21X reflects on capital market history in the making at CAC – with Europe poised for a digital asset transformation

21X reflects on capital market history in the making at CAC – with Europe poised for a digital asset transformation

The Frankfurt School of Finance & Management was the site this week of the Crypto Assets Conference 2024 (CAC), which brought together national and international proponents of web3, digital assets, and blockchain. With upwards of 400 on-site attendees and 4,000 online, CAC included over 60 speakers and eight panel discussions on topics ranging from the future of digital assets and securities to the tokenization of securities and the disruption of decentralized finance.

21X CEO, Max Heinzle, and Head of Business Development, Severin Kranz, were among the attendees – returning with valuable insights and a sense of optimism for the future of European digital finance.

The CAC serves as an important platform for industry experts, fintech players, and legal minds to discuss a range of subjects, with this year’s panel discussions and workshops centered around distributed ledger technology (DLT), the EU DLT Regime and the value of regulated trading venues for digital assets; asset tokenization and the corresponding national legal frameworks, such as the German electronic securities act; and crypto assets under MiCAR (Markets in Crypto Assets Regulation) and the progress of central bank digital Currencies (CBDCs).

A key topic at the conference was the EU DLT Regime and its role in developing a fully regulated digital asset ecosystem in Europe. Following the recent letter by ESMA (European Securities and Markets Authority) to the European Commission on April 3 setting out the status of the Regime, there was widespread recognition of its benefits as a vital step towards achieving the EU’s ambition of becoming a global leader in tokenized asset trading.

The application and award process to operate a DLT-based trading facility and/or settlement system for financial instruments was a particular subject of both presentations and debate among attendees.  

Max Heinzle poignantly captured this sentiment.

“There’s no magic bullet for obtaining the license. Between preparation, application, and ongoing dialogue with ESMA and BaFin, it has been over 18 months of dedicated effort for 21X, and the process isn’t finished yet. With our head start as the first DLT-TSS applicant in Europe we are paving the way for the future of capital markets. We’re building the framework for a completely new paradigm – a fully regulated digital asset ecosystem for the trading of financial instruments.”

Severin Kranz highlighted the discussions between stakeholders on the growing expectations for this year.

“Despite the challenges faced by institutions, tokenizers and infrastructure providers alike, the signs are that 2024 will be an important year for the transformation of finance through digital assets. While tokenized funds, bonds and other instruments are being issued by the largest asset managers in the world, this year we will see those assets being traded on regulated trading venues across the globe. With the development of our DLT-based market infrastructure for just this purpose, we are writing a new chapter in the history of capital markets in Europe.”  

CAC 2024 served as a testament to the growing European digital asset landscape. Through collaborative efforts and dedication, the industry is poised to usher in a new era of financial innovation and accessibility – and 21X is committed to being a pivotal player in this evolution.

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