SEBA Crypto AG, is a Swiss-based startup that has just raised $103 million to set up a cryptocurrency-related bank, according to a Reuters report on 26th September. The plan is to “build a bank offering cryptocurrency services to companies and investors while extending traditional banking services to firms in the new industry.”
The startup is headed by former UBS managers Guido Buehler (CEO) and Andreas Amschwand (chairman), who said the ambition is to seek a banking and securities dealer licence to manage cryptocurrency trading and investments for banks and qualified investors. It will also provide corporate financing, including advising on initial coin offerings, and other cryptocurrency and banking services to traditional corporate clients and cryptocurrency groups. Buehler said: “SEBA wants to bridge the gap between traditional banking and the new world of crypto.” He added: “With safety, transparency and performance as core values, our ambition is to become a market leader in the convergence of traditional finance with the crypto economy.”
The startup is located in Zug, which is already home to more than 500 cryptocurrency startups that favour the Zug and Zurich area, although Reuters reports that as the sector has grown here, it has encountered challenges when it comes to integrating with the country’s traditional financial hub.
Traditional Swiss banks have made promising noises about blockchain technology, but have been hesitant about integrating cryptocurrency, and cryptocurrency groups have found it difficult to get access to traditional banking services.
Amschwand said: “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,” adding, ““This makes Switzerland the ideal place to launch a new financial services paradigm.”
Investors in SEBA include Swiss-based BlackRiver Asset Management and Hong Kong-based Summer Capital, amongst other backers from Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong. It aims to open branch locations in major financial hubs, beginning with Zurich in 2019, as well as digital services.