Switzerland’s principal stock exchange, SIX, has revealed more details about its plan to launch a blockchain-powered trading platform.
In an interview with online publication Finews, SIX’s head of securities and exchanges Thomas Zeeb said that the company would launch a pilot in late summer, with first services expected to be live in early 2020. SIX plans to start with what it calls “native digital applications”, including launching new crypto tokens and an “initial digital offering (IDO) service”.
Zeeb indicated that SIX had had talks with a number of organisations, which wanted to launch “tokenised structured products, real estate funds and so on”. But he also said that the Swiss exchange might launch its own token. The company’s ultimate goal is to be able to tokenise existing securities, such as equities, fixed income and funds. Zeeb thinks that tokens replacing shares could be a possible scenario in the future.
“We would need to be able to freeze and segregate shares in one place in order to issue tokens. Then in turn to decommission tokens and release the share again, depending on where demand is required,” he told Finews. He added that the company was expecting to be able to do that by 2021, depending on whether an appropriate regulatory environment had been established.
In February, SIX chairman Romeo Lacher said that the company wanted to showcase the new platform – SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) – by using it to raise capital via Security Token Offering (STO). SIX is expected to start offering trading in selected shares on SDX, before gradually expanding the service to offer other stocks, bonds and possibly exchange-traded funds. The company even envisions offering trading in non-security assets, such as paintings or vintage cars, in the future.
However, SDX is unlikely to offer direct trading of cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin and Ether.
“SIX is expected to start offering trading in selected shares on SDX, before gradually expanding the service to offer other stocks, bonds and possibly exchange-traded funds. The company even envisions offering trading in non-security assets, such as paintings or vintage cars, in the future,” Zeeb said, though he also indicated that SIX might support crypto trading in some form in the future, if know-your-customer and know-your-coin issues were resolved.
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