Guide to Real-World Assets Tokenization

Market Analysis
Guide to Real-World Assets Tokenization

Real-world assets (RWAs) are tangible and intangible assets that have substantial value in the physical world, such as real estate, commodities, art, and intellectual property. These assets form the cornerstone of traditional investment strategies, offering a hedge against inflation, potential appreciation, and income generation. The global financial landscape is rich with these assets; for instance, the value of global real estate reached an astounding $326.5 trillion in 2020.

Despite their significance, RWAs have been largely underutilized, with few exceptions such as fiat-backed stablecoins like USDT and USDC. This presents a unique opportunity to integrate RWAs into the crypto industry, potentially unlocking new liquidity sources and offering decentralized finance (DeFi) participants an innovative asset class to generate investment yield. Moreover, tokenizing RWAs could provide a buffer against the volatility often associated with cryptocurrencies, by linking investments to the more stable values of physical assets.

What is the tokenization of real-world assets?

The tokenization of real-world assets (RWAs) represents a bridge between physical value and digital efficiency. This process involves converting the ownership or rights of tangible and intangible assets—like real estate, art, commodities, and intellectual property—into digital tokens on a blockchain. These tokens can then be traded or held across a global digital marketplace, offering unprecedented accessibility and liquidity to investors.

Historically, RWAs are bought, sold, and owned outright or in shares through complex, often cumbersome legal and financial processes. These transactions can be slow, opaque, and costly, with liquidity being a significant hurdle for investors looking to enter or exit positions. Tokenization harnesses the power of blockchain technology to dismantle these barriers, thus reimaging asset transactions to be more fluid, transparent, and accessible. Moreover, the inherent transparency and security of blockchain technology streamline transactions, reduce fraud, and provide real-time verification of ownership and transactions.

Types of real-world assets (RWAs)

Real-world assets can broadly be categorized into tangible and intangible assets. Tangible assets include real estate properties, commodities like gold and oil, and physical collectibles such as art and vintage cars. Intangible assets, on the other hand, encompass intellectual property rights, patents, and even brand values. Each of these assets holds unique value propositions, offering different levels of risk, liquidity, and potential returns. Here are some compelling use cases of tokenization:


By tokenizing sovereign bonds, such as US Treasury bills and bonds, investors can now access yield-generating opportunities that were previously out of reach. Platforms like TrueFi are setting a new standard in how we interact with sovereign bonds through its launch of the Trinity platform, a real-world-asset-based lending platform. 

This move illustrates a concrete example of tokenizing bonds, such as US Treasury bills, to unlock new opportunities for investors. Trinity allows users to use tokenized US Treasury bills, represented by TrueFi’s tfBILL tokens, as collateral to secure crypto loans. This method marries the security and stability of government securities with blockchain’s benefits: transparency, liquidity, and the chance for fractional ownership.

Private Credit

The private credit sector, with a valuation of $1 trillion in the US and $1.7 trillion globally, has historically been inaccessible to small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Various decentralized finance (DeFi) lending protocols are set to disrupt this status quo. 

Innovators like Centrifuge and Goldfinch are already facilitating direct access to debt capital, bypassing traditional barriers and intermediaries. By connecting SMEs with a broader pool of public market resources, these platforms are not just opening new avenues for investment but are also democratizing the flow of capital. 

Real Estate

Tokenization allows investors to purchase fractional interests in properties. This democratizes real estate investment, making it possible for a wider audience to earn rental income and benefit from property value appreciation. The process eliminates many of the traditional barriers to entry, such as high initial investment costs, and brings added liquidity to illiquid asset classes.


Stablecoins, which tether the digital economy to traditional financial benchmarks like the US dollar, present a compelling use case for real-world assets (RWAs) by ensuring the stability and reliability essential for mainstream adoption of cryptocurrencies. Their role is pivotal in crafting a digital infrastructure that supports a wide array of financial activities, from remittances to trade finance.


The art and collectibles market, boasting global annual sales exceeding $65 billion—with $30 billion from the U.S. alone—highlights the significant financial interest in this sector. Traditional avenues for buying and selling art and collectibles suffer from a lack of liquidity and are often hampered by high fees, with auction houses typically charging 15-20% on transactions. 

In response to these limitations, decentralized protocols are ushering in a new era for collectible financing. Platforms such as 4K and arcade.xyz are pioneering the tokenization of physical collectibles, from Supreme T-Shirts to rare comic books, enabling them to be used as collateral for borrowing and lending on the blockchain. This approach not only introduces much-needed liquidity to the market but also opens up lending opportunities beyond traditional, high-cost solutions like pawn shops.

How to tokenize RWAs

Tokenizing a real-world asset involves a systematic approach that converts ownership rights of a physical asset into a digital token on the blockchain. Below is a detailed outline of this process:

  1. Asset selection and value evaluation: The first step is to identify and assign a value for the RWA to be tokenized. This can range from a piece of art valued for its cultural significance to a commercial property known for its rental income.
  2. Legal structuring: The next step involves creating a legal entity to hold the asset and issuing tokens as securities or utility tokens, depending on the jurisdiction.
  3. Creating digital tokens: The asset’s value is then represented as digital tokens on a blockchain platform. Each token symbolizes a fraction of the asset’s ownership, rights, or revenue streams.
  4. Distribution and trading: These tokens are then offered to investors, either through private sales or public offerings, depending on the regulatory framework. Once issued, tokens can be traded on secondary markets.
  5. Ongoing management and compliance: Managing these tokenized assets requires ongoing attention to regulatory compliance, asset performance monitoring, and investor communications, often facilitated by blockchain’s inherent transparency and security features.

Evolution and current state of the RWA ecosystem


The concept of investing in real-world assets is as old as trade itself, evolving from direct barter systems to complex financial instruments. Initially, digital representations of RWAs were largely confined to instruments like Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs) for real estate and Exchange-Traded Funds (ETFs) for commodities. These methods provided a way to invest in physical assets digitally but lacked the flexibility and accessibility.

This changed with the introduction of blockchain and smart contracts, which allowed for the creation of digital tokens representing fractional ownership of any asset. This transformation began in the 2010s, with platforms attempting to tokenize assets on the Bitcoin blockchain, though these early efforts faced significant limitations. The launch of Ethereum blockchain in 2015 opened up new doors that could handle the nuances of real-world assets more effectively.

Current state

Today, the RWA ecosystem is witnessing a significant transformation, primarily driven by a wide range of projects that are entering the space. These initiatives span across various sectors, aiming to integrate the tangible value of physical assets with the blockchain technology. Here is a closer look at the entire RWA ecosystem:

Source: Tokeny

RWA market overview

As of the latest data, the total market capitalization of RWAs stands at approximately $53 billion, with a 24-hour trading volume reaching around $2.1 billion. The Total Value Locked (TVL) in RWA protocols has surged to $6.321 billion, highlighting the growing capital influx into tokenized assets. 

One project that has made significant contributions to the overall TVL of RWA projects is MakerDAO, which accounts for 32.60% of the market share. This lending and borrowing project has also attracted significant USD inflows in recent months.

Growth and adoption

The future of tokenized real-world assets (RWAs) looks promising, with estimates suggesting it might balloon to a staggering $10-$15 trillion by 2030. But that’s just the start. Some, like Outlier Ventures, argue these numbers are conservative, believing the true potential could soar even higher.

This wave of optimism isn’t just speculation, but is backed by moves from reputable financial players. Take BlackRock, for instance. Their bold leap into the tokenization arena with a $100 million investment in the USDC stablecoin on Ethereum’s blockchain signals a seismic shift. Major institutions are waking up to the vast possibilities offered by tokenized RWAs, indicating we’re on the cusp of a financial revolution that could reshape how we think about and interact with assets.

What to look for in RWA projects

When considering which RWA tokens to trade, it’s crucial to analyze the following key factors about the RWA project that can help you make informed decisions.

Strong Community

An active and engaged community is crucial for the success of a crypto project. When evaluating an RWA project, consider the depth of community engagement. This involves more than just active discussions; it’s about how the community works to overcome challenges, contributes to development, and actively participates in governance through mechanisms like DAOs. Additionally, a community’s constructive feedback and innovative ideas provides crucial insights that can steer the project toward addressing user needs.

Social media activity

While a strong community is the key, traders should also analyze the team’s social media activity and engagement. This includes monitoring how frequently the project updates its channels, the nature of the content shared, and how the team interacts with followers. Look for timely updates on project milestones, transparent communication during challenges, and a willingness to engage in meaningful conversations. Teams that regularly engage with their community, provide updates, and market their vision effectively are more likely to attract and retain investors. This visibility boosts the project’s profile and demonstrates the team’s commitment to transparency and community engagement.

Doxxed team

While anonymity can be a staple in the crypto world, projects involving real-world assets benefit from having a doxxed (identity-disclosed) team. Knowing who is behind a project can increase traders’ confidence, especially in RWA protocols where the bridge between digital and tangible assets requires trust in the project’s governance and execution capabilities. When evaluating a doxxed team, investors should consider the team’s track record, expertise, and experience in relevant fields. Look for a history of successful projects, professional achievements, and contributions, especially within the RWA sector. Additionally, assess the team’s visibility in the industry through speaking engagements, publications, and active participation in relevant forums and discussions. 

Solid backers

Projects supported by tier 1 investors or well-known entities in the industry, such as Binance Labs, Coinbase Ventures, or Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), are often provided financial resources due to an evaluation of the project’s potential for success. It suggests that the project has undergone rigorous work in covering its bases to establish a suitable growth plan, indicating the possibility to thrive amid evolving market narratives.

Partnerships with established institutions

Partnerships with established financial institutions signal a project’s potential and credibility, indicating prior vetting and endorsement by seasoned industry players. These collaborations can provide projects with a broader platform for adoption and integration into traditional finance systems. You can also go a step further and verify these partnerships by checking the partners’ websites and social media to confirm these alliances. Doing your due diligence can reveal insights on the project’s future potential for growth.

Token utility

Evaluating a token’s utility involves examining how its value is tied to the project’s success. Start by reviewing the project’s whitepaper or documentation, which should outline the token’s roles, such as governance rights, access to specific services, or entitlement to dividends. Investigate how the token integrates with the project’s ecosystem; does it enable transactions, incentivize participation, or unlock exclusive benefits? 

Also, consider the token’s distribution and allocation; a well-structured token economy avoids over-concentration in the hands of the founding team, promoting a more equitable and sustainable growth. Ultimately, a token’s utility should not only fit logically within the project but also offer clear, long-term value to its holders.


This material is for information purposes only and does not constitute financial advice. Flipster makes no recommendations or guarantees in respect of any digital asset, product, or service.

Trading digital assets and digital asset derivatives comes with significant risk of loss due to its high price volatility, and is not suitable for all investors.