Today the Swiss Financial Market Authority FINMA granted licenses to two separate digital asset banks Sygnum and SEBA Crypto. They respectively have partnerships with the Deutsche Boerse and Julius Baer. In both cases the companies now have banking and securities dealer licenses.
Earlier this year Deutsche Börse, Swisscom and Sygnum announced plans to crate a a compliant digital asset exchange in Switzerland using blockchain. The join initiative aims to provide digital asset issuance, custody, market making and banking services.
“To date, a lack of institutional-grade custody and a truly integrated banking solution has slowed the adoption of digital assets by institutional investors”, said Luka Müller-Studer, Co-Founder and Chairman of Sygnum. “Today’s licence announcement is a game-changer.”
The company says its core solutions provide institutional-grade digital asset custody combined with a fiat digital asset gateway. That includes Bitcoin, Ethereum, and digital Swiss Franc tokens. The firm plans to enable companies to issue asset backed tokens and also lending based on digital assets. It also will service other banks wanting todo the same.
In addition to the Swiss license, the Singapore arm of Sygnum has a fund management services license from the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
SEBA raise CHF 100 million in September 2018 with high profile private Swiss Bank Julius Baer as one of the investors. Six months ago Julius Baer announced a collaboration with SEBA to help it fulfil demand for digital assets from its private clients.
The startup says that the banking and securities license will enable its clients to invest, safely keep, trade and borrow against digital assets.
“The banking licence of the Swiss Financial Market Authority FINMA is not only a milestone for SEBA, it sets a new standard for banking in the Blockchain and digital asset economy. This moment has significance far beyond the Swiss financial industry,” said Andreas Amschwand, Chairman of the Board of SEBA.
FINMA AML compliance
Additionally, today FINMA announced a new set of Anti Money Laundering guidance for blockchain companies. This follows guidance issued by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June.