Russia’s Gazprombank now offers Bitcoin trading in Switzerland

Russia’s Gazprombank now offers Bitcoin trading in Switzerland
Written by:
Ali Raza
November 24, 2020
  • The cryptocurrency service will include the trading, buying, selling, and custody of Bitcoin.
  • Initial cryptocurrency services will be provided to a certain selected number of its clients.
  • Gazprombank Switzerland wants to make cryptocurrency transactions easy as with traditional assets.

Zurich-based Gazprombank, a subsidiary of Russia’s third-largest bank, announced yesterday that it has started offering Bitcoin trading in Switzerland. Based on the announcement, the cryptocurrency service will include the custody of Bitcoin (BTC), as well as the trading, buying, and selling of the cryptocurrency.

According to the announcement, the firm will offer cryptocurrency services in partnership with long-standing partners like crypto custody provider Metaco and fintech firms like Avalog.

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Other Russian-owned banks are offering crypto-related services outside Russia. In September this year, the biggest state-owned bank in Russia Sberbank joined a blockchain-based platform via its Swiss subsidiary.

The bank will offer custody of crypto

The decision to offer cryptocurrency services was taken following the Nov 3 authorization given by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) to offer crypto services in the country.

Gazprombank is a fully-licensed financial institution that offers traditional banking products and services to its institutional and corporate customers. With the crypto service license it received from FINMA, the financial institution can now offer cryptocurrency services to its customer in Switzerland.

The announcement also revealed that the bank will start providing its clients “custody of cryptocurrencies as well as trading between crypto and fiat currencies,” according to the announcement.

However, the services will not be initially available to all its clients, but a limited number of selected ones.

Chief Executive Officer of Gazprombank Switzerland Roman Abdulin reiterated that the new service will ensure that cryptocurrency transactions will be easy and simple just like traditional assets.

Gazprombank has also joined Open VASPs

According to him, digital assets are increasingly becoming very important for clients. He added that the bank is excited to collaborate with top Swiss-based institutions that are on top of their game in the industry.

The collaboration will ensure the further development of the cryptocurrency industry in Switzerland as well as the global crypto ecosystem, Abdulin added.

Apart from this development, Gazprombank Switzerland also revealed that it has now joined OpenVASP. The body ensured that Virtual Asset Service Providers (VASPs) comply with the regulatory laws in the industry.

OpenVASP was rolled out late last year, as it was intended to enable VASPs to stay in the good books of the so-called ‘travel rule’ anti-money laundering law introduced by the FATF. While many firms have joined the association, Gazprombank Switzerland is the first banking institution to do so.