Capital markets News

Berner Kantonalbank joins SIX Digital Exchange CSD for tokenized stocks

swiss blockchain stocks security tokens tokenized

Today a three-way deal was announced between Berner Kantonalbank (BEKB), digital stock issuance startup daura, and the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX). 

BEKB, which is 51.5% owned by the Kanton of Bern, has become a member of the blockchain-based Central Securities Depository (CSD) operated by SDX.

The combination of the three firms enables the issuance, trading and custody of tokenized stocks or security tokens, particularly for SME shares.

Indirect relationships already exist between the three parties. Last year, BEKB launched SME|X in conjunction with daura. SME|X is an over-the-counter marketplace for digital assets – especially the stocks of SMEs – that allows direct retail access to investments. In contrast, SDX has an institutional focus. 

In April, daura and SDX announced a relationship to use SDX’s regulated CSD and enable security tokens issued by daura to be traded on the SDX exchange as well as SME|X.

“By integrating the central securities depository (CSD), we enable bank custody of such shares for a broad public,” said Armin Brun, CEO of BEKB. “SMEs in particular will benefit from this, as they will be able to issue their shares digitally from now on and thus appeal to a broader investor base.”

daura provides a digital share register and digital meetings, and with these two relationships, a greater appeal of SME shares to institutional investors.

“With this partnership, we enable Swiss SMEs to connect their share register directly to the Swiss financial infrastructure,” said Peter Schnürer, daura CEO. “This allows shares to be booked directly into investors’ accounts with custodians and traded at the push of a button on a marketplace. With SDX and BEKB, we have two competent partners who understand the requirements of Swiss SMEs and can implement them using innovative technology.”

Meanwhile, the Swiss exchange SDX has three other bank members, UBS, Credit Suisse, and Zürcher Kantonalbank. It went into production late last year. SDX holds two conventional licenses, one as a CSD and the other as a stock exchange. That’s despite Switzerland’s relatively new FinMIA law that allows a combined trading and custody platform. The EU will be testing something similar for tokenized securities as part of the DLT Pilot Regime.