TMX, BOX, ICE and Now SIX Get on Crypto Exchange Bandwagon

SIX Digital Exchange

The alphabet soup of exchange operators, Toronto’s TMX Group (TMX), the Boston Options Exchange (BOX), NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and now Swiss exchange operator SIX are all shifting into high gear with plans for getting into the crypto exchange platform business.

On the heels of the recently announced tZero alignment with BOX, one that envisions a listing and trading marketplace for crypto land digital tokens, the Swiss stock exchange (SIX) jumped into the fray and announced that it too is going to open a cryptocurrency exchange, and the exchange operator claims it will be the first of its kind in the world.

jos-dijsselhof

Jos Dijsselhof, CEO of SIX

The SIX plan, unveiled Friday is to build a “fully integrated trading, settlement and custody infrastructure for digital assets,” in order to “provide a safe environment for issuing and trading” established cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, and tokens issued in so-called initial coin offerings.

The custody aspect formulated by SIX is notable, as the safety of stored cryptocurrencies is one of the big fears in this market.

SIX is in good company with many industry observers who have embraced the notion “You can’t put the Genie back in the bottle.” According to SIX CEO Jos Dijsselhof, “This is the beginning of a new era for capital markets infrastructures. For us it is abundantly clear that much of what is going on in the digital space is here to stay and will define the future of our industry.”

SIX hopes to go live with this new exchange in the first half of 2019, regulatory permission pending.

SIX is not the first operator of a traditional stock exchange to get into cryptocurrency trading. The TMX Group, which runs the Toronto Stock Exchange, announced its own cryptocurrency brokerage service earlier this year, and Intercontinental Exchange, which own the New York Stock Exchange, is reportedly also toying with the idea.

Securities industry veterans who have migrated to the crypto and digital token arena have continuously advocated that the ultimate success of cryptocurrency and digital tokenization in terms of institutional market acceptance of this new alternative asset class is dependent on fully-regulated exchange platforms. According to Former CBOE, NYSE, NYSEOptions and Amex member Jay Berkman, now senior advisor to investor offering document consultancy Prospectus.com LLC  “When looking back to the evolution of dual and multi-listing of equity options, and now seeing the pile on to get into crypto, t’s like deja vu all over again.”

Securities Token Exchanges Cranking Up in US: BOX +tZero

Lisa Fall, BOX Digital Exchange

Now that crypto cool kids are finally getting the memo: “These are Securities!” ,  the proposed first fully regulated Securities Token Exchange is coming to the US-via the Boston Options Exchange.

tZERO, the digital-themed broker-dealer created by Patrick Byrne and BOX Digital Markets LLC (BOX Digital)-a subsidiary of Boston Options Exchange, announced it has formed a joint venture to launch the industry’s first regulated security token exchange.

Lisa Fall, BOX Digital Exchange

Lisa Fall, Box Digital

On May 18, 2018, the two companies entered into a letter of intent to form an exchange to list and publicly trade security tokens for companies that issue, or convert existing stock to, security tokens. The proposed joint venture would be equally owned by tZERO and BOX Digital, with each having equal representation on the Board of Directors, together with one mutually agreed upon independent director. Lisa Fall, who currently serves as CEO of BOX Digital and as president of BOX Options Exchange LLC, would be the CEO of the joint venture.

“tZERO has proven to be a pioneer in the development and practical use of blockchain technologies for capital markets for a number of years,” said Ms. Fall. “tZERO’s track record and accomplishments in this innovative area, coupled with BOX’s expertise in operating a highly efficient and transparent equity options marketplace, made partnering together an easy decision and we look forward to building a world-class platform for listing and trading security tokens.”

tZERO plans to contribute cash and license tZERO’s blockchain technology for operation of the security token market. BOX Digital will contribute expertise and personnel toward obtaining regulatory approval and operation of the security token market. Approval of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission will be sought following execution of definitive documentation. Creation of the joint venture is subject to definitive documentation and customary conditions.

“Our partnership with BOX Digital Markets is a significant milestone that will create the first SEC-regulated exchange designed to efficiently trade crypto securities. Lisa Fall’s leadership, reputation and deep experience in the regulated securities exchange industry will be a major asset in achieving this objective,” said Saum Noursalehi, newly appointed CEO of tZERO. “Together, we will continue to work with the SEC as we develop a first-of-its-kind platform that will integrate blockchain capital markets into the current U.S. National Market System.”

According to electronic trading market veteran Jay Berkman, an Advisory Board member of fintech merchant bank SenaHill Partners and COO of investor documentation firm Prospectus.com LLC, “Now that pragmatic securities industry thought-leaders have figured out how to package crypto assets within the construct of a security so as to conform to the US regulatory regime, nobody can dispute the fact the genie is out of the bottle .  Added Berkman, “Securities Token Offerings (“STOs”) is a much more palatable approach, making way for a new mantra, “ICOs are dead, long live STOs”, until of course, another shoe drops.”

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