Majority of the time the cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have existed; banks have looked at it as a means of payment used for illicit activities across black markets. However, over the last few years, the notion has changed and Central banks all over the world are now analysing the idea behind the issuance of digital currencies commonly termed as Central Bank Digital Currencies.
With the implementation of blockchain tech across both public and private sectors, regulators plan on enhancing the existing systems, while also gaining more control over the economy. 2019 saw the world embrace CBDCs as a tool against curbing the use of private cryptocurrencies.
While the majority of banks have shown their willingness to only accept CBDCs, recent reports have revealed that the InCore bank of Switzerland is now approved by Switzerland’s financial watchdog to deal with digital assets.
FINMA approves Crypto
According to an official announcement from the bank, the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, or FINMA, has authorized InCore bank to carry out transactions of digital assets, allowing customers throughout the globe to access and transact with cryptocurrencies within the bank.
The move is another addition to the steps taken by Swiss authorities to build a blockchain-friendly ecosystem across the banking sector in Europe. InCore bank also becomes the first Swiss business-to-business bank that has received the approval to operate with cryptocurrencies.
The bank will now allow its clients to trade, hold, and transfer digital assets. Furthermore, the bank will also be able to develop its tokenization capabilities.
In a statement to Finews.ch, Mark Dambacher, CEO of InCore Bank, commented:
“Our customers benefit in one fell swoop from the expansion to the new asset class without having to invest in infrastructure and new processes themselves. And this while maintaining the usual security standards and how we build the bridge to traditional asset classes.”
The bank has also partnered with Inacta AG, a Swiss-based IT consulting firm, to provide information and crypto-assets management. Executives of the bank have also revealed that there are plans to expand its blockchain strategy in the coming months. There are also plans to add brokerage, custody, and transfer services to security tokens.
The news comes months after FINMA issued a new anti-money laundering provision that reduced the threshold for unidentified crypto exchange transactions from 5,000 CHF to 1,000 CHF (approx. $1,020 USD).
Switzerland’s banking sector is well known for privately safeguarding wealth. Hence, cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech are a natural fit to this system. The nation is also home to many crypto and blockchain-based businesses and is already on the road to becoming a major crypto-hotspot.