Dukascopy today said it has become the first Swiss bank to win approval for an ICO by the Switzerland’s financial market supervisor, FINMA.
This designation will allow the Geneva-based Retail FX broker to launch the public sale of its own cryptocurrency Dukascoin by early March 2019. Until then, Dukascopy has yet to finalize the ICO environment and to pass audit and bounty tests, though it was told by FINMA that there are no further regulatory obstacles.
The forex bank and brokerage firm continues its crypto-friendly approach, having filed in September for approval of its ICO plans with the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority (FINMA). The initiative involves creating two cryptocurrencies namely; Dukascoins and Dukasnotes. The former will be used as a crypto means of payment that has a limited supply while its initial purpose is to reward new clients for using Dukascopy products.
Meanwhile, the bank outlined that its second coin, Dukasnote, will operate primarily as a stable coin similar to the likes USDC and Tether. Though it didn’t reveal much details about its use cases, but according to its white paper Dukasnotes will be used to promote Dukascopy’s payment solutions.
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Expanding Crypto Services
Dukascopy also allowed crypto-related companies to open business accounts back in June. The step came despite mainstream Swiss banks have largely distanced themselves from engaging with cryptocurrency companies, which have come under increasing scrutiny from regulators. While the digital asset has been widely accepted in Switzerland, traditional lenders have been reluctant to do business with crypto-linked services providers because of money laundering concerns and prospects of a regulatory crackdown.
Also last month, Dukascopy has taken a further step towards strengthening its budding cryptocurrency offering, this time allowing clients to deposit and withdraw funds in digital coins, as well as enabling free internal crypto-transfers between users of mobile banking.
Swiss authorities were eager to maintain a leading role for Switzerland in the cryptocurrency space while playing catch-up in its rapidly changing landscape. Earlier in February, FINMA released its initial coin offering (ICO) guidelines and classification of tokens and laid out a number of objectives as a part of its fintech-friendly agenda.