Investir dans le marché des crypto-actifs

Pour Olivier Ernst, de Crypto Finance, la volatilité de ces investissements alternatifs est normale.

Selon une étude de PwC publiée en ce début d’année, l’effondrement des cryptodevises de 2018 a affecté les 50 sociétés les plus importantes de la «Crypto Valley» helvétique. Ces dernières ont vu leur valeur de marché fondre de plus de moitié lors du dernier trimestre. Selon Olivier Ernst, responsable des marchés francophones chez Crypto Finance, la demande mondiale d’ICO s’est affaiblie, reflétant bien le caractère cyclique de ce marché.

Comment analysez-vous cet environnement et quelle est l’implication pour la bonne marche des affaires?

L’année dernière a sans aucun doute été difficile pour de nombreux participants. Toutefois, 2017 avait été un extraordinaire succès pour notre groupe grâce à nos solutions de courtage, de gestion d’actifs et de stockage pour les crypto-actifs. Les affaires sont parfois cycliques; c’est tout à fait normal. Il est essentiel de maintenir une position à moyen et à long terme et d’utiliser d’éventuelles ressources disponibles à court terme pour poursuivre le développement d’initiatives critiques.

«Il serait erroné de limiter l’importance des actifs numériques aux cryptodevises.»

Vous avez participé à une conférence à Genève sur les crypto-actifs. En plus des cryptodevises, que comprend cette classe d’actifs et quels sont les volumes traités sur le marché suisse?

C’est exact, il serait erroné de limiter l’importance des actifs numériques aux cryptodevises. Comme dans la définition de la FINMA, nous distinguons les jetons de paiement, les jetons d’utilité et les jetons d’investissements. Les acteurs du marché sont nombreux en Suisse. Il est donc difficile de déterminer quel est le volume global.

Quel conseil donneriez-vous à un investisseur qui se lancerait dans les cryptos?

Les crypto-actifs sont des investissements alternatifs, ce qui implique une plus grande volatilité du marché. Comme pour tous les investissements alternatifs, avant de prendre une décision d’investissement dans des crypto-actifs, je conseillerais de s’assurer de leur adéquation et de leur pertinence.

«La demande mondiale des ICO s’est considérablement affaiblie.»

Suite à la correction des cryptodevises, quelles sont celles que vous recommanderiez pour investir? Et celles que vous ne recommanderiez en aucun cas?

Encore une fois, tout conseil d’investissement possible concernant les crypto-actifs dépend du profil de risque et de l’adéquation appropriée pour l’investisseur.

Les méthodes d’analyses techniques ou chartistes du forex sont-elles appropriées sur les cryptodevises?

Elles pourraient l’être. Cependant, nous devons tenir compte du fait que l’éventualité d’une faible liquidité ou l’impact de modifications réglementaires sur les prix puissent fausser l’analyse.

Pour 2019, avons-nous des ICO suisses importantes dans le pipeline?

Pas à ma connaissance. La demande mondiale des ICO s’est considérablement affaiblie au cours des douze derniers mois.

Source: AllNews

Author:  Salima Barragan

Crypto Storage AG: Swissquote Banking Group to Launch Crypto Custody in Late March

Swiss banking group Swissquote has revealed its plans to launch crypto custody services in late March, according to the company’s 2018 business results report, published on March 8.

According to the report, the company has been trading five major cryptocurrencies since 2017 and is now introducing a crypto custody service.

The new feature is set to launch on March 21. According to the report, customers will be able to transfer crypto from external wallet to their account at Swissquote and vice versa. As the document the states, the move will let the company “become a secure and technologically fully integrated cryptocurrency trading platform and depositary for private and institutional clients alike.”

The solution will be based on services provided by fintech company Crypto Storage AG.

Crypto Storage AG is a Swiss startup that provides infrastructure to manage private keys. According to firm’s website, it develops hardware security modules and provides services to financial intermediaries worldwide.

As Cointelegraph previously reported, Swissquote started accepting Bitcoin (BTC) in mid-2017, following a similar decision by Swiss Falcon Private Bank.

Later that year the company added four other major currencies — Ripple (XRP), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC) and Bitcoin Cash (BCH). In several months, Swissquote reported a 44 percent surge in profits for the first half of 2018, attributing the uplift to the “crypto boom.”

This January, Falcon Private Bank has introduced support for direct transfers and storage of four major cryptocurrencies — Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum, and Litecoin — in an attempt to make blockchain assets “fully bankable.”

Also in January, the country’s major private investment bank Vontobel has launched a crypto custody solution targeting banks and asset managers.

Switzerland has been one of the pioneers of crypto adoption on a state level. Recently, the country’s financial regulator, the Financial Market Supervisory Authority, published guidelines for businesses applying for a fintech license.

Further information on Crypto Storage AG

Source: Article from Coin Telegraph

Crypto Assets – Or How To Link the Old World with the New

The first Swiss crypto company received a FINMA permit in mid ­2018. As an assets manager of collective capital investments, Zurich ­based Crypto Fund AG is authorised to offer access to crypto trading via its funds. In an interview, Bernadette Leuzinger, COO of the fintech startup, talks about the opportunities offered by alternative assets, the future of digital money and counters blockchain critics.

Ms. Leuzinger, how can a private person invest in crypto fund products?

You have been able to invest in this area as a qualified investor for quite a while now. This can be done rather simply, as with traditional fund products, through a mandate with your bank.

But that means I would have to have at least two million francs to be able to buy stakes.

Yes, either you have two million in assets or 500,000 francs with written confirmation that you have the necessary financial sector knowledge to recognise the risks associated with the investments.

How about directly investing through your company Crypto Fund AG?

Our approach is quite clear, to connect the “old” world with the “new” world. The process is quite a classic one: You subscribe to the fund through your bank, the security is deposited.

After becoming the first crypto company to receive a FINMA permit as asset manager, what further admission to the financial market are you striving for? Perhaps a banking license?

As an asset manager, we are satisfied with the FINMA license enabling us to manage the fund products. Our sister company, Crypto Broker AG, is pursuing the next step, a securities trader license. Whether we want to apply for a banking license at a later date will depend on further regulatory development.

And what’s your opinion regarding the new FINMA FinTech license, which can be applied for under the revised banking ordinance since the beginning of this year?

The FinTech license is a great thing for the entire ecosystem. While, according to the new regulation, acceptance of deposits from the public is permitted, we are not allowed to pay interest on them nor invest them. That’s not our prime intention, because we are currently focusing our expertise on crypto investments.

With a banking license or fintech permit, it would be possible for you to apply for access to the SIC system through the Swiss National Bank. Wouldn’t it be worth considering having your own SNB sight deposit account?

We have toyed with the idea. It would require a certain payment traffic volume in order to make the operative costs worthwhile. The question of whether it is worth it for us or not will depend on how business develops in the future.

Since last autumn your company has been recognized worldwide as a regulated Swiss funds manager. Do you see yourself as being in a pole position internationally for crypto investments?

Definitely (big smile). We are one of the few companies in Europe with this specialised know-how to have reached this degree of regulation.

And when you look across the pond to America and Asia?

Let’s disregard the USA for now. The problem is that most Europeans cannot invest in American vehicles; while conversely, Americans cannot buy shares in our funds. However, Asia is already an interesting market because the Swiss brand still stands for quality and reliability there.

Where in Asia?

Singapore is particularly active, where regulation is nearly as progressive as it is in Switzerland when it comes to blockchain and crypto technology. We are maintaining close contact with the regulatory authorities both here and there.

The Federal Council intends for Switzerland to assume a pioneering role for crypto investments. On the other hand, the Deutsche Bundesbank wants every attempt to regulate cryptocurrency to take place on a global level in order to be effective. How do you feel about this dilemma?

Because technology respects no national borders, uneven development on the national and international levels is really challenging. What matters, at least for today, is the national or local aspect, because there is no international regulation. However, there are also working groups, standards and recommendations. While we are also active internationally, we are headquartered in Switzerland and relate to local laws. The Swiss authorities have established a good foundation and it would be desirable if they would also actively promote this in all possible international organisations. We support such efforts with our expertise and are for regulation in the existing legal landscape without limiting the necessary freedom. We are moving in the right direction in Switzerland.

The Crypto Market Index 10, calculated by SIX and managed by you, measures the top ten largest and most liquid cryptocurrencies and provides the basis for your fund products. Today, the index is at around the same level as it was in autumn 2017, after shooting up nearly fourfold by January 2018. Is this a favorable moment to get into the market?

I find it funny that many compare the current situation to what it was a year ago. If you look at the history over a longer period you can still see an upward trend. Sometimes we are above the trend, sometimes below. The market may be more volatile than traditional stock markets, but all the more thrilling for it. It is very promising for the future, especially in view of the SIX Digital Exchange that is currently being created and where blockchain shares will be traded. Everyone should be aware that we deal with risky assets and that only a relatively small amount of assets should be invested, but the moment to enter the market is certainly not bad today.

In the rules for your index, it says that trading can be discontinued in the event of a significant drop in turnover. What does that mean?

Here, we are following the practices of traditional markets, where it is customary to automatically suspend trading for a few minutes in the event of strong downward movements, for example. In our case, the index is only compiled by SIX during the daytime, but cryptoassets are traded around the clock. This means that it is up to us to intervene in a serious situation so that index participants are not disadvantaged in the event of market distortions.

In January 2019, trading was discontinued with the cryptocurrency Ethereum Classic because it fell victim to manipulation. What impact would the end of one of the ten index currencies have on the fund?

We removed Ethereum Classic from the index a month before this due to lack of compliance with our liquidity requirements. The index does not require that therealways be ten currencies present. There are currently seven. What is important is that the currencies meet the objective requirements. For example, that they are traded on several exchanges and are liquid. Incidentally, trading in Ethereum Classic has not been discontinued everywhere and the currency has not ceased to exist.

Institutional investors are among the leading capital market participants. What development, in your opinion, must the crypto industry still undergo so that institutions such as the Swiss Old age and survivors’ insurance (OASI) become your customers?

That is already possible today, from a purely objective perspective. Keyword diversification: since they are virtually uncorrelated to traditional investments, they are suitable as alternative assets in current portfolios; an investment in the future. However, it is also clear that trust in new investment vehicles in the crypto sector must be further strengthened. We hope that larger financial institutions will climb on board through strong partners such as SIX.

Speaking of trust. It is not great everywhere. Nouriel Roubini, a well-known US economist, who forecasted the financial crisis and subsequent recession ten years ago, recently stated that blockchain was most useless and over-hyped technology ever. What do you say to the critics?

There are two sides to that issue, one that finds blockchain to be fantastic, and the other holding the opposite opinion. The new technology has great potential in any case. It is the first time we are able to directly exchange assets without an intermediary, in which the assets cannot be copied, counterfeited or stolen. Otherwise, most critical voices arise from the Western world, where we generally have well-functioning, stable systems which somehow or other offer a future guarantee, because we trust the institutions that are behind the systems. That is not the case in other countries, especially where there is widespread corruption or horrendous inflation. It is precisely in these countries that blockchain is very interesting for the population.

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) recently conducted a survey among central banks and learned that two banks will soon make central bank money digitally widely accessible, including Sweden. What do you make of this?

It’s extremely exciting: in terms of confidence, for digitalization itself, and especially for daily payment traffic as well. It primarily depends on how it is designed. In Sweden, where a great deal is already paid for digitally, the rate of cash usage is falling steeply. For consumers, it makes little difference whether digital payment is with or without blockchain. The more
digital money there is in circulation, the greater the user confidence in new technologies will grow.

In what aspect of payments can you imagine blockchain technology really being successful?

I think it certainly will play a major role in transaction processing, especially for back-office processes downstream from payment initiation. This includes card payments and customer credit transfers among banks. Credit transfers in Switzerland are usually processed in real time through the SIC system. With a blockchain-based technology, the validation of a payment takes up to an hour. This applies to money transfers. Things look quite different though for securities. A transaction there conducted through blockchain is processed faster than through the banking system. But there are also other types of blockchains that are less open, meaning they function in a less decentralized manner enabling transactions to be processed more quickly. There is ongoing research into what such a blockchain platform for interbank payments might look like.

And what about scalability? Visa alone processes more than 1,700 transactions per second in the card business. Is blockchain in its current state able to handle a bulk payment system?

Here too, it depends on what you mean by a blockchain. For example, the emphasis in the Bitcoin blockchain is decentralization and censoring resistance. There are already protocols like Lightning Network, based on bitcoin as a second level, which are able to process many more transactions per second. Then there are other blockchains that are less decentralized, such as between banks, which deliver a much higher throughput rate. To be considered for each application is the initial position and the goal, along with the premises to be aimed for. There is no universal solution.

Interview: Gabriel Juri and Karin Pache SIX
Clearit SIX Magazine

Jan Brzezek about the Crypto Winter at CNNMoney

Our CEO, Jan Brzezek got interviewed by CNNMoney Switzerland. He talks with Ana Maria Montero about crypto winter and the markets volatility. Despite the fall in the price of bitcoin, he argues that cryptocurrencies are very promising. He also explains the recent restructuring within our company.

Watch the full interview on CNNMoney Switzerland 


NZZ, Anlagefonds: Un navire pour une nouvelle classe d’actifs

(Extrait de l’article en allemand)

Ein Gefäss für eine neue Anlageklasse

Professionelle und institutionelle Investoren interessieren sich zunehmend für Anlagen im Crypto Asset Bereich. Die zunehmende Professionalität vereinfacht auch entsprechende Investments. Nach wie vor entscheidend ist die Zugänglichkeit dieser Anlageklasse sowie das nötige Hintergrundwissen.

Die Volatilität des Crypto Asset Marktes steht meist im Vordergrund. Ein besonderes Augenmerk sollte aber auch auf die geringen Korrelationen zu traditionellen Anlagen, wie Aktien, Staatsanleihen, Währungen oder Gold gerichtet werden. Eine Allokation in Crypto Assets kann die Diversifikation innerhalb eines Portfolios erhöhen und führt somit zu einer Verbesserung des Rendite-Risiko-Profils. Im Besonderen gilt dies im Hinblick auf die langfristigen Entwicklungsmöglichkeiten der Crypto Asset Industrie und dem damit erwarteten Zukunftspotential. So war zwar 2018 von einem Preisrückgang geprägt, längerfristig gesehen, nur schon über einen Zeitraum von zwei Jahren, ist die Marktkapitalisierung über 500% gestiegen.

Lese mehr hier: Download Artikel als PDF

Quelle: NZZ, Anlagefonds

Perspectives solides annoncées pour le zougois Crypto Finance

Source / Auteur: Matteo Ianni,  L’Agefi

Centré sur la gestion d’actifs, le courtage et les solutions de stockage pour les actifs numériques, le groupe prévoit de se développer en Suisse romande.

2018 a été une année charnière pour Crypto Finance. Basé à Zoug, le groupe, centré sur la gestion d’actifs, le courtage et les solutions de stockage sécurisé pour les actifs numériques, a été reconnu
dans la branche de la finance. Il est le premier et actuellement le seul gestionnaire de fortune réglementé pour les cryptoactifs autorisé par la FINMA dans le cadre de la loi suisse sur les placements collectifs de capitaux (LPCC).


Pour lire l’article complet de 3 janvier 2019: PDF


Mathias Maurer, Crypto Fund AG, comments on crypto asset management regulation

Mathias Maurer, of Crypto Fund AG, with the Lantern Fund Forum in Lugano comments on regulation development for companies dedicated to crypto assets and the pioneering approach Crypto Finance Group is taking in this area.

For more details on this leading forum in Lugano, Switzerland: Lantern Fund Forum

Source: Dukascopy TV