With Switzerland-based private banks, the destination of choice among the world’s elite, the Swiss have long been known as masters of finance and wealth management. Apparently, the Swiss have not lost their touch even in this age of digital currencies as the world is about to witness the birth of one of the first fully regulatory-compliant cryptocurrency banks in Switzerland.
Ex-UBS Bankers Successfully Raise Funding for Cryptocurrency Bank
While the cryptocurrency market might be depressed at the moment, numerous experts believe that these digital currencies are here to stay. What is sorely lacking, however, is a legitimate cryptocurrency bank where clients can easily exchange fiat currencies, such as dollars and euros, to cryptocurrencies or sell them back to cash.
But if the guys at Seba Crypto AG get their way, the world will soon witness the launching of one of the first regulated cryptocurrency banks. Run by a team of ex-UBS Group AG bankers, Seba just successfully raised 100 million Swiss francs, which is around $104 million, to get its project started, according to a report by Bloomberg.
The funding came from various private and institutional investors that are betting big on the venture’s success. Seba will be submitting its final application for a license to the Financial Market Supervisory Authority, Switzerland’s financial regulator, by the end of October this year.
Plans to Expand to Singapore, Europe
Chief Executive Officer Guido Buehler has already been in talks with the regulatory agency since April this year, so it’s highly likely that minor kinks have already been ironed out and the licensing will proceed smoothly. In fact, Buehler has already revealed expansion plans in Singapore and Europe, as well as a planned increase in manpower from the current 17 employees to around double that figure by the end of 2019.
Buehler believes that with the creation of a crypto bank, they will be offering a seamless service to investors who want to include digital assets in their portfolio mix, saying:
“Our vision is when you log in into your online banking, you’d have access to crypto and fiat within one account.”
Swiss Crypto Valley
Seba is headquartered at a town called Zug, an idyllic lakeside municipality that is likewise the capital of the canton of Zug. Switzerland has been promoting the location as a “crypto valley,” especially since the canton has long been known for its low corporate tax rates.
At the moment, most banks are probably reluctant to offer cryptocurrency-related services to their clients because of regulatory concerns. In India, for instance, its central bank expressly forbid financial institutions from dealing with crypto-related transactions.