According to Reuters, SEBA, a Switzerland-based start-up has raised $103 million (100 million Swiss Francs) to set up a bank that will offer crypto related services.
Headed by ex UBS bankers – Andreas Amschwand and Guldo Buehler, SEBA has made plans to apply for a securities and banking dealer license from the Switzerland financial market regulator FINMA. This license will afford them the opportunity to conduct or carry out cryptocurrency trading as well as investment business for other banks and even qualified investors within the country.
While speaking to newsmen from the Reuters media outlet, Buehler, the start-up’s CEO revealed that SEBA seeks to become the bridge between the cryptocurrency industry and the traditional banking system. SEBA aims at providing cooperate financing services, which may include consultations on ICO’s (Initial Coin Offerings) as well as other related virtual assets.
Amschwand while speaking to newsmen in the country, further revealed that SEBA has the commitment from numerous authorities within the country to launch a comprehensive regulatory environment for not just the development of the blockchain industry, but for the stable and sustainable growth of these digital assets.
SEBA is currently making plans to expand its operations to other parts of the country. The start-up seeks to begin this expansion next year, and Zurich will be the first expansion point. BlackRiver Assets, Summer Capital the Hong Kong-based company, as well as other well-recognized parties from Switzerland, China, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong have been revealed as investors that funded this project conceived by SEBA.
Cryptocurrency Regulation In Switzerland
With this bank set to be launched by this start-up, it is imperative that the regulation of the country be looked into. The beginning of this month saw the SBA (Swiss Bankers’ Association) issuing guidelines and codes of conducts for banks that work with blockchain start-ups. According to this association, these guidelines were put in place to prevent mass cryptocurrency exodus from Switzerland as a result of regulatory arbitrage.
According to this guidelines, it was clearly stated that all blockchain firms without ICO projects should be treated like every other small and medium-scale company. On the other hand, firms with ICO’s are expected to follow strict rules and they will be under the anti-money laundering and know-your-customer laws.
The bank to be launched by SEBA will not be the first cryptocurrency bank to be launched in Switzerland. Earlier this year, Hypotherkerbank Lenzburg became the first bank in the country to offer crypto related services. This bank provides accounts to cryptocurrency related financial technology companies. Since this announcement was made back in June, Hypotherkerbank Lenzburg has only accepted two companies in the crypto industry. This is as a result of its strict acceptance process.
While no announcement has been made by SEBA concerning the commencement date for the establishment and launch of the cryptocurrency bank, we are sure that this new development will spur more people in the country to begin investing in cryptocurrencies.
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