Crypto Exchange and Custodian Smart Valor Goes Live in Switzerland

With $3.25 million in new funding, Smart Valor says it's launching the first regulated bitcoin exchange in crypto-friendly Switzerland.

Jul 30, 2019 at 8:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 11:15 a.m. UTC

Smart Valor has secured a fresh $3.25 million round of investment, led by Venture Incubator, alongside Tally Capital and other Asian and U.S. investors.

With the news, the Zug-based startup is also announcing a new exchange operating from both Switzerland and Liechtenstein that will provide custody, trading and brokerage services. Initially, the exchange will offer BTC and ETH, each of which can trade against the fiat currencies CHF, EUR, GBP and USD.

Smart Valor CEO Olga Feldmeier told CoinDesk in an email:

"Today, Switzerland is the largest global wealth destination, home to a quarter of all global offshore wealth. For over 200 years this place stands for data privacy, safety and security, with an impeccable reputation and high-quality banking services. The same is true for Liechtenstein. But until today, ironically enough, neither Swiss Crypto Valley, nor Liechtenstein, had an exchange offering trading and custody of digital assets. Smart Valor is changing this, giving the privilege of stable, safe-haven jurisdiction not only to the rich, but to all."

Smart Valor was approved as a regulated financial intermediary in Switzerland late last year. Venture Incubator is a joint initiative of ETH Zurich and consulting firm McKinsey & Company, and has backing from 10 of Switzerland's most significant companies.

With the basic exchange now live, more tokens will be added monthly, with the goal of making it a leading exchange for security tokens backed by real-world assets, the company said in a press release.

“While hundreds of exchanges were created during the last several years, today there are just about a dozen which are legal, compliant, licensed and safe,” Smart Valor investor David Johnston said in a statement. "Switzerland, being at the top of the hierarchy of financially savvy but crypto-friendly jurisdictions, needs its own Coinbase."

The exchange's launch is accompanied by a campaign that gives initial users fee-free trading and brokerage services during the first three months. Not surprisingly, the full capacity of the early access program has been taken up by 5,000 users registered on the platform prior to today’s launch.

Feldmeier said in a release:

“This brings us a huge step forward to our vision of becoming the world’s first security token exchange for alternative investments.”

Smart Valor CEO Olga Feldmeier image via CoinDesk archives

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