After two years as a regulated Swiss bank, Sygnum now looks forward to its next phase of growth
Sygnum received its Swiss banking and securities dealer licence on 26 August 2019, and within four days fulfilled all secondary criteria for the licence to take full legal force – becoming the world’s first digital asset bank. Two years on, the bank now has significantly more than CHF 1 billion in assets under administration, with a product offering that includes the frontier opportunities of the digital asset space. We now look forward to opening up in a next phase of growth and the realisation of Future Finance.
Future has heritage – Sygnum’s strategy to take the “regulated” path
When Sygnum was first conceptualised at the end of 2017, digital assets were in the early stages of development and largely unregulated. The invention of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies introduced the concept of a “trust-less” and decentralised monetary system which eliminates the need for centralised financial institutions. Early proponents of digital assets believed that blockchain technology would make regulation obsolete in a new generation of finance.
However, successful financial markets are built on a long history of trust – trust in financial institutions, and more importantly, in a financial regulator that ensures the various participants in the industry are protected. For Sygnum, Future Finance is the emergence of a trusted, secure, and efficient digital asset economy which strengthens and continues this heritage. For this reason, our strategy from the start has been to take the “regulated” path, and we received our Swiss banking and securities dealer licence two years ago on 26 August 2019.
Growth and innovation in the digital asset space, with increasing regulatory clarity
Since then, the digital asset space has grown and matured significantly – rising adoption of digital assets during this time has resulted in the value of cryptocurrencies increasing exponentially, from USD 190 billion at the end of 2019 to more than USD 2 trillion today. A new wave of digital asset innovation is also bringing with it a boom in decentralised finance (DeFi) as well as the development of more sophisticated, scalable, and secure blockchain platforms.
With this, digital assets are becoming an established asset class which financial regulators are seeking to embrace, especially in forward-looking jurisdictions such as Switzerland and Singapore. Existing laws and regulations are being amended or augmented to accommodate the needs of digital assets, and the practices of service providers are coming under greater regulatory scrutiny.
Sygnum, two years on – looking ahead to opening up and the next phase of growth
As a regulated Swiss bank and a digital asset specialist, Sygnum has found itself well placed in this environment, and the bank has seen its assets under administration grow to significantly more than CHF 1 billion. At the same time, we have built an organisation that is grounded in values and passionate about realising Future Finance, empowering everyone, everywhere with more direct access to ownership and value.
To do this, Sygnum leverages the advantages of distributed ledger technology (DLT) to serve our clients with innovative products and services within today’s regulatory frameworks. In the past year, we have expanded our product offering to include the frontier opportunities of the digital asset space – ranging from decentralised finance (DeFi), to tokenized assets in fine wine and art masterpieces, or yield generation through staking. Clients can access all this through a regulated Swiss bank, which complies with all applicable anti-money laundering (AML) and counter-terrorist financing (CTF) standards.
Having established a strong base as a digital asset bank, Sygnum now looks forward to opening up in a next phase of growth. This will come with a greater emphasis on technology innovation and scalability, as well as engagement with the overall ecosystem – creating open-source projects, establishing common standards, and further investments in research and insights into the digital asset market.
We would like to thank our clients, investors, ecosystem partners, as well as the Sygnum team for the support during these first two years as a bank. This is the start of an incredible journey towards the realisation of Future Finance and we are excited for the many possibilities that lie ahead.
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