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  • Writer's pictureTeam Sygnum

Sygnum Bank on digital asset innovation at Davos 2020

Last month, global leaders gathered for the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos-Klosters, which marked its 50th anniversary. This year’s theme was climate change “Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World” alongside industry topics of digital asset banking and RegTech innovation.

On January 22nd, Sygnum Bank led a panel discussion which showcased the important topic of Global AML Regulations in Practice'. Gino Wirthensohn, Sygnum Bank’s Head of RegTech, was joined on the panel by industry peers from Lykke Business, L3COS and SEBA.

Sygnum Bank also sponsored the CV Summit Davos at the InterContinental Hotel, one of the hubs for the World Economic Forum event. Attended by over 200 industry leaders and hosted by Daniel Ramamoorthy, the event featured panels including What are the new digital assets?”, “Digital assets - hype or reality?” and “Tokenization opportunities in the corporate world”. On January 23, Martin Burgherr, Sygnum’s Chief Clients Officer shared Sygnum Bank’s perspectives on institutional-grade trust and innovation on the panel ‘Banking on Crypto - How does Switzerland continue to lead?’.

"We are not only inventing a new kind of bank and way of banking, but also making a new asset class bankable."

Martin Burgherr, Sygnum Bank's Chief Clients Officer

The panel, which also included Dr. Arthur Vayloyan, the CEO of Bitcoin Suisse, also discussed the level of digital asset literacy needed to drive further adoption. Martin argued that “there is a steep learning curve for digital assets, but this is now rapidly changing due to the regulatory clarity, especially in Switzerland and Singapore, and the presence of the new class of digital asset banks like Sygnum. This is an ongoing process. For us, it’s important to have an open dialogue and the drive for change. This allows us to grow, innovate in new areas and develop global ecosystems”.

Sygnum in particular, with its status as being the first digital asset bank to receive its licence and become operational, was challenged as to why, in this decentralized world, new banks were actually needed.

Martin Burgherr, Sygnum Chief Clients Officer, and Gorazd Ocvirk, Sygnum Head of Fintech and DLT services

Martin’s response also gave insight into the reason why Sygnum was founded. He said “Not everyone would be comfortable with their asset manager, in addition to managing their assets, also holding their private keys. This is one of the ways we contribute to the digital asset economy, by bringing institutional-grade trust. More people will start to think ‘now someone will keep my digital assets completely safe, so I can focus on my investments and easily hold, buy and trade them online like other assets”. So, we are not only inventing a new kind of bank and way of banking, but also making a new asset class bankable”

Davos 2020 Sygnum Team Attendees: Gino Wirthensohn, Head of RegTech, Martin Burgherr, Chief Client Officer, Dom Castley, CMO, Gorazd Ocvirk, Head Fintech & DLT Services, Lukas Hug, VP Product Management and Digital Assets Compliance Officer.

OpenVASP: An Open Protocol to Implement FATF’s Travel Rule for Virtual Assets. WhitePaper, David Riegelnig, Bitcoin Suisse, November 14, 2019

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