World’s 1st crypto banks get licenses in Switzerland

The Swiss financial regulator has granted capital market and securities dealer licenses to two blockchain companies, set to become the world’s first crypto banks.

The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has issued licenses to Zug-based SEBA Crypto AG and Zurich-headquartered Sygnum AG earlier this week, making them the first companies registered in Switzerland as broker-dealers with a blockchain focus. The companies will be able to issue, store, trade, and manage digital assets – namely bitcoin and ethereum – as well as convert fiat currencies such as Swiss francs, US dollars, and euros into the two cryptocurrencies

They also plan to offer their investors custody, brokerage and tokenization services for their digital assets. Both companies, however, have yet to fulfil certain “secondary criteria” demanded by FINMA to become fully-operational Swiss banks. These criteria have not been disclosed to the public.

“We have been approached over the past few months by many parties who hold a lot of cryptocurrencies and look for a fully regulated bank. One of their biggest challenges is to find banking specialists to connect them to the real world, to pay their taxes, their employees’ salary,” Sygnum co-founder Mathias Imbach told Bloomberg, explaining the motivation for establishing a crypto bank. Sygnum, which is also headquartered in Singapore, now plans to apply for a banking license in the island nation as well.

“Being awarded the banking and securities dealer license from FINMA is a significant milestone, and an important step towards the institutionalization of the digital asset economy,” Manuel Krieger, CEO of Sygnum Switzerland said, as cited by Swissinfo. rt.com

World’s 1st crypto banks get licenses in Switzerland
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