Madrid-based financial services giant BBVA, one of the largest financial institutions in the world, will soon offer bitcoin trading and custody services through its Swiss subsidiary.
“After six months of testing with a selected group of users, BBVA Switzerland makes its first crypto-asset trading and custody service available to all its private banking clients,” according to an announcement from the bank’s Swiss office.
The service will be limited to Switzerland and is scheduled to begin operation on June 21 for private banking clients. A bitcoin management system will be integrated into a BBV Switzerland app, where performance can be viewed alongside other investments.
The announcement noted that BBVA Switzerland hopes to offer exposure to additional cryptocurrencies in the future. It was not clear how customers could send their BTC to wallets that they controlled, or if that would be possible at all.
“Through the customer’s personalized digital wallet, bitcoins can be converted into euros or any other current currency, and vice versa, automatically, without delays and without the illiquidity that affects other digital wallets or independent brokers,” the announcement claimed, without pointing to any specific brokers that face the claimed liquidity issues. “All this is possible thanks to the fact that BBVA operates with several sources for converting cryptocurrencies, which allows it to ensure 24-hour investment, managing orders of any size and processing multiple orders at the same time is possible.”
BBVA cited the Swiss ecosystem, with clear regulation and relatively widespread adoption of digital assets, as the best place to test this new offering. But it appears hopeful that it can expand its bitcoin services in the near future.
“With this innovative offer, BBVA positions itself as a benchmark institution in the adoption of blockchain technology,” Alfonso Gómez, CEO of BBVA Switzerland, said in the announcement. “Over the coming months, we will continue to enhance and expand the digital asset offering.”