Swiss SIX pushes back launch of SDX blockchain bourse

Credit: REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann

ZURICH, Sept 23 (Reuters) - Swiss exchange operator SIX Group plans a full launch of its new SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) trading platform using blockchain technology only at the end of next year, it said on Monday.

It had originally intended to go live this year.

A spokesman said legal and regulatory aspects were still being finalised, while SIX was discussing with banks which services to offer on the digital platform.

SIX head Jos Dijsselhof has told Reuters that SIX was working with Credit Suisse CSGN.S, JPMorgan JPM.N and Citibank C.N on applications for SDX.

SDX, which bills itself as the world's first end-to-end exchange for digital assets, has launched a prototype of its digital exchange and central securities depository.

"Future releases will offer more functionality, with a particular emphasis on asset servicing, in Q1 2020. The full launch is expected in Q4 2020," SIX said in a statement.

SDX will initially run parallel to the existing SIX platform, which involves three steps to complete a trade, often over several days. Two of those steps vanish in a blockchain distributed ledger, meaning a transaction can be completed in fractions of a second.

SIX had earlier signalled a summer 2019 start date for the alternative bourse, which it expects to overtake its traditional trading platform within a decade.

Other exchanges are eyeing similar approaches, but SIX has seen itself in the lead.

Although stock and bond dealing on SIX and most other exchanges is now fully electronic, the underlying processing steps are often based on old protocols of paper and post.

(Reporting by Oliver Hirt, writing by Michael Shields; editing by David Evans)

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