Swiss Crypto Bank Startup Expects to Receive Banking, Securities Dealer License in 2019

The CEO of Swiss startup SEBA Crypto AG said in an interview that five “large asset managers” from both Germany and abroad have shown interest in their cryptocurrency bank, Swiss financial media outlet Cash reports Nov. 12.

Back in September, the company had raised $103 million to set up a bank offering cryptocurrency-related services. At the time, CEO Guido Bühler had noted that the bank sees itself as a bridge between cryptocurrency assets and the traditional financial world.

In the November interview, Bühler noted that SEBA Crypto AG expects to receive a banking and securities dealer license from Swiss financial market regulator FINMA in the first half of 2019. That license would allow the firm to conduct crypto trading and investments business for other banks and qualified investors.

In September, SEBA had noted that it planned to start to expand its operations into major financial hubs beginning with Zurich in 2019.

According to Bühler, SEBA now intends to raise further growth capital of up to 200 million francs ($206 million) via an Initial Coin Offering (ICO). The CEO explaining the company’s goals, also noted that SEBA wants to offer custodian bank functions, going beyond the digital storage of crypto assets:

“As a general rule, crypto assets, just like investments in stocks and bonds, must be vested with our custodian bank function to the regulator.”

Earlier in November, FINMA had advised banks and other financial institutions via a confidential letter to estimate risk coverage for cryptocurrencies at 800 percent of current market value. The relatively high valuation suggests that the regulator views the investments as very volatile.

Author: Max Yakubowski
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The first Crypto Bank will open in Switzerland in 2019

Nowadays banks aren’t ranked too high when it comes to public opinion. In fact, most people who initially got interested in crypto and blockchain, did so because of the lack of trust for the banking system. A new Swiss-based startup however, plans to unite cryptocurrencies and banking by creating the first crypto bank. SEBA Crypto AG managed to raise $103 million to create the crypto bank, which will offer cryptocurrency services. The ambitious project is headed by a couple of UBS bankers – Guido Buehler and Andreas Amschwand. SEBA aims to apply for a license from FINMA for banking and securities dealer.

Reuters reported the news first and if successful, the new crypto bank will be able to trade with cryptocurrencies and also handle investments from other banks and private investors. The new and exciting project can become a bridge between traditional banking institutions and the innovative crypto industry. Another exciting detail about the project is that it aims to provide many services for ICOs. The current state and reputation of ICOs is shaky to say the least and a stable bank helping out will be extremely beneficial. The new crypto bank will offer corporate financing and consultations.

A Crypto Bank will offer a lot of benefits to the crypto community
The chairman, Andreas Amschwand said that:

“In Switzerland we share a serious commitment from many authorities to establish and secure a comprehensive regulatory environment. We want both blockchain technology and crypto assets to enjoy this environment and have stable growth”

Zurich will be the first expansion of the project’s operations. The crypto bank plans for multiple expansions of its operations into many financial hubs starting in Q1 of 2019.

The Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) also took preventative measures earlier this month. They wanted to prevent a massive crypto exit from Switzerland coming from regulations. This is why, SBA came up with basic guidelines for the banks willing to work with blockchain startups.

The initial guidelines tell banks that blockchain projects without an ICO, should receive treatment similar to small and medium companies. Projects with ICOs however, have a strict set of rules to follow. They fall directly under the purview of the Swiss know-your customer (KYS) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws.

In August this year, a private bank began accepting crypto assets as a form of payment.

Maerki Baumman also began taking assets earned from mining. Although the bank does not offer a direct service to crypto-related investments, they offer to provide interested clients with experts on the subject.

Even earlier this year, another bank, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg became the first Swiss bank willing to provide business accounts to companies who are blockchain and crypto-related. The bank however, is extremely selective of the clients it works with has reportedly has taken only 2 companies from the crypto/blockchain industry as clients.

Author: Peio Purlev
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