SIX Group, the owner of SIX Swiss Exchange (SIX), announced on Friday that it is in the process of building a “digital asset” trading, settlement, and custody service. Essentially a euphemism for “cryptocurrency exchange with settlement and custody solutions,” the new service represents a significant move as an established institutional player enters what has been, up until now, a market largely dominated by retail players.
The new service is going to be called Swiss Digital Exchange (SDX) and, when it launches next year, will be operated by SIX. As with SIX, SDX will be regulated as an operator of Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI) under the auspices of the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and the Swiss National Bank.
This will be music the ears of many in the cryptocurrency space, who are always on the lookout for official seals of approval. Perhaps more importantly, the cryptocurrency industry has been moving away from its anti-authority roots and towards regulatory regimes that ensure investors can feel secure when they trade.
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SDX will operate using “distributed ledger technology” which appears to be a euphemism for “blockchain.” As the latter word may be the most annoyingly overused phrase in the financial services industry today, SIX’s semantic decision is understandable.
The new technology will also enable the “tokenization” of existing securities as well as “non-bankable assets.” SIX claims that this will enable investors to start trading assets that, previously, they wouldn’t have been able to trade.
Commenting on the launch of the new technology, Jos Dijsselhof, CEO of SIX Group, said: “SIX is in a unique position in that it runs the entire securities and payments value chain for Switzerland already, and is ideally positioned to create the digital ecosystem for the future, allowing existing and new market participants to develop their business models for the opportunities available in this new environment.”