Switzerland-based banking and financial services provider UBS Group AG appears to be the next to break even. Reports released earlier this week said the banking group is considering various alternatives to offer investments in digital currencies.
UBS joins the club
The news doesn’t come long after major U.S. firms like Goldman Sachs and Citi are linked with similar moves. Goldman recently started trading non-deliverable forwards tied to Bitcoin. Citi has been reported to be considering crypto services, and Morgan Stanley and the Bank of New York Mellon are also participating. Goldman’s crypto desk was reopened and put on hold for about three years.
UBS Group representatives said in a statement: “We are closely following developments in the field of digital assets. What is important is that we are most interested in the technology that underlies digital assets, namely distributed ledger technology. “UBS Group spends approximately $ 3.5 billion annually on maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure and innovating new tools for employees and products for clients, according to the Bloomberg report that published the news.
The report also quoted the news that Swiss competitor Julius Baer is talking about giving customers access to crypto access.
Related reading | Goldman Sachs is applying for an ETF with the option to invest in Bitcoin
The clientele & perspective
It is reported that UBS takes the volatility of cryptocurrencies heavily into account and, accordingly, is likely to only allow a small portion of the total assets of customers for a crypto investment offering. Additionally, the company will only match the investment to its wealthier asset class. Options for these investors are likely to include investing through third-party investment vehicles.
The news comes just months after UBS Group raised concerns about the published guidelines for clients. In the published report, the company stated that they “would not rule out further price increases,” but were also “skeptical of significant real-world use cases”, making it difficult for the company to “estimate fair value for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies” . The report added that “there is little in it [UBS] to prevent the price of a cryptocurrency from dropping to zero when a better crafted version is released or when regulatory changes dampen sentiment. ”
BTC's historical volatility has been countered with increasing stability recently | Source: BTC-USD on TradingView.com
UBS Group & The Swiss Landscape
UBS is Switzerland’s largest investment bank in terms of total assets and offers a wide range of financial services. This move would be the first of its kind for UBS, but other Swiss banks (outside of Julius Baer mentioned above) are also trying to get aggressive in the cryptocurrency space, such as Swissquote, which entered into a partnership with digital asset provider Taurus last month is. Switzerland recently introduced laws that opened the door to blockchain finance in the code.
Related reading | Why the Fed chairman considers Bitcoin to be a gold substitute
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