SIX Swiss Exchange Postpones Launch of Blockchain-Powered Digital Exchange

Switzerland's major stock exchange, SIX Swiss Exchange, has postponed the launch of its blockchain-based SIX Digital Exchange.

Switzerland's principal stock exchange, SIX Swiss Exchange, has postponed the launch of its “fully-regulated” cryptocurrency exchange SIX Digital Exchange (SDX).

As Reuters reported on Sept. 23, a spokesperson familiar with the situation said that SIX moved the full launch of SDX to the end of 2020 primarily due to legal and regulatory issues. The exchange is reportedly still in negotiations with partner banks, the services of which it will offer on the platform. The spokesperson said:

“Future releases will offer more functionality, with a particular emphasis on asset servicing, in Q1 2020. The full launch is expected in Q4 2020.”

SDX’s initial plans

SDX was initially announced in July last year, with plans to be rolled out in mid-2019. At the time, an official press release stated that SDX intended to become “a fully integrated trading, settlement and custody infrastructure for digital assets,” which it claimed would be the world’s first to “offer a fully integrated end to end trading, settlement and custody service.”

SIX previously chose to use blockchain consortium R3’s Corda Enterprise platform for SDX. In February 2019, the company announced it would be testing blockchain integration for SDX, and would use the technology to tokenize stocks, bonds and possibly exchange-traded funds.

Plans to issue a digital token and a stablecoin

In May of this year, SIX revealed that it will look to issue its own digital token as part of SDX’s forthcoming launch. Thomas Zeeb, the head of securities and exchanges and director at SIX, then said:

“Ultimately we want to be able to tokenize existing securities — equities, fixed income, funds. Maybe the token will eventually replace the share one day.”

Recently, SIX asked the Swiss central bank to issue a stablecoin, which will be used to settle payments on SDX.

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