Tokenized Shares for SMEs:Berner Kantonalbank to Join SIX Digital Exchange and Issue Private Participation Certificates for daura

Berner Kantonalbank (BEKB) is onboarding to Switzerland’s SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), the world's first fully regulated FMI digital asset exchange, and as a first transaction will issue daura participation certificates.

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SDX, BEKB and daura share a common goal – to establish a Swiss private market ecosystem for the issuance, trading, and custody of tokenized shares for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Since April 2022, daura has been a partner of SDX as a provider of DLT-based share registry services and tokenization. BEKB joining SDX represents another milestone in the development of DLT securities in Switzerland. The collaboration between SDX, BEKB and daura will enable SMEs to issue their shares digitally i.e., in the form of uncertificated securities or DLT-securities according to the Swiss code of obligations and make the shares available seamlessly for regulated bank custody.

As part of the collaboration, daura will be the preferred provider for BEKB offering its real-time digital share registry and digital annual general meetings. BEKB, with their SMEx platform, have been a leader in providing secondary liquidity to Swiss private companies. SDX will provide the digital financial market infrastructure for digital assets to be issued in a regulated, intermediated form. Investors will benefit from regulated custody in their securities account and easier transferability.

daura will be the first user of this model by issuing participation certificates which will be made available in the banking system through BEKB, these shares will then be registered on the SDX CSD.

David Newns, Head of SDX adds “As the world’s first fully regulated and fully integrated digital securities platform offering issuance, listing, trading, settlement, servicing, and custody of digital securities, SDX is very excited to welcome Berner Kantonalbank as a new member on our CSD. Both Berner Kantonalbank and daura are pioneers in the digital asset space and now, with SDX, together we are building an ecosystem for small and medium enterprises. That ecosystem will not only bring together those enterprises with investors looking to make private investments but will also bridge the gap between the world of tokenized private equity on the one hand and the traditional banking system on the other through the SDX’s members ability to take into custody tokenized private shares and have them placed in the SDX’s CSD as bankable assets.”

“With this partnership, BEKB is further expanding its offering around tokenized shares,” explains Armin Brun, CEO of BEKB. “By involving the central securities depository (CSD) of SIX Digital Exchange, we enable the safekeeping and custody of such shares for a broad audience. This underscores BEKB’s activities in this area – and as a cantonal bank, we are playing our part in helping digital shares achieve a breakthrough on a broader front.” For BEKB, this partnership is the next stage in the expansion of its SME|X secondary market, which will consequently become accessible to other players outside the current ecosystem in the near future. “SMEs in particular will benefit from this, as they will be able to issue their shares from now on digitally and thus reach a broader investor base,” says Brun.

Peter Schnürer, CEO, daura “With this partnership, we enable Swiss SMEs to connect their share register directly to the Swiss financial infrastructure. This allows shares to be booked directly into investors’ accounts with custodians and traded at the push of a button on a marketplace. With SDX and BEKB, we have two competent partners who understand the requirements of Swiss SMEs and can implement them using innovative technology.”

About SDX

SDX is licensed by Switzerland’s financial market regulator, FINMA, to operate an Exchange and a Central Securities Depository (CSD). SDX offers issuance, listing, trading, settlement, servicing, and custody of digital securities. SDX is committed to working with partners, members, and clients to promote and build out a new market structure for digital assets globally.

About Berner Kantonalbank

As a classic Swiss cantonal bank with around 470,000 customers, over 1,200 employees and around 80 locations, BEKB is a universal bank with strong roots in the Bern and Solothurn regions. Customers enjoy a wide range of products and services. With its credit and asset management business, it makes an important contribution to the independent development of the cantons of Berne and Solothurn and plays an essential economic and social role. Through its new marketplace SME|X, the company makes it easy to buy and sell digital stocks.

About daura

daura is the market leader for issuing and the management of digital participation instruments (shares, participation certificates, convertible bonds) in unlisted companies in Switzerland. Furthermore, daura enables a seamless integration of digital assets into the existing financial market infrastructure in Switzerland (marketplaces and banks). By using the daura platform, companies simplify their capital raising, employee participation, shareholder management (general assembly, share register) and the listing of their company shares on marketplaces. daura is a joint venture of BDO, Berner Kantonalbank, SIX, Swisscom, Sygnum Bank, Luka Müller (MME) and Christian Wenger (Wenger&Vieli).

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