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  • B Vrettos and M Bacina

Banking for DeFi - the Swiss solution

Updated: May 3

Sygnum, which calls itself the worlds first digital asset bank, has launched a Swiss regulated decentralised finance (DeFi) offering. Sygnum has a Swiss banking license and a capital markets services license in Singapore which allows it to offer consumers in those jurisdictions access to institutional grade digital asset custody and regulated trading for a selection of DeFi tokens.

Sygnum's said:

Sygnum Bank ... has launched regulated banking services for leading decentralised finance (DeFi) tokens, Aave, Aragon, Curve, Maker, Synthetix, Uniswap and 1inch Network. Sygnum Bank also adds banking services for the stablecoin, USDC.
This significant expansion of Sygnum’s token offering marks the first milestone in Sygnum’s ambition to bridge centralised and decentralised finance (DeFi).

The move by a regulated bank into providing increased access to DeFi comes with increasing value in the DeFi space, with an increase from USD 1 Billion last year to USD 60 Billion this year.

Access to banking services while investing directly in DeFi tokens and institutional custody is step one. Sygnum then intends to expand its offering further by offering "a suite of DeFi yield-generating products and services".

All of these areas have seen serious traction in recent times.

Regulated custodial services are an essential ingredient to protecting consumers and giving institutions greater comfort around digital assets, and are a key factor in approaching regulated financial products which incorporate digital assets. This initial step is likely pivotal in Sygnum's plans to offer a suite of yield generating products.

The contrast of a Swiss Bank being so advanced as to be offering DeFi access is not missed in Australia given the problems digital asset companies regularly face in access to banking in Australia. We have previously written about the difficulty that Australian FinTech businesses have in accessing reliable banking and the Senate Select Committee into Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre's focus on de-banking over the next few months.

Access to banking is the backbone of business in a digital world and moves by banks and regulators to clearly signpost digital asset friendly approaches is sorely needed. The Senate Select Committee into Australia as a Technology and Financial Centre report addressing de-banking will be released in October which will hopefully address the international progress in providing reliable banking and the need for similar certainty in Australia for local FinTech and Blockchain and DeFi development.


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