Switzerland’s SIX Swiss Exchange Hopes To Fully Integrate Blockchain Platform In Ten Years

Blockchain, News | November 14, 2018 By:

SIX Swiss Exchange, Switzerland’s principal stock exchange, said that its planned blockchain platform will completely replace its existing system within a decade.

Earlier this year, SIX announced plans to build a blockchain platform that will provide a safe environment for issuing and trading digital assets, and enable the tokenization of existing securities and non-bankable assets to make previously untradeable assets tradeable. Dubbed SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), the platform is scheduled to launch in mid-2019 and initially run parallel to the existing SIX platform. It will be overseen by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and the Swiss National Bank.

Thomas Zeeb, head of securities and exchanges at SIX, said that while stock and bond dealing on SIX are now fully electronic, most of the underlying processing steps are still based on old protocols. He said that the existing system could be completely replaced by SDX in about 10 years.

Currently, transactions on SIX existing platform involves three steps to complete a purchase or sale of securities, often over several days. With SDX, a transaction can be completed in fractions of a second.

“The moment that brokers, banks, insurance companies and big asset managers really see the cost advantages, they’ll move relatively quickly,” Zeeb said.

Zeeb further said that the SIX Digital Exchange is a response to threats posed by blockchain and crypto startups.

“They are pushing into our business and especially the banks,” he said. “That’s a big danger.” Challengers could bypass banks or stock exchanges completely.”