The initiative comes despite a decline in the prices of cryptocurrencies and overall trading volumes since the beginning of the year.

SIX, the financial services company that operates the Swiss stock exchange, announced on Friday it is going to open a new blockchain-based digital currency exchange, showing increased client interest in digital assets.

Called the SIX Digital Exchange, the platform will become the first fully regulated all-one-solution, combining digital asset trading, settlement and custody services for its clients. Besides, it will allow clients to launch their own tokens and raise funds via ICOs.

“This is the beginning of a new era for capital markets infrastructures. For us, it is abundantly clear that much of what is going on in the digital space is here to stay and will define the future of our industry,” Jos Dijsselhof, the CEO of SIX, said in a press-release. “The financial industry now needs to bridge the gap between traditional financial services and digital communities.”

“SIX is in a unique position in that it runs the entire securities and payments value chain for Switzerland already, and is ideally positioned to create the digital ecosystem for the future, allowing existing and new market participants to develop their business models for the opportunities available in this new environment. These are strengths that we can bring to the digital space and contribute meaningfully to what is one of the most innovative and dynamic environments of our time,” he added.

The new exchange, SIX noted, will be overseen by Swiss financial regulator FINMA and the Swiss national bank, the country’s central bank. Based on the blockchain technology, the service will help traditional market players to tokenize their bankable and non-bankable, thus making untradeable assets tradable.

“The digital space currently faces a number of key challenges. These include the absence of regulation that ensures official safety, security, stability, transparency and accountability – all of which contribute to a lack of trust,” said Thomas Zeeb, head of securities & exchanges at SIX.

The launch of the platform is planned for the first half of 2019.

Amidst the growing demand for virtual currencies, financial regulators worldwide are grappling with how to handle their usage. While some countries do not support cryptocurrency use, Switzerland is one of the most tech-friendly countries.

Malta is another nation having a friendly stance on innovative technologies. A couple days ago, the country’s prime minister, Joseph Muscat, announced that the parliament plans to approve three cryptocurrency bills that were designed to bring changes to the blockchain sphere.

Meantime, the member of the British Parliament, Eddie Hughes, has recently urged the UK government to appoint a Chief Blockchain Officer who would coordinate the government’s strategy on the blockchain adoption.

Earlier today, we reported that a global leader in the blockchain industry Bittrex has partnered with the UK fintech startup Invest.com to provide a cryptocurrency exchange that will target not only the European market but other global markets as well.

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