In an official statement, Julius Baer, one of the biggest private banks in Switzerland, announced that the company is providing its clients access to cryptocurrencies.
— Julius Baer (@juliusbaer) February 26, 2019
Julius Baer has strategically partnered with SEBA Crypto AG (SEBA), a cryptocurrency-focused bank based in Switzerland, which raised over $103 million in September 2018.
Crucial Deal For Crypto Exposure
In recent months, some of the largest financial institutions in the global market in the likes of Fidelity, Nasdaq, and ICE have begun to strengthen the infrastructure supporting cryptocurrencies.
Julius Baer is the fourth major financial conglomerate to enter the crypto market after Fidelity, Nasdaq, and ICE in 2019, a move that could intensify the rapid growth of awareness of crypto assets.
The company stated that it will utilize the innovative platform of SEBA to provide its clients access to cryptocurrencies and said the firm intends to meet “increasing demand” for digital assets.
The partnership has been finalized and the institutions are awaiting the granting of the FINMA banking and securities dealer license, which is set to occur in the short-term.
Peter Gerlach, Head Markets at Julius Baer and proposed member to the Board of Directors of SEBA, officially said:
At Julius Baer, we are convinced that digital assets will become a legitimate sustainable asset class of an investor’s portfolio. The investment into SEBA as well as our strong partnership are proof of Julius Baer’s engagement in the area of digital assets and our dedication to make pioneering innovation available to the benefit of our clients.
SEBA CEO Guido Buehler disclosed that Julius Baer has invested in SEBA and the deal will strengthen the relationship of the two companies moving forward.
“We are very proud to have Julius Baer as an investor. SEBA will enable easy and safe access to the crypto world in a fully regulated environment. The cooperation between SEBA and Julius Baer will undoubtedly create value for the mutual benefit and to the clients,” Buehler said.
In September, the launch of SEBA was highly anticipated by investors in the cryptocurrency community given the involvement of high-profile individuals in the Swiss financial sector and private banks like Julius Baer.
The deal with Julius Baer is expected to lead to an increase in the number of financial institutions working with SEBA in the months to come as a way to integrate cryptocurrencies.
“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,” SEBA chairman Andreas Amschwand said at the time.
What This Means For Crypto
Switzerland has always been a leading nation in blockchain development and cryptocurrency adoption alongside Japan, the U.S., South Korea, Malta, and Singapore.
The integration of cryptocurrency services by Julius Baer will further legitimize the asset class to both existing investors in the cryptocurrency market and investors in the traditional financial sector.
Speaking to CCN, eToro senior market analyst Mati Greenspan said that institutional participation in the cryptocurrency market has noticeably increased since early 2019.
The analyst noted that the commitment of major financial institutions to crypto comes during a period in which the 15-month bear market of digital assets is nearing its bottom.
In the last few weeks, we've seen a vast increase in institutional participation in the crypto markets. It's as if all the major players now realize that we're nearing the end of the bear market and are now rushing to build up their infrastructure in preparation of the next bull run.
Billionaire investor Mike Novogratz previously stated that institutional investors could FOMO into the cryptocurrency market in the same way retail investors did in 2018. It remains to be seen whether the same trend occur with banks in the near-term.