Swiss Retail Bank to Offer Cryptocurrency Services

PostFinance, a retail bank owned by the Swiss government, has announced plans to offer its customers cryptocurrency trading and storage services. The bank has partnered with local cryptocurrency bank Sygnum to provide regulated digital asset banking services. Customers will be able to buy, store, and sell major cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ether.

The partnership with Sygnum enables PostFinance to offer these services through Sygnum’s institutional business-to-business platform. This platform provides banks with market entry to regulated and compliant digital products, including a range of cryptocurrencies. The B2B network includes more than 15 partner banks and supports revenue-generating services like staking.

PostFinance’s move into the cryptocurrency market comes amid growing interest and adoption of digital assets worldwide. With the rise of blockchain technology and the decentralization of finance, many traditional financial institutions are exploring ways to integrate cryptocurrencies into their offerings. PostFinance’s partnership with Sygnum positions the bank to provide its customers with access to the growing cryptocurrency market.

As a fully government-owned bank, PostFinance is subject to strict regulatory requirements. The partnership with Sygnum ensures that the bank’s cryptocurrency services are fully compliant with local regulations, providing customers with a secure and regulated platform for trading and storing digital assets.

The collaboration with Sygnum also provides PostFinance with access to the expertise and technology of a leading player in the cryptocurrency space. Sygnum is a licensed Swiss bank that offers a range of institutional-grade cryptocurrency services, including custody, trading, and tokenization. With its deep experience in the cryptocurrency market, Sygnum is well-positioned to provide PostFinance with the tools and support needed to offer its customers cutting-edge digital asset services.

In summary, PostFinance’s partnership with Sygnum represents a significant step forward for the bank as it seeks to enter the cryptocurrency market. With the ability to offer customers regulated cryptocurrency trading and storage services, PostFinance is well-positioned to capture a share of the growing digital asset market. By leveraging the expertise and technology of Sygnum, PostFinance can provide its customers with a secure and compliant platform for buying, selling, and storing digital assets, including Bitcoin and Ether.


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SBI, Sygnum, and Azimut Jointly Established a $75M Venture Capital Fund for Crypto Startups

Japanese financial giant SBI Group, Swiss bank of digital asset management Sygnum, and Italy’s Azimut Group jointly raised a $75 million venture capital fund in Singapore Thursday, aiming to invest in capable start-up companies in the digital asset field.

This new fund company brought together the capital of these three companies with senior experience in the field of digital assets and registered as a variable capital company.

SBI Venture Capital will assume the management position of the fund and will lock the investment target to focus on the pre-A round and A round companies who aim at the development of blockchain/distributed ledger technology (DLT) infrastructure, decentralized finance (DeFi) solutions, and regulatory technology tools.

The digital asset economy is expected to flourish in various fields in the future. According to the official announcement, it is expected that by 2027, 10% of the global GDP will use DLT infrastructure.

From SBI Ven Capital CEO and Managing Director Lin Ryosuke Hayashi said:

“DLT and digital assets are at the inflection point of mainstream adoption, and they have the potential to reduce inefficiencies and unlock new capabilities across several sectors, such as financial services and supply chain management. Amidst this backdrop, we are excited to launch this latest venture capital focused fund offering with our partners, Sygnum and Azimut.”

Statistics show that the amount of venture capital flowing into the digital asset industry this year has increased from about 5% of the total last year to 6%.

In the first half of 2021 alone, global investment in blockchain/DLT and cryptocurrency companies has exceeded 17 billion U.S. dollars, a five-fold increase from 2019.

All kinds of data indicate that the digital asset industry has entered a rapid growth in the form of exponential. The fund created by the three companies will also participate in the trend of maintaining a wide range of diversification in global investment opportunities

As reported by Blockchain.News on September 3, the Japanese Financial Giant SBI Group stated that it will launch its first cryptocurrency fund in Japan before the end of November this year to provide Japanese investors with a more diverse portfolio.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Swiss Bank Sygnum to Issue NFTs for Original Picasso

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Swiss digital asset bank Sygnum has partnered with art investment pioneer Artemundi to tokenize Pablo Picasso’s 1964 painting “Fillette au béret.”

Sygnum Tokenizes Picasso

Investors can now purchase “shares” in fine art ownership on the blockchain.

Sygnum has become the first bank to offer tokenized ownership rights of a fine art piece using blockchain technology, the bank announced Thursday. Investors will have the opportunity to purchase “shares” in art pieces called Art Security Tokens (ASTs). The ownership rights are then broadcast to a public blockchain by the bank and are recognized under Swiss law. 

The first piece Sygnum will offer this way is Picasso’s 1964 painting “Fillette au béret” (Little girl in beret). The painting will be divided into 4,000 NFT shares, with each one priced at approximately $1,087. Once purchased, owners can then trade the tokens on Sygnum’s digital asset trading platform, SygnEx. Though the press release didn’t specify which blockchain it would use, NFTs are most frequently found on Ethereum. 

The bank hopes that tokenizing fine art will lower barriers to investment and open up the market to new investors. Commenting on the move, Sygnum CEO and co-founder Mathias Imbach stated:

“It has been Sygnum’s mission from the start to empower investors with more direct access to ownership and value. The tokenization of the Fillette au béret exemplifies how we bring our mission to reality, unlocking a universe of unique investment opportunities that can be made accessible to many. “

By tokenizing works of fine art, the bank hopes to eliminate costly intermediaries and bring much-needed transparency to the market. 

Sygnum’s offering is not the first time Picasso’s work has made its way onto the blockchain. In 2018, the late John McAfee partnered with crypto asset exchange to create a single NFT representing a work by Picasso. Earlier this year, NFT artwork also made headlines when Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5,000 Days” NFT sold for $69.34 million at Christie’s. 

Disclosure: At the time of writing, the author of this feature owned BTC and ETH.

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Swiss Digital Asset Bank Sygnum Partnered with Artemundi to Issue Picasso NFT Painting for $6K per Share

The Swiss bank of digital asset management, Sygnum, announced that it has partnered with industry-leading art investment company Artemundi to sell the ownership stake in Pablo Picasso’s NFT painting at $6,000 per share.

According to a report by Reuters on Thursday, the painting sold this time entitled “Fillette au beret”, which was innovated in 1964. Last time, the art piece was sold by an auction house called Uppsala Auktionskammare for 21.4 million Swedish Kronor for approximately $2.48 million in 2016.

This time, this painting is tokenised through blockchain technology so that all kinds of buyers can participate in the process of owning the masterpiece. The subscription is expected to start at the end of July, with a total value of approximately 4 million Swiss francs ($3.68 million).

Artemundi company said that:

“This marks the first time the ownership rights in a Picasso, or any artwork, are being broadcast onto the public blockchain by a regulated bank.”

The transaction will be settled in Swiss francs (CHF) using Sygnum’s local Swiss Franc stable currency, DCHF, protected by Swiss law.

This is not the first time that the master’s outstanding paintings to be sold in NFT format. Crypto art being bought and sold as ERC-721 non-fungible tokens (NFT) has been making headlines based on the record-breaking sales being witnessed.

On September 21 of 2020,  a crypto art piece had marked the first time and had been bought for at least $100,000, following the unprecedented sale of “Matt Kane’s Right Place & Right Time” on Async. art. This served as a signal to show the untapped potential in this emerging market.

In addition, the world’s first digital asset bank Sygnum Bank founded in Swiss and Singapore heritage announced to be the first bank accepting Ethereum 2.0 as reported by Blockchain.News on July 7.

Customers of Sygnum Bank could pledge Ethereum through Sygnum’s banking platform and safely store the Ethereum in their personal accounts. At present, it generates up to a 7% yield every year.

Image source: Shutterstock


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Master-pieces: Swiss bank issuing NFT shares in Picasso painting for $6K each

Digital asset-focused Swiss Bank, Sygnum, has teamed up with art investment firm Artemundi to offer fractionalized ownership shares in a Pablo Picasso painting for $6,000 each.

Shares representing ownership over $3.68 million Picasso painting, “Fillette au béret,” will be tokenized and issued via blockchain technology, allowing a wide variety of investors to gain exposure to the artwork.

The nonfungible tokens (NFTs) can be exclusively purchased by sophisticated and institutional investors through Sygnum Bank, with secondary trade set to take place on SygnEx — the bank’s digital asset trading platform.

Trades will be settled in Swiss Francs (CHF) using Sygnum’s native CHF stablecoin, DCHF. Fractionalized ownership over the painting will be recognized by Swiss law.

The 1964 painting depicts a beret-capped child in brightly coloured clothes, and was last sold for $2.48 million in 2016. The physical painting will not be sold, with the artwork slated to remain at a high-security facility when it is not being loaned to museums for exhibition.

Artemundi co-owner, Javier Lumbreras, emphasized the revolutionary utility offered by fractionalized ownership through NFTs stating:

“Artistic, cultural objects of universal appeal, once reserved for an elite group of collectors or the museums, can now be safely and directly owned without the burden of high entry barriers.”

“The art market is absurdly opaque and inefficient, but these traits will soon be relics of a bygone age,” he added.

Picasso on the blockchain

Sygnum is not the first company looking to tokenize the work of Picasso.

In June, Soethby’s auction house announced it had teamed up with Mira Imaging with plans to auction Picasso’s work “Le peintre et son modèle” alongside an Ethereum-based non-fungible token created by scanning “every micron” of the painting’s surface to create a “unique encrypted signature” representing the work.

Using a Looking Glass scanner, the NFT could be scanned to confirm the authenticity of the work. However, the NFT offering was scrapped by Sotehby’s, with the painting selling for $3.12 million without an nonfungible counterpart.

Related: Winner spends a fortune in crypto on Sotheby’s diamond auction

Last month also saw the launch of “The Burned Picasso” project from artist collective, Unique.One Community.

After displaying a Picasso sketch at a gallery in Denver, an NFT representing the artwork was minted at the end of the June, with the picture’s physical form getting incinerated.

The NFT auction will be live for the next two weeks, with a starting price set at 0.25 ETH (roughly $500). The auction winner will also receive the framed burnt remnants of original artwork.

In 2018, John McAfee teamed up with DLT platform Maecenas and crypto exchange Ethershift to auction an ERC-721 token representing ownership over a Picasso artwork.

Fillette au béret (Source: Artemundi)