Online banking service Swissquote announced last week that it was partnering with digital currency exchange Bitstamp to allow its customers to trade bitcoins, Coindesk has reported.
In a statement published on Friday, Swissquote announced that the partnership would allow its customers to exchange bitcoin for euros and US dollars, and vice versa, on the banking service’s platform. Bitstamp will provide the necessary technical support. The two companies have plans to extend their partnership in the future.
"Our partnership with Swissquote represents a leap forward in terms of integrating bitcoin with the traditional financial industry," commented Bitstamp CEO Nejc Kodrič. “[T]he strong potential shown by digital currencies in their relatively short history has led to traditional financial markets looking for ways to get involved.”
Meanwhile, Swissquote CEO, Marc Bürki explained that “Bitstamp's focus on regulation and compliance, as well as its payment institution licence, made it the standout choice” for the online banking service’s first foray into the world of bitcoin.
According to the statement, the Luxemburg-based Bitstamp is the largest bitcoin exchange in the European Union in terms of volume. It was also the first and only exchange to become nationally licensed in all 28 EU member states
Swissquote, which describes itself as Switzerland’s leader in online banking, holds a banking licence issued by the Swiss Federal Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) and is a member of the Swiss Bankers Association. The firm offers online access to financial products like bonds, options and futures, as well as credit card and savings account services.
Switzerland has shown interest in supporting cryptocurrency-related initiatives in both the public and private sectors. Last week Swiss private bank Falcon Group, announced that it was entering the cryptocurrency asset management marker by launching services aimed at helping its clients better manage their bitcoin holdings. Also last week the Swiss Federal Council revealed it was "swiftly" moving toward a legal designation of digital currencies.