Gazprombank (Switzerland), an arm of the bank owned by Russian energy giant Gazprom, has carried out the first client transactions as part of its new bitcoin services.

Announced Tuesday, the bank’s launch of institutional cryptocurrency services comes after approval was granted by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority.

“Digital assets will become increasingly important for our clients and the global economy,” said the bank’s CEO, Roman Abdulin.

See also: Swiss Canton Zug to Accept Taxes in Bitcoin, Ether From Next Year

The cryptocurrency services, including cryptocurrency accounts, investment management and asset custody, were developed in partnership with fintech firm Avaloq and digital security infrastructure provider METACO.

Gazprombank (Switzerland) said it has also become a member of the OpenVASP association, which aims to develop an open protocol for the transmission of transaction information between virtual asset service providers (VASPs) and individuals. This work seeks to make it easier for cryptocurrency services to align with regulatory guidance from the Financial Action Task Force – including the so-called travel rule.

In partnership with Swiss crypto finance firm Bitcoin Suisse, the bank is also working on a uniform communication protocol for digital-asset payments between members of OpenVASP, according to the announcement.

Disclosure
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.