Spain’s BBVA has said it is launching a bitcoin trading service for private banking clients in Switzerland interested in digital asset investment.
The bank said the new business, launching on June 21, would include bitcoin trading and custody services, with the aim of extending it to other cryptocurrencies. It would not offer advice on these types of investments, it said.
The company said that during a gradual roll-out it had detected a “significant desire” among investors for crypto-assets or digital assets to diversify their portfolios despite their volatility and high risk, BBVA Switzerland’s CEO Alfonso Gomez said in statement.
The trading service comes amid growing institutional interest in bitcoin. The largest cryptocurrency is seen by investors and some companies as a hedge against inflation as governments and central banks turn on the stimulus taps.
El Salvador has become the world’s first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender even though central banks globally have repeatedly warned that investors in the cryptocurrency must be ready to lose all their money.
TOUGHER APPROACH AHEAD
Major economies, including China and the United States, have signalled in recent weeks a tougher approach, while developing plans to develop their own central bank digital currencies.
In May, Goldman Sachs revealed details of a cryptocurrency trading group, according to a staff memo seen by journalists at our partner news agency, Reuters.
On Friday, BBVA said it was limiting this new cryptocurrency service to Switzerland because the country has clear regulation and widespread adoption of digital assets.
“Its extension to new countries or other types of customers will depend on whether the markets meet the appropriate conditions in terms of maturity, demand and regulation,” it said.
BBVA is present in Switzerland through a fully owned franchise, focused on international banking services.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this article. Automatic translation from English to a growing list of languages via Google AI Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Jesús Aguado. Editing by Emma Pinedo and Jan Harvey.
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