Switzerland's principal stock exchange SIX Swiss Exchange will test blockchain integration for its forthcoming parallel digital trading platform SDX in the second half of this year. The news was reported by Cointelegraph Deutschland Feb. 4.
SIX Swiss Exchange sees roughly 5.19 billion Swiss Francs (CHF) (~$5.18 billion) in daily turnover, and has a market capitalization of over 1.67 trillion CHF ~($1.6 trillion).
CEO Jos Dijsselhof told Cointelegraph Deutschland in an interview that the company had chosen the technology for the time efficiency and improved security it can offer across all stages of stock trading and settlement:
"The fact is, it takes two days for the buyer of a stock to become the owner. The trade itself only takes a fraction of a second, but after that payments have to be settled and titles transferred. If we put it all on our digital exchange, then the whole process takes only a few seconds. This makes the market more efficient, but at the same time also takes risks out of the system. "
Dijsselhof added that wholly digital, blockchain-powered stock trading will not only minimize risks, but widen the range of tradable titles, affirming his ambition that SIX would succeed in building “a whole new stock market on the blockchain with completely integrated trading, handling and custody of digital assets".
In an interview with Reuters published Feb. 6, SIX exchange chairman Romeo Lacher noted that the exchange aims to finalize a launch date for the new platform in late summer — with the exact date remaining subject to legal and regulatory clarification with Swiss market watchdog the Financial Market Supervisory Authority.
Reuters further reported that SIX expects its blockchain-based SDX digital exchange to supersede its existing marketplace within a decade. Lacher said the company also has plans to launch its own Security Token Offering, which will offer investors an equity stake in exchange for capital.
Unnamed SIX officials told Reuters that SDX will begin by rolling out support selected stocks, followed by bonds, and possibly exchange-traded-funds (ETFs).
As Cointelegraph has previously reported, SIX listed a pioneering multi-crypto-based exchange-traded product (ETP) in November, which tracks five major cryptocurrencies.
Other major global exchanges are similarly looking to rehaul their platforms — in whole or in part — with blockchain. In January, major global securities marketplace Deutsche Börse reported it was “making significant progress” on its blockchain-based securities lending platform, which will use blockchain consortium R3’s Corda technology.