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  • BBVA is reportedly launching crypto trading and custody services.
  • The bank has been playing with cryptocurrency-related innovations since 2017.

BBVA, the second-largest commercial bank in Spain with total assets worth $840 billion intends to launching cryptocurrency trading and custody services in the coming months.

European users will get access to BBVA services

The bank is waiting for approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA) that will allow the company to provide cryptocurrency-related services across Europe. Switzerland is a primary destination for cryptocurrency businesses as it offers friendly and straightforward regulatory environments for the industry. BBVA should be ready soon to offer crypto services, according to a CoinDesk report, citing knowledgeable sources:

There are still some compliance hurdles, so this will not be in December, but I expect they [BBVA] will be live next month.

Reportedly, BBVA will offer custodian services via specialized platform SILO, developed by the banking software provider Avaloq and Swiss cryptocurrency developer METACO. The latter is also creating an institutional solution for cryptocurrency custody for London-based Standard Chartered.

BBVA is not a newcomer in the cryptocurrency industry

In 2017 BBVA performed blockchain-based transactions between Spain and in collaboration with Waves. The bank said that the pilot allowed reducing the time required to send, verify and authorize an international trade transaction from ten days to 2,5 hours.

The bank was among the first financial institutions to process transactions via public and private blockchains in July 2018.  At that time, BBVA had to use a testnet as the European banks were forbidden to come even close to digital assets, not to mention holding coins like ETH.

In November 2018, it completed the first syndicated loan on the blockchain together with co-lenders MUFG of Japan and BNP Paribas of France. At that time, BBVA said that the technology simplified and sped up the process of completing syndicated loans from two weeks to a day or two.

The recent move is a clear indication of a significant evolution in space. The traditional financial industry and cryptocurrency become more and more integrated, denoting the ongoing transition to the new technologies.