SEBA Bank Secures SFC License, Expanding Crypto Services to Hong Kong

Switzerland-based cryptocurrency bank SEBA Bank has marked a significant milestone by obtaining a license from the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The license, granted on November 3rd, represents a crucial step for SEBA in expanding its cryptocurrency services in the Asia Pacific region. SEBA Hong Kong, a subsidiary of SEBA Bank, is now authorized to offer a range of cryptocurrency-related services within the area, as confirmed by the SFC’s official website.

SEBA Bank established its first Hong Kong office in November 2022, underlining its strategy to broaden its service spectrum in Asia. Following an initial permission in principle from the SFC in August 2023 for virtual asset trading services, the recent licensing confirms SEBA’s operational expansion outside its home country, including a presence in Abu Dhabi.

With this new license, SEBA can engage in the trading and distribution of all securities, encompassing digital asset-related products like over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives. Moreover, the license allows SEBA to provide advisory services on securities and digital assets and manage assets for discretionary accounts, which include both traditional and digital assets.

SEBA’s services, facilitated by this license, will cater to institutional and professional investors such as corporate treasuries, funds, family offices, and high-net-worth individuals. Franz Bergmueller, the Chief Executive Officer of SEBA, expressed enthusiasm in an official statement, highlighting Hong Kong’s pivotal role in the cryptocurrency economy since Bitcoin’s inception and the bank’s eagerness to contribute to Hong Kong’s digital asset market.

Hong Kong’s rigorous licensing system permits only a select few platforms to cater to both local and foreign clients, including retail customers. Upon the government’s announcement to license crypto-related businesses, approximately one hundred firms showed interest in establishing Hong Kong branches. However, only a handful have successfully navigated the regulatory landscape to obtain clearance.

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Swiss’ SEBA Bank Launches Regulated Custody Services for Blue Chip NFTs

SEBA bank, a crypto-friendly bank in Zug, Switzerland, on Wednesday, announced the launch of an NFT custody solution that gives customers the ability to hold Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) without the hassle of managing private keys themselves.

The Swiss bank said the new service is set to enable customers to store any Ethereum-based NFTs, especially blue-chip NFTs – those that are best-known and have consistently maintained a high market value such as CryptoPunks, Bored Apes, and Clone X.

SEBA Bank said the custody solution provides its clients with absolute confidence in the security of their NFTs, managed like any other digital asset.

Although the NFT market remains down from its peak in late 2021 and early this year, the assets are still attracting buyers.

Blue chip NFTs, which are often considered a good long-term investment, marked their best performance in April while May and June were their worst-performing periods in blue chip NFT history.

Sales of NFTs declined sharply in the third quarter, as crypto investors’ purchasing actions have been cooled down by crypto winter while central bank rate hikes prompt investors to ditch risky assets.

According to blockchain tracker DappRadar, the third quarter of this year recorded $3.4 billion in NFT sales, down from $8.4 billion the previous quarter and $12.5 billion at the market’s peak in the first quarter of the year.

Despite many NFT investors making losses on sale trades currently, the number of investors that hold their NFT investments continues to rise. In June and July alone, nearly 500,000 users joined the growing pool of NFT investors who intend to hold for the long term, taking the number of holders above 3 million at that time.

SEBA’s NFT custody service is a response to the increase in institutional investors looking to invest in the NFT landscape. A spokesperson from SEBA Bank further disclosed that major market participants also need a regulated custodian to ensure the security and integrity of NFTs.

At first, SEBA said its custody offering is open for existing and new customers who must be institutional or professional investors.

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Deutsche Börse Taps SEBA Bank as the New Issuer of Crypto ETNs

Deutsche Börse and SEBA Bank have formed a collaboration that has seen the digital asset bank start issuing four crypto products tradable on the electronic trading platform Xetra and via the Börse Frankfurt stock exchange for the first time.

Xetra is a trading technology platform operated by Börse Frankfurt, both owned by the Deutsche Börse Group, a German capital market company offering a marketplace organised for trading shares and other securities.

SEBA Bank announced on Monday that it has listed the four Exchange Traded Notes (ETNs) at Börse Frankfurt, a major stock exchange that connects European economies to global capital markets.

SEBA Bank’s newly listed ETNs are designed to give investors an easy way to access the performance of the crypto such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Polkadot, and other cryptocurrencies. Such ETNs also track the performance of the multi-coin SEBA Crypto Asset Select Index (SEBAX), a dynamic, risk-optimized digital assets market index with broad market exposure to the crypto-asset market that comprises cryptos like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Litecoin, Cardano, Polkadot, and Avalanche.

SEBA Bank stated that the ETNs are physically collateralised by the respective underlying cryptos and are available to investors in the two trading currencies Euro and US dollar.

With the listing of the new products from SEBA Bank, Deutsche Börse is expanding further its range of centrally cleared crypto exchange-traded notes (ETNs) on Xetra. The crypto ETNs trading on its flagship electronic trading platform Xetra is 81 products from eleven providers on 20 individual cryptocurrencies and seven crypto indices.

With an average monthly order book turnover of about €900 million on Xetra, Deutsche Börse has become a market leader in trading crypto ETNs in Europe.

Responding to Consumer Demands

SEBA was launched in 2018 as a crypto bank that provides cryptocurrency trading and custody to institutional clients. The firm obtained a Swiss banking license from FINMA in 2019.

Based in Zug, Switzerland, SEBA Bank continues to offer a seamless, secure, and easy-to-use bridge between digital and traditional assets. The company’s banking services allow clients to secure, trade and manage cryptos, digital assets, and conventional securities all in one place.

In October last year, SEBA Bank introduced a product that allows institutional clients to earn a yield on their crypto holdings. SEBA Earn enables institutions to generate income from proof-of-stake protocols such as Polkadot, Tezos and Cardano. The platform also allows customers to lend Bitcoin and Ether through the bank.

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Bitcoin Bulls Should Gear Up, SEBA CEO Predicts $75K ATH in 2022

The new year brings with it new expectations for all market investors, including those in the digital currency ecosystem.

Suppose expert opinions are to serve as a basis for reckoning. In that case, Bitcoin bulls are to gear up for an eventful year as Guido Buehler, the Chief Executive Officer of crypto-focused Swiss-based SEBA Bank, is optimistic that the digital currency will grow to a new ATH of $75,000 this year. 

This is a very modest forecast compared to earlier predictions by prominent market analysts who say Bitcoin will top $100,000 by the end of 2021. The position of Guido Buehler is, however, strongly based on the firm’s analytic models, as the CEO affirmed at the Crypto Finance Conference in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

“We believe the price is going up,” Guido said, adding, “Our internal valuation models indicate a price right now between $50,000 and $75,000. “I’m quite confident we are going to see that level. The question is always timing.”

Bitcoin did not start the year on a very positive note as it plunged to a 5-months low of $39,796.57 earlier this week amidst growing concerns of the Fed’s increasing interest rate that can stir an exodus of investors from the nascent and volatile crypto industry into traditional investment products. 

However, Bitcoin price has started experiencing a bullish consolidation in what many hopes will be a sustained uptrend. The optimistic stance of Guido is based on his belief that institutional investors are likely to start taking new positions in the crypto ecosystem. 

“Institutional money will probably drive the price up,” he said. “We are working as a fully regulated bank. We have asset pools that are looking for the right times to invest.”

Despite his optimism, Guido believes the price of Bitcoin will not just trend upward but rather will experience volatility at intermittent times.

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Swiss-Based SEBA Bank Launches Tokenized Gold Services for Clients

Switzerland-based digital banking service provider, SEBA Bank AG has launched tokenized gold services for its customers.

Per a Forbes report, holders of the Ethereum network-based digital token will be able to redeem it for physical gold with any of SEBA’s partner refineries. 

The SEBA digital token is an entirely different product compared to other more gold-backed traditional investment instruments such as Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) as holders of these tokens can actually redeem them for actual gold on a ratio of 1 to 1. Per the Forbes report, citing Guido Buehler, SEBA Bank’s Chief Executive, the new gold token is described as a major “landmark achievement” for the precious metal industry.

“As issuance and custody of the token is managed by a Swiss bank with a banking and securities dealer license, the token platform can be trusted by institutional investors to offer a secure and regulated platform for investment,” he said. “In addition, the custody of the physical gold is with regulated Swiss firms, ensuring that asset security is held paramount for both the digital and physical nature of the product.”

SEBA is a regulated digital asset banking services provider that is known for its highly compliant products. The new gold-backed digital assets also follow this compliance path and can also function as a full-fledged stablecoin like USDT and USDC. While it is not the first to float this kind of product as other players, including Paxos Trust Company had already pioneered the move, SEBA says its gold tokens will brandish additional utilities that will make them worth the hold. 

Amongst the potential products in the pipeline include the likelihood of introducing yield earning with the gold stablecoins.

“Investors are looking for exposure to a broad range of assets, including stablecoins, crypto yield products, and tokenized assets,” Buehler said. “SEBA Bank is catering to this demand and opening access to the gold markets for investors in the form of a regulated, cost-effective, and future-proof digital token.”

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SEBA Bank launches regulated gold token to enable digital ownership of physical gold

On Dec. 15, SEBA Bank, a licensed Swiss digital assets banking platform, launched a regulated digital token backed by physical gold and exchangeable for delivery. SEBA claimed that due to its regulatory-compliant nature and the low volatility of gold prices, the gold token could eventually be used as a stablecoin for on-chain transactions.

In other words, the design of the gold token bears similarity to gold standards, where fiat currencies are backed by their exchangeability to physical gold in addition to faith entrusted in governments that issue them. In 1971, U.S. President Richard Nixon took the dollar off the gold standard, where it was established that every $35 in dollars could be exchanged for one ounce of gold as per the 1944 Bretton Woods system.

Gold-backed currencies are known for their ability to eliminate hyperinflation — a common fear among crypto enthusiasts. However, they also bear the downside of prolonging economic depressions as governments’ ability to print stimulus is restricted by gold supply. No country in the world currently operates on gold or silver standards.

Buehler explained the development in the following statement:

“Redeemable directly from refineries on-demand at any time; our gold token removes the frictions of owning gold for investors and provides a cost-effective solution for owning the asset fit for purpose in the new economy.”

Previously, SEBA launched a program for users to earn yields on crypto. It is the first bank in the country to have received a digital custody license.