SEBA Crypto AG, a Switzerland based startup has raised 100 million Swiss francs ($103 million) to launch a bank offering cryptocurrency-related services as reported by Reuters as on 26th September.
SEBA is supposedly led by former UBS bankers namely Guido Buehler as Chief Executive Officer and Andreas Amschwand as Chairman has acquired to apply for a banking and securities dealer license from Swiss financial market regulator – FINMA. A license would let the firm to organize crypto trading and investments business for qualified investors and other financial institutions.
According to Buehler’s comments to Reuters as he said that SEBA aims to build a bridge between traditional banking and the cryptocurrency industry. The startup also inclined to provide corporate financing that contains consultations on Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) and other digital asset-related services to corporate clients.
Further speaking to the subject matter, Amschwand commented on the project saying that: “In Switzerland we have a commitment from various authorities to establish a comprehensive regulatory environment for the development of blockchain technology and the sustainable, stable growth of crypto assets.”
With this, SEBA is supposedly planning to expand its operations into various financial hubs initiating with Zurich in 2019. Investors that have financed SEBA are BlackRiver Asset Management and Hong Kong-based Summer Capital with other parties based in various countries ranging from Switzerland to Malaysia, Hong Kong, Singapore, China.
At the beginning of this month, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) circulated basic guidelines for banks working with blockchain startups in order to avoid a mass crypto exit from Switzerland due to regulatory arbitrage in place.
Based on the scheme provided by SBA, all those blockchain firms without Initial Coin Offerings exercise should be treated like other small- and medium-sized companies. However, firms with ICOs must follow strict regulations and fall under the scope of Swiss anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) regulations.
In August this year, one of the private banks, Maerki Baumann started accepting crypto assets from payment received for services offered, as well as those earned from crypto mining activities. Besides this, Maerki Baumann stated that they are not ready to offer direct cryptocurrency investments, however, will provide expert service to all those clients that are interested in crypto investing.
Besides this, in June this year, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg has been one of the first banks in Switzerland to offer business accounts to fintech companies working on blockchain and crypto-related domains. However, the bank is supposedly very selective in accepting new clients and in June and are expected to have taken on only two companies from the crypto industry!!