Sygnum the world’s first bank to tokenize its shares, lays foundation for future public offering


In a world’s first for a bank, Sygnum today announced the successful tokenization of its own shares using its in-house tokenization platform, Desygnate. Put simply, this means that digital representations of Sygnum shares, together with associated legal rights and obligations, have been created and are immutably accounted for on a distributed ledger.

  • Sygnum’s tokenization platform, Desygnate, issues digital representations of shares and associated legal rights and obligations on a distributed ledger, providing corporates a fully regulated, highly efficient and potentially more inclusive alternative to traditional capital raising options, including IPOs.
  • Tokenization of its own shares lays the foundation for Sygnum’s future public offering, which includes a potential dual listing across Switzerland and Singapore in partnership with SIX Digital Exchange (SDX).

Share tokenization: a fully-regulated, highly efficient model to raise capital

With tokenization, Sygnum’s share registry will continuously and automatically update itself whenever capital increases or share transfers occur, allowing the bank to manage primary and secondary market transactions in a fully digital manner. This eliminates the need for buyers to inform Sygnum to manually update its shareholder registry, and does away with lengthy cash settlement processes, thus minimizing counterparty risk. This also eliminates the administrative burden of written form requirements for the transfer of shares between buyers and sellers, facilitating faster and more efficient secondary market transactions.

This strategic milestone was achieved using Sygnum’s institutional-grade tokenization platform, Desygnate. The platform provides corporates a fully regulated, highly efficient and potentially more inclusive model to raise capital as compared to traditional options, such as IPOs. Desygnate has been designed to be fully compatible with the new Swiss DLT law which enters into force from February 2021.

This successful tokenization also lays the foundation for Sygnum to eventually go public. For its future public offering, Sygnum is currently exploring several strategies in its home markets of Switzerland and Singapore, including a potential dual listing with ecosystem partner SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) in Zurich, and also with the Singapore-based digital exchange partnership between SDX and SBI Digital Asset Holdings.

Reimagining client and shareholder engagement models

Aside from the advantages outlined above in handling primary and secondary market transactions, Sygnum will also leverage the smart contract capabilities of its tokenized shares to enable the full potential of stakeholder relationships. For example, Sygnum could reward long-term shareholders and clients with tokenized micro-shares via a micro-shares program, encouraging closer engagement and incentivising them to refer new investors and clients to Sygnum. These shares can be viewed in a consolidated wealth report in each shareholder’s segregated bank account, alongside cash deposits, cryptocurrencies, other asset tokens as well as Sygnum´s settlement token, the Digital CHF.

This demonstrates the potential for distributed ledger technology to add value beyond what traditional securities can provide, transforming clients and business partners into engaged co-owners.

Mathias Imbach, Sygnum Bank AG Co-Founder & Group CEO Designate, says “we are excited to be the first bank in the world to tokenize our shares. This is an important milestone towards fulfilling our mission of creating more direct and efficient access to ownership and value. This includes new engagement models with our clients and partners, and ultimately providing liquidity for our trusted shareholders.”

Tim Grant, Head SIX Digital Exchange (SDX), says “as we build institutional-grade, future-proof financial market infrastructure that leverages the benefits of distributed ledger technology, we need credible players and pioneers to drive mainstream adoption. We are excited to partner with Sygnum on this journey and hope to facilitate a successful dual listing across Switzerland and Singapore in the future.”

Velina Peneva, a senior financial industry executive and Sygnum investor, says “I was an early believer in Sygnum’s vision of building a technology group with a banking license, and laying the foundations for a trusted and secure digital asset economy. I can now access my newly tokenized Sygnum shares alongside my other digital asset investments, and participate in fully-digitized capital raises in future – all from my Sygnum bank account. This experience makes me feel much more than just a client and shareholder.”

Watch the Desygnate platform digitally issue Sygnum shares in real-time. The entire process took under five minutes from share issuance, publishing to the blockchain, and being accessible in the shareholder’s e-banking account, alongside other asset tokens, cryptocurrency investments and Digital CHFs.

About Sygnum

Sygnum is the world’s first digital asset bank, and a digital asset specialist with global reach. With Sygnum Bank AG’s Swiss banking licence, as well as Sygnum Pte Ltd’s capital markets services (CMS) licence in Singapore, Sygnum empowers institutional and private qualified investors, corporates, banks and other financial institutions to invest in the digital asset economy with complete trust. Sygnum operates an independently controlled, scalable and future-proof regulated banking platform. Our interdisciplinary team of banking, investment and Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) experts is shaping the development of a trusted digital asset ecosystem. The company is founded on Swiss and Singapore heritage, and operates globally. To onboard digitally with Sygnum, please visit

Photo by Florian Wehde on Unsplash

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Sygnum the World’s First Bank to Tokenize its Shares, Lays Foundation for Future Public Offering: Author - CFR - Digital Finance News December 20, 2020 - 15:02

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