Spain’s second largest bank BBVA will support digital currency

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Spain’s second-largest bank, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) is allegedly launching digital currency trading and custody services. BBVA currently has roughly $840 billion in assets and is expected to launch its digital currency offering in January 2021.

“There are still some compliance hurdles so this will not be in December, but I expect they [BBVA] will be live next month,” said an individual that is familiar with the matter. The same individual also said that BBVA will be launching its digital currency offering out of Switzerland, which has become a recent trend in the digital currency industry.

Why Switzerland?

In the past few months, we have seen digital currency exchanges FTX and Bittrex announce that they were launching tokenized stock trading thanks to their Swiss-based service partner, DigitalAssets.AG (DAAG). 

 Switzerland is one of the most forward-thinking finance epicenters of the world, and one of the best countries to be in when it comes to blockchain and digital currency. Many people refer to the Swiss Canton Zug as “crypto-valley” since it is the home to so many digital currency-related companies, including the Bitcoin Association.

Switzerland is an appealing location to set up shop as a digital currency business because it regulated the digital currency industry and has a lot of easy to understand guidelines for companies looking to operate out of Switzerland. 

BBVA is allegedly working with Swiss fintech company Avaloq and Swiss crypto custody infrastructure provider METACO to get their digital currency offering off the ground.

Will more banks offer digital currency services?

Earlier this year, we saw Kraken become the first digital currency bank, however, we have not seen very many traditional financial institutions launch digital currency offerings like BBVA plans to do. But it would not be surprising to see more traditional banks and financial institutions offer digital currency buy/sell support and custody services. There is clearly a growing demand for these services and if the legacy institutions do not add support for digital currency, they will lose out on business as digital currency users take their funds elsewhere.

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