This past summer, a Switzerland-based blockchain investment company called CV VC, and a Swiss audit and advisory firm known as PwC, in collaboration with Cointelegraph, put together an in-depth report on the top blockchain companies and what they are up to in their distinct sectors.
The report lists eight separate categories. Cointelegraph hosted a previous panel on Sept. 9 discussing blockchain’s impact on the art industry — the first category on the list. Moving down that list, Cointelegraph hosted a second live panel on YouTube on Sept. 22, talking about brokers and banks involvement in the crypto and blockchain space — the second of eight planned events.
As digital assets continue to gain adoption, traditional banks and brokerages see the need to adapt to the changing landscape. Additionally, banks and brokerages with a focus on crypto have also surfaced, creating a transitional period as a whole.
The discussion hosted commentary from four experts in the banking and brokerage sector: Stefan P. Schwitter, head of investments at Seba Bank, Mathias Imbach, co-founder of Sygnum Bank and CEO of Sygnum Singapore, Dave Chapman, executive director at BC Group, the entity in charge of the Asian institutional digital asset platform OSL, and Mauro Casellini, CEO at Bitcoin Suisse Liechtenstein.
The panel touched on several interesting points surrounding various aspects of banking and brokerage involvement in the crypto space. A notable portion of the discussion referenced the world’s changing financial landscape. “We are in between two worlds almost,” Imbach said of the current transitionary period. The Sygnum Bank co-founder explained future days in which users see better access and control of their funds.
With regard to mainstream banks, as well as those in the crypto industry, Schwitter mentioned the opportunity to offer an array of services at a single location. “We strive to be sort of the one-stop-shop for clients interested in digital assets,” he said, explaining his definition of the functions crypto-native banks hold. “Not just trading, not just exchange, but tokenization services, lending, custody, investment products.”
The panel also discussed the traditional banks adapting into the world of digital assets. Casellini explained the importance of mainstream banks getting their feet wet in the industry, noting that some of them have already begun the process. “The question is always there — should they do it by themself, or should they work together with players like Bitcoin Suisse, OSL, Seba, Sygnum, because then they can still focus on the traditional banking but as soon as the race starts, and it’s getting bigger and bigger, they do not lose,” he explained.
Chapman pointed toward a lack of banks that offer crypto involvement. “Similarly, the number of banks that provide direct access to crypto to its own customers is almost non-existent,” he said. “Fortunately, we’re graced with both Seba and Sygnum banks,” he added. “I think, historically speaking, the banking world has shied away from this space.”
JPMorgan Chase serves as a prime example. The CEO of the traditional banking giant bashed crypto in 2017. Roughly three years later, the institution entered the space.
The hour-long panel covered a plethora of other topics and points, including crypto exchange Kraken receiving a U.S. banking charter, as well as a few questions from the live YouTube audience.
Missed the panel? Check it out on Youtube here, or watch it below.