Swiss Bankers Raise $104-M to Establish Crypto Financial Services Company
Seba Crypto AG, a Swiss financial services company run by ex-UBS Group AG bankers, said it raised money as it seeks to become 1 of the world’s 1st regulated banks to let consumers trade paper (fiat) money into cryptocurrency.
The Zug HQ’d company said it raised $104-M from private and institutional investors for the venture, which is dependent on being granted a banking license from Finma, the Swiss financial regulator.
CEO Officer Guido Buehler, who previously worked as a managing director of asset servicing at UBS, said his company has been in talks with Finma since April. A final application for a license will be submitted by the end of October, he said.
Seba’s new Chairman Andreas Amschwand, a former UBS global head of foreign exchange, will step down from the board of Julius Baer Group Ltd in Y 2019.
Switzerland is attempting to embrace cryptocurrency by positioning the lakeside town of Zug aka“crypto valley.”
Finma issued guidelines earlier this year to companies wishing to raise money by selling their own digital currencies, after shutting down several coin providers for working without a banking license.
A spokesman for Finma said the regulator has seen an increase in license applications from crypto-related companies. ‘We are looking at every application and pursue a neutral approach to business models and technology,’ he said.
The company employs 17 people and plans to more than 2X this figure by the end of Y 2019, CEO Buehler said, with plans to expand to Singapore and Europe next at an undetermined time, and to raise additional funding once a banking license is obtained.
CEO Buehler said he intends for Seba customers to be able to hold and trade both fiat and cryptocurrencies, as well as for the bank to offer investment and asset management services. “Our vision is when you log in into your online banking, you’d have access to crypto and fiat within one account,” he said.
The value of digital currencies has plumbed to new depths over the past few months
Market decline is not impacting the founders’ view, as short-term volatility does not undermine long-term validity of digital assets.
Have a terrific week.