PostFinance, Switzerland’s 5th largest bank, has announced that it will begin offering its users access to cryptocurrencies, thanks to a partnership with licensed digital asset service provider Sygnum Bank.
PostFinance, which is owned by the Swiss government, will start by providing its 2.5 million customers with access to buy, store and sell leading cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH), with more cryptocurrencies to be added later.
Switzerland is entering the market strongly
Switzerland is dynamically entering the cryptocurrency industry, a move that contrasts with countries such as the US, where there are suspicions of a concerted effort to hurt the industry.
Sygnum Bank, which focuses on cryptocurrencies, obtained a banking license from Swiss regulators about four years ago, serving a range of institutions including banks.
“Digital assets have become an integral part of the financial world and our clients want access to this market through PostFinance, their trusted lead bank,” PostFinance Chief Investment Officer Philipp Merkt said, adding: “A reliable and established partner like Sygnum Bank, with an excellent service offering, is more important than ever.”
What led them to cryptocurrencies
PostFinance’s decision to enter the cryptocurrency industry was partly driven by the capital outflows seen from banks in Switzerland to end up in the digital asset class, according to Fritz Jost, head of B2B, Sygnum Bank.
“PostFinance has become aware of a significant number of outflows, amounting to hundreds of millions every year, to cryptocurrency exchanges and similar services,” Jost told CoinDesk in an interview and continued: “So they saw that this is not only an opportunity to add a new revenue stream, but they also realized that such a move would retain their customers.”
Jost noted that a wide range of cryptocurrencies will definitely be available, but no concrete decisions have been made by PostFinance yet:
“We’ve seen banks make cryptocurrencies available to their customers in the past and the next thing they want to do is staking and so on,” Jost said, followed by stressing: “I can definitely confirm that PostFinance has a navigation map. We are starting with purchase, custody and sales services to … grease the wheels within the organization and the customers.”
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