Bitstamp, one of the oldest bitcoin exchange and Europe’s only licensed digital currency exchange, has entered into a partnership with Swissquote, which describes itself as “the Swiss leader in online banking.”
The partnership has allowed Swissquote to offer BTC/EUR and BTC/USD trading as of today, while Bitstamp will be providing a full-stack solution for all of Swissquote’s needs.
“Our partnership with Swissquote represents a leap forward in terms of integrating bitcoin with the traditional financial industry,” Bitstamp’s CEO, Nejc Kodrič, said in a statement, before adding:
“Our efforts to encourage compliant bitcoin trading continue to bear fruit, giving users greater confidence and strengthening the bitcoin industry generally.
And the strong potential shown by digital currencies in their relatively short history has led to traditional financial markets looking for ways to get involved.”
Marc Bürki, Swissquote CEO, says “this is our first foray into the world of bitcoin,” while the partnership itself is probably the first of its kind, with a statement saying it represents “an important step forward in the integration of the traditional financial and bitcoin worlds.”
It may allow institutional investors to more easily participate in bitcoin trading, with other digital currencies, like ethereum, likely to follow as the statement says they plan to expand.
It follows yesterday’s announcement by a Swiss private bank, which said they are now offering their customers the ability to buy bitcoins with their cash holding.
That suggests Switzerland, in particular, is starting to integrate digital currencies within their current financial system, a very first.
A suggestion further strengthened by Crypto Valley’s Zug, which announced they are to offer their citizens an ethereum based digital identity that can be used for everyday interactions with the council.
“This is just the latest in a series of indicators that traditional financial institutions are recognising bitcoin’s potential and that they need reliable and regulated partners to work with,” Swissquote says.
Which means other banks are likely to follow as bitcoin and other digital currencies potentially turn into another asset you can easily buy from your current service providers.
Hopefully, this will also mean that cryptocurrency businesses can more easily open and maintain a bank account, which has been a continuous problem and remains somewhat unresolved, with some blockchain businesses accusing banks of engaging in anti-competitive behavior.
We haven’t heard of any such criticism towards Swiss banks, but if they indicate any friendliness in that area, which seems likely, competitive pressure may lead other banks in the same direction.