6th July 2018 saw the unveiling of a plan that can potentially usher in a new era in the capital market. SIX, the owners and operators of the Swiss Stock Exchange announced that it is on its way to create a pioneer trading platform for cryptocurrency that will offer a fully integrated end to end trading service alongside settlement and custody services. The platform is expected to be up and running by mid-2019 and will be regulated within the ambit of FINMA’s control, the Swiss financial market’s key supervisory authority. The Swiss National Bank will also be closely monitoring the operations of this path-breaking platform.
The custody service of the exchange is perhaps one of the most notable aspects of the plan as it addresses the biggest fear that presently pervades this market, concerning the safety of stored currencies. Thomas Zeeb, the head of securities and exchanges at SIX, acknowledged that the digital space faces substantial challenges in safety, stability, transparency etc. that compromise the trust quotient in this space.
SIX is aiming at restoring the faith dividend through its new platform that is expected to give Switzerland a major lead in the financial tech industry.
Despite a recent slump in the value of cryptocurrencies and falling volumes since the beginning of 2018, Joss Dijsselhof, the SIX CEO, remains convinced that the digital trend is here to stay.
As Switzerland increasingly comes under the fire for being a safe haven for tax evaders, it has been becoming all the more important to establish Swiss leadership in alternative avenues in the capital market system. A headstart in the cryptocurrency and blockchain industry will enable it to reap the benefits of the anticipated surge in blockchain-enabled businesses, expected to have a valuation of around $176 million by 2025, as estimated by Gartner, a research firm.
Switzerland has been known for its affinity for the digital finance space for a while now, with its Zug region being dubbed the Crypto Valley of the world. The administration’s cryptocurrency-friendly regulations, their penchant for ICOs or initial coin offerings as well as the flourishing FinTech innovation space all point to the country’s suitability as the cradle for this new kind of exchange platform that promises customers ease and security.
Regulators in the Swiss market provide clear guidelines for players in the crypto market and with the most friendly and comprehensive set of laws for crypto companies; Switzerland is out to get the crown for itself in the digital finance space.