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The Swiss stock exchange is building a regulated exchange for tokenized securities.
The plan is to offer a full service product that includes trading, settlement and custody for the digital assets. Additionally, the platform (SIX Digital Exchange) will adhere to the same regulatory standards as the non-digital exchanges and be overseen by Swiss financial regulators.
This announcement confirms a few things:
Most assets (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc) will be tokenized and supported on regulated trading platforms.
The incumbents have a head start due to their size, regulatory licensing, and built-in user base (current assets trading). They are likely to leverage this advantage to defend their position of power.
Most investors will never know they are using distributed ledger technology, let alone trading tokenized assets. They will simply buy and sell assets as they always have.
The current plan is for the exchange to be ready for use in mid-2019. At that time, tokenized bankable assets will be available for trading, with further plans to develop support for tokenized non-bankable assets.
The fact that the announcement explicitly calls out the difference between bankable and non-bankable assets is interesting. This increases the odds that we will see a regulated exchange that allows someone to trade equity, debt, real estate and digital assets (cryptocurrencies) on the same platform.
I would anticipate many stock exchanges to quickly follow suit here, along with announcements of their own tokenized asset exchanges from Circle and Coinbase. This showdown between the traditional finance incumbents and crypto incumbents will be worth watching. One is incentivized to preserve the status quo, while the other is looking to create a new, more global financial system.
As I’ve always said, we’re going to Tokenize the World and no one can stop us :)
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