Tokenization in Europe — Market Size to Reach €1.4trn in 2024

The world of tokenized assets gains more and more traction. As the market size for tokenized assets rises, the playing field is no longer left to startups alone. A significant amount of players from the traditional world is entering the market. In the course of the first BaFin licensing for crypto custodians later this year, the market for tokenized assets will gain further momentum in Europe and especially Germany. Substantial money inflows from financial institutions are expected as Bitcoin & Co. become legitimate assets. However, what does this mean in real numbers? We ran a simulation to determine the potential market size of a European tokenized assets market.
Authors: Benjamin Schaub, Stefan Schmitt

Figure 1: Projection tokenized market size European Union from 2018 to 2024 in EUR bn

Key assumptions

For this paper, we analyzed the research conducted by third parties and combined it with assumptions. To calculate the market size for tokenized assets in the European Union, the underlying key assumptions are:

  1. Growth of market size for crypto currencies
  2. GDP tokenized in the European Union

Market share of crypto currencies in the European Union

Remark: In this paper, we define the term “crypto currency” as publicly issued tokens, 99% of the market capitalization being payment and utility tokens. For the sake of simplicity, we use the terms Europe and European Union synonymously; however, the calculation of the market size of security tokens is based on the GDP of the European Union.

Growth of market size for crypto currencies

Given the volatility in recent years, this is the most challenging number to predict. Fundamentally, we expect a very positive development of the market. Financial institutions and private investors will have much easier access to invest in crypto currencies over the next few years. For reasons of diversification alone, it will be of interest for all sorts of investors to get their share of crypto currencies. The legitimation of Bitcoin & Co. through its establishment in the German Banking Act is elementary for positive development in Germany and Europe. We see that banks are looking for new business models in times of negative interest rates. Therefore, we expect much new money to flow into the market resulting in a corresponding increase in prices. Furthermore, the rise of secure and convenient custodians enables more and more private investors to enter the crypto space.

GDP tokenized in the European Union

In order to provide the most detailed outlook possible, we consider security tokens, tokenized rights that mimic features of securities such as interest payments and revenue participation, and crypto currencies separately. From our point of view, a more granular approach that predicts the growth of individual asset classes within the security tokens contains too many sources of error. For the future development of security tokens, we focus on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Research and surveys from institutions such as the World Economic Forum (2015), R3 (2019), and Chain Partners (2019) project that up to 10% of the global GDP will be tokenized by 2027. With 0.02% of the European Union’s GDP tokenized in 2018 and 0,05% in 2019, the market size of tokenized assets almost solely consists of crypto currencies.

Conclusion

The lack of conclusive studies and reliable figures for the European market of tokenized assets led us to conduct and publish our own research. We use a bottom-up growth scenario of crypto currencies and security tokens together with a top-down scenario based on the estimation that up to 10% of the global GDP will be tokenized by 2027. In order to project the most detailed outlook possible, the differentiation between security tokens and crypto currencies is vital as the current token market mainly consists of crypto currencies.

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