It’s been a busy couple of weeks for Switzerland’s digital asset exchange, SDX.
In chronological order (and pardoning the unavoidable alphabet soup): Last week SDX’s parent company, SIX, announced test results around the “feasibility” of wholesale central bank digital currencies (CBDCs), involving the Swiss National Bank (SNB) and Bank of International Settlements (BIS).
This week, SDX took a stake in crypto custody solution Custodigit with a view to building a “digital asset gateway” in Switzerland. Also this week, SDX said it is partnering with crypto-friendly Japanese bank SBI to build a digital asset exchange in Singapore by 2022.
This latter announcement was trumped to some degree by DBS Bank announcing its digital asset exchange, part-owned by Singapore’s stock exchange SGX, which will start trading next week.
Asked if each respective exchange’s plans meant a sort of jurisdictional rivalry was ramping up over digital assets, Tim Grant, head of SDX, was philosophical.
“I would say the adversarial, shareholder primacy model that really goes back to the Friedman economics of the 1970s and 1980s has really gone in the 21st century,” Grant said in an interview. “We think about collaborating as a key way to keep the industry competitive as we grow the pie for digital assets.”
Rivalry might not be the right word. Some might say we are seeing the strengthening of a crypto daisy chain connecting Switzerland and Singapore.
It tends to be the usual suspects joining hands when it comes to banking, custody and trading of crypto. Swiss-regulated crypto banks like Sygnum, which is part of Custodigit, also have a strong foothold in Singapore. Similarly, FINMA-licensed SEBA Bank has already been onboarded as a market maker for the new DBS Digital Exchange.
(It’s interesting to note that Custodigit, which SDX is backing alongside Swisscom and Sygnum, was…