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Elevated Returns has closed $18 million for Aspen Digital, a tokenized real estate offering that gives investors a small ownership stake in the St. Regis Aspen Resort.

The token sale marks a new twist in real estate investment, where you can now buy and sell a piece of a property even before the whole property changes hands. It is part of the “tokenization of real estate” that is possible with blockchain-based technologies. The secure, transparent, and decentralized ledger allows someone to take a real-world asset, such as the hotel, and sell it in many pieces as tokens. Each investor can own a small chunk of the hotel.

New York-based Elevated Returns also said it is bidding to acquire 24.9 percent of Bangkok-based Seamico Securities as part of its expansion plan in South East Asia.

Aspen Digital is among the first of its kind to successfully tokenize a trophy real estate asset. The St. Regis Aspen is a resort with a 179-room luxury hotel, four onsite food and beverage outlets, and 29,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor conference and banquet venues with views of the Rocky Mountains.

The successful offering was made available directly through Templum Markets, an SEC-registered operator, for the initial offering and secondary trading of digital assets as securities through its Alternative Trading System (ATS).

The St. Regis Hotel in Aspen

Above: The St. Regis Hotel in Aspen

Image Credit: St. Regis

Templum Markets and its parent company, Templum, are focused on the development of new market infrastructure for digital assets. Indiegogo listed the offering on its platform to provide access to its network of investors, as well as leverage its community and 11-year pedigree in the crowdfunding arena.

“While there is an undeniable trend of assets migrating to the blockchain and a need for cryptocurrencies to be backed by collateral of some sort, these are truly the early days for the industry, which is why it is critical for offering sponsors like Elevated Returns to assemble the necessary components to be successful,” said Stephane De Baets, president of Elevated Returns, in a statement. “This emphasis on building an effective ecosystem led us to acquire a South Asian broker-dealer with wide distribution capability, one that is able to operate in Thailand, a nation that has come forward with highly-developed crypto regulation guidelines.”

Founded in 1974, Seamico Securities provides investment services. The acquisition will enable Elevated Returns to tap into Asian-based institutional money looking for digital asset exposure through Seamico’s fully owned subsidiary, Innotech Asset Management.

In an email, an Elevated Returns spokesperson wrote, “We’ve tokenized a portion of the St Regis Aspen which we formed as a single asset real estate investment trust (REIT). In accordance with the terms of the deposit agreement, each Aspen Digital Token will represent an indirect ownership interest in one deposited share of our common stock (the REIT which was formed for St. Regis Aspen). Essentially you have best of both worlds with REIT structure in place and blockchain technology with smart contract for St. Regis Aspen. The REIT provides tax efficient structure while the blockchain provides peer-to-peer investing and cross-border transaction made simpler for investors.”

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