Swiss Falcon Private Bank Starts Direct Crypto Transfers

The move deepens Falcon’s involvement in the virtual coins industry after the financial institution became one of the first local banks to offer Bitcoin asset management in 2017.

Switzerland’s Falcon Private Bank has enabled direct cryptocurrency transfers for its private and institutional clients in a service that makes digital coins “fully bankable,” according to a company press release on Monday.

Currently, Falcon supports only Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). The new service allows clients to transfer the coins from and to Falcon’s crypto segregated wallets and convert them to fiat money. Booked as segregated assets means that the coins are treated as securities, the bank said.

According to Falcon CEO Martin Keller, the direct crypto transfers show that a traditional banking service can be merged with new technologies, including blockchain-powered assets. The service is subject to Swiss anti-money laundering (AML) and know-your-customer (KYC) rules.

“Clients can place trading orders conveniently through e-banking or a dedicated relationship manager. Digital assets are included in portfolio statements as well as in tax reporting documents,” the bank said.

Falcon’s crypto wallet implements cold custody solutions, meaning the assets are stored in hardware devices with no connection to the Internet. Cold wallets are seen as more secure than hot custody as the latter is an easy target for hackers due to the permanent Internet connection. Falcon’s custody service has gone through a review by an independent auditor before its launch, the bank explained without identifying the auditor.

Direct cryptocurrency transfers are the second major crypto service from Falcon. The bank began offering Bitcoin asset management in 2017, later expanding it to ETH, LTC, and BCH. Two other small Swiss banks, Vontobel and Maerki Baumann,  also offer crypto products, while most of the country’s leading financial institutions are still reluctant to enter the crypto space.

Last month, the Swiss branch of Russian state-owned Gazprombank announced a virtual asset trading service.

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