Swissquote, a leading European banking group, has partnered with cryptocurrency exchange Bitstamp to add bitcoin pairs to its online trading platform. Swissquote customers can now trade both BTC/EUR and BTC/USD, and the companies say they hope to expand their partnership in the future.
Bitstamp CEO Nejc Kodrič says the partnership is an important step toward integrating cryptocurrency into the mainstream financial sector while also maintaining regulatory compliance:
Our partnership with Swissquote represents a leap forward in terms of integrating bitcoin with the traditional financial industry….We are honoured to be working with such a prominent player. Our efforts to encourage compliant bitcoin trading continue to bear fruit, giving users greater confidence and strengthening the bitcoin industry generally. And the strong potential shown by digital currencies in their relatively short history has led to traditional financial markets looking for ways to get involved.
The Blockchain Goes Mainstream
Indeed, Swissquote’s adoption of bitcoin trading is indicative of a growing trend toward making bitcoin and blockchain-based technologies a mainstream component of the financial sector. Former Barclays CEO Antony Jenkins recently warned that banks who do not adopt blockchain technology risk becoming irrelevant, and the banking industry seems to agree.
Private banks are pouring money into blockchain research, and many national banks have begun issuing digital currency regulations–a de facto admission of their legality. China’s central bank worries that cryptocurrency adoption could lead to economic collapse, but it has discreetly begun researching digital currency itself. India is considering legalizing digital currencies to assist its transition away from cash. There were even rumors that the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) was considering allowing banks to recognize and handle bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, although CBE leaders have said those rumors are false.
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