A Swiss bank set up to handle both traditional financial products and new digital currencies has been given the go-ahead by the country’s regulators.
SEBA, the Swiss-based cryptocurrency bank, is now officially operational, The Block reports.
The bank reportedly shared a statement with The Block yesterday that said its Swiss clients can now open accounts with the bank. This goes for corporate businesses, asset managers, and professional private investors.
Launched earlier this year, the bank received its banking license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) in August.
SEBA says it’s trying to bridge the gap between traditional and digital assets, whilst maintaining high levels of security. At the moment, the bank supports five cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, BTC Ethereum, Stellar, Litecoin, and Ethereum Classic.
Customers will be able to manage their asset accounts through an app and online banking. According to the statement, users will be able to convert cryptocurrencies into traditional currencies and back again all within these online services.
According to SEBA’s road map, the next phase is to roll out its offering to international customers, before expanding its product offering. However, there are no dates attached to this timeline so there’s no knowing how long either of those developments will take.
It’s a bit of a politically conflicting situation depending on your perspective.
Many cryptocurrency and Bitcoin businesses have struggled to work with traditional banks. Regulatory uncertainty, and Bitcoin‘s checkered past have led banks to tread cautiously when dealing with cryptocurrency businesses.
SEBA’s offering could open a few doors for crypto companies that have so far struggled to get a foothold in the traditional banking system.
However, a bank holding your Bitcoin in custodial storage? While that might prevent you from losing your private key, it comes with a number of obvious sacrifices.
SEBA joins competitor bank Sygnum AG, which received a license from FINMA back in September.
Switzerland has been one of the more progressive nations when it comes to cryptocurrency businesses. Last year, it allowed blockchain startups to apply for a FinTech license that would let them handle deposits of up to $100 million.
Published November 13, 2019 — 09:49 UTC