For the first time, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority FINMA has granted two blockchain companies a banking and securities dealer licence with the main focus on digital assets. With SEBA Crypto, based in Zug, and Sygnum, based in Zurich, Switzerland now has the first banks to focus entirely on the business with digital assets and to offer services to institutional and professional clients with immediate effect. The FINMA banking and securities dealer licence that has been obtained will make it possible to close the gap between the traditional and digital asset markets and open up new opportunities for clients in cryptography and digital fundraising.
As licenced and regulated banks, SEBA Crypto and Sygnum will be able to start operations providing integrated banking and investment products and services in a secure environment. Both companies are primarily concerned with providing digital asset services to institutional and qualified private investors, businesses, banks and other financial institutions that offer the same level of security and convenience as traditional banking services, thereby building institutional trust. Sygnum counts on its partnership with Swisscom and Deutsche Börse, SEBA Crypto cooperates with Julius Baer.
“To date, a lack of institutional-grade custody and a truly integrated banking solution has slowed the adoption of digital assets by institutional investors”, comments Luka Müller-Studer, Co-Founder and Chairman of Sygnum. Manuel Krieger, Co-Founder and CEO Switzerland emphasises: “Being awarded the banking and securities dealer licence from FINMA is a significant milestone, and an important step towards the institutionalisation of the digital asset economy.” In Singapore, the Bank expects a licence for capital market services from the local supervisory authority MAS, so that it will be able to offer fund management services there in future. Sygnum’s CEO in Singapore is Mathias Imbach. Sygnum’s investors include former UBS CEO Peter Wuffli and former National Bank President Philipp Hildebrand.
Guido Buuehler, CEO of SEBA, said: “Today SEBA sets a new standard as a licenced integrated bank connecting the old and the new world. SEBA is a safe gateway between traditional banking and the digital asset market. We are proud to have built, in only 17 months, a licenced bank that fits into the digital environment of the 21st century.” SEBA is well capitalized with the CHF 100 million raised in the September 2018 funding round. Currently, SEBA’s team consists of more than 60 experts in the area of technology, information security, Blockchain and finance.
Sources: Sygnum press release and SEBA Crypto press release