For better or for worse, banks have been tracking bitcoin (BTC) and cryptocurrencies for years. Some show skepticism, while others have decided to adopt it to design new business models.
One of these banks with a more open position is the Spanish BBVA, which recently activated the bitcoin trading service at its subsidiary in Switzerland. It is an alternative for private banking clients who want to have exposure to the first cryptocurrency on the market.
In a recent interview with Alicia Pertusa, head of strategy at Client BBVA Solutions , the bank highlighted that one of the priorities is to give its clients access to the new cryptocurrency markets . In addition, the executive expressed her opinion about which are the variables that would be driving a greater demand for bitcoin on a global scale.
“On the one hand, the greater regulatory normalization at a global level. On the other hand, the greater technological maturity of service providers in crypto. Based on our experience, the interested profiles are mostly private or institutional banking clients who want to diversify their portfolio by investing a small percentage in crypto assets, “said Pertusa.
The chief strategy officer added that the customer segment Individuals also want to explore the possibility of investing in these types of assets. When asked about the change of opinion of some investors about bitcoin, who associated the cryptocurrency with allegedly illegal practices, Pertusa cited two factors that would have influenced the new point of view of the operators.
The first is that security agencies have become more involved in monitoring their use to prevent laundering of money and terrorist financing. The second is the development of tools to analyze the transactions that are recorded in the Bitcoin network, for example.
In the past bitcoin has been accused of being used mostly for dubious activities, something that was refuted by the head of strategy at BBVA. Pertusa recalled that illicit practices account for less than 1.5% of all bitcoin transactions. In the case of national currencies, the figure is between 2% and 5%, according to the UN.
«The truth is that the vast majority of transactions with cryptocurrencies leave more traces than money cash, and even that electronic money. You just have to have the tools and adequate knowledge to be able to use all the information provided by the chain of blocks “, pointed out Pertusa.
Service for the active bitcoin trading
CriptoNoticias requested information from BBVA on how the operations of its service for the sale of bitcoin are progressing in its subsidiary in Switzerland. In a communication sent to this newspaper on January 26, the bank indicated: “the service has been gradually starting up throughout January. We have started with a small group of users ».
When asked about exchange volumes or if the application was developed natively by BBVA or in association with third parties , the institution said that it is still early to talk about volumes or details of the operation because the service is still starting . The platform was developed “between BBVA and third parties to respond to our needs and objectives.”
The bitcoin purchase and sale operations in the bank’s Swiss subsidiary could be the first step for a potential expansion of the service to other markets in Europe or Latin America. On this point, the executive stated that they analyze other options as long as they meet the appropriate conditions such as regulation, maturity, knowledge and demand.
According to a report released by CriptoNoticias in December of last year, BBVA chose to launch the service in Switzerland due to a more advanced regulatory framework on crypto assets. Now, going forward, the bank could offer tokenized products such as bonds or stocks, if there is demand and development conditions.
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