Maerki Baumann, a Swiss private bank based in Zurich, has decided to accept cryptocurrency assets. The institution will not offer direct investment in cryptos and crypto derivatives but will provide experts if needed, according to the International Investment website.
“Maerki Baumann closely monitors the development of these investment vehicles and the underlying regulation without our commitment to engage in this area. This concerns investments in cryptocurrencies as well as the technologies required to trade and store these instruments. We currently see cryptocurrencies as alternative investment vehicles, but we have limited experience and data (prices, volatility, trading volumes) available in our house,” according to a statement quoted by the website.
The bank will only accept cryptocurrencies obtained through payments for services provided or mining. However, it advises against larger investments in cryptocurrencies, saying they are not suitable for long-term investments because of market volatility and uncertainty.
Maerki Baumann appears to be acting on fear of missing out on the crypto hype. Two other small Swiss banks - Vontobel and Falcon Bank - have already started accepting crypto assets, as has Lichtenstein-based Bank Frick. Versbank, a small Canadian bank, also launched a cryptocurrency custodial service earlier this year.
However, the world’s major banks are still wary of cryptocurrencies and are trying to keep their distance, some going as far as to ban clients from buying cryptos with branded credit cards.
On the other hand, Switzerland is doing its best to attract blockchain fintech startups, with the Zug Crypto Valley leading the way. Last month, Cryptovest reported that the Swiss authorities are pushing the banks to be friendlier to the crypto industry.