Switzerland’s SIX Exchange has won regulatory approval to launch a digital bourse, the first step towards shaping the markets of the future.
A regulatory win for crypto
A recent ruling by FINMA, Switzerland’s market watchdog, has resulted in the granting of two licenses to the firm SIX Digital Exchange, the newly anticipated digital arm of the country’s stock exchange SIX. The licenses will permit SIX Digital Exchange to operate a stock exchange and depository for blockchain-based securities. Such a digital entity can also be referred to as a digital bourse. A bourse is a marketplace for the trade of securities, commodities, derivatives or other financial instruments, and may provide, in this case, a regulated alternative to the largely unregulated crypto exchange space. Binance, the world’s leading crypto exchange, has come under fire recently from authorities in Singapore and South Africa being the most recent, highlighting how the lack of regulation is affecting the operation of exchanges globally.
SIX not operating like Uber, says SIX head of exchanges
SIX Digital Exchange showcased plans to launch a digital-only exchange back in 2018, but Thomas Zeeb, SIX’s global head of exchanges, said in 2019 that he did not want to launch another Uber. This was a tongue-in-cheek reference to Uber not seeking regulatory approval before launching into countries.
It has not yet been announced when this digital bourse will go live. The firm is busy developing technology that will enable it to launch regulated trading, settlement and custody infrastructure based on the blockchain. The launch of this digital bourse would see it pull ahead of major exchanges like the New York stock exchange, although SIX does not plan to support Bitcoin, amongst other cryptocurrencies. Zeeb has said that he believes that the granting of regulatory approval is only a first step in the digitization of global capital markets, and hopes to work with all stakeholders to shape the [digital] markets of the future. SIX Digital Exchange has plans to launch globally, as it hopes to attract banks, insurance companies, and institutional investors.