132-year-old Swiss bank will now offer crypto services
Julius Baer Group, one of the oldest banking services in Switzerland, considers the current turmoil in the crypto market as a 'potentially defining moment'
By Shashank Bhardwaj
Zurich-based Julius Baer Group, a 132-year-old private banking services provider, recently announced that the bank will provide crypto services to its wealthy clients. The bank has already initiated pilot programs on guidance, trading, and investments in cryptocurrencies for its rich clients.
The bank considers its new strategy as rightly timed at a ‘potentially defining moment’ for the digital asset sector. CEO Philipp Rickenbacher presented his views on the current state of crypto markets during an investor presentation, saying “It could well be at this very instant that we are witnessing a bubble-burst moment of the crypto-industry, and we all know what happened after the dot-com bubble burst 30 years ago. It paved the way for the emergence of a new sector that indeed transformed our lives.”
Rickenbacher continued saying how it is significant for the private bank “to gain a strong foothold in this area.” He said, “that’s why it’s exactly the right moment to invest in the long-term potential of digital asset technology.”
The bank aims to position itself at the intersection of ‘digital assets and the fiat world’ and has been convinced about the worth and future potential of crypto-assets since 2019.
Baer Group’s change in strategy is in sharp contrast to its rival UBS Group AG, another big Swiss bank, which isn’t promoting any offerings related to digital asset advising. On the other hand, Baer Bank has been gearing up to enter the digital asset space for quite some time now. In 2019, Baer took a stake in SEBA Crypto AG, one of Switzerland's two fully-regulated crypto banks.
Baer is equally revved up about the potential of decentralised finance in the future. The banking head said, “On the other hand, it’s also where traditional, cost-heavy and complex parts of the old banking system are today just rewritten with a few lines of code. As technology and traditional finance ultimately will converge, there is huge potential to really transform our value chains.”
The writer is the founder at yMedia. He ventured into crypto in 2013 and is an ETH maximalist. Twitter: @bhardwajshash