And why it’s a big deal for crypto
WeStyle is one of those companies whose name doesn’t overfamiliar but whose services you use without noticing: WeStyle is a workspace provider for companies in the beauty industry, meaning they set up workspaces for beauty workers, procure product for them and help them with the administrative side of things.
Why does a workspace provider need to tokenize?
WeStyle views the tokenization of their company stock as the next logical step in the evolution of shares, which makes sense: Shares have been digital for a while, it’s only logical that they move to a database format that’s more suited for trading and automation: The blockchain.
Why tokenizing stock makes historical sense
The first publicly traded shares were issued in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company (not to be confused with their British equivalent) the reason they could be publicly traded is because the Dutch East India Company built the Amsterdam Stock Exchange specifically for that purpose.
While this was hugely successful and was quickly copied by other countries, the concept of a joint-stock company really exploded in popularity when England adopted the use of stock options and merchants started to issue shares to finance their ambitious endeavors in the new world.
Curiously enough, it’d take 171 years until the stock exchanges that are so notorious today were founded. In 1773 The London Stock Exchange opened its doors and in 1792, a stock exchange was opened on Wall Street, New York, which in 1817 renamed itself New York Stock Exchange.
When the famous charging bull was originally dropped of in Wall Street by it’s sculptor in 1989 in an act of Guerilla art, the NYSE called the police, which initially removed the statue entirely, before relocating it.
Back in these days, stock was of course always bound to paper. Eventually, paper shares were replaced by register entries — instead of people having to hold their own paper shares, a central register simply marked who owns the securities at the time. This dematerialization process sped up significantly in the 1960s and today pretty much all securities exist in dematerialized form.
Since all shareholders have to trust this intermediary or central register to be accurate and honest, it becomes painfully obvious why blockchain technology is such a perfect fit for securities — it eliminates the trust factor. Since shares usually not only represent monetary gains but also voting rights, this is especially important in the example of WeStyle.
Completely digital shareholder interaction
Equally exciting is what’s still to come: WeStyle’s first general shareholder meeting this December will be entirely digital. Now while many companies have resorted to offering their shareholder meetings digitally due to the Coronavirus, the smart contract for WST, the WeStyle Token contains voting functionality, meaning WeStyle plans to digitize every aspect of their shareholder meeting — including voting: Investors will be able to fully interact with the company from the comfort of their own homes. Sign up, buy tokenized shares, execute your voting rights, and view the results, all from home.
Necessary documents around the shareholder meeting will be available digitally, simplifying the process and saving a tree or two in the meanwhile.
The first version of what a shareholder meeting or another one of WeStyle’s events might look like
What this means for crypto
As the COVID pandemic has created the necessity for digital shareholder meetings, it has also created the chance to hold digital shareholder meetings once the pandemic is over, making shareholder interaction entirely digital, going hand in hand with the tokenization process.
No longer do token holders have to sit on their wallets and watch issuers act on their behalf, they can now actively vote and lead their companies, perfectly suiting the democratization spirit of blockchain technology.