SEBA Crypto AG, a startup from Switzerland, has raised CHF 100 million for the purpose of establishing a cryptocurrency bank, according to a Reuters report from September 26. This Swiss startup gained the knowledge and approach from former UBS employees. Its CEO is Guido Buehler and Chairman of the Board of Directors is Andreas Amschwand.
Company‘s business plan counts on the application for a banking and securities dealer license in Switzerland. Local respective regulator is FINMA – the same Swiss financial market regulator as for conventional banks and brokers. Thus, with the license, the company could conduct cryptocurrency trading business and investing on a fully official basis, involving other banks and qualified investors.
SEBA is willing to set its operations in the top financial places while it will start in Zurich in 2019. It has already gained number of well-known investors, like BlackRiver Asset Management or Summer Capital, while there are number of other investors of different nationalities from Asian countries (China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia).
According to Buehler, SEBA would like to become a connection point between convention banks and any virtual currency subject while focusing on standard services in this industry, like corporate financing, consulting in relation to any initial coin offerings (ICOs) or any other cryptocurrency services dedicated to corporate clients.
“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,“ Amschwand added.
Nevertheless, due to the fears of crypto companies leaving Switzerland on the basis of regulatory arbitrage, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) published its guidelines for banking institutions, working the startups from this industry. According to the description, such startups without ICOs should be considered as any other small- or medium-sized companies. The difference is that companies with ICOs must be AML and KYC compliant.
Switzerland is about to remain one of the leading countries of the sector for sure. For example, in June, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg was the first bank opening accounts for blockchain and crypto- related fintech companies. Nevertheless, on the basis of actual regulation, the bank must perform advanced due diligence, accepting only certain clients that meet high criteria (by now, it has accepted only two crypto clients).