Banks and Crypto-Currency Accounts: Switzerland Leads The Way

We know that almost none of the banks like crypto-currencies: It is normal for them not to like a currency that was invented to get rid of their limitations. Satoshi Nakamoto particularly mentioned this situation while writing his manifesto and dreamed of an economy that was not under the control of the banks. For this reason, no bank has accepted to open an account for crypto-currencies so far. Some banks do not even seem to accept their existence.

But this has now changed: For the first time in the world, a bank in Switzerland has announced that it will begin accepting crypto-currency accounts.

The name of this bank is “Hypothekarbank Lenzburg”. Founded 150 years ago, it is a small-scale private bank. The bank’s CEO, Marianne Wildi, says the Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) is influential in making this decision: FINMA has assured that there are no legal limitations preventing them from accepting crypto-currencies. Wildi says Switzerland has become a crypto startup center in recent years and they want to see these companies carry over their accounts to the bank (1). This is true: Switzerland is defined as “Crypto Valley” by some investors, a reference to the famous Silicon Valley. Especially in recent years, many companies interested in managing crypto assets have decided to move their centers to Switzerland.

Hypothekarbank Lenzburg will work with a contractor named Weber & Partner AG to offer this support. How the system will work is currently unknown: Most likely, the bank will develop a high-security wallet for crypto customers. There will be no difference in terms of account management, and crypto customers will benefit from all the features available to other customers – including interest.

A Central Location For A Decentralized Currency?

Although there are some banks that provide cold storage service, Hypothekarbank Lenzburg will be the first bank to offer true crypto account support. Well, is this consistent with the philosophy of crypto-currencies? How reasonable is it that a decentralized currency is controlled by a “central” bank? If the government demands, will the bank share the identity information of its customers? This can completely eliminate the anonymity of users, which is one of the greatest advantages of crypto-currencies. Perhaps it’s best for banks to never offer crypto support, who knows?

What are you thinking? Share your ideas with us under comments.

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