Zurich-headquartered private bank Falcon now accepts wealth originating from crypto assets, the group announced.
As a result, existing and new private banking clients are able to place their wealth originating from crypto assets and convert it into fiat currency.
The process is subject to an anti money laundering screening and requires full identification of the client, it has been audited by PricewaterhouseCoopers and is, according to Falcon Bank, in line with local regulatory compliance provisions.
In July last year, Falcon had announced that it now offered to buy Bitcoins for its clients, claiming to be the first private bank offering these services. It was followed up by a limited number of Swiss banks, including Swissquote Bank and IG Bank which now also offer Bitcoin trading.
They were followed by US Derivatives Market Chicago Board Options Exchange and other US derivatives markets which now offer bitcoin futures.
Private banks have been reluctant to accept bitcoins as an alternative to traditional currencies, as JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon branded cryptocurrencies as “a fraud”. Similarly, Paul Donovan, chief economist at Swiss UBS Wealth Management warned that cryptocurrencies could be “the bubble to end all bubbles.”
At the same time, Central Banks have taken a cautiously progressive stance towards cryptocurrencies. While Swiss central bank chairman Thomas Jordan argued that they constitute more of “an investment rather than a currency”, the Bank of England confirmed in December last year plans to announce its own digital currency.