Former UBS Bankers Net $100 million to Build a Crypto Bank

A Swiss startup launched by several former UBS bankers has raised $104 million in a bid to establish a regulated crypto-friendly bank.

AccessTimeIconSep 27, 2018 at 6:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:25 a.m. UTC

A Swiss startup launched by several former UBS bankers has raised 100 million Swiss francs, or around $104 million, in a bid to establish a regulated cryptocurrency bank.

Called SEBA Crypto AG (SEBA) and based in the Crypto Valley Zug, the startup said on Thursday it had secured the funds from domestic and foreign institutional and private investors, including BlackRiver Asset Management and Summer Capital.

With the investment, SEBA said it will develop and offer traditional banking services to firms in the crypto industry and to also provide cryptocurrency trading, asset management and custody services for institutions that are interested in moving to the nascent space.

SEBA is now applying for a banking and securities dealer license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) before it can roll out the planned crypto banking services.

According to a report from Reuters, the FINMA has confirmed that the licensing process is underway. If granted, SEBA said it will eventually open both online and physical banks for crypto and traditional financial services.

Andreas Amschwand, former global head of foreign exchange and money market at UBS and now chairman of SEBA, commented in the announcement:

"In Switzerland, we have the commitment from various authorities to establish a comprehensive regulatory environment for the development of blockchain technology and the sustainable, stable growth of crypto assets. This makes Switzerland the ideal place to launch a new financial services paradigm."

That said, SEBA is not the only crypto startup that is interested in securing a license to launch crypto banking services.

As previously reported by CoinDesk, the Goldman Sachs-backed crypto wallet and investment platform Circle is also seeking to register as a licensed bank in the U.S. at the federal level in order to offer crypto brokerage and trading services in all 50 states.

CHF image via Shutterstock

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