Blueprint for the tokenization of shares of Swiss corporations using the distributed ledger technology

… For the purpose of this blueprint, the tokenization process does not involve the issuance of shares in the form of tokens, in the sense that the shares and the tokens would be one and the same instrument. As a matter of Swiss corporate law, the issuance of shares involves various steps – in particular a registration in the commercial register – that are different from those involved in the issuance of tokens. Rather, this blueprint describes the process through which shares that have already been issued pursuant to Swiss corporation law can be “wrapped” into digital tokens, so that the tokens and the underlying shares are tied to each other in a manner that prevents the shares from being transferred without the corresponding tokens and vice-versa.

This blueprint addresses the tokenization of shares. It does not address the manner in which transactions involving tokenized shares can be tied with other transactions on a blockchain, e.g. the manner in which a transfer of tokenized shares can be tied to a payment in cryptocurrencies for these shares.

There may be ways to tokenize the shares of a Swiss corporation other than those described in this blueprint. Also, the tokenization process outlined herein can potentially be applied to tokens created on various types of blockchains, either public or private. In this document, it is however assumed that the tokens will be created using the public version of the Ethereum blockchain, as deployed on the date of this blueprint, or another blockchain that supports smart contracts.

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