A boutique investment firm in Switzerland has begun offering to buy bitcoins for its wealthy clients.
Zurich-based Falcon Private Bank recently partnered with cryptocurrency broker Bitcoin Suisse and rolled out a blockchain asset management service. The product is approved by the state regulator Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA), according to the company.
The service allows customers to exchange and hold bitcoins via Falcon using their cash holdings. The firm has also installed a bitcoin ATM in its headquarters, which the public can access during business hours.
“We are proud to be the first-mover in the Swiss private banking area to provide blockchain asset management for our clients,” Arthur Vayloyan, Falcon’s global head of products and services, said in a statement. “Falcon is convinced that the time is right to enter this nascent market and it is our firm belief that this new product will fulfil our clients’ future needs.”
Niklas Nikolajsen, founder and CEO of Bitcoin Suisse, described its partnership with Falcon as “nothing less than a historic milestone for the entire crypto space,” according to a Reuters report.
Falcon’s announcement is a first for conventional banks, and another indication that bitcoin is here to stay. The move, however, shouldn’t come as a surprise to bitcoin and altcoin followers as investors have started warming up to cryptocurrencies in recent months.
The news follows the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) decision to grant bitcoin options service LedgerX the status of a swap execution facility, which allows the Google Ventures-backed company to become the first federally regulated bitcoin options exchange and clearing house to list and clear fully-collateralized, physically-settled bitcoin options for the institutional market.”
SEFs are platforms that provides pre-trade information like bid and offer prices and a mechanism for executing swap transactions. LedgerX is still waiting to be registered as a derivatives clearing organization.
Bitcoin traded at $2,339.62 per coin on Friday.