Six Digital Exchange explains the challenges of pioneering a regulated digital bond issue
In November 2021, the SIX Group issued a CHF 150 million bond onto its own exchange and into its own central securities depository (CSD). Nothing remarkable about that, you might think. Except that the securities became the first digital bond to be freely issued into a regulated environment. More remarkable still is that a majority of investors, offered a choice of the bonds in tokenised or traditional form, opted for the tokenised variety. Creating that choice required considerable operational ingenuity. The digital bonds are listed and traded on the digital asset exchange of SDX and issued into the digital CSD of SDX, while the traditional bonds are listed and traded on the traditional SIX Swiss Exchange and centrally held by the traditional CSD (SIX SIS). The challenges – in terms of maintaining a register of investors, paying entitlements, enabling investors to switch between the two forms of the bond and maintaining a liquid market – are not hard to guess. Dominic Hobson, co-founder of Future of Finance, asked Stefan Bosshard, product head, fixed income at SDX, about these and other complexities.