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BY CNA team - September 27, 2018

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SEBA raises US$103mil to set up crypto bank

SEBA plans to set up a crypto bank with the US$103mil raised
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Zug-based SEBA Crypto has managed to raise US$103mil to set up a bank offering services to blockchain- and crypto-related companies as well as extending more traditional banking services to such companies.

Reuters says in a Sept 26 report that investors include BlackRiver Asset Management and Hong Kong-based Summer Capital as well as other backers from Switzerland, Singapore, Malaysia, China and Hong Kong.

SEBA is headed by banking professionals Guido Buehler as chief executive and Andreas Amschwand as chairman. Both were formerly from Swiss banking giant UBS.

The firm is now seeking a banking and securities dealer license to manage cryptocurrency trading and investments for banks and qualified investors from the financial market regulator Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA).

The newswire says SEBA also wants to provide corporate financing, including advising on initial coin offerings, and other cryptocurrency and banking services to traditional corporate clients and cryptocurrency groups.

“SEBA wants to bridge the gap between traditional banking and the new world of crypto,” Buehler says.

“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.”

Blockchain startups have faced obstacles in getting access to banking services, a factor in a number of them either leaving or planning to leave Switzerland, where Zug, a small provincial town, has become the centre of a crypto hub.

Last week, the Swiss Bankers Association (SBA) released guidelines to members who want to do business with such startups.

“In Switzerland we have 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 says.

“This makes Switzerland the ideal place to launch a new financial services paradigm”.

The SBA together with the Swiss National Bank and FINMA have been holding discussions on how banking services can be more accessible to blockchain companies

SEBA plans to open branch locations in major financial hubs, beginning with Zurich in 2019, as well as digital services.

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