Swiss Financial Regulator Grants Very-First Crypto Banking Licenses to SEBA and Sygnum


  • FINMA issues “stringent approach to combating money laundering on the blockchain’
  • Sygnum and SEBA are now cleared to offer services to institutional and professional customers

In a move that is first in the crypto market, the Swiss financial regulator has awarded the banking and securities dealer licenses to two new “crypto banks.”

Two pure-play blockchain service providers Zurich registered Sygnum and Zug registered SEBA are now cleared to offer services to institutional and professional customers.

FINMA, Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority announced this alongside its newly issued “stringent approach to combating money laundering on the blockchain.”

In the new set of rules, FINMA laid down how combating money laundering requires identification and anti-money laundering regulations apply to the blockchain.

Per these rules, institutions supervised by the regulatory body only permits to send crypto or other tokens to only those external wallets that belong to their own customers and whose identity has been verified.

This means FINMA-supervised institutions are not permitted to send or receive cryptos from other customers.

Despite the AML/KYC measures, both the firms are excited about achieving this milestone.

“Being awarded the banking and securities dealer licence from FINMA is a significant milestone, and an important step towards the institutionalisation of the digital asset economy,” said Manuel Krieger, co-founder and CEO of Sygnum Switzerland.

It has already partnered with the German stock exchange, telecoms operator Swisscom and others to list and trade tokenized securities on a distributed ledger technology platform.

Sygnum has also applied for a capital markets services license in Singapore.

SEBA meanwhile, will be operational in October once it fulfills secondary ‘AML regulations’ criteria demanded by FINMA.

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