After a banner year of 2021 for the sale of individual items via non-fungible tokens (NFTs), 2022 is set to be the year of MetaFi. A recap of Beeple, Christie’s, Visa (NYSE:) and countless celebrity-turned-NFTs doesn’t seem necessary, except to point out that we appear to be standing on (or perhaps have already crossed) a fundamental precipice. While the skyrocketing NFT prices will not continue forever, numerous voices have predicted that a mature technology stack will soon emerge to discover, examine, value, trade, and protect collections of digital assets, without collapse.
But these optimistic shots may even be underestimating the area. That is, the premise of the “NFT-Fi” sector is to create value through liquidity, but it remains an unstated assumption that this liquidity would be fundamentally limited to the world of cryptocurrencies itself. While it’s still early days, those boundaries may be eroding and we all may need to open our meta-openings further. In this regard, Switzerland stands out among numerous countries that have only just started to pilot experiments with central bank-backed digital currencies (CBDCs). The confederation of cantons, home to both Davos and Art Basel, is known for its rich history of innovation in both creative and financial assets, and its movements are worth following closely.
Late last year, Six Digital Exchange (SDX), the digital entity of the SIX Group, the financial services company that operates the infrastructure of the Swiss national stock exchange, considered opening its exchange to NFTs. This possible move dovetails with the advancement of a major CBDC experiment. Taken together, these first steps will lend credibility and support to both digital currencies and the secondary NFT market, integrating many types of digital holdings more closely into the fabric of Swiss finance.
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