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The banking giant BBVA has launched a new digital currency trading platform for its Swiss clients, allowing them to buy and sell bitcoins for CHF and EUR. The platform will be run by a company called Crypto-Trade, which is owned by BBVA. The clientele will be able to buy and sell bitcoins, which are now being traded on the Bitstamp exchange at $1,422.90 per bitcoin.
In 2017, BBVA, the largest bank in Europe, added cryptocurrency trading to its seven offices around the world, allowing clients to invest in Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple, and other digital currencies. In an effort to attract the younger generation and increase its profitability, the bank has assembled a team of experts in the finance industry and blockchain technology and is now offering its clients a dedicated platform for Bitcoin trading.
Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), Spain’s second-largest bank, offers bitcoin (BTC) trading and storage services in Switzerland. According to a statement released Friday, BBVA Switzerland will be the new owner of the company from Dec. 21 to begin trading bitcoin for all customers of the private bank interested in crypto assets.
This initial cryptocurrency trading service is only for bitcoin, but the bank says it plans to expand the offering to other cryptocurrencies. However, BBVA says its crypto trading division will not include advisory services for investments in digital assets.
As part of the announcement, BBVA Switzerland said the bitcoin trading service will be part of the bank’s investment catalog for private banking customers. This way, clients can see the performance of their BTC positions and of the rest of their portfolios. The integration with the app should make it easier for customers to work with data for billing and tax returns, she says. BBVA Switzerland also said customers will be able to automatically convert bitcoins into fiat currencies to avoid losses due to price fluctuations.
For Alfonso Gomez, CEO of BBVA Switzerland, the move represents a convergence between high-value banking and cryptographic innovation. With this innovative offering, BBVA is positioning itself as a leading institution in the adoption of blockchain technology, the CEO said. Regarding the decision to launch the product for the first time in Switzerland, BBVA noted that the country’s crypto valuta-friendly policies were a deciding factor.
“This gradual roll-out has allowed BBVA Switzerland to test the service’s operations, strengthen security and, above all, detect that there is a significant desire among investors for crypto-assets or digital assets as a way of diversifying their portfolios, despite their volatility and high risk,” explains Alfonso Gómez, CEO of BBVA Switzerland.
In fact, some Swiss banks have already announced cryptocurrency trading services for their customers. In February this year, 170-year-old Swiss financial institution Bordier & Cie partnered with digital bank Sygnum to offer trading in cryptocurrencies, including bitcoin, Ether (ETH), and bitcoin cash (BCH). As Cointelegraph previously reported, Swiss banking giant UBS has announced plans to offer some of its high-net-worth clients’ limited access to crypto investments.
As of September 2020, authorities have formulated a comprehensive set of laws for cryptocurrencies and blockchain. The first part of the new framework came into force at the beginning of February, the second part will follow in the summer.
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