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.
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. When looking back to the evolution of dual and multi-listing of equity options, and now seeing the pile on to get into crypto, it’s like deja vu all over again.