Swiss Financial Services Company SEBA Crypto AG Secures $103 Million to Build Bitcoin Bank
Swiss Financial Services Company Run By Ex-UBS Group AG Bankers Raises $103 Million In Funding
A Swiss financial services company run by ex-UBS Group AG bankers, Seba Crypto AG, recently announced that it raised 100 million Swiss francs ($103 million) as it seeks to become one of the world’s first regulated banks and let consumers trade fiat money into cryptocurrency.
Managed by former UBS managers Guido Buehler as chief executive and Andreas Amschwand as chairman, the group said it is attempting a banking and securities dealer license to run cryptocurrency trading and investments for banks and qualified investors. It also intends to implement corporate financing, including counseling on initial coin offerings, and other crypto and banking services to traditional corporate clients and cryptocurrency groups.
Amschwand commented on the project:
“In Switzerland, we have a commitment from various authorities to establish a comprehensive regulatory environment for the development of blockchain technology and the sustainable, stable growth of crypto assets.”
Buehler said some of the money will be used to create the new financial entity, while the rest goes toward capitalizing the bank so it can offer investment protection. The company currently employs 17 people and proposes to more than double this figure by the end of 2019, with plans to expand to Singapore and Europe next at an undetermined time and to raise additional funding once a banking license is obtained.
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 firm targets to open branch locations in major financial hubs, beginning with Zurich in 2019, as well as digital services.
Notably, earlier this month, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) declared basic guidelines for banks operating with blockchain startups in order to prevent a mass crypto exodus from Switzerland due to regulatory arbitrage.
According to the mentioned scheme provided by SBA, blockchain firms without Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs) should be treated like other small- and medium-sized companies. Firms with ICOs must follow strict rules and fall under the purview of Swiss anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) laws.