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Swiss Regulator FINMA Issues DLT Act for Digital Securities Market

  • Richard Marley
  • September 17, 2021
  • 2 minutes read
  • 324
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The Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) introduced regulatory amendments for digital securities using Distributed Ledger Technology.

Switzerland’s financial regulatory body, FINMA, recently granted its first approval to an entity which is both a stock exchange and a central securities depository. The approval will create more opportunities to facilitate the trading and settlement of digital tokens, securities and other virtual assets. 

As per the details shared by the Financial Market Supervisory Authority, it issued two approvals to govern the financial markets framework based on Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), enabling SIX Digital Exchange to perform operations as a CSD and its subsidiary SDX Trading AG to function as a stock exchange. 

In a statement, FINMA acknowledged that new technologies have a great potential of garnering innovation in financial markets,

“In order to facilitate serious innovation, FINMA applies the existing provisions of financial market law in a consistently technology-neutral way, i.e. in keeping with the “same risks, same rules” principle. At the same time, FINMA makes sure that the protective goals of financial market legislation are preserved.”

The Swiss regulator highlighted that entities developing business models for joint trading operations or DLT-backed settlement of securities can only be approved in two cases:

  • The traditional approval method for a stock exchange or CSD according to the FINMA Act. 
  • Trading DLT securities as per the requirements defined in the DLT Act.

This is the first time a licence has been issued in the Swiss financial centre that accelerates and encourages the use of digital assets and securities, tokens and their subsequent integrated settlement. FINMA added,

“With the granting of these two licences, a closely-knit value chain ranging from issuance and trading through to the settlement and custody of tokenised assets has been facilitated.”