The St Regis Aspen hotel boasts 179 rooms, a 15,000 square foot luxury spa, and terrific views of the Rocky Mountains on all sides. It’s a prestige venue by any measure, and apparently an attractive investment as well. Recently, a New York asset management group closed an $18 million digital token offering for a small share of the property, working with investors recruited through Indiegogo, a platform that usually funds projects like this fitness robot for pets.
The ICO gold rush has been dominated by utility tokens marketed as advance purchases of services and products from the sponsoring business. These sales were often labeled to avoid being treated as securities and thus regulated by the SEC (though the SEC is seeing through the spin and cracking down anyway). By contrast, security tokens are sold as equity or debt securities, and sometimes as rights to share in future profits or revenues. They are issued in compliance with securities laws and are more like traditional stocks. Compliant platforms have to satisfy know-your-customer and anti-money laundering rules. Issuers need to know whether buyers are qualified investors and may limit the number of investors involved.