Swiss banking group Julius Baer has teamed up with a crypto startup in a bid “to meet an increasing demand” for digital asset services.
In a statement, the Swiss bank announced that it has partnered with digital bank startup SEBA Crypto to offer access to crypto storage, investment and transaction services to its customers nationwide, contingent on SEBA securing the appropriate licenses from Swiss regulators.
Once SEBA Crypto receives approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority and is granted a securities dealer and banking license, these services will become available to existing Julius Baer customers, as well as for new investors.
The move comes following an investment in SEBA by Julius Baer in 2018, which saw the bank become a minority shareholder in the startup. SEBA aims to become a full-fledged crypto bank in its own right, having raised just short of $100 million in funding to date.
The partnership is the latest example of mainstream finance embracing cryptocurrency and digital assets, at a time of growing enthusiasm amongst established banks.
Peter Gerlach, head markets at Julius Baer, said the bank was certain cryptocurrency would become an increasingly respected asset class amongst investors. He noted, “At Julius Baer, we are convinced that digital assets will become a legitimate sustainable asset class of an investor’s portfolio.”
Welcoming the move with a proposal to bring Gerlach onto the board of SEBA, CEO Guido Bühler said the partnership would allow “direct and secure” crypto market access for Julius Baer customers. He noted, “We are very pleased about the cooperation because Julius Baer’s customers can be offered direct and secure access to the crypto world via the SEBA platform.”
Once SEBA is granted its license, Julius Baer is expected to attract new business from crypto investors in Switzerland, as well as expanding the range of investment options available to its existing customer base.
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