Spanish banking giant BBVA’s swiss entity, BBVA Switzerland, has started offering bitcoin trading and custody services.
Announcing the news on Friday, BBVA Switzerland said the services will be available to all of its private banking clients from Monday, June 21. The launch comes six months after the bank began trialing the services in Switzerland.
“This gradual roll-out has allowed BBVA Switzerland to test the service’s operations, strengthen security and, above all, detect that there is a significant desire among investors for crypto-assets or digital assets as a way of diversifying their portfolios, despite their volatility and high risk,” said Alfonso Gomez, CEO of BBVA Switzerland.
While the bank currently only supports bitcoin, it said the aim is to also offer other cryptocurrencies in the future. As for the launch of the services in other countries, BBVA Switzerland said that would depend on maturity, demand, and regulation in those markets.
BBVA said its bitcoin services are novel as clients can manage their investments alongside traditional assets in the same portfolio. Customers willing to convert their bitcoin into fiat and vice versa can do so “without delays and without the illiquidity that affects other digital wallets or independent brokers,” said BBVA. That’s because the bank operates with several sources for converting cryptocurrencies, it said, without disclosing those sources.
BBVA’s services come as more mega-banks open up to the crypto space. In recent weeks, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Bank of New York Mellon, and other financial institutions have moved to provide crypto services to their clients.
Bitcoin Will Hit All-time Highs Again This Year, Crypto is Inevitable Future: deVere CEO
Bitcoin will hit its previous all-time highs again by the end of the year with prices driven higher by the “carefully considered arguments” and “new measured tone” being put forward by the likes of Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey and Cathie Wood, affirms the CEO of deVere Group.
The bullish Bitcoin price prediction from Nigel Green, chief executive and founder of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations, follows Wednesday’s The B Word Conference.
At the live virtual event, Tesla and Space X founder Elon Musk, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, and Ark Investment’s Cathie Wood all advocated for the cryptocurrency and talked about its massive future potential.
Bitcoin surged as much as 10% on the back of their comments.
Nigel Green says: “Musk, Dorsey and Wood are three of the most important and forward-thinking business leaders of our time. What they say matters.
“Crucially, the tone was less sensationalist than it has been in past, with all the panelists putting across carefully considered, fact-based arguments about why they are all bullish on the future of Bitcoin and crypto generally.
“This will not have gone unnoticed by investors.
“As such, I believe that with these hugely influential figures pursuing this stance and this new tone, we can expect the price of Bitcoin to hit, or even surpass, its mid-April all-time high of $65,000 by the end of 2021.”
Demand will boom because of what Musk, Dorsey and Wood said for two main reasons, says Mr Green.
“First, both institutional and retail investors were given a considerable crypto confidence boost by comments the panelists made about their own multinational businesses and their visions for the future.
“Musk, one of the world’s most successful and richest entrepreneurs, confirmed for the first time that both of his companies, Tesla and Space X, and that he personally, owned Bitcoin. And that neither he nor his companies, will sell the cryptocurrency. He also revealed Tesla is likely to restart taking payments in Bitcoin.
“Similarly, Dorsey hinted that Twitter will soon allow advertisers to pay for advertising on the giant social platform in crypto.
“He went on to say the cryptocurrency could function as the internet’s ‘native currency’ and this would help all businesses in a much faster way.
“Second, Dorsey and Wood – and Musk to a lesser degree – addressed the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining, an issue which has weighed heavy on the price in recent months.”
Wood, in particular, spoke about how Bitcoin aligns with the environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing growth trend.
She highlighted how Bitcoin “will be much more environmentally friendly—certainly more than traditional gold mining or the traditional financial services sector. In many ways, it already is.”
She added that Bitcoin has much to offer in the ‘social’ bracket “by providing financially underserved people with “access to payment technology… everywhere around the world without friction”; and the ‘governance’ bracket by offering transparency “unlike the opaqueness of financial systems and the toll-takers in the traditional financial world.”
The deVere CEO affirms: “All of this will help drive Bitcoin prices higher and this will have a knock-on effect to the wider crypto market.”
He concludes: “The message from mega-influencers Elon Musk, Jack Dorsey and Cathie Wood was clear: crypto is the inevitable future.”
Athena Bitcoin to Install 1,500 Bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador as BTC Becomes Legal Tender
Bitcoin ATM operator Athena Bitcoin has unveiled its plan to install 1,500 bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador. The company will install dozens of machines as a test.
On Thursday, Athena Bitcoin said that it plans to invest over $1 million to install cryptocurrency ATMs in El Salvador, particularly where residents receive remittances from abroad, Reuters reported, citing a company representative.
The firm expects to gradually install about 1,500 ATMs, hire staff and open an office to carry out operations in El Salvador.
Matias Goldenhörn, Athena Bitcoin’s director for Latin America, was quoted by the publication as saying that El Salvador’s President Nayib Bukele “presented us with a tough challenge of 1,500 ATMs, we will go for that, but in phases.”
“We are a private company and we want to ensure that our development in the country is sustainable,” Goldenhörn added, elaborating: “Initially we are going to bring dozens of machines, test what the business model is like in El Salvador, which will probably be different than in the United States.”
Athena Bitcoin installed its first cryptocurrency ATM in El Salvador’s El Zonte beach about a year ago. It was part of an experiment called Bitcoin Beach with the aim to make the town one of the world’s first bitcoin economies.
El Salvador passed a bill making bitcoin legal tender earlier this month. The law will go into effect on Sept. 7. President Bukele unveiled the country’s official wallet application and a bitcoin giveaway Thursday.
This week, Bitcoin ATM provider Chainbytes also said it plans to install bitcoin ATMs in El Salvador. The company is setting up a manufacturing hub in the country.
El Salvador Giving Away $30 in BTC to Everyone Using Government E-Wallet
El Salvador President Nayib Bukele has announced a bitcoin giveaway to promote the cryptocurrency’s use as legal tender in the economy and to give people an incentive to use the government’s official wallet application.
The president of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, addressed many topics regarding his country’s new bitcoin law Thursday night. During his speech, he unveiled the Salvadoran government’s wallet app and a signup bonus of $30 in bitcoin.
“The wallet of the government of El Salvador is called Chivo,” Bukele explained, adding that users must register with their phone number and national ID known as the DUI.
Accounts are then verified by either facial recognition or through the call center. “Facial recognition or verification by call center will only be done when creating the account. We do it this way to give security to the population,” the president explained.
Bukele further revealed: “It will be within the Chivo app where we will deposit the equivalent $30 in bitcoin to promote its use in the economy and to give people an incentive to use the application.”
With the $30 incentive in bitcoin, he said, “We want the population to make use of this system and bitcoin as legal tender” to boost the economy and “help the economic growth of the country.”
To obtain a DUI (Documento Único de Identidad), which is needed for account verification, one must be at least 18 years old. This means out of El Salvador’s total population of 6.5 million based on Woldometer’s data, only adults ages 18 and older qualify to receive the $30 BTC freebie.
The Salvadoran President further detailed that the Chivo app will allow users to convert funds between dollars to bitcoin, make payments, and send money using a QR code. In addition, he said app users can buy BTC “securely, instantly and without charging fees.”
He emphasized that using, receiving, and investing in bitcoin in El Salvador is optional, noting that the $30 BTC bonus will be the only time recipients must accept the cryptocurrency. For spending, users can choose to use either bitcoin or dollars if they have both currencies in their wallets.
El Salvador’s bitcoin law will enter into force on Sept. 7, Bukele noted. “We will guarantee that all cash transactions will remain in dollars,” he clarified.
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