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Swarm Markets, which operates the world’s first regulated decentralised trading exchange (DEX), is now available to the general public. This is the first unified platform where both retail and institutional investors will be able to trade securities alongside crypto.

The launch comes as the total value locked in DeFi platforms has swelled to almost $90 billion, according to DeFi Pulse, since summer 2020, and regulators across the globe begin to crackdown on unlicensed crypto platforms.

Swarm Markets operates under regulatory license from the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin) in Germany, provided to the Swarm Capital GmbH branch office in Berlin, and is supported by Swarm Markets GmbH.

Co-founder of Swarm Markets, Philipp Pieper, said, “Swarm Markets is skating to where the puck is heading by having regulatory authorisation from a globally-recognised regulator from the outset. BaFin has been extremely forward leaning and provided clarity on how it will govern DeFi, giving entrepreneurs confidence that will allow a healthy market to develop with a regulatory approach. We have the privilege of working with some of the most progressive legal minds in the crypto space and have been engaging in an ongoing dialogue with BaFin for the past two years, interpreting securities laws and applying them to assets on the blockchain.”

Regulators are starting to see the benefits of integrating traditional markets with blockchain technology, namely the transparency of transactions so regulators can lift the hood themselves and see what is happening in real time, reducing their reliance on companies reporting to them.

The platform employs the same know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) protocols as other licensed financial service providers like banks, removing counterparty risk for users and enabling it to welcome new types of market participants and assets to DeFi.

Greater rewards for early adopters

Early adopters of the platform will enjoy greater rewards for adding liquidity and trading. Rewards are paid out weekly and boosts are available for users who hold SMT, the Swarm Markets payment token that facilitates efficient transactions on the platform. The platform reimburses gas fees on all transactions involving trading and adding liquidity.

Similar to other DeFi protocols, users on Swarm Markets can enjoy networked liquidity with self-custody.

Timo Lehes, co-founder of Swarm Markets, added, “The opening of Swarm Markets is a historic step to move corporate cryptocurrency trading out of its legal grey area and offers sophisticated institutional investors and their clients the full scope of benefits from trading digital assets, including the high APYs attendant to DeFi, for the very first time.”

Lehes said that there are several layers of uncertainty that need to be addressed with regulation in order to build trust. More than just a DEX with KYC, Swarm Markets’ regulatory status means it can onboard new assets and participants into the DeFi ecosystem that others cannot. “We believe assets on the blockchain can be regulated to provide the same consumer protections as in traditional finance without sacrificing the benefits of innovation,” he explained.


Swarm Markets’ goal is to integrate traditional markets with Blockchain technology. Not only can existing market infrastructure be replicated on the lockchain with greater efficiencies, but this technology could enable traders and asset holders to do more and have greater autonomy over the markets they want to participate in.

Ethereum, Wrapped Bitcoin, SMT, DAI and USDC are currently available on the platform, with new types of assets being introduced in the near future. Swarm Markets launched its liquidity provider programme in July 2021. To date, nearly 2,000 people have registered for the programme, pledging over $100 million in aggregated assets.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse

Stuart Fieldhouse has spent 25 years in journalism and marketing, including as a wealth management editor for the Financial Times group, covering capital markets and international private banking, and as an investment banking correspondent for Euromoney in Hong Kong. He was the founder editor of The Hedge Fund Journal.

Stuart has worked at CMC Markets, supporting the re-launch of its global financial spread betting and CFD trading platforms. He is also the author of two books on trading, published by Financial Times Pearson. Based in The Armchair Trader’s London office, Stuart continues to advise fund managers, private banks, family offices and other financial institutions.

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