The Swiss stock exchange SIX has plans to launch its SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) platform later this summer, according to a report from Reuters. SIX chairman Romeo Lacher said the exchange hopes to use blockchain technology to speed up trading, and also intends to use the platform to raise funds during a security token offering after SDX launches.
According to the report, trading on the SIX stock exchange currently involves a three-step process that can take several days to complete. With the implementation of SDX, the exchange says it can eliminate two of the three steps using a blockchain distributed ledger, meaning trades can be completed in fractions of a second.
SIX first announced the SDX platform in July 2018. At the time, SIX CEO Jos Dijsselhof saw SDX as a means through which the financial industry could "bridge the gap between traditional financial services and digital communities."
That still seems to be true based on yesterday's Reuters report. However, rather than positioning itself to eventually become a platform where cryptocurrencies can be traded, SDX will act as a marketplace where traditional investors can digitize their assets using the technology. Starting off with a selection of stocks to choose from, the platform vows to eventually offer bonds, exchange-traded funds, and tokenized physical assets.
Of course, this doesn't mean that the SIX stock exchange hasn't already dipped its toe in the pool of cryptocurrency-related customer offerings. In November 2018, SIX listed a multi-crypto exchange-traded product known as the Amun Crypto ETP. The ETP tracks five major cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ether, XRP, bitcoin cash, and Litecoin.
According to Lacher, as of now, the exchange is working with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), the country's financial regulator, to clarify any legal or regulatory issues the platform may face before its launch in "late summer" 2019. In early December 2018, the financial watchdog was working on relaxing license requirements for blockchain-based projects looking to become a part of Switzerland's FinTech sector.
SIX's retooling is part of a string of European financial institutions looking to roll blockchain technology and cryptocurrency-based programs into what they offer potential and current clients. In December 2018, Gazprombank (Switzerland) announced that it would begin to develop cryptocurrency-linked banking services to be offered in 2019. That same month, the German stock exchange Börse Stuttgart began working on a cryptocurrency trading program that would allow both buyers and sellers to deal in financial instruments that may not have an official market.