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Standard Chartered’s Waqar Chaudry Anticipates Tokenization’s Tipping Point

The recently released fifth episode of Chainlink’s “The Future Is On” spotlight series features Waqar Chaudry, Executive Director, Innovation and Digital Assets Product, Financing Securities Services at Standard Chartered, a leading cross-border bank servicing 116 countries. Chaudry discussed Standard Chartered’s digital asset strategy, key use cases, and how blockchain interoperability will facilitate tokenization’s global adoption.

“At a group level for us, digital assets are here to stay,” he explained. “They are going to be part of the ecosystem that we call traditional finance going forward over the next number of years, and then they will become mainstream.”

Considering cryptocurrencies, tokenized securities, native issuance onchain, and infrastructures that allow traditional finance to move toward DLT-based systems, Chaudry said Standard Chartered’s key driver is meeting client demand with respect to safekeeping assets and allowing seamless cross-chain transactions.

He highlighted two key benefits of tokenization: greater liquidity for assets “that have never seen the light of day” and instantaneous settlements that promote more efficient markets where “cost savings will be immense.” In his view, broad adoption hinges on interoperability standards that allow digital assets to be bought and sold across the entire ecosystem of private and public blockchains.  

“When it comes to tokenization of securities and other assets, what we really want to see today is an active dialogue where common standards are adapted across multiple parts of the industry,” he said.

“The primary issuance market is active. We’ve seen multiple issuances; it is happening all over the world. It’s quite encouraging. Now we need to get to the next stage where we think that the real promise can be met by enabling secondary markets to come online. We think that that’s the tipping point that it’ll actually make it quite widespread and mainstream.”

Chainlink’s Cross-Chain Interoperability Protocol (CCIP) is the industry standard for cross-chain asset and information transfer being adopted by leading DeFi applications as well as traditional banks and financial institutions. Chaudry said that for Standard Chartered, which is looking at a “broad range of blockchains” for tokenizing different products, cross-chain infrastructure is essential. 

“The capability to bring together multiple blockchains and allow for assets to move from one chain to the next is going to be quite important, given the plethora of technologies available out there,” he explained. “Secondly, providing a robust ecosystem where tried and tested systems are connected to Chainlink, for example – institutional grade technology sitting behind Chainlink would be immensely useful to organizations like us going into the future.”

Watch the fifth episode of “The Future Is On” featuring Standard Chartered’s Waqar Chaudry.

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