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Swiss stock exchange DLT obtains long-awaited operating license

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The SIX Group has supported its new DLT exchange to improve the way stocks and bonds are traded around the world. Keystone / Ennio Leanza

A new Swiss exchange has been licensed to trade digital assets using distributed ledger (DLT) technology.

This content was published on September 10, 2021 – 09:42

swissinfo.ch

On Friday, the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) received the green light from the Federal Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to operate as a stock exchange and central securities depositoryExternal link.

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The licensing milestone means SDX can now trade securities, such as stocks and corporate bonds, on a blockchain-like digital platform. SDX supports new technology to reduce negotiation times and save costs.

SDX’s parent company is SIX Group, which is owned by several Swiss banks and already operates Switzerland’s largest traditional stock exchange. In a reportExternal link, SIX said it will begin to integrate financial firms around the world and explore partnerships to create a global exchange network for digital assets, freeing up global liquidity.

He’s already joined a consortium to build a DLT exchange in Singapore, with a Japanese company hoping to launch a similar platform in Osaka.

First unveiled in 2018, SDX had initially hoped to start trading a year later, but so far the regulator has kept it waiting.

The new exchange will start trading without company boss (equivalent to CEO) Tim Grant, who was recently poached by US cryptocurrency broker Galaxy Digital last week. Grant will be replaced in October by David Newns, an executive of the American financial services company State Street.

Grant previously told SWI Swissnfo.ch that he wanted SDX to expand into cryptocurrencies and other decentralized assets on public blockchains, but it is not clear whether the exchange will pursue this strategy from now on.

Bumpy

SDX has already suffered a few bumps and delays on the way to obtaining its stock market license. These include the departure of its first CEO and other executives in 2019 following strategic differences with SIX Group.

SDX is one of the many DLT compatible trading platforms to be implemented in Switzerland and other countries. Germanys Deutsche Brse recently acquired Swiss brokerage firm Crypto Finance as it builds its own digital asset trading infrastructure. Other projects are underway in the United States, Singapore, Thailand and Japan, among others.

Swiss corporate and financial laws have been updated this year to incorporate digital assets that run on DLT systems, including the creation of a new category of DLT exchange (although SDX has taken a licensing route different).

This paved the way for the creation of bespoke digital asset trading platforms, such as those launched by Sygnum Bank and tech company Taurus.

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