Hypothekarbank Lenzburg, a staid bank based in Switzerland, is now accepting commercial accounts from business entities that deal in cryptocurrencies. Hypothekarbank is known as a traditional mortgage lender with a history dating back more than a century; it is widely considered to be a legacy institution in a country that has built its riches in the financial sector, which would make it an unlikely candidate to handle digital currencies, but it also believes that adopting emerging technologies will strengthen its position as a leader in the banking world.
In recent months, a couple of Swiss private banks have dipped their toes in the cryptocurrency ocean, but they have done so mostly on trading basis. Hypothekarbank intends to provide financing to companies that deal with cryptocurrencies, and to do, so it had to gain compliance approval from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, a regulator known to be highly conservative.
Over the last couple of years, Switzerland has seen a rush of Blockchain development firms setting up shop in Zug and other cities, and this is a trend that is taking place despite a referendum that would give central bankers more control over the money supply; in other words, a sector of Swiss society does not approve of decentralized currency systems. As of June 9, the Swiss referendum against fractional reserve banking was not likely to pass, although analysts are puzzled over the dichotomy of Switzerland becoming a major cryptocurrency hub despite many citizens opposed to decentralized money systems.