SIX obtains FINMA license for digital exchange in a huge step for institutional adoption

Rick Steves

Its international customer base will expand to include banks, issuers, insurance firms, institutional investors, who will then become a global exchange network for digital assets, unlocking global liquidity based on Distributed Ledger Technology.

SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) has been approved by FINMA to operate a stock exchange and a central securities depository for digital assets in Switzerland.

SDX will now be able to go live with a fully regulated, integrated trading, settlement, and custody infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology for digital securities.

Offering the highest Swiss standards of oversight and regulation, SIX Digital Exchange set out to build a fully integrated trading, settlement, and custody infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology for digital assets in 2018.

SDX will continue to invest in building out the digital financial ecosystem to create a global liquidity network for digital assets by engaging in cooperative ventures with partners and accelerating the onboarding of various global and local financial players.

Its international customer base will expand to include banks, issuers, insurance firms, institutional investors, who will then become a global exchange network for digital assets, unlocking global liquidity based on Distributed Ledger Technology.

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Thomas Zeeb, Global Head, Exchanges & Member Executive Board, SIX: “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 meeting all of the core requirements of a traditional exchange and CSD infrastructure.

“In this regard, the SDX approval process has proven to be an invaluable experience for SIX and for the industry as a whole. It has been instrumental in helping to define our offering, our strategy, and to build a new ecosystem to help our clients meet the increasing demands for commercial return that they face from their stakeholders”, Mr. Zeeb continued, stating that this is “only the beginning”.

In August, ex-State Street David Newns was appointed CEO of the SIX Digital Exchange, replacing the outgoing CEO, Tim Grant. Mr. Newns is the third CEO in two years.

SDX was first introduced to the public in 2019 by then CEO Jos Dijsselhof – now the CEO of SIX Group and elected yesterday as Working Committee Chairman of the WFE.

The new platform will use blockchain distributed ledger to bridge traditional finance and the technology of cryptocurrencies. The exchange has selected the technology for the time efficiency and improved security it offers across all stages of stock trading and settlement.

“The fact is, it takes two days for the buyer of stock to become the owner. The trade itself only takes a fraction of a second, but after that payments have to be settled and titles transferred. If we put it all on our digital exchange, then the whole process takes only a few seconds. This makes the market more efficient, but at the same time also takes risks out of the system”, Mr. Dijsselhof said at the time.

SIX believes that the existing system would be replaced completely by the new digital system in the next ten years.

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