Ex-UBS Chief Wants to Tap $220 Billion Market with Crypto Bank Sygnum

The bank received a banking license from FINMA earlier this year.

Peter Wuffli, former UBS CEO and now a director at Sygnum, is aiming to tap the $220 billion market of “institutions and private individuals” with the Swiss-based crypto bank.

In a recent interview with Swissinfo.ch, he put forth the huge potential of the crypto sector and the demand of a banking entity to serve the industry players.

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“The most immediate opportunity is the existing $220 billion market of institutions and private individuals who already own cryptocurrencies,” Wuffli told the publication. “Thousands of clients have contacted us for a one-stop shop for asset custody, loans, and trading cryptocurrencies seamlessly with fiat currencies.”

He also thinks that the growing market for tokenized assets, including company shares, real estate, art or commodities, will turn out to be a major market for the crypto-focused bank in the coming years.

“That’s where we will see how far and how fast this space can go. There are a lot of question marks, many of them regulatory, that may take a couple of years to figure out,” he added.

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Wuffli joined Sygnum in July as a member of the bank’s board of directors. Though he has years of experience in the traditional banking sector, he pointed out that his role in setting up a banking entity like Sygnum is new.

“One thing missing from my CV is that I have never been involved in the creation of a new bank. I am a curious person and I love new things, it’s energizing,” he said.

Massive demand for crypto banks

Sygnum became one of the first two banks to receive a banking license from the Swiss financial regulator. The bank is now pushing to obtain a similar in Singapore.

Addressing the issue with Facebook’s proposed digital currency, Wuffli agreed with the regulators and said that states should have control over currencies.

“As soon as someone tries to challenge the sovereign monopoly on currencies they will not allow it, and for good reason. Besides, I don’t think people will treat private currencies like that without the power of a country and a political system behind it,” he added.

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