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Articles by Fintechnews Switzerland

Bitpanda Receives Full Crypto Custody and Trading License in Germany

5 days ago

Austrian crypto platform Bitpanda has received a full operating license from the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority or BaFin for the custody and proprietary trading of crypto assets.
Bitpanda claims to be the first European retail investment platform to obtain the license which was introduced by BaFin in 2020, allowing it to actively market and offer services in the German market.
Founded in 2014, Bitpanda now has nearly four million investors on its platform. The company also recently partnered with German neobank N26 to enable its cryptocurrency feature in Austria.

Bitpanda last raised a US$263 million Series C and US$170 million Series B led by Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures in 2021, as well as a €10 million Series B extension round the same year.

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Total Funding to Portuguese Fintech Companies Surpasses EUR 1B Mark

8 days ago

In 2022, the Portuguese fintech ecosystem entered a new stage of development, marked by greater maturity of the sector, continued innovation through partnerships and a dynamic venture capital (VC) market, a new report by industry trade group Portugal Fintech, in collaboration with KPMG, Visa and law firm Morais Leitao, claims.
The Portugal Fintech Report 2022, released in October, shows a resilient fintech industry that has continued to grow, innovate and attract investors’ interest in 2022, despite falling tech stocks and concerns about an economic downturn.
This year, total funding to Portuguese fintech companies to date surpassed the EUR 1 billion mark, with blockchain and cryptocurrency, lending and credit, and regtech and cybersecurity attracting the most

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BlackRock’s Fintech Bets Span Lending, Wealthtech, Crypto and More

13 days ago

BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset managers, has been actively investing in the fintech industry over the past decade, participating in large rounds of financing across a broad range of segments, from payments and lending, to wealthtech and cryptocurrency, a new analysis by fintech-focused research firm WhiteSight shows.
The report, which delves into the investment firm’s fintech moves, shows that BlackRock has been a prolific fintech investors, dipping its toes into a variety of sectors.
Data from Dealroom corroborate this, indicating that fintech is the second biggest industry BlackRock has invested in, with 46 investments. These investments primarily consist of growth and later stage rounds, and target mainly companies in the US, the UK and India.

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Swissquote Clients Can Now Invest in Dubai Financial Market’s Securities

October 27, 2022

Online trading platform Swissquote is now connected to the Dubai Financial Market (DFM), allowing clients to invest in and trade DFM-listed securities.
The platform is connected to the DFM through GTN Middle East and BHM Capital Financial Services’ direct market access route, and is expected to boost DFM-listed securities’ accessibility to investors outside the UAE.
Swissquote is a provider of online financial services granting its clients access to trade a range of asset classes including stocks, ETFs, funds, bonds, derivatives and more.

The company launched a cryptocurrency exchange called SQX earlier this month and previously partnered with Postfinance to launch digital banking app Yuh in mid-2021.

“Given our local and international client base, providing

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neon’s Crowdfunding Campaign Reaches CHF 5 Million on Its First Day

October 26, 2022

Swiss neobank neon’s crowdfunding campaign reached CHF 5 million of its CHF 10 million target with more than 2,000 investors participating on the first day of the campaign.
The campaign, which runs from October 25 to 31, is offering two to 250 non-voting shares priced at CHF 200.00 per share. The company aims to sell a total of 50,000 shares.
According to the campaign page, neon’s recent milestones include hitting 130,000 users, generating CHF 3.5 million in revenue year to date, and launching new card and community features.

The company says that it expects to reach CHF 6 million in sales by the end of the year, and that it plans to move into stock and cryptocurrency trading next.
neon shared that it also raised CHF 2.5 million in funding from institutional

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N26 Launches New Cryptocurrency Trading Feature With Bitpanda

October 26, 2022

German neobank N26 has launched its cryptocurrency product in Austria to enable customers to buy and sell 194 cryptocurrencies in their app.
The N26 Crypto feature will be made available progressively to eligible customers in Austria over the coming weeks, as well as in other key markets over the next six months.
The launch addresses strong local demand, where internal research showed that 40% of N26 users are either actively trading, or have expressed interest in investing in cryptocurrencies.

N26 Crypto is offered in partnership with Austrian cryptocurrency platform Bitpanda, which manages the execution of trades and custody of coins.
N26 Metal customers will be able to make transactions with a 1% transaction fee applied for trading Bitcoin and 2% for all

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Wealth Managers Reluctant to Invest in Crypto

October 24, 2022

Wealth managers around the world are still reluctant to invest in cryptocurrency on behalf of their clients amid concerns over the lack of regulation, the lack of education as well as high volatility, a new study by American asset management company Mercer found.
The survey, which polled 125 wealth managers worldwide, found that just 8% of participants indicated having invested in crypto for their customers.
Wealth managers in Europe were found to be the most open to the new asset class, with 12% of respondents in the region stating that they did invest in crypto in client portfolios, while their American counterparts ranked as the least open to crypto with just 3%.

Unsurprisingly, wealth managers cited the lack of regulation (63%), the lack of transparency and

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Relai Partners Checkout.com to Enable Instant Bitcoin Purchases

October 20, 2022

Swiss Bitcoin investment app Relai has partnered with global payments provider Checkout.com to enable its users to buy the cryptocurrency via Visa, Mastercard and Apple Pay in real time through its self-custodial wallet.
The partnership with Checkout.com is expected to allow users to have constant access to instant liquidity while also ensuring that they have full say over what happens to their assets.
Founded in 2020, Relai currently serves over 40 countries in Europe, has over 100,000 app downloads, 30,000 active users, and CHF 6 million in monthly volume.

The startup last raised a CHF 2.5 million Series A round in mid-2021 and recently made the TOP 100 Swiss Startup Awards 2022.
Checkout.com is a London-based payments solutions provider with a US$40 billion

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SIX Digital Exchange Links to SIX SIS to Boost Digital CHF Bond Accessibility

October 4, 2022

SIX Digital Exchange (SDX) announced the addition of SIX SIS to its Central Securities Depository (CSD), making it the first regulated CSD to have direct access to SDX.
The addition is expected to increase the accessibility of natively digital CHF-denominated bonds to the wider market and enable investors to purchase a digital bond and hold it in SIX SIS.
SDX offers issuance, listing, trading, settlement, servicing, and custody of digital securities. The platform is part of the SIX group which develops and operates infrastructure for financial institutions.

The company previously announced the launch of its new Ethereum stakings service for institutional clients in September.

“This new operational link between SDX CSD and SIX SIS enables digital CHF bonds

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Swissquote Dives Into Cryptocurrency Trading With the Launch of SQX

October 4, 2022

Online trading platform Swissquote has launched a cryptocurrency exchange called SQX that aims to provide a more competitive and secure trading environment.
Unlike other crypto exchanges, SQX says that it prides itself on being a centralised trading platform as it believes that currency markets function on the back of long-standing bilateral relationships.
As such, Swissquote added that SQX’s new central order book, which sources and aggregates liquidity from different liquidity hubs, will allow it to source the best liquidity conditions from decentralised crypto markets — resulting in more competitive bid and ask prices.

The Bancor Network Token (BNT) will be available on SQX in the initial phase and other cryptocurrencies available at Swissquote will be added

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University of Zurich and ETH Zurich Among World’s Best Universities for Blockchain Education

October 4, 2022

The University of Zurich and ETH Zurich ranked third and 27th respectively on CoinDesk’s latest annual best universities for blockchain rankings.
The rankings were made from a shortlist of 240 institutions around the world, calculated based on their scholarly, industrial and pedagogical impact on blockchain.

Metrics that were taken into account included the institutions’ blockchain research publications, courses, degrees, conferences, clubs and industry partnerships or grants.

The rankings also took into account the institutions’ reputations, where their graduates get jobs, and other measurements from publicly available sources.
The University of Zurich moved up the rankings this year from fourth to third place, while ETH Zurich dropped from 10th place to 27th

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Revolut is Now a Fully Registered Crypto Service Provider in the UK

September 28, 2022

Digital money app Revolut has been approved by the United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) to offer cryptocurrency products and services in the country.
The company was previously providing crypto buying, selling and trading services under the the FCA’s temporary registration regime which allows service providers to continue operating while their applications were being reviewed.
CoinDesk received confirmation from an FCA spokesperson that Revolut has indeed been added to its financial services registry of cryptoasset firms as it has met the requirements of money-laundering regulations.

38 cryptoasset firms are currently registered with the FCA, including Gemini, Fidelity and eToro.
Founded in 2015, Revolut had 20 million retail customers, 250 million

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Coinbase Gets Greenlight to Operate Its Crypto Exchange in the Netherlands

September 28, 2022

Coinbase has secured regulatory approval from the Dutch central bank as a crypto service provider, allowing it to offer its full suite of retail, institutional, and ecosystem products to customers in the country.
This makes Coinbase one of the first major global crypto exchanges to be approved by the De Nederlandsche Bank to operate in the country, alongside eToro and other platforms such as BitPay and Okcoin.
Coinbase currently serves customers across almost 40 European countries through dedicated hubs in Ireland, the UK, and Germany.

The company also announced in August that it has partnered with BlackRock to give BlackRock’s institutional clients direct access to cryptocurrency trading capabilities.

“Coinbase prides itself on being a compliance-led business.

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Portofino Technologies Raises US$50M to Scale Its HFT Crypto Infrastructure

September 20, 2022

Digital asset trading technology provider Portofino Technologies has raised over US$50 million in equity funding from Valar Ventures, Global Founders Capital and Coatue to scale its technology across the full crypto infrastructure value chain.
The company, founded by former Citadel Securities executives Leonard Lancia and Alex Casimo, builds high-frequency trading (HFT) grade technology for institutions and Web3 projects that require digital asset liquidity.
Portofino says that it has traded billions of dollars across centralized and decentralized cryptocurrency venues and hired a team of 35 HFT specialists globally in the past year.

Leonard Lancia, CEO and Founder at Portofino said:
“This is only the start for Portofino. In Web3, every action is a transaction

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Press Communication in the Metaverse: Rent a PR Cooperates With Zreality

September 13, 2022

Access to the metaverse is complex and expensive, which is why it is so far used almost exclusively by large companies. The Zurich and Verbier-based PR agency Rent a PR, which has been providing on-demand public relations and communications consulting for five years and has been accepting Bitcoin payments since 2019, is setting another milestone with cooperation and press conferences in the metaverse.
The new service covers all the processes companies use to contact their various stakeholders. From press conferences and product presentations to general meetings, what was previously done in person is now also possible in the metaverse.

‘I am very pleased that we are partnering with Zreality and look forward to working with the professional, international team in

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Crypto Financial Product Provider 21.co Raises US$25M at Unicorn Valuation

September 12, 2022

Crypto solutions provider 21.co has raised a US$25 million round led by Marshall Wace at a US$2 billion valuation, making it Switzerland’s largest crypto unicorn.
The round, which included investors, such as Collab+Currency, Quiet Ventures, ETFS Capital and Valor Equity Partners was the company’s first raise in over two years.
21.co is a collection of companies, the largest of which is cryptocurrency exchange-traded products (ETPs) issuer 21Shares. The platform is powered by Onyx, a proprietary technology platform used to issue and operate cryptocurrency ETPs for 21Shares and third parties such as token provider Amun.

The company claims that it has recorded over US$650 million in net new assets year-to-date from September 2021 to September 2022, and that it hit

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Financial Crimes in the Metaverse

September 8, 2022

Business executives are bullish on the prospect of the metaverse, predicting sizeable commercial opportunities in taking part in immersive virtual environments. But despite the high level of interest, industry stakeholders are also growing increasingly concerned over the possible risks brought about the concept.
Blockchain analytics and crypto-asset compliance solutions provider Elliptic conducted an online survey of 100 of its customers and crypto and finance professionals in May 2022. It found that at least 66% of respondents were already in the process of, or had an intention to assess their risk of metaverse-related financial crime vectors, showcasing that business executives are recognizing that the trend might introduce new risks that must be mitigated.
To

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SIX Digital Exchange Goes Live With Ethereum Staking Service for Institutional Clients

September 5, 2022

SDX Web3 Services, the newly launched business unit from SIX Digital Exchange, is now live with its non-custodial Ethereum staking service.
This new offering is a straightforward and secure way to launch new validators, generate yield from staking, and manage Ethereum validator nodes through a fully managed, API based infrastructure.
The service is tailored to institutional clients who need to scale their Ethereum staking capabilities.

SDX Web3 Services said that it is already in the midst of signing its first client for this non-custodial staking service in the private wealth sector in Switzerland.

“The strong demand for our staking offering shows the institutional market’s readiness and need for secure and trusted services such as our Web3 offering,”
said

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Hackers Tap Cross-Chain Bridges Vulnerabilities; Whopping US$2B Worth of Crypto Stolen

September 2, 2022

Hackers and cybercriminals are exploiting vulnerabilities found in cross-chain bridge protocols to siphon billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrencies out of wallets and smart contracts, a new report by blockchain analytics firm Chainalysis claims.
A total of 13 separate cross-chain bridge hacks have been recorded so far, netting criminals about US$2 billion, according to the firm. Most of these attacks took place this year, showing that the trend is proliferating and becoming a top security risk in the crypto industry.
Attacks on bridges account for 69% of total funds stolen in 2022 so far, totaling around U$1.4 billion, estimates Chainalysis. The biggest single event was the US$615 million haul snatched from the Ronin bridge in March 2022. Ronin is an Ethereum

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Global Blockchain Funding Dip; Mega-Rounds Shrink

August 22, 2022

After a record year 2021, the venture capital (VC) market for blockchain investment is slowing down significantly in 2022 amid uncertain macroeconomic conditions and financial markets turmoil.
In Q2 2022, VC investors scaled back cryptocurrency investments due to macroeconomic pressures, concerns about valuations and market volatility. Global funding fell and the number of mega-rounds of US$100 million and up shrank, putting pressure on startup valuations and slowing down new unicorn startup minting, according to CB Insights’ State of Blockchain Q2 2022 report.

Blockchain funding drops; unicorn minting slows down
In Q2 2022, global funding fell 29% to US$6.5 billion, the first quarter-over-quarter (QoQ) drop in two years. Mega-round funding dropped steeply,

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CME Group to Launch Euro-Denominated Bitcoin and Ether Futures

August 8, 2022

CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, announced it plans to further expand its cryptocurrency derivatives offering with the introduction of Bitcoin Euro and Ether Euro futures on August 29, pending regulatory review.
Designed to match their U.S. dollar-denominated counterparts, Bitcoin Euro and Ether Euro futures contracts will be sized at five bitcoin and 50 ether per contract. These new contracts will be cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin-Euro Reference Rate and CME CF Ether-Euro Reference Rate, which serve as once-a-day reference rates of the euro-denominated price of bitcoin and ether. These new futures contracts will be listed on and subject to the rules of CME.

“Ongoing uncertainty in cryptocurrency markets, along with the robust

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CME Group to Launch Euro-Denominated Bitcoin and Ether Futures on August 29

August 8, 2022

CME Group, the world’s leading derivatives marketplace, announced it plans to further expand its cryptocurrency derivatives offering with the introduction of Bitcoin Euro and Ether Euro futures on August 29, pending regulatory review.
Designed to match their U.S. dollar-denominated counterparts, Bitcoin Euro and Ether Euro futures contracts will be sized at five bitcoin and 50 ether per contract. These new contracts will be cash-settled, based on the CME CF Bitcoin-Euro Reference Rate and CME CF Ether-Euro Reference Rate, which serve as once-a-day reference rates of the euro-denominated price of bitcoin and ether. These new futures contracts will be listed on and subject to the rules of CME.

“Ongoing uncertainty in cryptocurrency markets, along with the robust

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Meta: Digital Collectibles to Showcase NFTs on Instagram

August 8, 2022

Starting this week on Instagram, Meta is testing digital collectibles with select US creators and collectors to share NFTs that they have created or bought.
Meta/Instagram started with the international expansion to 100 countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and the Americas. Additionally, they now support wallet connections with the Coinbase Wallet and Dapper, as well as the ability to post digital collectibles minted on the Flow blockchain.

In order to post a digital collectible, all you need to do is connect your digital wallet to Instagram. As of today, they support connections with third-party wallets including Rainbow, MetaMask, Trust Wallet, Coinbase Wallet and Dapper Wallet coming soon. Supported blockchains at this time include Ethereum,

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Blackrock Ties up With Coinbase to Offer Its Clients Crypto Trading and Custody

August 5, 2022

Asset manager BlackRock has selected cryptocurrency exchange platform Coinbase to provide the institutional clients of Aladdin®, BlackRock’s end-to-end investment management platform, direct access to crypto starting with bitcoin.
Coinbase Prime will provide crypto trading, custody, prime brokerage, and reporting capabilities to Aladdin’s institutional client base who are also clients of Coinbase.
Built for institutions, Coinbase Prime integrates advanced agency trading, custody, prime financing, staking, and staking infrastructure, data, and reporting that supports the entire transaction lifecycle.

BlackRock and Coinbase will continue to progress the platform integration and will roll out functionality in phases to interested clients.
Access is available for

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Swiss Blockchain-Insurtech Jarowa Raises CHF 12.4 Million Series A for Europe Expansion

August 2, 2022

JAROWA is a Swiss digital marketplace and transaction platform for insurance companies, property managers, and leasing companies to manage their trusted service providers and digital orders more efficiently. JAROWA has successfully closed its Series A funding round, led by Eos Venture Partners, a strategic venture capital fund focused on InsurTech. The proceeds will be used to further expand JAROWA’s offering throughout Europe.

Andreas Akeret, JAROWA CEO, stated,
“After successfully implementing the standard of a digital vendor marketplace for B2B clients in our home market Switzerland, we have been able to enter Germany, the United Kingdom, and Italy, which underlines the demand for our services abroad. We are excited to further expand our business in Europe and

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SAP Green Tokens Tap Blockchain for Improved Transparency in Plastic Recycling

July 24, 2022

DIC Corporation, one of Japan’s leading fine chemical manufacturers, is launching a pilot project which seeks to utilize blockchain technology and crypto tokens to improve transparency in plastic recycling and help it meet its environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals.
The pilot will use SAP’s GreenToken and will allow DIC, which produces and sells polystyrene, but also specialty plastics, printing inks, compounds as well as biochemicals, to track raw materials along the supply chain.
The aim here is to gain greater visibility over the manufacturing and inspection processes, as well as access critical information on physical properties and quality of the recycled materials.

This will ultimately allow customers to know with certainty how much recycled

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New Research Finds Centralization Risks in Public Blockchains, Cryptocurrencies

July 15, 2022

Despite claims of immutability and decentralization, cryptocurrencies and public blockchains, including Bitcoin and Ethereum, are not quite delivering on their promises and are seeing a concentration of power in the hands of a few players.
A new report, commissioned by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and produced by software security research company Trail of Bits, examines the fundamental properties of blockchains and the cybersecurity risks associated with them, highlighting “unintended centralities” in distributed ledgers like Bitcoin.
Findings from the Trail of Bits research shows that blockchain immutability can be broken and that various actors could theoretically garner excessive and centralized control over a network.

First, the

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A Look at Switzerland’s Booming Digital Asset Ecosystem

June 8, 2022

In recent years, Switzerland’s blockchain and digital asset ecosystem has matured rapidly and grown into one of the world’s leading blockchain hubs, a position that’s asserted by its expanding workforce and a rising number of foreign companies setting up operations locally.
A report by Home of Blockchain.swiss, a new public-private promotion initiative for the Swiss blockchain industry, looks at the state of the Swiss digital asset market, sharing findings from a survey of 47 industry participants to extract critical insights.
The report highlights Switzerland’s strength in the digital asset market, noting that several high-profile international digital asset startups have recently set foot in the country.

FTX, a cryptocurrency exchange and derivatives trading

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FIFA Announces Partnership With Blockchain Company Algorand

May 5, 2022

FIFA has teamed up with Zug based blockchain technology company Algorand to agree a sponsorship and technical partnership deal.
The agreement means Algorand will become the official blockchain platform of FIFA and provide the official blockchain-supported wallet solution. As per the sponsorship agreement, Algorand will be a FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ Regional Supporter in North America and Europe, and a FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023™ Official Sponsor.
Blockchains allow non-editable data to be permanently recorded and distributed on digital networks, while also facilitating innovations and ensuring safe, untampered exchange of value and assets such as non-fungible tokens (NFTs), and through blockchain-enabled wallets holding digital

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Social Media Financial Scams Balloon

April 17, 2022

Around the world, fraudsters are turning to social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram to reach billions of potential victims. As losses continue to pile up, regulators are voicing their concerns, with one going as far as suing a social media giant for not taking sufficient steps to tackle the rampant issue.
Just last month, Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) instituted Federal Court proceedings against Facebook owner Meta Platforms for allegedly misleading users by publishing scam advertisements featuring local celebrities.
The ads promoted cryptocurrency investments and linked to fake media articles in which public figures endorsed the schemes. The watchdog said Meta Platforms “engaged in false, misleading or deceptive conduct.” The

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