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Franklin Templeton CEO warns US risks losing crypto leadership to other nations

Tokenized funds pioneer new paths in blockchain integration.

Jenny Johnson on US crypto leadership.

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Jenny Johnson, the President and CEO of Franklin Templeton, expressed concerns that the US risks losing its leadership position in the crypto space to other nations if it maintains a closed approach to regulation. 

 “I do worry that if we’re too closed on this, we will cede leadership to other jurisdictions,” she said. 

In a conference presentation at Consensus on Thursday, Johnson praised the regulatory efforts of countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United Arab Emirates, stating:

 “Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE, probably have been in even Europe to some extent, have led more in all taking different approaches in being very constructive on blockchain regulation.”

While acknowledging the risks and concerns surrounding crypto, Johnson emphasized the need for the US to be proactive in its regulatory approach.

Johnson also highlighted the potential impact of crypto on traditional businesses, stating,

“I always say to our equity teams, you better pay attention to what’s happening in the digital asset space because they’re going to disrupt some of the companies that exist in the equity space.”

Ethereum and Other ETFs

When asked about the prospects of Ethereum ETFs, Johnson refrained from commenting directly due to pending approval processes. However, she did discuss Franklin Templeton’s efforts in the tokenized money market fund space.

“We actually have a tokenized money market fund that we took a 2020. And I do want to say that while there is discussion about the other one in the market, were by far by years earlier,” Johnson explained. “We worked a lot with the SEC on it. Ours is the accident, one that actually runs on a public watching.”

Johnson highlighted the benefits of running on a public blockchain, such as the ability to allow intraday yields and peer-to-peer exchanges.

“The benefits are running on a public watch. And we did shadow for the first six months, and then the SEC got comfortable enough with it that they allowed us to just run it on the public blockchain,” she said. “So it’s one of the stellar chains, is that it actually can allow intraday yields.”

Franklin Templeton is also exploring the creation of tokenized exposure to traditional ETFs that can be held in wallets.

“We’re looking at being able to create tokenized exposure to ETF’s, traditional ETF’s in the market that you can hold your wallet,” Johnson stated. “But because we wanted to do that, we had to build a shareholder record keeping system on chain and a hot and cold storage wallet.”

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