Categories: Crypto & Market

BBVA Switzerland Is Going Big With Cryptocurrency

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A breath of fresh air is blowing into the cryptocurrency world with the Swiss bank, BBVA Switzerland giving it a big push.

 just as Bitcoin and its peers are experiencing a pause in their heartbeat due to the summer in the United States.

And this is very good news because most banks are either sceptical of Bitcoin or fighting a war against the volatile digital currency.

Some banks are fighting for survival because they do not want crypto users in their jurisdictions to have access to them. 

It will either harm their role as a bank, being the cash dispenser, or tarnish their reputation as a serious money-holding entity.

Bitcoin is a decentralised monetary system. It is also a tool that is only controlled by the currency’s user owner and is easier to move and store. You can store it in a pen drive or thumb drive whatever you call it.

BBVA Switzerland

The Swiss subsidiary of the Spanish bank BBVA has announced the expansion of its integrated crypto service.

The bank initially provided Bitcoin trading and custody services, which have now been expanded to include Ether. Using a personalised wallet, both cryptocurrencies can now be automatically exchanged for any fiat currency on the BBVA app.

This service is built on Avaloq’s Crypto-Assets solution, and the crypto management system, as well as other asset classes, is integrated with Avaloq’s banking platforms.

The upgrade allows investors to invest in both traditional and crypto assets in the same portfolio. According to a BBVA Switzerland representative, Ether was added because the cryptocurrency provides all guarantees for regulatory compliance. Furthermore, BBVA Switzerland intends to expand its digital asset portfolio throughout 2022.

The big deal

In September last year, BBVA became one of the first banks to offer cryptocurrency for non-accredited investors.

Given bankers’ and central banks’ aversion to Bitcoin in most parts of the world, the BBVA move is a boon for those who believe in the crypto world.

Even though many of their customers are interested in cryptocurrencies, few European banks are interested in opening up their banks to serve the customers.

BBVA, through its global private banking arm in Switzerland, is one of the few that is actively participating, experimenting with different market protocols and educating itself as well as its clients, says The Banker in an editorial on this phenomenon.

BBVA Switzerland’s crypto-asset service, which includes trading and custody, was first made available to all customers in June 2021.

It began with bitcoin and, by the end of the year, had added ether to its investment portfolio. The bank only provides execution and not cryptocurrency trading advice. But its a start.

“When we realised how strong blockchain technology was a few years ago, we decided to analyse where the potential business opportunities were for the BBVA group and BBVA Switzerland, and, even more crucially, how we can put these opportunities in the hands of our customers,” says Alfonso Gómez, CEO, BBVA Switzerland. “We have the responsibility to create these new paths of investments.”

And despite the current ‘crypto winter’ that is still ongoing and has caused many to lose confidence and sometimes faith in the digital currencies, BBVA is not bending down.

The learning curve

The bank acknowledges that it is still figuring out how to use cryptocurrencies and that it will probably take some time before both consumers and bankers get an advantage.

“Customers are in a learning process, as we are, and are dealing much more today than six months ago. Likewise, we have almost double assets under management in the crypto space than we had six months ago, even though the market has gone down almost 40%,” he says.

But we believe that once people know how to HODL, they will benefit largely from BTC and Ethereum or other valuable coins.

Everything needs a learning curve and everyone needs to learn how to adapt and use modern tools. This is not different for BTC or Ether.

Time to buy!

While BTC and Ether suffered losses – in the banking jargon – falling by 46% and 54% since January this year, the early investors who kept their cash stashed in crypto did not suffer losses.

Since its launch in January 2009, the price of bitcoin has fluctuated wildly, but its long-term direction has been higher. In financial terms, it has been “up and to the right.” Which is good news.

The fall in BTC this year is also good news. It is time to buy!

It is not always possible to get Bitcoin at the current prices. Today it is at $20,276.79. See the graph above. You will see how low it was in 2009 and how high it went a year ago.

See the series of graphs below:

The best game with BTC and other coins is to buy when they are at their lows and hold until the time you want to sell when they are at their highs!

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Kazi Mahmood

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