Swisscom has joined with financial firms SEBA, Sygnum, Vontobel, and Swissquote, to pilot the Swiss Institutional Digital Asset Reference Rate (SIDAR). According to a public statement, during a two-week testing period, the partners carried out daily fixings for Bitcoin and Ether. The banks acted as data contributors and Swisscom as the calculation agent.
Swisscom states that digital assets are gaining in popularity yet popular price and volume data sources are “susceptible to manipulation, damaging the image and credibility of the digital asset market as a whole and hindering institutional adoption.” Swisscom points to the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision not to approve a Bitcoin ETF due to “deficiencies in the reliableness of the used reference prices.”
“Switzerland, with one of the most advanced digital asset ecosystems in the world is ideally suited to bring institutional-grade digital asset benchmarks to life,” stated Aetienne Sardon from Swisscom FinTech. In contrast to existing digital asset price sources, the SIDAR is exclusively based on data from regulated banks and financial institutions. As a robust and trustworthy benchmark, SIDAR can be used for creating innovative digital asset linked products, enabling a new wave of financial innovation. Moreover, the SIDAR serves as a unique market indicator, reflecting digital asset market interest and activity among regulated participants.
Christopher Thomas, Head Digital Assets at Swissquote Bank added that digital assets are an important and expanding theme at Swissquote Bank.
“As a pioneer of crypto-assets, we are delighted to collaborate with other Swiss banks and continue to strengthen the Swiss ecosystem.”
Dominic Lohberger, Sygnum Bank’s Head of Brokerage explained that with institutional adoption driving market values to new heights, establishing a reliable reference rate for digital assets is a critical step towards building trusted infrastructure for Future Finance
“At SEBA Bank we bridge the gap between the traditional world and the new economy. We are proud of our sophisticated digital assets spot and derivatives trading and provide broad traditional and crypto credit and lending services. We are happy to set market standards and to contribute to a more transparent market by providing daily reference rates,” said Urs Bernegger, Head Trading & Credit Platform at SEBA Bank.
Markus Pfister, Head Structured Solutions & Treasury at Bank Vontobel said they are ready to adapt and have the tools to serve the market and its participants with new services.
While not providing an official launch date for the SIDAR, Swisscom said it is assessing commercial rollout with the project partners.