Despite rising competition from other countries seeking to capitalize on the cryptocurrency boom, Switzerland’s Crypto Valley looks poised to get its moxie back.
That’s because a second Swiss bank -- the Zurich-based private bank Maerki Baumann -- has agreed to form banking partnership with cryptocurrency firms, solving a major pain point for companies that operate in this industry. The news was first reported by financial publication International Investment.
Previously, fellow Zurich institution Falcon Private Bank was the highest-profile Swiss bank comfortable with offering services to blockchain companies. Last year, Falcon even began offering cryptocurrency asset management services through a cooperation agreement with Bitcoin Suisse AG.
Unlike Falcon, Maerki Baumann does not currently plan to offer cryptocurrency asset management or custody services. However, the bank recently published a report on cryptocurrencies in which it said it is “keeping an eye” on this asset class.
From the report:
“Maerki Baumann is keeping an eye on the development of these investment instruments and the corresponding progress on the regulatory side, without looking to gain exposure to this young asset class at the present time. This is true not just of direct investments in cryptocurrencies, but also investments in the necessary technology for the trading and custody of these instruments.”
“Maerki Baumann is generally prepared to accept funds generated through cryptocurrencies, be it through speculative transactions or in the form of payment received for services provided or from mining profits,” the bank added.
As CCN reported, Swiss regulators -- who on the whole have taken a favorable tack toward blockchain and cryptocurrency companies -- have lately expressed concern about an exodus of cryptocurrency firms from “Crypto Valley,” a series of departures that correlated with the closure of two small banks that had been open to servicing businesses whose assets were associated with cryptocurrency-related activities.
Following the closure of these banks, industry businesses had faced difficulties finding willing banking partners, highlighting an issue that has long plagued crypto companies in other many other regions.
Many Crypto Valley expats had set up shop on Malta’s “Blockchain Island,” while others had moved to favorable regulatory climates in jurisdictions such as Liechtenstein and the British Virgin Islands.
Maerki Baumann’s decision to begin working with crypto industry firms could help stem the tide of such businesses leaving Switzerland, enabling the country to remain an important hub for cryptocurrency and blockchain development.
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