The Russian bank Gazprombank launches several bitcoin (BTC) services in Switzerland. They start with bitcoin custodial services and the buying and selling of BTC is also an option for their customers.
For the time being, Jan with the cap cannot become a customer, they focus on companies and institutions in Switzerland. This specifically concerns the Swiss branch of Gazprombank.
Services around bitcoin
The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) has authorised Gazprombank’s sister company for their services. In Switzerland, FINMA is responsible for the overview of banks, insurance and, for example, stock exchanges.
They are now allowed to store bitcoin for a strictly selected group and Gazprombank is also allowed to offer trading in BTC.
CEO Roman Abdulin is enthusiastic. He sees a role for his company by offering security. With the FINMA looking over its shoulders, rules must in any case be complied with.
However, the question is how certain it is. Switzerland is known, among other things, for its Swiss bank accounts. However, banking secrecy will be abolished in 2018.
Immediate Bitcoin, on the other hand, offers users the possibility of not having to trust third parties such as the Gazprombank. However, much larger parties and institutions are still looking for parties that can facilitate the storage of their bitcoin. Out of habit and possibly also due to a lack of knowledge.
Bitcoin in Russia
Gazprombank is currently unable to set up such services in Russia. The country has a very strict policy when it comes to bitcoin. Payments with BTC will be banned in the country from 2021.
It will soon be permitted to have bitcoin, but not to trade it or use it as a means of payment in Russia.
In other ways, too, bitcoin companies will be thwarted by the Russian regulators. They are going to take stricter action against bitcoin miners. The Russian authorities have blocked the LocalBitcoins website. Via this platform you can trade bitcoin among yourself a la Marktplaats.
In short: Gazprombank can start working with bitcoin, but had to divert to their sister company in Switzerland.