Japan’s SBI Group is collaborating with Switzerland’s SIX to create a Singapore digital asset exchange to be launched in 2022, subject to regulatory approval. The deal is between the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), SBI Group and SBI Digital Asset Holdings.
It’s not a retail offering but instead will target regulated institutions. The project plans to include the full lifecycle of issuance, listing, trading, on-chain central securities depositary (CSD) and custody and use technologies from both companies. Notably, SDX uses R3’s Corda and SBI is the largest outside investor in R3.
Although the announcement referenced cryptocurrencies, it emphasized that pure cryptocurrency plays are not its focus. Instead, it is looking at native assets issued on distributed ledger technology (DLT), which include digital bonds, equities and securitized loans.
SBI has a breathtaking array of investments in these areas. One of them is a recent relationship with Swiss digital bank Sygnum, which is regulated in Switzerland and Singapore and has a close relationship with SIX. Sygnum and SIX have common shareholdings in daura and CustoDigit. Hence it’s conceivable that Sygnum may have opened the door here, although it also has ambitions in this space.
Both SIX and SBI were keen to point out their heritage, with SIX highlighting the Swiss stock market and its newly acquired Bolsas y Mercados Españoles. And SBI pointed to its management of Japannext, the largest private trading venue in Japan.
“As the operator of financial market infrastructure in both Switzerland and Spain, SIX has significant experience in delivering trusted and secure capabilities to institutional capital markets and we look forward to bringing the best of SIX to our partnership with SBI in Asia, which we see as a strategically important region for growth,” said Thomas Zeeb, Chairman SDX, & Member Executive Board, SIX.
SBI wants to be a major player in digital assets outside of Japan and some of its investments are outlined here. Domestically it invested in the Nomura digital asset issuance platform BOOSTRY and is planning a digital stock exchange in Osaka.
“We are delighted to combine forces with SDX. This is an important step in building the necessary global infrastructure for widespread institutional adoption of digital assets,” said Yoshitaka Kitao, CEO of SBI Holdings.