First fully regulated crypto-currency exchange to launch in Switzerland

Jul 12, 2018
Exchange claims to be ‘new era for capital markets’

SIX, the owner and operator of the Swiss Stock Exchange, has revealed plans to launch the first fully regulated crypto-currency exchange.

The new SIX Digital Exchange will be overseen by the Swiss National Bank and the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

The decision to launch a crypto-exchange comes despite a dramatic fall in the value of crypto-currencies and swiftly declining volumes since the start of the year. Bitcoin, the largest crypto-asset by market value, collapsed from around $20,000 per token at the start of the year to just over $6,600 last week.

‘This is the beginning of a new era for capital markets infrastructures,’ says Jos Dijsselhof, CEO of SIX, in a statement. ‘For us, it is abundantly clear that much of what is going on in the digital space is here to stay and will define the future of our industry.

‘The financial industry now needs to bridge the gap between traditional financial services and digital communities. This is the role we at SIX can play. SIX is in a unique position in that it runs the entire securities and payments value chain for Switzerland already, and is ideally positioned to create the digital ecosystem for the future, allowing existing and new market participants to develop their business models for the opportunities available in this new environment.’

SIX’s new platform, set to launch in the first half of next year, will be the first such exchange to offer end-to-end trading, settlement and custody services for digital assets such as bitcoin and initial coin offering tokens.

Thomas Zeeb, head of securities & exchanges at SIX, adds in the statement: ‘The digital space currently faces a number of key challenges. These include the absence of regulation that ensures official safety, security, stability, transparency and accountability – all of which contribute to a lack of trust.’

Zeeb highlights digital asset custody as a key issue in the space and says SIX would solve this issue through its role as ‘a recognized and regulated infrastructure [company] that provides all steps of the chain in an integrated and secure model.’

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