Quietly, almost unnoticeably, a different sort of revolution is underway that finance historians might say marks the beginning of a new era.
Tokenized bonds, pioneered by on its knees Venezuela, is now seriously being considered by the liberal stronghold of Berkeley as a potential way to gain some financial independence from a potentially hostile central administration.
A unanimous vote at the City Council was passed this Tuesday, asking the city manager to evaluate the benefits of issuing tokenized bonds.
As we reported previously, they have partnered with a San Francisco-based tech platform, Neighborly Corp, which means the evaluation will probably include a perhaps ready to go prototype with the Council to eventually give the final green light.
Back then, Berkeley’s Mayor said: “Cities must look toward new funding methods to solve their most intractable problems, especially in the face of diminished federal support.”
While Berkeley City Council Member Ben Bartlett said: “Berkeley is the center of the resistance, and for the resistance to work, it must have a coin.”
But now, that resistance has apparently gone beyond Trump, with Vice Mayor Ben Bartlett stating the tokenized bond was meant “to get around Wall Street.”
The biggest question here would be whether this bond offering would be global in nature, or limited to Berkeley’s residents only.
If the latter, then it would still be an interesting experiment, but if they are to tap global markets through tokenization, then it may very much send shockwaves.
The primary reason would be because bonds currently are so inaccessible. If you ask a person down the street, they would probably not even know what they are.
Tokenizing them would tap into new 21st century technology, while also bringing them to a new generation in as an accessible way as logging in a certain website.
With a third aspect being their ability to also act as money. Perhaps not exchangeable for food, but like stocks, bonds are paper based. To transfer ownership is so complex it is likely very few people have even seen an actual certificate.
With the token itself being the ownership, so requiring no paper nor certificate, their liquidity can considerably increase with their friction being pretty much zero.
So making them far more accessible, and quite a bit more efficient, because it does simplify at so many levels. To the point where it all becomes just one click.