SIX Swiss Stock Exchange’s Thomas Zeeb Talks Crypto Liquidity and Mainstream Adoption
Executive Thomas Zeeb Seeks to “Replicate” SIX’s Value and Services to The Digital Space
Thomas Zeeb is a Swiss stock exchange executive, who is the head of Securities and Exchanges at SIX Group AG. Since April, his role has been primarily to handle the infrastructure for any trading and post-trade services for the company. In a statement during a segment on CNBC’s The Coin Rush, he said:
“At the moment, SIX is not entirely unique but almost unique in being one of very few groups that has a stock exchange, a central counter party, a central securities depository, and we run the interbank payment business for the Swiss National Bank. So, we’ve got that entire value chain already. That is really what we’re looking to replicate in the digital space.”
He believes that the world of initial coin offerings (ICOs) is a “wild west market,” which seems to be part of the reason that he wants SIX to get involved. He wants more security and liquidity in the marketplace, which caused an interviewer to ask how he plans to decide what tokens or coins he plans to list on the next exchange. He explained that they are presently involved with the regulators of the market to see how they can adapt their “very straightforward process” that presently rules their IPO regulations to match up with “the needs of the digital community.”
The concept of using Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple was introduced, to which Zeeb said, “That’s not clear as of yet, because our focus in the first instance is not on Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, per se. The focus is really on being able to provide liquidity in these markets.” He wants users of their platform to have safety and security in their crypto transactions, and to have “something real” that they can put their faith in.
Companies need to have some security and trustworthiness for users to be willing to invest on their exchange. Platforms like Coinbase and others have proven their reliability time and time again. When asked about the plan to provide the same service to users of their own platform, Zeeb said that this concern was a reason that the platform is hesitant to say that Bitcoin or a similar token will be offered because “there’s nothing real behind it.”
Zeeb compares the transaction to that of an IPO, which has a business plan and inherent value for what the investor participates in. There’s liquidity that Bitcoin technically lacks, along with other cryptocurrencies. He suggested using ICOs instead to fund a particular project, rather than using them as securities for a stake in a cryptocurrency token or platform.
Next, the attention turned to interest. Is there even interest from institutional investors to get involved with cryptocurrency, considering the major fall that the industry suffered from early this year? However, Zeeb does not quite have a concrete answer, saying “it depends.” He continued on, discussing the complexity of cryptocurrency and the technology it provides, which could attract their attention. He also says that he sees this process of evaluation taking five years rather than 30 years.
Zeeb concluded this sentiment, discussing how there previously was confusion and debate over the use of any kind of digital assets or digitized versions of existing assets. He said, “Now, they are part of every asset manager’s toolkit.” In the long run, the SIX platform seeks to add liquidity to help provide some of the reassurance that institutional investors need to be comfortable with a digital investment.