Licensing as a DLT trading facility

Licensing as a DLT trading facility allows for multilateral trading of DLT securities and is regulated by the Financial Market Infrastructure Act.

DLT trading facilities pursuant to Chapter 4a and/or Article 73a ff. are permitted to operate a facility for multilateral trading of DLT securities

  • whose purpose is the simultaneous exchange of bids between several participants and the conclusion of contracts based on non-discretionary rules and which either admits participants in accordance with Article 73c para. 1 let. e FinMA ("retail customers"),
  • holds DLT securities in central custody based on uniform rules and procedures,
  • or clears and settles transactions in DLT securities based on uniform rules and procedures.

At least one of these three conditions must be satisfied to trigger a licensing requirement as a DLT trading facility. The DLT trading facility must be structured as a legal entity under Swiss law and have its registered office and head office in Switzerland.

FINMA is responsible for granting the licence as a DLT trading facility. Upon receiving licence applications, it assesses whether the intended business activities require a DLT trading facility licence and whether the planned business activities are possible under the applicable licencing provisions. To simplify the application process, FINMA has published guidelines. Interested parties can also present their project to FINMA prior to submitting the application. The licensing process is subject to fees. These are set out in the Fees and Levies Ordinance.

After receiving the application, FINMA will inform the applicant which FINMA staff member is responsible for the licensing procedure and whether any additional information or documents need to be submitted. Before a licence is granted as a DLT trading facility, FINMA requires an audit to be carried out by an audit firm. The duration of the licensing procedure depends on the complexity of the project and the quality and completeness of the application.