Julius Baer announced on January 21 his new offer of digital assets, the result of his acquisition of minority interests in 2018 and his subsequent association with the new crypto company Seba Bank AG in February 2019.
Seba, founded in April 2018 by former UBS bankers, received a securities and banking agent license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervision Authority, known as FINMA, in August 2019.
According to Julius Baer's announcement, the company's entry into the crypto industry was conditioned on Seba obtaining the regulatory green light for its services.
The company sees a growing demand for cryptocurrency services
Although details of the scope of Julius Baer's offer remain scarce, the company's announcement indicates that it will make use of Seba's proprietary platform and capabilities.
To meet what it considers a growing demand, Julius Baer will offer its clients services such as safe custody of digital assets, solutions for cryptocurrency transactions, as well as an overview of the consolidated portfolio for both traditional and digital assets.
The bank will support a select group of large cryptocurrencies, ostensibly chosen for their liquidity, security and technical soundness. Julius Baer has not disclosed what assets he will offer exactly.
The fully regulated market participants
As reported , Seba received his license from FINMA on the same day as another Swiss digital asset bank, Sygnum.
In December 2019, SEBA expanded its services to institutional clients and accredited investors in nine new countries.
The bank offers a range of cryptocurrency-focused account services, including a SEBAwallet application, electronic banking services and SEBA card facilities, with support for five major cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin ( BTC ), Ether ( ETH ), Stellar ( XLM ), Litecoin ( LTC ) and Ether Classic ( ETC ).
It also provides investors with crypto to crypto and crypto to fiat conversion services, and offers business accounts for blockchain companies and their employees.
Like Seba, Sygnum is focused on global expansion and has ostensibly initiated discussions with regulators to seal a bank license in Singapore.
In the autumn of 2019, Cointelegraph reported on the observations of Christian Gattiker-Ericsson, the chief strategist and head of research and investment solutions at Julius Baer, who argued that cryptocurrencies are still in a “Darwinian” selection process stage, in the that a clear winner has not yet been established.
Gattiker-Ericsson also said blockchain technology would “possibly change the rules of the game” in financial services.
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