A Liechtenstein-based family bank has become one of the first banks in the world that allows clients to directly invest in cryptocurrencies.
Making the announcement earlier this week, Bank Frick said that the first batch of cryptocurrencies to be available for trading will include bitcoin, bitcoin cash, litecoin, Ripple and ether. The bank said it is targeting institutional and high-value private clients, who can buy in with euros, U.S. dollars and Swiss francs.
The crypto assets under the bank's custody, the announcement says, will be stored in cold wallets – a security measure that keeps private keys to the cryptocurrencies offline and away from potential hackers. Trading activities through the bank's platform will also be carried out in compliance with know-your-customer procedures required under Liechtenstein and European (EU/EEA) law.
"Clients can only invest in cryptocurrencies once they have been fully identified and verified. The verification and identification process also involves checking the origin of the money used to invest in them,"according to the announcement.
"Our services are in demand from companies across the whole of Europe," said Hubert Büchel, chief client officer at the bank. "We aim to place crypto-banking on at least the same level of quality as traditional banking."
The move marks the latest effort among financial institutions in the region to move to support the growth of cryptocurrency and blockchain development.
As reported by CoinDesk, Falcon Group, a Swiss private bank, has also started offering a bitcoin purchasing service through clients' traditional accounts in partnership with the bitcoin brokerage firm Bitcoin Suisse AG.
Bank Frick image via Wikimedia Commons