The Swiss virtual currency project Seba Crypto, managed by two former UBS bankers, Guido Buehler and Andreas Amschwand, has raised 100 million Swiss francs ($103 million) for creating a digital bank, Reuters reported on Thursday. The financial institution is still not operational as it needs a bank license.
Black River Asset Management and Summer Capital led the investment round with some of the money to be used for creating the entity while the rest of the funding will go for guaranteeing the bank’s capitalization and liquidity.
Buehler, the chief executive officer (CEO) of Seba Crypto, said that the company is in talks with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and will submit the final application by the end of next month. The regulator confirmed that it is in contact with the project but did not disclose any additional information.
“Seba wants to bridge the gap between traditional banking and the new world of crypto,” Buehler said.
“With safety, transparency and performance as core values, our ambition is to become a market leader in the convergence of traditional finance with the crypto economy.”
The project plans to allow its clients to hold and trade cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) as well as fiat money like the Swiss franc. The entity also wants to offer investment and management services, with a focus on blockchain and virtual currency markets.
Buehler is a former managing director of the UBS asset services department. His main partner is another ex-executive of the bank, Andreas Amschwand, who has served as the global head of foreign exchange and money market at the Swiss multinational investment institution. Amschwand is now the chairman of Seba Crypto.
“In Switzerland we have commitment from various authorities to establish a comprehensive regulatory environment for the development of blockchain technology and the sustainable, stable growth of crypto assets,” Amschwand said.
“This makes Switzerland the ideal place to launch a new financial services paradigm.”
Seba Crypto currently employs 17 people and plans expansion in Europe and Asia if it gets the FINMA’s license. The company’s headquarters is located in Zug, the so-called Swiss crypto valley as the city is home to more than 500 virtual coin and distributed ledger technology (DLT) projects.