In what comes as another recognition for Switzerland’s cryptocurrency industry, Swissquote Group is set to expand its crypto offering with a dedicated custody service, finews.com reported on Friday.
The venture was built to overcome barriers that have blocked institutional investment in digital assets and minimize the risk of loss due to theft or operational errors.
The new service combines Swissquote’s expertise as a provider of online trading services with digital asset security, in a bid to provide a safekeeping service for investment houses looking to gain exposure to the rapidly emerging asset class.
According to the publication, Swissquote has shortlisted two Swiss firms to provide the infrastructure and operational framework to safeguard crypto holdings: Crypto Finance in Zurich, and Taurus in Geneva.
Swissquote is employing its accumulated ‘digital’ experience. Just a few months after launching Bitcoin trading on its platform, the company designed a unique algorithm-driven systematic approach to appeal particularly to investors who require exposure to the digital asset without necessarily wanting to be fully exposed to the risks associated such as hacking attacks or management of access keys.
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The risks have been demonstrated in the recent past as many crypto wallets and exchanges have been hacked, and customer data has been compromised.
Also last month, the Switzerland based banking group has become the first bank in the world to give its customers the opportunity to participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs) via its online platform.
More Competition is Coming
Swissquote’s crypto offering is going up against local players like Dukascopy which now allows clients to deposit and withdraw funds in digital coins, as well as enabling free internal crypto-transfers between users of mobile banking.
The Swiss forex bank and brokerage firm has also recently filed for approval of its ICO plans with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Pending regulatory approvals, the initiative involves creating two cryptocurrencies: Dukascoins and Dukasnotes. The former will be used as a crypto means of payment that has a limited supply. The latter will be issued as a stablecoin.
The competitive landscape for cryptocurrencies in Switzerland is heating up. However, mainstream Swiss banks have largely distanced themselves from engaging with cryptocurrency companies, which have come under increasing scrutiny from regulators. While the digital asset has been widely accepted in Switzerland, traditional lenders have been reluctant to do business with crypto-linked services providers because of money laundering concerns and prospects of a regulatory crackdown.