The Swiss Stock Exchange (SIX) is planning to give banks full access to digital assets through a partnership between its digital asset arm, SIX Digital Exchange, and Swiss custody firm Custodigit .
The partnership is still subject to regulatory approval, but there are plans to release "complete investment value-chain" in Q1 2021, according to an announcement from SIX.
Banks and their customers will be able to take advantage of trading, smart order routing, settlement and custody for cryptocurrencies, as well as access to secondary markets using the so-called Institutional Digital Asset Gateway.
SIX made a major stake investment in custody firm Custodigit to bring about the partnership. Custodigit's creators are Swisscom, a leading IT company, and Sygnum, a regulator-recognized digital asset bank — the first to receive a nod from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).
Together SIX Digital Exchange and Custodigit will create the Institutional Digital Asset Gateway on Custodigit's platform. The two are launching the initial version in the coming Q1 with plans to grow the capabilities throughout 2021, promising "yet to be imagined products around cryptocurrencies and digital assets."
SIX previously took other steps into crypto by listing bitcoin, ether, tezos and XRP-based exchange trade products (ETPs), as well as Binance's BNB tokens.
SIX Digital Exchange Chairman Thomas Zeeb said the Gateway is the most impactful move into the digital asset space since Switzerland's towards a central bank digital currency (CBDC). The Swiss central bank and SIX said a Swiss CBDC is near completion, announcing a successful experiment done in partnership.
"Coupled with our recent CBDC announcement with the SNB and BIS, this is potentially one of the most significant shifts in the digital finance space right now. Custodigit is a functioning operator for digital asset servicing – not just an idea to be realised."