A Swiss private bank embraces Bitcoin
Clients can use their cash deposits in Falcon Private Bank to trade bitcoins
The value of Bitcoin has more than tripled since last year. For those hesitant to throw their hat into the ring and embrace the cryptocurrency, there’s validation coming from none other than the robust Swiss private banking industry.
This week, Zurich-headquartered Falcon Private Bank announced that its clients can trade Bitcoins using their existing cash holdings with the bank. This is the first Swiss private bank to allows its customers to trade in the peer-to-peer currency. According to a report by ibtimes, Falcon currently controls assets totalling around $15.1 billion.
In a novel twist, Falcon is also installing a Bitcoin ATM machine in the lobby of their Zurich headquarters that allows the public, even that those that aren’t their clients, to trade in bitcoins.
Falcon has partnered with the cryptocurrency specialist, Bitcoin Suisse, to offer this the new blockchain asset management service. In a statement to the press, Arthur Vayloyan, Global Head Products & Services, Falcon Private Bank said, “We are proud to be the first-mover in the Swiss private banking area to provide blockchain asset management for our clients. Falcon is convinced that the time is right to enter this nascent market and it is our firm belief that this new product will fulfil our clients’ future needs.” The CEO of Bitcoin Suisse, Niklas Nikolajsen, added, “This new product is nothing less than a historic milestone for the entire crypto space.”
Bitcoin’s ascendancy has been riddled with several problems. It is still subject to wild fluctuations – it hit $3,000 last month, but has since then fallen around 20 per cent to its current valuation of $2,377. It also operates outside regulatory frameworks. Earlier this week, Mark Karpeles, the former head of MtGox which was at one point the world’s biggest Bitcoin exchange, was charged with embezzlement in a Tokyo court.
Still, Falcon’s latest announcement is bound to add a degree of legitimacy to Bitcoin that will help cement its position as the defining cryptocurrency of the future.