In what would be another recognition for Switzerland’s cryptocurrency industry, Swissquote Group is set to expand its crypto offering with the launch of its own trading platform service, finews.com reported.
To become “the leading Swiss provider of digital assets,” Swissquote plans to open its crypto exchange before the end of the first half of 2022.
The venture will be built to overcome barriers that have blocked both institutional and retail investment in digital assets and minimize the risk of loss due to theft or operational errors. The risks have been demonstrated in the recent past as many crypto wallets and exchanges have been hacked, and customer data has been compromised.
Jan De Schepper, chief sales and marketing officer at Swissquote, added that the online bank is mulling the inclusion of additional assets and highly sought-after services. This may include listing stablecoins and staking services to the list of cryptocurrency offering.
According to the publication, Swissquote has been in a hiring spree during the last spring in response to the surging demand for cryptocurrencies. The brokerage firm already allows its clients to trade CFDs on 24 cryptocurrencies. These include Uniswap, Aave, Cosmos, Algorand, Filecoin, Maker, Compound, Yearn.Finance, Dogecoin, Polkadot, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, XRP, Bitcoin Cash, Chainlink, Ethereum Classic, EOS, Stellar, Tezos, Augur, Ox, Cardano, and Solana.
The Switzerland based banking group was also the first bank in the world to give its customers the opportunity to participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs) via its online platform.
“Our compliance and customer service teams were almost overrun by the crypto rush,” De Schepper elaborated.
As such, the Swiss online broker drastically revised its outlook of crypto revenues in an upward direction, which already generated CHF 64 million in net income during the first half of 2021.
Switzerland reshuffles crypto regulation
Switzerland was among several countries that are actively adjusting and creating legislation to welcome blockchain projects. Swiss authorities were also eager to maintain a leading role for Switzerland in the cryptocurrency space while playing catch-up in its rapidly changing landscape.
Several blockchain firms have been queuing up at the regulator’s door to get approval to offer their services in the country. Under FINMA’s new regulations, crypto-asset companies can now apply for licenses to handle as much as 100 million Swiss francs in public deposits.
The competitive landscape for cryptocurrencies in Switzerland is heating up. However, mainstream Swiss banks have largely distanced themselves from engaging with cryptocurrency companies, which have come under increasing scrutiny from regulators. While the digital asset has been widely accepted in Switzerland, traditional lenders have been reluctant to do business with crypto-linked services providers because of money laundering concerns and prospects of a regulatory crackdown.