Swiss Cryptos in Patient Mode

28. März 2019

Fast cars, big bucks, a brief claim to fame: the fledgling crypto community hasn’t exactly oozed durability. Now, the blockchain bankers start learning new old ways.

The valuation of cryptocurrencies has been a cause for concern, yet at the CV Cryptovalley Summit on Wednesday the representatives of the industry put up a show that matched any ­– light show, master of ceremony, you name it.

And yet, the conference was more notable for the muted noise it made – a sense exemplified by the motto of «build towards crypto spring».

Quick Breakthrough Gets Delayed

The industry has understood from what has become known as crypto winter that you can’t just collect a quick $20 million from investors by presenting a few powerpoint slides, as one exponent of the community explained to

Instead, you need to work hard to show the world what the technology is all about and what it can achieve.

Hardly anyone expects a quick breakthrough. The crypto bankers especially, on whom the hopes rest to make the technology available and useful for a bigger audience.

Setting Solid Standards

«We have to be very prudent, work diligently and not promise to much,» said Mathias Imbach, co-founder of Sygnum, a fintech active in Switzerland and Singapore. In the current atmosphere, setting solid standards was crucial for the future development of the industry.

The proverbial tedium perfected by Swiss banking for many decades or even centuries, may finally have caught up with the new guys on the bloc – the crypto bankers.

Internal Resistance

Imbach currently is trying to get a license from the Swiss financial market supervisor, Finma. But his colleagues at companies open for the introduction of cryptofinance, such as Bank Frick, Falcon Private Bank and Turicum Bank wouldn’t disagree with him.

The crypto experts see a need to calm the waters both externally as well as within. Mauro Casellini for instance, head of blockchain at Bank Frick, said that the internal opposition against the new business had been at least as strong as the one put up by the regulator in Liechtenstein, where the bank is based.

Applauding the Regulator

Over at Falcon, where Katie Richards is a co-head of digital assets, clients are more concerned about the safety of the crypto investments than about how to speculate. Hence, the bank needs to provide a way of storing assets safely first and foremost.

The conference participants voiced a lot of support for the Swiss regulator and the political actors. Louis Raymond Bisang, the development chief at Turicum Bank, said that smaller jurisdictions applied regulation more in the sense of a marketing tool, while Switzerland displayed a strong will to regulate properly. Turicum holds a blockchain license in Gibraltar.

The Swiss finance ministry recently launched its consultation process for a law change that will improve the legal status of blockchain businesses. Finance Minister Ueli Maurer took the opportunity to address the exponents of the industry on Wednesday.

Not Too Slow

The Swiss authorities hardly are known for their undue haste, but their approach to dealing with the new technology has received the laurels from the industry. The experts agreed that Switzerland had moved ahead of say the U.S. or the European Union – and the players hence are not likely to become impatient soon.

Be this as it may, standing still is no option: «The next five years will bring massive change and banks will have to deal with the issue,» said Imbach.


Artikel auf vom 28.03.2019: