Swiss regulator unleashes ‘game-changer’ with first crypto bank licenses

A game-changer for Switzerland (and the world)

The Swiss financial regulator has granted the world’s first banking and securities dealer licenses to two local crypto banks, re-igniting attention for the new currency movement.

The decision by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) was widely syndicated to finance news portals in late August. It followed hard on the heels of the award of the licences to Swiss crypto specialists Seba Crypto AG and Sygnum.

Crypto-analyst Cointelegraph’s Helen Partz wrote the same day that Seba expected to launch its new trading platform in early October. She said the company also planned to establish a digital asset platform for professional traders and institutional clients, together with custody storage and asset management.

She also reported that Sygnum’s new licence would let it offer its own custody and integrated liquidity platform to the market. Its digital asset management offer caters to significant digital currencies such as Bitcoin, Ether, and digital Swiss franc tokens.1

A game-changer for Switzerland (and the world)

Israeli finance and business news portal, Haaretz.com picked up on a report by Swiss-based finance writer Matthew Allen via SwissInfo.ch. It headlined its August 29 report with ‘World’s first licensed crypto banks seen as game-changer for Switzerland’.

‘This is the first time such licenses have been granted worldwide, so Switzerland is playing a pioneering role,” said Manuel Krieger, CEO of Sygnum Switzerland.

‘We now have a responsibility as an enabling platform to help banks and other financial players make the step into the digital asset world.’

Mathias Imbach who heads Sygnum’s Singapore office said: ‘This has positive implications for Switzerland and distributed ledger technology [the blockchain-style platform on which cryptocurrencies run] internationally.

‘Cryptocurrencies will come out of the shadows’

‘Cryptocurrencies will come out of the shadows if dealing with these assets can be done in a 100% compliant manner upholding all the rules that strict regulatory demands. That is a game-changer, he added.’

Allen wrote that Switzerland was a global leader in distributed ledger technology and tokenised digital assets. Its current amendment of legislation evidenced its intention to accommodate the new financial platforms.

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