Former UBS Bankers Are Building a Crypto Bank in Switzerland
Seba Crypto AG (SEBA) has raised 100 million Swiss francs ($103 million) for the creation of a regulated bank that lets customers trade fiat for digital currency.
The Zug-based startup is headed by former UBS managers Guido Buehler, who serves as CEO, and Andreas Amschwand, who serves as chairman.
SEBA will manage cryptocurrency trading and investments for banks and investors. It will also provide corporate financing services among which are technical guidance on initial coin offerings, cryptocurrency services to conventional clients and groups, and banking services to traditional corporate clients.
“SEBA wants to bridge the gap between traditional banking and the new world of crypto,” Buehler explained to Business Insider.
“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.”
Efforts at translating its financial base into an entity are now dependent on being granted a banking license from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).
From the creation of a digital ID for citizens built on the Ethereum blockchain to the acceptance of bitcoin payments for municipal services, the Swiss town of Zug has become known as the "crypto valley" of the world.
More than 500 blockchain startups call the town of Zug home, but as the industry has grown, it has faced restrictive banking services, forcing companies to look abroad for banking services, until mortgage bank Hypothekarbank Lenzburg opened its arms to the industry three months ago.
“In Switzerland, we have the 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 explained in a statement.
“This makes Switzerland the ideal place to launch a new financial services paradigm.”
The eclectic group of investors who have a stake in the business includes Swiss-based BlackRiver Asset Management and Hong Kong-based Summer Capital among other financial backers from Switzerland, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China and Singapore.