The operator of the Swiss Stock Exchange, SIX Group, has joined a list of crypto-focused startups that acquired different stakes in token securities platform Daura.
The investment comes as SIX has delayed the launch of its new blockchain-powered exchange until next year. Dubbed SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), the platform had previously projected a launch date in the second half of 2019.
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Daura was set up to digitize shares of small and medium-sized companies from Switzerland, where corresponding equity tokens are issued and managed via smart contracts. The platform was recently used by Deutsche Börse and other partners in jointly settling securities transactions with tokenized shares via blockchain technology.
The tokenization of equities is highly appealing to VC firms and investment bankers, particularly in a friendly jurisdiction for issuing equity tokens such as Switzerland.
SMEs can be tokenized in just a few hours
Daura was originally established as a joint venture of Swisscom, Switzerland’s largest telecoms firm, and Luka Müller, but the firm now relies on a network of other ecosystem partners. In addition to the SIX and Deutsche Börse, the latest funding round included digital asset bank Sygnum, which recently received a banking and securities dealers from the Swiss regulator FINMA.
“Shares of Swiss SMEs can be tokenised in just a few hours and transferred and settled almost in real time in the partner network. The biggest beneficiaries of a functioning digital asset ecosystem are ultimately investors and companies,” says Peter Schnürer, CEO of daura.
By comparison, SIX’s platform will initially introduce selected stocks in cooperation with Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, and Citibank. When fully launched, stocks will be followed by bonds and exchange-traded funds, as well as tokenizing other securities and non-tradeable assets such as paintings or vintage cars. The digitalization of each asset would go through a rigorous review process before adding it to the exchange.
Johannes Höhener, daura chairman and Head of fintech at Swisscom, added: “With the investment by SIX and Sygnum Bank in daura and future joint development work, we are standardizing the tokenisation of Swiss assets. 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’.”