Swiss Stock Exchange Invests in Institutional Trading Platform for Digital Assets

26 February 2020

Switzerland’s leading stock exchange has invested in an institutional trading platform, with plans to use it as a “gateway” into the digital asset space.

SIX Swiss Exchange announced Tuesday it has formed a partnership with San Francisco-based institutional solution Omniex to provide SIX and its subsidiary, Swiss Digital Exchange (SDX), with access to cryptocurrency markets.

Thomas Zeeb, SIX head of securities and exchanges as well as a member of the executive board, explained there was a “growing need” for platforms like SIX to have access to cryptocurrencies. The tie-up with Omniex will provide the stock exchange with a “standardized and secure gateway” in the emerging digital asset market, he said.

“With SDX as the digital exchange infrastructure in development, the collaboration with Omniex to deliver the front end for clients, both for existing crypto currencies, as well as in future for SDX-listed assets, is an important addition to the digital ecosystem,” Zeeb said in a statement.

As part of the agreement, SIX also agreed to become a shareholder in Omniex for an undisclosed sum.

With a market cap of more than 1 trillion Swiss francs (just over US$1 trillion) in January 2020, SIX is Switzerland’s principal stock exchange. It has listed a series of exchange-traded products (ETPs) that provide exposure to cryptocurrencies in a familiar and regulated tracker product.

SIX launched SDX in 2019 to provide a trusted cryptocurrency trading platform for both institutional and retail traders, but has since narrowed this down to just its professional clients. Although initially slated for the summer of 2019, a spate of departures at the executive level means the SDX launch date has been pushed back to the end of 2020.

Founded by former State Street executives, Omniex raised $5 million in a seed round in 2017. The company provides exchanges with the technology to ensure best execution and minimal slippage when trading cryptocurrencies.

“Together with SIX we aim to offer an end-to-end solution for the trading and settlement of digital assets, including the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), once operationally live,” said Omniex CEO and co-founder Hu Liang. “It will still take some time, but the cornerstones are in place to accelerate the broader adoption of natively digitalized assets.”