Spanish banking giant BBVA announced that the financial institution will launch a new Bitcoin trading service on Monday for private banking clients in Switzerland interested in investing in digital assets.
The Spanish bank, based in Bilbao, announced that it will start operating its new Bitcoin trading and custody services on Monday and plans to launch services of others Cryptocurrencies soon. However, the multinational bank said it would not offer advice on such forms of investment.
After six months of testing the Bitcoin service with a selected group of users, BBVA is now making trading available to its customers in Switzerland.
Alfonso Gomez, Chief Executive of BBVA Switzerland, stated that despite its high risk and volatility, the bank has noticed a significant appetite among investors for cryptocurrencies or digital assets to diversify their portfolios.
On Friday, BBVA announced that the new Bitcoin trading services will only be available to customers in Switzerland as the country has clear regulation and widespread adoption of digital assets. The bank sees relatively comprehensive regulations for digital assets in Switzerland, which have been laid down by the national financial market supervisory authority (FINMA ).
“It is an expansion to new countries or other types of customers depending on whether the markets meet the appropriate maturity, demand and regulation requirements,” said Gomez.
BBVA is present in Switzerland through a wholly owned franchise with a focus on international banking services. The bank, an international bank in 35 countries around the world, employs more than 130,000 people and serves 66 million worldwide.
Bitcoin is coming to the banks
Currently, more and more large investment banks are showing interest in introducing Bitcoin trading and custody for their customers. In April, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan announced plans to make cryptocurrencies more accessible to the public. Last month, Citi Group announced that it was offering crypto trading services after seeing increased customer interest.
Efforts to offer Bitcoin trading services come amid rising institutional interest in cryptocurrency. Investors and companies see Bitcoin as a hedge against inflation, there Central banks and governments turn on the stimulus taps.
El Salvador is the first nation to introduce Bitcoin as legal tender. However, central banks around the world have often warned investors about losing their money on crypto investments.
In the past few weeks, large countries like China and the US have signaled a tougher approach to cryptocurrency regulations as they developed their plans to create their own Central bank digital currencies.
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