Úno 26

Swiss Bank Julius Baer Launching Crypto Services to Meet ‘Increasing Demand’

The Swiss private bank industry is stepping up its efforts to become a formidable world player in the crypto industry. Now, Julius Baer, one of the largest and oldest Swiss private banks, and SEBA Crypto AG are joining forces to offer their clients a range of digital asset services, in a fully regulated environment.

Major Swiss Banks Embracing Cryptocurrencies

The Julius Baer group is partnering with SEBA to respond to its clients’ growing demands for crypto asset services. According to the announcement on February 26, 2019,

Julius Baer will enter into a partnership with SEBA to take advantage of their innovative platform and capabilities in order to provide Julius Baer clients with leading-edge solutions in the area of digital assets to meet an increasing demand.

At the announcement, Peter Gerlach, Head Markets at Julius Baer, remarked,

At Julius Baer, we are convinced that digital assets will become a legitimate, sustainable asset class of an investor’s portfolio. The investment into SEBA as well as our strong partnership is proof of Julius Baer’s engagement in the area of digital assets and our dedication to make pioneering innovation available to the benefit of our clients.

Julius Baer’s move follows the trend set by other Swiss private banks. In August 2017, Maerki Baumann Private Bank announced that it would be accepting cryptocurrencies. And, Falcon bank already allows direct crypto transfers, while its blockchain facilitates investments in Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ether, and Litecoin.

Moreover, Switzerland’s stock exchange Six has been offering a Bitcoin-heavy cryptocurrency ETP for some time now and planning its own security token offering (STO) later this year.

Bridging the Gap Between Fiat and Cryptocurrencies

SEBA, headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, aims “to build a FINMA supervised and progressive technological bridge between the traditional and the crypto worlds.”

SEBA is currently petitioning The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) for a banking license.

Swiss Regulators Engage Banks to Prevent Exodus of Cryptocurrency Ventures

The partnership with Julius Baer will take effect when SEBA obtains a securities dealer and banking license from FINMA.

Thus, besides providing a platform for storage, transaction and trading solutions for digital assets, SEBA will ensure that these services will be delivered within the FINMA regulatory framework. In this regard, Guido Buehler, CEO SEBA, underlines,

We are very proud to have Julius Baer as an investor. SEBA will enable easy and safe access to the crypto world in a fully regulated environment. The cooperation between SEBA and Julius Baer will undoubtedly create value for the mutual benefit and to the clients.

How do you think Julius Bair and other major Swiss banks’ ventures into the crypto space will impact Bitcoin’s value? Let us know in the comments below!

Images courtesy of  Twitter/@Juliusbaier, Shutterstock

Bře 29

Money Over IP Follows The Footsteps Of VoIP

Source: bitcoin

Bitcoinist_Money Over IP

In the world of communication, Voice over IP – or VoIP – has made a significant impact on the world. This cheaper form of global communication through an Internet connection, allows users to interact with each other through various applications and devices. But in the financial world, Money over IP could become the next big thing. Distributed ledgers and data analytics will play an integral role in the process of automating the financial “back office”.

Also read: Mainstream Media Takes Notice of Versatile Blockchain Projects

Money Over IP Is Important To Finance

Imagine the world in which consumers can send money to anyone else in the world, regardless of financial service access, the device user, or their location. All of this seems all but impossible to achieve with the legacy system, whereas other ecosystems such as Bitcoin provide a viable alternative.

Disrupting the financial sector will not be easy, at banks and other institutions have a tight grip on how consumers and businesses deal with money and transactions. Then again, the same principle applied to the communications sector, as VoIP was initially seen as a minor threat to the business model of telcos. However, a projected US$400 bn loss between 2012 and 2018 seems to disagree with that statement.

There is no denying VoIP services have become a part of everyday life for most consumers, and especially the younger generations. WhatsApp, Viber, Skype, and consorts can be found on just about any smartphone these days, as they allow for easy, frictionless, and global communication.

Similarities between VoIP and Money over IP are not difficult to find, as both principles revolve around Internet access. Whereas telcos are fighting tooth and nail against over-the-top providers, banks are facing similar struggles where the Fintech industry is involved. Moreover, digital currencies such as Bitcoin are another force to be reckoned with.

Although it would be a stretch to say Money over IP will replace the banking system overnight, banks had been warned about this coming disruption quite some time ago. Moreover, WiFi access is becoming more and more common all over the world, rendering mobile data “useful” instead of necessity. Cheaper – or free – Internet access will only help drive the Money over IP revolution on a global scale.

The main hurdles for banks to overcome are the PR issues, as many consumers feel these archaic institutions are greedy, arrogant, complacent, even lazy. Neither of these terms is favorable when it comes to finance, and Fintech companies – as well as Bitcoin – do not suffer from these drawbacks. However, it will take a significant mind shift before Money over IP becomes as familiar as Voice over IP.

What are your thoughts on the chances of success for Money over IP? Let us know in the comments below!

Source: The Finanser

Images courtesy of Shutterstock, Technoflix

The post Money Over IP Follows The Footsteps Of VoIP appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Money Over IP Follows The Footsteps Of VoIP

Led 06

Sweden to go Cashless, Hope for Bitcoin?

Source: bitcoin

Cashless society

Sweden could soon be a big advocate of bitcoin.

Also read: Visa: 2015 is the “Year Of Payments,” Bitcoin a Major Player

Sweden: The Potential Bitcoin Economy

In what could easily be the biggest “opening” for digital currency, Sweden is looking to swear off fiat money for good. That means no more paper money, no more coins, virtual means from here on out.

This is exactly what Bitcoin and its creators have wanted all along for every country. Bitcoin can aid nations, particularly unbanked ones, and put financial power back in the hands of the people, and now it looks as if Sweden is taking the hint and doing everything bitcoin has wanted for the world.

What’s even more important? Sweden is a country that is widely considered economically sound. It’s a country with one of the strongest and most prominent banking systems in the world. Just watch any action movie. Usually, the villain will ask his henchmen, “Has the ransom money been deposited into my Swiss bank account?” or something like that (Just watch Street Fighter and you’ll see what we mean), so the fact that a country as financially stable as Sweden is looking to make a full-time financial switch is not only exciting… It is revolutionary. From here on out, it’s possible we’ll see neighboring countries follow, and possibly the rest of the globe.

According to the New York Times, the country has already changed its banking structure heavily. There are already several financial institutions based in the Scandinavian country that neither accept nor issue paper currency. However, there may be problems with this route. According to the newspaper:

“Not everyone is cheering. Sweden’s embrace of electronic payments has alarmed consumer organizations and critics who warn of a rising threat to privacy and increased vulnerability to sophisticated Internet crimes. Last year, the number of electronic fraud cases surged to 140,000, more than double the amount a decade ago, according to Sweden’s Ministry of Justice.”

Other issues are presenting themselves as well. Refugees and older adults still prone to using cash for their everyday needs may be marginalized, and younger generations who use apps to pay for everything or who take out loans through their cell phones run the risk of falling into massive debt.

In an interview, former Interpol president Bjorn Eriksson has stated his thoughts and opinions on the matter:

“It might be trendy… But there are all sorts of risk when a society starts to go cashless… I don’t think that’s something they should decide on their own.”

Bjorn Ulvaeus of the Abba Museum, however, carries no cash at all, and cites personal safety as the primary reason a cashless Sweden would be perfect for Scandinavian citizens:

“We don’t want to be behind the times by taking cash while cash is dying out… There was such a feeling of insecurity… It made me think: What would happen if this was a cashless society, and the robbers couldn’t’ sell what they stole?”

Cash is certainly net dead yet in Sweden or its neighboring nations. In fact, digital currency only makes up for about two percent of the world’s economy, but Sweden is predicting a fast decline, and it wants to stay ahead of the game and avoid anything drastic down the line. With this in mind, one can’t help but wonder if Sweden will eventually become a major haven for bitcoin and related altcoins. The country recently introduced its latest bitcoin mining tax regulations, but brought a positive light to the situation when it announced bitcoin could be traded on the country’s Nasdaq.

Sweden isn’t exactly a country that’s turning its back on the digital currency, but it isn’t mentioning anything of further acceptance or integration. With the notion of a cashless society, however, the door is being left open for further implementation, and bitcoin’s future in Scandinavia could potentially reach a high note before we know it.

Would you like to see other nations follow Sweden’s lead? Do you think the whole world could benefit by going cashless? Post your comments below!

The post Sweden to go Cashless, Hope for Bitcoin? appeared first on Bitcoinist.net.

Sweden to go Cashless, Hope for Bitcoin?