SEBA Crypto AG, a Switzerland-based startup company run by ex-UBS bankers, said it raised $103 million as it seeks to become one of the world’s first regulated banks where consumers can easily swap dollars and euros into cryptocurrencies.
As more traditional businesses and government continue their efforts in legitimizing the cryptocurrency space, enthusiasts are becoming increasingly excited yet anxious given the market’s performance year-to-date. Any negative news or delays in regulatory approval status can push the markets into further decline.
Still awaiting regulatory approval
CEO Guido Buehler, who was previously a managing director of UBS bank’s asset servicing division, said his company has been in talks with FINMA since April and will submit a final application by the end of October. A license would allow the firm to conduct crypto trading and investments business for banks and qualified investors.
SEBA aims to bridge traditional finance with the “new world of crypto”
“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.”
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.
Andreas Amschwand, chairman of SEBA, added:
“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…this makes Switzerland the ideal place to launch a new financial services paradigm.”
Investors include Swiss-based BlackRiver Asset Management and Hong Kong-based Summer Capital, among other backers from Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.
The startup is planning to open branch locations in major financial hubs, beginning with Zurich in 2019, and expand to Singapore and Europe at an undetermined time. Buehler said the company will raise additional funding once a banking license is obtained.
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Simon Chou is a B2B reporter and content manager specializing in technology and finance. He has worked with many clients in the fintech and blockchain space. He holds investment positions in bitcoin and other large-cap cryptocurrencies, and has been reporting on cryptocurrency since 2017. Currently, Simon is the content manager for a major cryptocurrency exchange @HybridBlockHQ.