Switzerland has created what it calls the “Crypto Valley” in the Zug region.
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Crypto companies scramble to find institutions to bank after crypto crash signature bank and silvergate capitaltwo lenders friendly to digital currency companies.
Some of these companies have turned to crypto-friendly Swiss banks, which have been inundated with requests for banking services, according to multiple industry sources who spoke to CNBC.
Typically, the crypto industry finds it difficult to access banking services from traditional lenders who are unwilling to touch those without a clear regulatory framework. This includes blockchain and crypto companies that have been forced to rely on specialist banks instead.
However, the disappearance of the two largest lenders alongside SVB has prompted crypto firms to turn to Switzerland.
“We are inundated with requests,” said an adviser to a Swiss private bank.
Advisors said private lenders received more requests in a single day than ever before on Monday after the Silvergate and Signature Bank contractions this month.
“It’s just nuts,” said the adviser.
Companies outside the US and Europe look to Switzerland
Dominic Castley, chief marketing officer at Sygnum, one of Switzerland’s largest banks focused on serving digital asset firms, said they were inundated with inquiries.
“In the past few weeks as the current banking industry events unfolded, we have seen a significant increase in onboarding inquiries from various international locations,” said Castley, who has both Switzerland and Singapore. He added that Sygnum’s location is attractive to businesses.
Sygnum holds a Swiss banking license and a Singapore capital markets services license and is subject to regulatory jurisdiction.
An adviser to a Swiss-based financial technology firm, who requested anonymity due to the sensitivity of the situation, said Swiss banks “are seeing more money coming in from US customers”.
Meanwhile, executives at a European trading firm said their firm had seen “non-European based companies” making inquiries about new banking ties. The executives, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the topic, said these companies include crypto-focused hedge funds and venture capital firms.
“Interest is primarily coming from investors, asset managers and blockchain projects looking to diversify their crypto investments with trusted Swiss partners like Signum Bank,” Cassley said.
SEBA Bank, another major Swiss lender in the digital assets industry, did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Swiss crypto-friendly attitude
One of the reasons companies are looking for Swiss banks is the country’s regulations, which welcome cryptocurrency companies that require a stable operating environment.
The country has created what locals call the “Crypto Valley” in the Zug region just outside the Swiss capital of Zurich. Startups and more established digital currency companies have set up shop there.
In 2021, the government will introduce regulations on companies using so-called “decentralized electronic register technology” or blockchain. It originated with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin and has since evolved.
Thierry Arys Ruiz, CEO of Switzerland-based blockchain firm AgAu.io, said Switzerland is “more stable” and “more certain about what the rules are.”
An unnamed adviser to a private Swiss bank said companies are coming to Switzerland because it is in a “safer jurisdiction” for crypto regulation.
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