Recent reports have been widespread regarding the banking industry viewing cryptocurrencies as a major threat to their business model. In the past week alone, comments have been reported from both Bank of America and JP Morgan Chase calling out the growing trend of cryptocurrencies as a risk they need to address. However, Lichtenstein-based bank Frick is going with the old mantra “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” and have revealed that they will begin offering cryptocurrencies as investment opportunities for their customers, along with cold storage as a way for customers to feel secure in their investments.
Frick customers can exchange USD or Swiss francs to purchase a range of five cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, Ethereum, and Ripple - essentially the top five cryptos according to CoinMarketCap. Customers are able to buy, sell, or even store their crypto assets in cold storage wallets created by the bank - a step that is likely very reassuring for customers who are not technologically-versed.
Frick’s Chief Client Officer Hubert Büchel explained the motivation behind the bank’s new offering:
“Our goal is to bring crypto banking at least to the level of quality of classic banking. Our services are in high demand from companies across Europe. The companies know that we reliably support them in implementing their cryptocurrency and blockchain business models in accordance with existing European regulations.”
"Intermediaries and their clients can easily get to know a new, exciting universe with these direct purchases, diversifying them and investing them without correlation to other asset classes. Investments in cryptocurrencies are highly speculative, which is why only a small amount of admixture in the portfolio is advisable.”
Frick is a fully regulated bank under both Lichtenstein and European Union laws, so Frick will be complying with all AML and KYC rules in accordance. Customers hoping to purchase cryptocurrencies will first need to go through a stringent verification and identification process.
Late last year, Klaus Stark, Thomas Nägele and Tobias Fitz founded the Crypto Country Association and stated that Lichtenstein could become a 'crypto country’ similar to how Switzerland has positioned Zug as an epicenter for cryptocurrency.