Yesterday Sygnum revealed that it has onboarded its first customers and become the first operational digital asset bank. The project is a 3-way initiative between the firm, Swisscom, and Deutsche Börse. Initially an IT provider, Sygnum registered with regulators this year and so took on the role of digital asset custodian.
First announced in March, the joint project broadly aimed to provide a regulated digital asset exchange. This comprised of issuance of digital assets, custody, market making, and banking services using blockchain.
Then, last month, Sygnum received its banking license from the Swiss Financial Market Authority and a fund management services license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore. At the time, the firm said the announcement was a “game-changer”. Indeed, a few days later, Sygnum became the first digital asset bank.
Yesterday’s announcement heralds the bank’s first customer transactions, with Bitcoin and Ethereum transfers logged on their respective public blockchains.
Sygnum Co-Founder and CEO of its Singapore branch, Mathias Imbach, said: “By onboarding its first customers, Sygnum connects the world of regulated banking with the future finance of digital assets. Being able to entrust your Bitcoin and Ethereum, soon also a digital CHF token as well as asset tokens, to a regulated Swiss bank is no longer an aspiration; with Sygnum it’s now a reality.”
The bank has its own anti-money laundering solution, which utilizes the transparency and immutability of blockchain along with a conventional review process and market forecasts. Customer assets are held in individual secured wallets, with Sygnum managing the private keys. This allows customers an experience which mimics familiar e-banking.
In the future, the firms hope to drive mainstream adoption of digital assets, particularly for those who have trust in regulated finance. It’s been a busy week in the sector, as yesterday Boerse Stuttgart launched its regulated digital asset exchange. On the very same day, SIX released a prototype of its own platform for blockchain asset trading and securities.