initial coin offerings (ICOs), Tend – the blockchain-powered investment platform incorporated last year by Marco Abele, former chief digital officer at Credit Suisse – announced a new form of token sale.

By providing greater transparency to investors and regulators, and granting rights to token holders that mirror those enshrined in Swiss law on so-called Partizipationsschein (participation certificates), the token sale – which is set to run from February 3 to February 17 – might point the way forward for this new mechanism for financing innovative new companies.

Figures from PwC suggest that from just $236 million in 2016, the volume of funds raised through ICOs shot up to $4.6 billion last year, disrupting traditional venture capital dominance of finance for start-ups.

Tend allows billionaire owners to raise liquidity by tokenizing fractional ownership of luxury assets that combine the promise of capital appreciation with emotional experience, such as luxury cars, vineyards and works of art.

Abele's idea is that millionaires might pay to enjoy these assets occasionally while sharing in investment returns.