Two separate digital assets bank Seba and Sygnum were granted banking and securities dealer license by FINMA. FINMA stands for the Swiss Financial market authority and the Cryptocurrency regulator of Switzerland. This is the first instance of FINMA to grant such a license that will enable the two banks to offer regulated services like investing, depositing, lending, and withdrawing using cryptocurrencies. The two banks can also provide custody, brokerage, and tokenization services for digital assets. Switzerland is amongst the first countries to have adopted tokenized digital assets and operating the DLT or the Digital ledger technology.
The license was granted on August 26th, this year but the announcements were made by both the banks just on Monday. Along with this, FINMA has also brought in certain guidelines that need to be adhered by both the banks. Like, only the institutional and professional customers would be provided these services by the banks Seba (registered in Zug) and Sygnum (registered in Zurich), the two pure-play blockchain service providers. In other words, crypto or other tokens can only be sent to an external wallet of the customers whose identities have already been verified by the institutions. FINMA does not allow sending to receiving cryptos from other customers. These measures are undertaken by FINMA to prevent the illicit use of cryptocurrencies. The cryptocurrency platforms also need to keep a list of clients’ transactions so that they can be referred to if any disparities arise.
This move would help the crypto entrepreneurs who are denied bank accounts because of the risks involved in their crypto transactions. Stefen Diess, the CEO of Blockchain Propulsion, the Crypto accelerator of Switzerland, “It is a great move for Switzerland to have banks that are specialized in Crypto.”
FINMA considers the move as the most stringent approach to combat money laundering at the Blockchain. Previously Germany, Luxemburg, and Liechtenstein have been struggling to get DLT, but none of them had given license to any banks that are dedicated to cryptocurrency. It is the very first instance where Seba and Sygnum are given such licenses.
Therefore, when it comes to taking care of cryptocurrencies, Switzerland ranks first with an estimated value of $8.5 trillion in private banking. Both the banks are excited about this venture. Sygnum has already applied for a license for capital market services in Singapore, whereas SEBA will start operating from October this year after complying with the AML regulations of FINMA.