Launch of SIX Digital Exchange – PwC instrumental in refining the vision and approach

13 Jul 2018

Switzerland’s stock exchange owner SIX today announced the launch of a new digital asset exchange platform. The SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) will be the first market infrastructure in the world to offer a fully integrated end-to-end trading, settlement and custody service for digital assets. SIX trusted the services of PwC to refine their vision, the strategy, and the approach to initiate this milestone project.

As a leading enabler for digital transformation, PwC has accompanied SIX through the development process of the SDX and together with SIX has achieved this goal in the shortest possible time. Key challenges facing this project were not only the development of the strategic framework and the implementation of the technical requirements, but also addressing – and finding solutions for – the inherent lack of trust in digital assets and the crypto space in general. The successful completion of this project signals another highlight in the long-standing and strategic collaboration between PwC and SIX.

What is it about?

The SIX Digital Exchange will provide services for issuing and trading digital assets in a safe and regulated environment. SDX enables the tokenisation of existing securities and, potentially, non-bankable assets to make previously untradeable assets tradeable. The technology used to provide these services is Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), enabling the secure and transparent handling and recording of all transactions and smart contracts involved in digital asset trading. Since SIX is regulated as an operator of Financial Market Infrastructure (FMI) by FINMA the Swiss authority, SDX is expected to adhere to the same standards of oversight and regulation.

At PwC’s Experience Center, experts from SIX and PwC met to generate ideas, develop and try out solutions and directly transform them into the approach for an implement-able digital platform, enabling SDX to roll out its first services by mid-2019. Our purpose-built space for digital transformation provided the project team the opportunity to develop an out-of-the-box mind-set regarding new digital ventures. Speed is crucial, as the rise of cryptocurrencies and digital transformation is progressing at a higher pace than traditional business developments, and disruptive technologies have the power to turn an industry upside down almost overnight.

Why PwC?

The PwC experts at the Experience Center have broad experience in guiding clients through digital transformation by jointly creating complete solutions, from idea to strategy to execution. The application of PwC’s BXT approach (the power of perspective of Business, Experience and Technology) allowed for the fast and timely completion of the project, as it enabled all participants to progress and work right at the intersection of these crucial areas. Thanks to PwC’s agile project development methods, the project teams could focus on user-centricity, adapt to changing business priorities, enhance quality through continuous feedback loops and identify risks early on in the process. Also, PwC was able to support the development process with market analyses and insights regarding crypto currency and Distributed Ledger Technology strategies and by providing the appropriate IT architecture and business architecture. 

The collaboration between PwC and SIX on the SIX Digital Exchange is a showcase for advancing digital transformation with the help of agile methods and the use of Distributed Ledger technology. It provides cost-efficient, secure and progressive business opportunities and marks the beginning of a new era for capital markets infrastructures.


Frederik Gregaard

Head Digital Financial Services Advisory, Zurich, PwC Switzerland

+41 58 792 24 81