Značka: banking

Seba Bank raises $119M in Series C funding

Seba Bank, a Swiss-based digital assets banking platform regulated by the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, announced on Wednesday that it had completed a successful Series C funding round of 110 million Swiss franc, or $119 million U.S. dollars. Notable investors in the round included cryptocurrency exchange FTX, quantitative digital currency trading firm Alameda Research, decentralized finance asset management firm DeFi Technologies, and venture capital entities such as Altive, Ordway Selections and Summer Capital.The bank said it plans to use the funds to fuel international growth and drive demand from institutional investors in the digital assets industry. Seba has been at the forefront of crypto innovation in Switzerland. In September 2021, the firm was granted the first Swiss digital asset custody license. One month later, it launched a program for users to earn yields on their DOT, XTZ and ADA holdings. In December 2021, the bank launched its own regulated gold token exchangeable with physical gold on-demand, which could potentially be used as a gold-standard digital currency. Seba Bank became fully operational to professional investors and institutional clients in 2019.Jonathan Ordway Fackelmayer, Chairman of Ordway Selections, issued the following statement regarding the development: “We are delighted to be part of the lead-investor consortium alongside Altive and Summer Capital. They both hold a deep knowledge of financial services and technology applications. Our consortium believes SEBA Bank is uniquely positioned to respond to the needs of the ever-growing and demanding pool of cryptocurrency investors worldwide.”

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Wall Street financial advisor LionTree explores crypto payments

Wall Street financial advisor that helped Amazon acquire MGM studios this year is exploring crypto payment options.LionTree, a popular financial advisor and investment banking firm, is looking into cryptocurrencies as a payment option. In its year-end letter, Chairman and CEO Aryeh Bourkoff talks about crypto as a potential tool for empowering individuals and explores some of the biggest trends in crypto, such as decentralized finance (DeFi) and nonfungible tokens (NFTs).“In 2021, crypto made itself impossible to ignore, with a market cap at times surpassing $3 trillion,” wrote Bourkoff, adding that this was because people with more cash than usual were looking for a place to guard their money against inflation, find higher returns and ensure higher yields.Bourkoff also hinted about exploring crypto payment options for its services in the near future. He wrote:“We’re currently exploring ways to start accepting crypto as payment for our services, and in the not-so-distant future, as our ecosystem grows and our relationships continue to mature, we might even create our own LionTree token of trust.”Related: Dogecoin is better than Bitcoin for payments, Elon Musk declaresWhile lauding the achievements and milestones of the crypto market in 2021, Bourkoff also highlighted some of the flaws and hurdles that it needs to overcome. He said that the technology needs to be more energy-efficient, and the focus should be on building more user-friendly interfaces.LionTree is comparatively a small firm in its size, but it has been involved in some of the most significant media partnerships and acquisitions this year. The firm played a key role in the merger of WarnerMedia with Discovery Inc. The financial advisory group was also a part of Amazon’s acquisition of MGM Studios. LionTree also helped Snap Inc. with its Initial Public Offering.

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Wells Fargo partners with HSBC to settle FX transactions using blockchain

Wells Fargo has partnered with HSBC to use its blockchain tools for the settlement of bilateral foreign exchange (FX) transactions.Wells Fargo would use the HSBC-developed FX Everywhere platform for interbank FX transactions. Developed by HSBC in 2018, the blockchain settlement platform is primarily used to settle transactions between banks within the HSBC group. The latest partnership would be the first use case outside the HSBC group.The partnership would make way for settlement in U.S. dollar (USD), Canadian dollar (CAD), British pound sterling (GBP) and Euro (EUR) transactions. The official press release said that the platform would expand to include more currencies in the near future. The FX Everywhere platform has settled three million transactions to date worth $2.5 trillion.Mark Williamson, global head of FX Partnerships & Propositions at HSBC, said:“The platform enables participants to efficiently settle bilateral cross border obligations across multiple onshore and offshore currencies, coupled with the added flexibility of extended settlement windows to optimize PvP risk reduction opportunities.”The use of blockchain technology for interbank settlement increases transaction efficiency and cuts the cost per transaction. During the initial stages of the partnership, the platform would settle about 100 transactions every week and gradually increase the rate with time.Related: Central Bank of Sri Lanka completes proof-of-concept KYC platformThe use of decentralized technology for bank settlements is nothing new. Over the past few years, some of the biggest names in the banking sector have turned to blockchain tech for cross-border remittance and settlement. While Central banks are looking to incorporate CBDC use, private banks use commercial bank money. A recent report from the Juniper group has shown that cost-saving for commercial banks using blockchain technology will grow up to 3,330% by 2030.

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