Switzerland’s major private investment bank Vontobel has launched a cryptocustody solution targeting banks and asset managers, according to an official press release published on Jan. 14.

Zurich-based Vontobel bank is reportedly the third largest financial custody provider in Switzerland, with 110.3 billion CHF ($112.2 billion) in assets under its actively developing Asset Management tool, according to the company’s financial report in 2017.

With the launch of the new digital assets custodian solution named Digital Asset Vault, the private bank claims to be the first bank in the world to comply with standards required by both industry regulators and financial intermediaries.

The new tool allows banks and asset managers to offer their clients a number of crypto-related services including digital assets purchases, transfers and storage.

According to the announcement, Vontobel’s Digital Asset Vault operates just as in the traditional assets classes under the rules of the banking infrastructure, with customers acquiring an alternative to their previous personal registrations, as well as a consolidated overview of traditional and digital assets.

In order to protect users’ digital assets, Vontobel combined Hardware Security Module (HSM) technology and its own banking infrastructure, the statement says.

As reported by Cointelegraph, Vontobel has previously emerged as a pro-crypto bank, operating as a lender to provide its clients with cryptocurrency investments. In 2017, local sources reported that Vontobel’s Bitcoin (BTCcertificate was the most traded product on the Europe’s largest stock exchange, SIX Swiss Exchange.

In late 2018, Switzerland’s financial regulator, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority , issued guidelines for their FinTech license, with crypto-related businesses and blockchain firms reportedly set to start applying for the license starting from 2019.

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Swiss Post, the country’s national postal service, and state-owned telecoms provider Swisscom have united to develop a blockchain platform.

The two announced Thursday that they are using Hyperledger Fabric to build their “simple, secure and sustainable” private blockchain infrastructure, intended to be utilized by their own, as well as other companies’, applications.

The infrastructure is designed to meet the high security levels required by banks, while all data hosted will remain within Switzerland, they added.

The announcement indicates that the system is more energy efficient than public blockchain offerings, stating:

“In contrast to “public blockchains” (e.g. bitcoin and ethereum), this private blockchain infrastructure requires much less energy, since it can only be used by identified users who have a contractual relationship with the providers of an application. This enables more efficient agreement procedures as well as significantly higher security and performance.”

The first pilot blockchain apps are scheduled for launch in Q2 2019, with use cases said to be focusing on corporates and government agencies desiring to digitize business processes in a “secure and verified” manner.

Swiss Post and Swisscom also said they are open to accepting other partners to join them on the project. Ultimately, they desire “to enable the Swiss economy to quickly obtain a leading position when it comes to using this promising technology.”

The two companies are already using blockchain technology for several use cases.

Swiss Post’s financial services unit PostFinance, for instance, launched a pilot project in May that provides smart energy billing via blockchain. It also stores temperature data on a blockchain for monitoring pharmaceuticals in transit.

Swisscom is working with its subsidiary, Daura AG, on a blockchain system that facilitates the issuance, purchase and sale of shares.

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The Switzerland-based Capital Markets and Technology Association (CMTA) has published new anti-money-laundering (AML) standards for digital assets and distributed ledger technologies (DLT) Oct. 18.

CMTA is a non-profit, independent association established in Geneva earlier this year with the aim of promoting the adoption of DLT, such as blockchain, and digital assets in the financial markets.

Its creation was a joint initiative from online bank Swissquote, market software provider Temenos, and the country’s largest law firm Lenz & Staehelin.

According to CMTA, the newly-published standards are designed to “clarify […] measures to be taken in order to comply with the Swiss regulations against money laundering and the financing of terrorism.” As per CMTA general secretary Fedor Poskriakov, the document is intended to “pav[e] the way for a compliant tokenization of financial assets.”

The document is split into two parts, the first of which outlines compliance standards for digital asset issuers, whether or not they formally designate themselves as Initial Coin Offerings (ICOs); the second addresses Swiss banks, securities dealers, and other intermediaries who may wish to enter into business relationships with digital asset issuers or investors, or whose business practices involve “a material exposure” to digital assets and/or DLT.

Notably, the standards are not statutory and do not have formal regulatory status, yet CMTA states they “represent a consensus” among financial sector experts as to how good practice should be established and conducted in the emerging digital assets space.

CMTA outlines that the guidance has been developed on the basis of a range of legislative frameworks, including the Swiss Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA), the Swiss Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance (AMLO), FINMA’s Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance (AMLO-FINMA) and other laws for Swiss banks’ code of conduct and due diligence requirements.

As reported last week, France’s intergovernmental organization, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), has recently updated its standards regarding digital currencies to ensure that virtual asset service providers are subject to AML and CFT regulations.

Earlier this week, Swissquote announced it had become “the first bank worldwide” to offer purchase and custodial services of ICO-issued tokens for clients.

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