The Swiss financial regulator announced its approval for Swiss exchange SIX to launch a digital asset marketplace and central securities depository built on distributed ledger technology.
According to a Friday announcement, the long-awaited approval came from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), greenlighting the advance of the firm’s digital bourse, titled SDX.
SIX said it is now able to launch regulated trading, settlement, and custody infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology (also known as the blockchain) – the system best known for its use in maintaining an immutable list of all cryptocurrency transactions.
“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,” SIX’s announcement said.
The firm cited its plans to offer stocks and bonds in the form of digital tokens once the new exchange is live. Thomas Zeeb, SIX’s global head of exchanges, has hinted the company could also offer tokenized versions of exchange-traded funds as well as other assets like art and real estate.
The digital bourse could provide a regulated alternative to cryptocurrency exchanges, many of which operate outside the confines of established rules.
However, SIX did not reveal the expected date for the new product to launch.
The launch of SIX’s new platform would see the company pull ahead of major exchanges like the New York Stock Exchange in offering securities based on the blockchain. Although, SIX says it doesn’t plan to support Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
Alongside the United Arab Emirates and Bermuda, Switzerland has recently become one of the world’s fastest-emerging environments for safe-haven funds, according to recent data from Tax Justice Network.
SIX’s global head of exchanges, Thomas Zeeb, shared his views on the approval:
“The digitalization of financial markets continues apace, and while the final shape of the market is still evolving, this is an important milestone in providing institutional investors with a safe and robust infrastructure.”
Following the retail launch, SIX expressed a desire to diversify its offerings to suit the demands of banks, issuers, insurance firms, and institutional investors within their global network.
In addition to cryptocurrency assets, the exchange has also floated the idea of incorporating traditional stocks, exchange-traded funds, as well as tokenized commodities such as luxury cars and acclaimed works of art.