Innovative online Alpine bank Swissquote, which offers financial and trading services, is now offering ICO-related client services.
Last year Swissquote announced that it had become the first bank to “offer five cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, Litecoin, and Ripple,” with BTC available from last July. The new announcement means that clients can participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs). The firm also claims to be, “the first bank worldwide to offer its clients the opportunity to participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs).” It further stated:
“Clients can purchase coins (also named ‘tokens’) issued by a company directly against Swiss francs, using their trading account. Swissquote takes care of the execution as well as of the custody of the tokens.”
Swissquote’s first listed ICO is Lakediamond, although currently, the option to sell tokens is not yet available. The company, first established in 2015, claims that it is “developing reactors capable of growing ultra-pure diamonds, and exploring potential high-tech industrial applications.”
Swissquote is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and is also a member of the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA). It is licenced by the Swiss Federal Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Other financial institutions based in the Alpine region have been taking an interest in crypto trading services over the past year. Hypothekarbank claims to be the first in the country to provide business accounts to blockchain and cryptocurrency companies. Another financial institution, Zurich’s Falcon Private Bank, had offered crypto asset management services to its clients since last year, but Hypothekarbank became the first to open a company in the fintech sphere.
Recently, with more innovative Swiss banks showing an interest in cryptocurrency trading, the (SBA) has stepped in with an attempt to curb banks from rejecting financial services to cryptocurrency-related companies which have brought complaints of bias suggesting that banks are shutting them out.
The SBA has released a new set of guidelines to banks to create a more cooperative environment in view of many banks’ reluctance to do business in the crypto sector. Earlier this year, the financial director of Zug called for the SBA to make it easier for blockchain companies to meet their banking needs.
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