(Reuters) – MADRID (Reuters) – BBVA, a Spanish bank, announced on Friday that it was introducing a bitcoin trading service for private banking clients in Switzerland who are interested in investing in digital assets.
The bank said the new firm, which will begin on June 21, would offer bitcoin trading and custody services, with the goal of expanding to additional cryptocurrencies in the future. It said that it will not provide investing advice on these sorts of assets.
BBVA Switzerland’s Chief Executive Alfonso Gomez stated in a statement that during a slow roll-out, it has identified a “strong appetite” among investors for crypto-assets or digital assets to diversify their portfolios despite their volatility and high risk.
The launch of the trading facility coincides with a surge in institutional interest in bitcoin. As governments and central banks turn on the stimulus faucets, investors and some businesses see the biggest cryptocurrency as a hedge against inflation.
El Salvador has become the first government in the world to recognize bitcoin as legal tender, despite repeated warnings from central banks across the world that cryptocurrency investors can expect to lose all of their money.
In recent weeks, major economies including as China and the United States have signaled a harsher stance while formulating plans for their own central bank digital currencies.
According to a staff letter reviewed by Reuters, Goldman Sachs provided information of a cryptocurrency trading division in May.
BBVA announced on Friday that it will confine its new bitcoin service to Switzerland due to the country’s clear regulatory framework and significant use of digital assets.