BBVA, the second-largest bank in Spain, has announced the launch of its bitcoin trading and custody service through its Swiss subsidiary. Beginning with bitcoin, BBVA plans to expand its services for other cryptocurrencies.
BBVA Rolls Out Bitcoin Trading and Custody Services
BBVA announced on Wednesday that it “has begun to roll out the trials of what will become its first commercial service for the trading and custody of digital assets.”
BBVA (Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria) is Spain’s second-largest bank after Banco Santander. The group was founded in 1857 and has 727 billion euros in total assets as of the end of September. It has 7,565 branches and almost 80 million customers in over 30 countries.
The bank explained that the new service will be offered through its Swiss subsidiary, BBVA Switzerland, which is “dedicated to international private banking services.” Customers will be able to “manage bitcoin transactions and have deposits in this cryptocurrency,” the bank described, elaborating:
Starting in 2021, BBVA will offer its clients a service of trading and custody of digital assets, with all the guarantees of any other banking service, with a transparent system that is very simple to operate.
“Digital assets have enormous potential to transform the way value and information are exchanged through blockchain technology,” commented Alicia Pertusa, Head of Client Solutions Strategy at BBVA. “Financial institutions, in collaboration with supervisors, can play a relevant role in the integration of digital assets in current markets and infrastructures.”
The bank also pointed out that its crypto initiative “comes at a time when several countries are taking important steps toward a new regulation on how these digital asset markets can operate.”
BBVA noted that it will not offer advisory services for cryptocurrencies. It further explained that the crypto service will initially be offered in Switzerland “due to the fact that it is the most advanced European country in terms of regulation and adoption of digital assets, and has a wide array of companies in blockchain technology, which it is very useful to start these services.” The bank additionally clarified:
BBVA will initially only manage bitcoin transactions and accounts, as it is the most accepted cryptocurrency, but it plans to expand its offering to include other digital assets.
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