Real World Assets (RWA) are on-chain assets that represents an asset off-chain such as real-estate, insurance, fiat, precious metals & other commodities (R2).
The first RWAs were stablecoins. RWAs are a way for on-chain projects to participate in off-chain economic activity via the use of dApps, oracle data feeds, smart contracts, & usually some physical custody of an item such as mortgages, invoices, notes, gold, fiat or bonds in lieu of cash.
RWA projects make lending & borrowing of these assets in Defi possible & opens the door to tokenized securities offerings in the future. Stablecoins with these asset custody properties are the first on-chain RWA use case, because they custody off-chain fiat for on-chain non-volatile fiat value.