Overstock's tZERO, the SEC-approved trading venue for blockchain-based assets, has announced that its token sale, which will begin on December 18, 2017 and use the Simple Agreement for Future Tokens (or SAFT).

tZERO is issuing utility tokens which will provide investors with a way to pay for fees and services within the tZERO eco-system, and revenue participation in the form of a distribution, which will be a percentage of tZERO's revenue, said a statement. The SAFT offers secure accreditation of investors and relevant KYC/AML checks.

The tZERO exchange began as a means to trade conventional stock in a blockchain in an entirely new digital format. As Ralph A. Daiuto, Jr., Chief Operating Officer of tZERO, points out, tZERO enabled Overstock.com to make history with the first ever public issuance of a digital security. The process meant acquiring an SEC-approved alternative trading system (ATS) and customising it to handle cryptographically constituted assets on a distributed ledger.

This makes tZERO a compelling proposition for other SAFT-style tokens looking for the most regulated route available to continue into the brave new world of traded, tokenised assets. Overstock CEO Patrick Byrne has been a staunch supporter of Bitcoin and blockchain for some years. He also predicted correctly that securities are going to be issued in a blockchain-based format and these would need a custom built ATS.

After years of contesting the way that stock is short sold in capital markets, Byrne has made a cryptographically transparent stock locate system for short selling a key feature of tZERO.

The tZERO token sale is expected to be a big one. "The interest in the proposed tZERO token sale has been overwhelming, and we have been working with our advisors to create the most unique and innovative token," said Joseph Cammarata, President of tZERO.