Cryptocurrency-friendly Switzerland has taken another step along that road with the country’s stock exchange, SIX, announcing that it will open its doors to digital currencies, according to the Financial Times.
The new platform which is being built by SIX will offer integrated post-transaction services such as deal settlement and asset custody through DLT. SIX, regulated by Finma and the Swiss central bank, says that it plans to roll out its cryptocurrency service in the first half of 2019.
SIX’s chief executive, Jos Dijsselhof, commented on the new plans for the stock exchange, explaining:
“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. The financial industry now needs to bridge the gap between traditional financial services and digital communities.”
The move will not be surprising to crypto watchers in the country given Switzerland’s stance on cryptocurrencies. This the year the Swiss government said that it was considering the establishment of a national digital currency called the e-franc; an idea which is still under consideration.
Banks, however, have been less open to digital currencies. Andréa Maechle, Board Member of the Swiss National Bank, earlier this year expressed his view on nationally-issued digital currencies, citing them as inferior to their private sector counterparts.
However, Swiss politicians are trying to bridge the gap between cryptocurrency investors and the banking system so that banks can offer crypto services alongside their conventional business. Finma, the Swiss financial supervisor, has already set out guidelines to help local ICOs to facilitate cryptocurrency finding a place in Switzerland’s financial space.
As institutional investors begin to take more of an interest in the digital currency market, more exchanges are beginning to bring in tighter controls and safeguards, not just in Switzerland but globally. The rise in the new wave of institutional investors has encouraged cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase and Huobi to integrate such features as custodial services and default funds into their businesses to offer users increased protection.
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