A Switzerland-based state-owned bank, Basler Kantonalbank (BKB), will now be offering bitcoin and cryptocurrencies through its subsidiary Bank Cler, reported the local news. The bank spokeswoman, Natalie Waltmann, said,
“We will launch an offer for the trading and custody of digital assets over the next year.”
The bank has already hired crypto expert Alain Kunz, former CEO of Tokensuisse, as its head of digital assets who said:
“Bank Cler is Switzerland's most digitally savvy bank. Cryptocurrencies are a natural extension of their offer.”
The bank decided to offer crypto trading and custody services because of demand among its younger clientele.
This would make Bank Cler the first government-backed, cantonal bank in Switzerland to enter the cryptocurrency space. Several banks in Switzerland do offer crypto exposure but particularly in the form of certificates, and this bank will further broaden its offerings with both trading and custody.
The crypto space in the country is currently served by crypto banks, including Sygnum and Seba, along with traditional lenders like Vontobel and Falcon.