BBVA to Launch Bitcoin Trading and Custody Services in Switzerland

BBVA, a leading Spanish financial services firm, has announced on Friday it will launch a Bitcoin (BTC) trading service for its private banking customers based in Switzerland. However, according to Reuters, the bank won’t provide any advisory on crypto assets-related investments, aside from the trading and custody services that will be enabled on June 21.

The bank has argued that high demand among its clients had encouraged them to launch these products to diversify their portfolio, despite the volatility that trading with cryptos implies, Alfonso Gomez, BBVA Switzerland’s Chief Executive, said. “Its extension to new countries or other types of customers will depend on whether the markets meet the appropriate conditions in terms of maturity, demand, and regulation,” BBVA commented on the announcement.

About the decision to deploy custodial and trading services for digital assets, specifically in Switzerland, the firm stated that the country offers a clearer regulation, alongside a widespread adoption that favors the crypto industry and any related business that it wishes to deal with virtual currencies. That said, BBVA used the term “significant desire” to describe the high demand among its customers in regards the crypto products.

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Central Banks and Cryptocurrencies

The announcement also comes in the midst of central banks globally adopting measures like switching to stimulus taps and developing plans to launch central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). Recently, El Salvador’s government became the first country in the world to declare Bitcoin as a legal tender.

In the recent BBVA’s business maneuvers, the firm announced in February that it plans to invest as much as $150 million in new capital into fintech venture fund, Propel Ventures Partners to support the innovation in the financial technology industry. Propel has been able to partner with some of the leading names in the industry, including Coinbase, Hippo, Guideline, Neon, and DocuSign, according to a report published by Finance Magnates.