The conversation surrounding successful people often revolves around their vision or tenacity. However, it’s often a person’s ability to acknowledge limitations that allows them to see a path forward, whether they’re an artist, scientist or entrepreneur.
That’s certainly the case with Trevor Koverko, who has made the difficult transition from sports star to an entrepreneur focused on crypto and blockchain technology.
Koverko was drafted by the NHL’s New York Rangers in 2005, and he could expect a long career ahead of him — until the car accident. One day, while Koverko was driving alone, his vehicle was hit by a fully-loaded semi truck, causing serious injuries that left him with brain damage and temporary paralysis on the left half of his body.
Professional hockey was no longer in the cards for Koverko, who had dedicated his whole life to athletic excellence only to have it taken away while still in his 20s.
“At that point, I was forced to reinvent myself and find a new purpose,” Koverko told Hacker Noon in 2019. “And that’s when I discovered entrepreneurship and later crypto.”
A Rapid Self-Education
Koverko decided his next step would be embracing entrepreneurship, though he wasn’t immediately sure what that meant.
So the Canadian native began dedicating himself to self-education, first about investment, finance and the technology advancing both fields. At that time, the world was still reeling from the 2008 financial meltdown and the widespread recognition that a failure of government regulators had resulted in a crisis that profoundly affected the lives of everyone — except most of the people who caused it in the first place.
With hindsight, it’s not surprising that this period saw massive growth of interest in crypto currencies and blockchain technology, even if the mainstream financial world remained unconcerned and mostly unaware of it.
But Koverko saw “the writing on the wall,” he said. He could see that crypto had arrived at a crucial time in the history of finance, technology and geopolitics. As a result, he started learning everything he could about decentralized finance and began acquiring digital assets (he bought his first BitCoin on eBay in 2012).
Koverko also founded several online businesses, which he eventually exited to start his own private equity fund.
Early Embrace of Security Tokens
While security tokens have become a hot topic in the crypto community, they were barely known when Koverko started exploring their potential.
Just last year, Investopedia asked a clearly rhetorical question: Is 2021 the Year of the Security Token? First, the article provided a good working definition:
“Security tokens are essentially digital, liquid contracts for fractions of any asset that already has value, like real estate, a car, or corporate stock,” Investopedia wrote. “With their ability to demonstrate value, security tokens could roil traditional financial markets in favor of the newer, more hybrid blockchain models.”
These tokens are also important because of the broader political changes starting to affect the crypto industry. While crypto capitalists have been able to largely avoid regulation so far, that’s changing as governments and financial institutions have finally started taking aim at the industry.
A Platform for Security Tokens
Those who want to stay involved in the crypto business for the long term — like Koverko — see the advantages of early adoption of crypto products and technologies that can easily comply with regulatory requirements.
Koverko says security tokens are essentially just a form of financial securities, and can obtain mainstream acceptance by following existing finance rules.
“While many outsiders understandably question the regulatory issues with the crypto industry, the technology underpinning tokens can actually facilitate compliance with global regulations,” Koverko said. “Tokens live on ‘smart contracts’ and enable programmatic compliance that makes it easy for regulators to do their jobs. This will open up the door for trillions of dollars of institutional capital to flood into the space.”
That’s why Koverko started his own platform for security tokens after he had developed a deeper understanding of the industry. The idea is to offer a platform that allows the use of security tokens backed by tangible assets and offers tools for improved compliance with securities laws and growing regulations around the globe.
It’s not dissimilar from platforms like EDSX, which was founded in Switzerland in 2019 and officially launched in April 2022, making it one of the first platforms in Europe to trade and exchange security tokens.
“In the last few months, we have seen an increased interest from traditional financial players for asset tokenization,” Mauro Andriotto, CEO of EDSX, told The Tokenizer. “We have built EDSX because we believe that the blockchain technology will have a disruptive impact on the capital market infrastructures and we want to be part of this change.”
The increasing global interest in security tokens shows they are much more than just another fad, Koverko said.
“There’s a systemic shift happening right now, where we’re moving away from physical
ownership, including paper shares of companies and other securities, and toward a digital-based representation of tangible assets like stocks, bonds and real estate. Even art and music are transformed by Web3 technologies!”