Today, Swiss securities exchange SIX and digital asset bank Sygnum announced an investment in daura, the SME share registry and tokenization firm. The two companies did not disclose the amount of investment. Swisscom and the Deutsche Börse previously invested in daura.
The collaboration brings together two separate efforts for creating a digital asset ecosystem in Switzerland. Until now, Swisscom, Sygnum Bank, Deutsche Börse, and the startups Custodigit and daura worked together on digital assets. Meanwhile, separately SIX launched a prototype of its SIX Digital Exchange (SDX).
To date, the fundamental difference between the two digital assets initiatives in Switzerland was the target customer. While SIX focuses on large enterprises, daura caters to SMEs. daura offers unlisted companies a platform to digitize their share register and issue security tokens, with each token representing a share. This enables SMEs to sell stakes in their company over the internet.
“The new stake taken by SIX and Sygnum Bank in daura is representative of an even more effective joining of forces by important players in the Swiss ecosystem for digital assets. It will enable us to set sustainable standards for all,” said Mathias Imbach, co-founder of Sygnum Bank.
Sygnum is the world’s first regulated digital asset bank. It is licensed by Switzerland’s FINMA for banking and securities dealing and also the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) for capital markets services.
Meanwhile, SIX is the owner of the Swiss Stock Exchange and is building an end-to-end digital assets trading platform, SDX. With a prototype in place, the Corda-based platform aims to go live next year. Swisscom blockchain CEO Lukas Hohl in an interview with CNN Money had expressed interest in a partnership with SIX.
“The tokens of SMEs issued by daura can be traded, settled and held in custody seamlessly and in real-time via SDX,” said Thomas Zeeb, member of the SIX Executive Board.
“The biggest beneficiaries of a functioning digital asset ecosystem are ultimately investors and companies,” said Peter Schnürer, CEO of daura. “Shares of Swiss SMEs can be tokenized in just a few hours and transferred and settled almost in real-time in the partner network.”
Last month, Deutsche Börse, Swisscom, daura along with three partner banks, completed a proof of concept to settle securities transactions using both tokenized shares and cash. Custodigit, a joint venture between Swisscom and Sygnum Bank, acted as the custodian of security tokens.
“With the investment by SIX and Sygnum Bank in daura and future joint development work, we are standardizing the tokenization of Swiss assets,” said Johannes Höhener, Chairman of the Board of Directors of daura AG and Head of Fintech at Swisscom. “There is also the possibility that SIX, in addition to Swiss Post and Swisscom, may get involved in operating the private blockchain ‘Consensus as a Service'”.
Deutsche Börse to focus on Germany, EU
Earlier this year, Deutsche Börse, Swisscom and Sygnum announced plans to create a digital asset exchange in Switzerland. However, today’s announcement indicates that Deutsche Börse will instead use its experience in digital assets to support the development of similar initiatives in Germany and other European countries, following recent regulatory changes. The Deutsche Börse confirmed the move to Ledger Insights.
A spokesperson explained: “The German Federal Government will create new framework conditions for financial markets infrastructure based on Blockchain Technology as well as the associated changes in the KWG legislation (Banking Act) as part of its Blockchain strategy. Part of this will be a classification of digital assets as “crypto values” within the KWG as well as the expected introduction of dematerialised / digital securities.”