SEBA Crypto, the Swiss startup building a cryptocurrency bank, has raised $103 million from investors including BlackRiver Asset Management and Summer Capital.
Reuters, citing the company, reported the proceeds from the funding will go to build the bank that will offer cryptocurrency services to companies and investors as well as traditional banking to companies operating in the digital token market. SEBA Crypto is seeking a banking and securities dealer license from FINMA, the Swiss financial market regulator, so that it can offer cryptocurrency trading and investments, reported Reuters. Reuters noted that FINMA confirmed its talks with SEBA. The goal is to open branches starting next year in major financial hubs. SEBA Crypto will kick off in Zurich next year, noted the report.
“SEBA wants to bridge the gap between traditional banking and the new world of crypto,” Guido Buehler, chief executive of the startup, told Reuters. “With safety, transparency and performance as core values, our ambition is to become a market leader in the convergence of traditional finance with the crypto economy.”
While traditional banks have embraced blockchain, the technology that underpins cryptocurrency, they haven’t been keen to get involved in the market in a big way because of a lack of due diligence and questions about the long-term value of the companies. As a result, cryptocurrency companies have had a hard time getting access to banking services. “In Switzerland, we have commitment from various authorities to establish a comprehensive regulatory environment for the development of blockchain technology and the sustainable, stable growth of crypto assets,” Andreas Amschwand, chairman of SEBA, said in the report. “This makes Switzerland the ideal place to launch a new financial services paradigm.” Despite the fact that Zug and Zurich are home to more than 500 blockchain and digital token startups, they have had a tough time integrating with the traditional financial hub in the country, noted Reuters.