SIX receives approval from Swiss regulator to operate digital securities market

SIX, the Switzerland-based exchange operator, has scored a key approval in its bid to run a marketplace for digital securities.

The approval came from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, according to a Friday announcement, greenlighting the advance of the firm's digital bourse, dubbed SDX.

"This authorization enables SDX to go live with a fully regulated, integrated trading, settlement, and custody infrastructure based on distributed ledger technology for digital securities. With these licenses, SDX can now offer the highest Swiss standards of oversight and regulation," the firm said.

SIX has been pursuing the project since 2018, seeking to carve out a place in the nascent market for tokenized securities trading. 

"This is an important milestone in bringing the digitalization of capital markets into the mainstream, but it is only the beginning. We will continue to work with our clients, regulators, and other stakeholders to shape the markets of the future," Thomas Zeeb, SIX's global head of exchanges and a member of the firm's executive board, said in a statement. 

In a statement, FINMA said that it "issued two approvals to operate financial market infrastructures based on so-called Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). Specifically, FINMA has authorized SIX Digital Exchange AG to act as a central securities depository and the associated company SDX Trading AG to act as a stock exchange."

"This is the first time that a licence has been issued in the Swiss financial centre for infrastructures that facilitate the trading of digital securities in the form of tokens and their integrated settlement," the regulator said.