Online Bank Swissquote Begins Offering Clients Access to ICOs
Swissquote, a provider of online financial and trading services in Switzerland, has announced that its clients can now participate in initial coin offerings through its platform. The Swiss bank takes care of both the execution and the custody of tokens. In addition, the bank offers the trading of five major cryptocurrencies.
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Swissquote’s ICO Service
Swiss online bank Swissquote announced on Monday that it has become “the first bank worldwide to offer its clients the opportunity to participate in initial coin offerings (ICOs).” With its new service, the firm described:
Clients can purchase coins (also named ‘tokens’) issued by a company directly against Swiss francs, using their trading account. Swissquote takes care of the execution as well as of the custody of the tokens.
Swissquote, a member of the Swiss Bankers Association, holds a banking license issued by the Swiss Federal Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). Its parent company, Swissquote Group Holding Ltd., is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange.
The first ICO the bank has chosen to list on its platform is issued by Lakediamond. Incorporated in 2015, the Swiss startup explained that it was built “on years of research at EPFL (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne).” Moreover, the company claims that it is “developing reactors capable of growing ultra-pure diamonds, and exploring potential high-tech industrial applications.”
Currently, the option to sell tokens is unavailable. However, Swissquote noted that it will work with Lakediamond to allow clients to sell their tokens from within their trading accounts. The bank further asserted, “It is also possible that a third-party cryptocurrency exchange will enable the trading of Lakediamond tokens.”
Criteria for Listing ICOs
On its website, Swissquote explained that it has “strict criteria that companies need to fulfill” for their tokens to be listed on its platform, stating:
We consider only mature projects, ready to be launched, and want to review who the management is, what the business is, what the financials are and what the legal situation is. Then, we select the projects that we think will be of interest to our clients.
For ICO issuers, the bank offers a number of services such as banking, anti-money laundering (AML), know-your-customer (KYC), communications and marketing.
The banking services include “accounts, payments, foreign exchange, securities trading, etc,” the bank detailed, adding that it also provides cryptocurrency services which include custody and trading. The bank noted:
Customers need to have a Swissquote trading account to participate in a token pre-sale.
Other Crypto Offerings
In December last year, Swissquote announced that it had become “the first bank to offer five cryptocurrencies: bitcoin, bitcoin cash, ether, litecoin, and ripple.” The bank detailed on its website, “You must hold a Swissquote trading account with cash available in EUR and/or USD. Currently, CHF is not available.” BTC has been available on its platform since July last year.
In addition, the bank launched Swissquote Bitcoin Active Index (SQXBTQ) on Nov. 17 last year. The index, issued by Leonteq Securities AG, is a SIX tracker certificate with the maturity date of Oct. 11, 2020.
What do you think of Swissquote offering clients access to ICOs? Do you think more banks should do the same? Let us know in the comments section below.
Images courtesy of Shutterstock and Swissquote.
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