SIX, the firm that operates and owns the Swiss stock exchange, has announced plans to launch a fully regulated digital cryptocurrency exchange.
The firm says it plans to launch "the first market infrastructure in the world” which will “offer a fully integrated end-to-end trading" while providing a safe environment where digital assets can be issued and existing securities and non-bankable assets can be tokenized.
The new crypto exchange will be called SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), and it plans to rollout its services in mid-2019.
SIX Head Securities & Exchanges and Member of the Executive Board Thomas Zeeb, while speaking on the development in an interview, said the new SDX would be all-encompassing.
"The digital exchange will allow clients of SIX to trade, settle and custodize digital assets in the same way they currently do in the traditional world," he said.
Zeeb said the strength of SIX makes the SDX unique, as it will control the entire "value chain from trading through to payments" in Switzerland. The new exchange, which will create an "ecosystem" when it launches, will also help companies raise capital through ICOs.
"We are putting together a team of developers and advisors to help clients in creating ICOs and new products," he added.
SIX CEO Jos Dijsselhof commented on why his company was building an exchange for cryptocurrencies despite the slump in prices. He believes the SIX Digital Exchange will usher in a "new era for capital market infrastructures" and that much of what we're experiencing in the crypto space "is here to stay” and it will “define the future of our industry."
The demand for cryptocurrencies among the world's power brokers seems to be on the rise. Earlier this year, Intercontinental Exchange (ICE), the parent company of NYSE said it was working on an online platform that would allow "large investors to buy and hold Bitcoin." Another institutional player, Nasdaq, expressed optimism about the possibility of trading cryptocurrencies in the future.
The SDX will be regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the Swiss National Bank.