SIX, Switzerland’s stock exchange, has revealed that it has received regulatory approval to launch its digital bourse. According to an announcement made on Friday, the Swiss Financial Market Supervision Authority greenlit the approval for the digital bourse, named SDX.
SIX revealed that it had received two licenses from FINMA, Switzerland’s market’s watchdog, to begin operating a stock exchange and depository for blockchain-based securities. The firm released a statement stating,
“This authorization enables SDX to go live with a fully regulated, integrated trading, settlement, and custody infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology for digital securities. With these licenses, SDX can now offer the highest Swiss standards of oversight and regulation.”
Ready To Begin Operations
With the regulatory approval in place, SIX revealed that it is now ready to launch regulated trading, settlement, and custody infrastructure based on blockchain. The exchange will be offering stocks and bonds in the form of digital tokens once it is live. SIX’s Global Head of Exchanges also hinted that the company might also offer tokenized versions of exchange-traded funds and assets such as real estate and art.
An Alternative To Cryptocurrency Exchanges
While no clarity exists on when the new product could launch, the digital exchange could provide an alternative to cryptocurrency exchanges, most of which operate outside the purview of regulatory authority and other established rules. One of the top digital exchanges in the world, Binance, has been on the receiving end of many warnings and threats from regulatory authorities in different countries around the world. Other exchanges like Coinbase, a regulated exchange, have also attracted interest from the SEC in recent weeks.
Ahead Of The Competition
With the launch of the new platform, SIX would be far ahead of other major stock exchanges such as the New York Stock Exchange when it comes to offering blockchain-based securities. The approval is being seen as a landmark move in the cryptocurrency space, which has been seeing growing acceptance in the mainstream. Several big countries are exploring the use of cryptocurrencies, while El Salvador has passed legislation to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender.
Cryptocurrencies In The Mainstream
Large financial firms such as PayPal, Mastercard, and Square have offered support for digital currencies such as Bitcoin. Apart from El Salvador, which has adopted Bitcoin as legal tender, the Ukrainian government also passed a law that legalizes cryptocurrency in the country.
SIX, on its part, had set the wheels rolling for a digital bourse in 2018, and the move makes it one of the first major bourses to launch an exchange dedicated exclusively to the trading of digital assets. SIX also revealed that it would keep developing its technology over the next few months while also attracting clients such as insurance firms, banks, and institutional investors before launching the exchange network globally.
Thomas Zeeb released a statement, commenting,
“This is an important milestone in bringing the digitalization of capital markets into the mainstream, but it is only the beginning. We will continue to work with our clients, regulators, and other stakeholders to shape the markets of the future.”
FINMA, Switzerland’s Market Watchdog, also released a statement on the regulatory approval stating,
“This is the first time that a license has been issued in the Swiss financial center for infrastructures that facilitate the trading of digital securities in the form of tokens and their integrated settlement.”