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SIX Group acquires minority stake in blockchain inheritance startup PassOn

Mon, 15 Oct 2018, 08:13 am UTC

SIX Group, a Swiss financial service provider, has acquired a minority stake in PassOn, a Zug-based blockchain startup.

In July, SIX Swiss Exchange, which is a part of the SIX Group, announced “SIX Digital Exchange” – a full end-to-end and fully integrated trading, settlement and custody infrastructure for digital assets. It has now partnered with PassOn, a startup specialising in the transfer of digital assets as part of inheritances.

Founded in 2017, PassOn is a startup that is building a blockchain platform to simplify transferring digital assets to friends and family in the event of incapacity of death. According to swissinfo.ch, the startup is “developing an infrastructure capable of linking tokens to their underlying assets, even when the token is transferred from one party to another.”

SIX said that it acquired the stake in PassOn as part of its strategy to build a digital asset custody ecosystem. As part of this investment, Valerio Roncone, Product Management & Development, Securities & Exchanges at SIX, will become a Board Member of PassOn AG.

“The challenge in the digital asset space is to ensure clean, transparent and legally binding title to the assets between parties,” said Roncone. “This requirement is identical for counterparties who are exchanging assets whether they are living or deceased.”

Roncone told swissinfo.ch that PassOn is addressing this issue in “a fully regulated way, building an infrastructure that is notarized, visible to the authorities and transparent to all stakeholders that are involved.”

In its official release, PassOn said that SIX is exploring “the listing of the PassOn token and to provide secure storage for the PassOn wallet.”

SIX Digital Exchange is also reportedly signing up to Blockstream’s recently launched ‘Liquid’ sidechain, according to swissinfo.ch.

Roncone said that SIX Digital Exchange is on track to meet its deadline of going live by summer of 2019. The platform plans to launch with a minimum set of services and products and gradually build up its portfolio.

Although SIX is yet to officially announce the financial products it will provide on its Digital Exchange, expectations are rife that it will include tokenised company shares. SIX is in talks with the country’s financial regulators, including the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB), to set up a regulatory framework that will allow the whole trading chain to take place within a single platform.

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