Based out of Zurich, the bank will currently only accept crypto assets obtained in the form of payments for banking services provided or via mining. The report also mentions that while Maerki Baumann will not offer facilities for direct investment in cryptocurrencies to its clients, it will provide crypto token experts to clients if such a need arises.
According to a statement, Maerki Baumann views cryptocurrencies as a form of alternative investments which is currently experiencing high volatility regarding price fluctuations, volume, and the like. The bank also stated that it monitors developments in the crypto world very carefully and the associated regulations that come along with every development.
The report accepts the fact that the majority of the Swiss banks still refuse to receive payments in the form of crypto tokens, even though the popularity of these digital assets has increased substantially over the last few years. The prime cause of refusal to take such payment can be attributed to the tainted background of assets like bitcoin or ether, or failure to verify them and prove that the digital assets are not being used for money laundering purposes.
This reluctance of Swiss banks forces its clients to take their digital assets elsewhere to institutions which are more receptive to them. BTCManager reported on March 2, 2018, how Bank Frick in Liechtenstein announced the launch of a new facility for its clients to invest in cryptocurrency through its platform.
Although the decision to allow the storage of crypto assets is indeed a huge one for Maerki Baumann, it is not the first time that a Swiss bank has embraced digital assets. On July 12, 2017, BTCManager reported that Falcon Private Bank announced that it would indeed be the first bank in the nation to offer blockchain asset management in partnership with bitcoin Suisse.
Financial institutions all over the world have been steadily accepting cryptocurrencies for various purposes. Many global banks have already delved deep into crypto research and its implications in the banking industry.
However, a cloud of risk still surrounds the word “cryptocurrency,” even among it’s greatest proponents. A spokesperson from Maerki Baumann said, “In general, we currently advise against larger investments in cryptocurrencies. [Cryptocurrencies] are not, in our estimation, suitable for long-term investment due to the uncertainties outlined above.”