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Raiffeisen Switzerland Bank joins SIX Digital Exchange to serve digital assets

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Banking giant Raiffeisen Switzerland has become the latest entity to join the SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), bringing the number of partner institutions to nearly a dozen in a rapid expansion drive.

Raiffeisen Switzerland’s decision to join SDX stems from the desire to incorporate digital assets into its services for retail and institutional clients, according to its official disclosure. Already, the firm has been hovering on the sidelines, participating as joint lead manager in the Canton of Zurich’s digital bond offering.

Raiffeisen Switzerland’s Head of Trading, Werner Leuthard, stated that the merger has been in the works since the start of the year, and inking the deal before the end of 2023 will put the bank in a position to explore a range of digital asset services.

“By joining the SDX ecosystem, Raiffeisen Switzerland increases its footprint and experience in digital assets with the aim of actively contributing to the development of the digital assets industry and product landscape,” said Leuthard.

In August, SDX’s membership stood at five, but its participation in the Swiss National Bank’s (SNB) central bank digital currency (CBDC) pilot has triggered a wave of growth for the exchange.

“A significant number of additional members are onboarding over the next few months, off the back of both their interest in participating in Helvetia III,” said SDX Head David Newns at the time. “But also because I think it’s a real landmark or driver of confidence in the market, of the direction of travel that we’re taking in Switzerland’s capital markets.”

SDX’s member includes Zurcher Kantonalbank, Basler Kantonalbank, Berner Kantonalbank, Commerzbank, Credit Suisse (NASDAQ: CSGKF), Kaiser Partner Privatbank, UBS (NASDAQ: UBS), and Hypothekarbank Lenzburg. SIX SIS AG, a central securities depository, CM-Equity, and Banque Cantonale Vaudoise (NASDAQ: BQCNF) are forming part of the lineup.

SDX, the digital arm of SIX Swiss Exchange, has been at the center of merging traditional finance and Web3, leaving a streak of innovation in Switzerland’s financial ecosystem. The exchange is expected to host the SNB’s wholesale CBDC pilot, supporting atomic settlement and providing technical direction.

A streak of digital innovation

Since its launch in 2020, SDX has been at the forefront of tokenization plays in Switzerland, participating in the digital bond issuances of Basel and Zurich. Last week, the exchange announced the tokenization of Aktionariat AG’s shares in its blockchain-based central securities depository (CSD).

In November, it inked a deal with DLT Finance to expand its digital asset services for institutional investors, which has accentuated SDX’s commitment to spearhead a digital revolution. With FINMA licenses under its belt and a range of international collaborations with its parent company, SDX is expected to onboard more ecosystem players before mid-2024.

Watch: CBDCs are more than just digital money

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