Banks and other financial institutions pay very close attention to cryptocurrency, yet the vast majority of them are reluctant to take the plunge. A few of Switzerland’s top private banking institutions, however, are eager to facilitate cryptocurrency transactions.
Swiss Banks Make a Change
During a time when many banks are refusing to offer financial services to cryptocurrency-related businesses, two private banks in Switzerland have stepped up to the plate. Falcon Private Bank is a proponent of cryptocurrencies. As such, the firm wants to facilitate cryptocurrency asset transactions in whatever capacity they can. Where people assumed this would be a temporary measure, the business model is gaining traction. Maerki Baumann is a private bank based in Zurich that is introducing a new service to its clients.
Users of Maerki Baumann can now send their digital assets to the bank. It is a very controversial business model, mainly because Swiss banks refuse to accept money from cryptocurrency transactions. This situation has been in place for some time now, yet the tone of the conversation is changing. Growing demand for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies forces banks to embrace a radical business model.
The lack of cryptocurrency regulation has hindered Switzerland’s success in Bitcoin so far. Banks cannot verify the origin of such assets. Any ‘tainted” funds will be avoided and shunned first and foremost. Because of this uneasy situation, a lot of clients have taken their business to Liechtenstein. Swiss banks are now following that country’s lead by example.
Giving in to Cryptocurrency
This decision by Swiss banks is a positive trend for the cryptocurrency industry. Bitcoin is growing in popularity and consumers demand more exposure to these new assets. Maerki Baumann will not provide direct investment opportunities at this time. For now, they will extend expert-level advice to clients if they have any questions. The firm further adds:
Maerki Baumann closely monitors the development of these investment vehicles and the underlying regulation without our commitment to engage in this area. This concerns investments in cryptocurrencies as well as the technologies required to trade and store these instruments. We currently see cryptocurrencies as alternative investment vehicles, but we have limited experience and data (prices, volatility, trading volumes) available in our house.
Limited functionality is in place for customers of the Swiss bank. Crypto assets from services rendered or mining can be transferred to the Swiss bank with no issues. The bank is still not a fan of Bitcoin’s long-term perspective either. In their opinion, cryptocurrency will remain an uncertain investment and are not suited for the long-term. With more banks extending services to crypto asset holders, that long-term situation may improve over time.
Do you think more banks will step up and start offering cryptocurrency related services? Let us know in the comments below.
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