After securing a conditional bank licence in Switzerland, Sygnum is looking to do the same in Singapore in order to offer digital asset management services.

Alanna Tan  |  Singapore
Published 2019-08-29 12:33:22

A cryptocurrency company, Sygnum, is looking to secure a banking licence in Singapore.

The firm, based in both Switzerland and Singapore, is fairly new—they just clinched a conditional banking and securities dealer licence from Switzerland’s banking regulator FINMA less than a week ago.

This marked the first time that FINMA had approved purely blockchain financial service providers, and Sygnum was one of only two firms to be granted the license.

When they complete their transition into a full Swiss bank later this year, Sygnum will be able to issue, store, trade and manage the digital assets Bitcoin and Ethereum.

They can also provide conversion between the two cryptocurrencies and multiple fiats, like Swiss francs, euros, US dollars and Singapore dollars.

According to Straits Times, Sygnum is currently in talks with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to work towards a Capital Markets Services Licence.

If approved, they will be able to start offering digital asset management as a first step into financial services in the country.

Beyond this, they also want to offer custody, brokerage, and tokenisation services for digital currencies to qualified investors and institutions.

While we have not heard much of Sygnum before this, they’ve already received significant backing.

The firm has raised about 60 million Swiss francs (about S$85 million), including Singtel as one of their investors.

Sygnum also has former MAS special advisor for financial supervision Chua Kim Leng on their board of directors, and leading the anti-money laundering committee for the firm.

“We have been approached over the past few months by many parties who hold a lot of cryptocurrencies and look for a fully regulated bank,” said Sygnum co-founder and CEO Mathias Imbach

He added, “One of their biggest challenges is to find banking specialists to connect them to the real world, to pay their taxes, their employees’ salary.”

Featured Image Credit: The Block Crypto

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