Following the launch of Bitcoin services in June, the leading financial institution Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) announced today that its Swiss franchise is adding Ethereum to the bank’s cryptocurrency custody and trading services.
This move allows its private banking clients to manage their digital assets (Bitcoin and Ethereum) on the bank’s platform and BBVA’s app.
BBVA Embraces Ethereum
The addition of Ethereum to the bank’s investment portfolio also grants customers with New Gen’s account access to Ethereum and Bitcoin.
New Gen is BBVA’s online digital investment account that allows clients’ entry with a deposit of $10,000, applicable to the European Union, Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Chile, and other regions.
Speaking of the expansion’s crypto offer, Alfonso Gómez, CEO of BBVA Switzerland commented:
“We decided to add ether to our crypto assets ‘wallet’ because, together with bitcoin, they are the protocols that spark the most interest among investors, while also offering all the guarantees to comply with regulation.”
For the long term, the bank looks to expand its crypto-asset portfolio and offer easier access to the crypto market, “making it easier for its customers to invest in this new digital world.”
By adding Ethereum to its investment portfolio, BBVA has become the first traditional bank in Europe to integrate Ethererum into its services.
It’s not the first attempt of BBVA to emerge in digital asset investment. In June, the major bank launched its Bitcoin custody and trading services which are beneficial to private banking clients.
“This gradual roll-out has allowed BBVA Switzerland to test the service’s operations, strengthen security and, above all, detect that there is a significant desire among investors for crypto-assets or digital assets as a way of diversifying their portfolios, despite their volatility and high risk,” according to Gómez.
The bank shared its strategic plan to go international in a recent statement:
“Its extension to new countries or other types of customers will depend on whether the markets meet the appropriate conditions in terms of maturity, demand, and regulation.”
Since the beginning of the year 2021, the market capitalization of digital assets has increased by a significant amount. Bitcoin continues to be the dominant cryptocurrency, but Ethereum and other altcoins have demonstrated their ability to survive in the long run.
The hype of trends such as NFTs, DeFi, and the upcoming Metaverse has also had a positive impact on the investing habits of investors, who are now more interested in diversifying their investment portfolios.
Switzerland Is An Ideal Place For Crypto
The openness of Switzerland motivates BBVA to offer crypto services in the country. In addition, its advanced blockchain ecosystem is another major factor that pushes the bank forward with its plan.
Switzerland is the wonderland of the crypto industry. The country has witnessed plenty of crypto-oriented startups and businesses, and increasing adoption of financial institutions. It is estimated that over 800 countries are under crypto-related operations.
The country is also reputable for its Crypto Valley – Zug that has made important steps to approach digital assets. Earlier this year, the city announced it now embraces Bitcoin and Ethereum, enabling transactions using these currencies.
Sygnum Bank AG, the Swiss-based first digital asset bank, made an outstanding move in July. Sygnum became the first bank to offer ETH 2.0 staking service. Major national banks also confirmed their plans on CBDC’s research, which focuses on the lending market.
Following Sygnum’s corporation of ETH 2.0 staking, crypto-financial services provider Bitcoin Suisses, based in Zug, partnered with the European digital payment leader Worldline, to facilitate digital payments in Switzerland.
Cryptocurrency has come and posed a threat to the dominance of institutional banking systems around the world. At a certain point, banks were devoted to “killing” crypto but it seems that all attempts end up unpleasant. And now, they have no choice but to embrace crypto.
The market cap of Ethereum – the largest Decentralized Finance ecosystem – has surpassed all banks, just behind JP Morgan Chase.