First announced last December, BBVA Switzerland opens its digital asset offering to private banking clients on Monday. Initially, it provides trading and custody for bitcoin with plans to add other cryptocurrencies.
“This gradual roll-out has allowed BBVA Switzerland to test the service’s operations, strengthen security and, above all, detect that there is a significant desire among investors for crypto-assets or digital assets as a way of diversifying their portfolios, despite their volatility and high risk,” said Alfonso Gómez, CEO of BBVA Switzerland.
One of the main advantages the bank is promoting is the ability to see bitcoin holdings in its investment app alongside other conventional investments. Another claimed benefit is the ability to sell bitcoin ‘without delays’.
The rollout in Switzerland is the result of greater regulatory clarity and deeper adoption. Other countries will be added if there is appropriate regulation and sufficient demand.
Outside of digital assets, BBVA has been involved in numerous blockchain projects. It has participated in multiple trials for programmable money with Iberpay and developed a tokenized debt issuance platform which won an award. It was one of the first corporates to combine private and public blockchains, with the deal workflow managed on a private blockchain and the final issuance logged on a public blockchain.