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SIX Group prepares new blockchain-powered trading platform
SIX Swiss Exchange, one of the most important exchanges in Europe, is set to launch its new blockchain-powered platform in the second half of 2019.
During a Swiss Finance Institute conference, Romeo Lacher, Chairman of SIX Group, reportedly said that the new SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) will initially run parallel to the existing SIX platform. He also said that he expects SDX to completely replace the traditional exchange system within the next ten years.
“The supervisory board will probably decide (on the project) in late summer,” Lacher told Reuters on the sidelines of the conference, adding the group was clarifying legal and regulatory issues with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA.
At first, SDX is likely to offer trading in selected stocks, followed by other stocks. Once the new exchange is fully launched, other product types like bonds and exchange-traded funds will be introduced. Other important introductions could include assets that are not securities — such as vintage cars or paintings, officials have said.
Other exchanges are eyeing blockchain based projects. In 2018, German stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse established a dedicated unit for crypto assets and blockchain. However, SIX is going to be the first major marketplace offering such a regulated environment for the digital assets and intends to show off the technology by raising money itself via the new platform in the second half of the year.
“We want to start with our own Security Token Offering,” Lacher said.
In opposition to tokens offered in an ICO (or Initial Coin Offerings ,the cryptocurrency version of crowdfunding) which do not give any rights or obligations, tokens offered in an STO are actual financial securities which typically represent ownership rights in an underlying company and/or its assets.
The 2018 financial year was a good one for the Swiss stock exchange. Twelve companies completed listings – among them the third-largest IPO in Europe, the IPO of SIG Combibloc with a transaction volume of CHF 1.7 billion.
“We carried out the highest number of initial public offerings in 17 years, as well as the third-largest IPO in Europe. As in the previous year, our market share in Swiss large cap trading rose again – and now exceeds 70%. These values demonstrate our appeal as a venue for listing and trading securities. At the same time, we have continuously invested in the enhancement of our systems, and the preparations for SIX Digital Exchange are well underway. This will enable us to provide good trading conditions for Swiss securities and strengthen our position as their reference market” Jos Dijsselhof, CEO at SIX said in a statement.