Asset Management

Swiss Startup SEBA Gets Green Light On Digital Assets Custody

Jackie Bennion, Deputy Editor, 30 September 2021

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Switzerland, which is beating a progressive path to open up traditional asset allocation and liquidity for crypto assets, has issued its first custody licence for Swiss-based mutual funds.

As the digital assets market continues to mushroom and align more closely with regulators, Swiss digital bank SEBA has become the first to gain a  custodial license for Swiss mutual funds using crypto assets.

The go ahead from the Swiss Financial Market Authority, Finma, announced on Wednesday, will allow Swiss-domiciled funds to invest in liquid crypto assets using SEBA’s regulated custody services.

“With our new licence, asset managers can now offer strategies based on crypto or other digital asset underlyings to a broader audience utilizing Swiss-based mutual fund structures secured by SEBA bank as the CISA-licensed custodian,” CEO Guido Buehler said.

The Zug-based fintech, founded in 2018, has charged ahead in the digital assets space since gaining a Swiss banking and securities licence two years ago. It has launched a suite of digital asset services, including a crypto wallet, and other e-banking and card services which support a basket of cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin and Ethereum. SEBA is reportedly also developing its own cold storage vault with technology partners Fireblocks and Swiss-based Taurus as part of its first-mover status.

This latest licence to open up digital asset custody services is notable progress for the broad church of investors wanting to use crypto or other digital assets as an underlying investment class.

“This is an important new institutional capability in the evolution of digital assets investments across Europe,” the bank said.

SEBA was also selected by the French central bank to pilot integrating a Central Bank Digital Currency, or CBDC, as central banks the world over are testing the waters for their own digital currency offerings.

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