Maerki Baumann - Privatbank Zürich - Kurzartikel - Kryptowährungen

Crypto – disruption or opportunity?

Crypto – disruption or opportunity?

Hardly any other topic has attracted so much attention in the banking sector in recent times as the meteoric rise enjoyed by numerous cryptocurrencies. Some see them as a threat to established institutions or as instruments for dubious schemes. Others view them as harbingers of profound change within our financial system that offer interesting prospects for our clients and industry.

Author: Dr Stephan A. Zwahlen, CEO

On the doorstep of the Swiss financial centre, a hotbed of entrepreneurship has recently developed that is characterised by a large number of creative individuals and innovative fintechs. With Crypto Valley in Zug, one of the world’s most important clusters has emerged, harnessing the potential offered by blockchain technology in the process. For many years, renowned strategy consultants told us that the key challenge in private banking lies in achieving a critical mass. Today, focus is quite rightly being placed more on the business models. It is not the size of a company that is decisive, but rather the agility and speed of a financial intermediary. Over the coming years, the digitisation of business models is set to be a key area where action needs to be taken. Established yet flexible institutions that have a high degree of stability and reliability are likely to have an advantage here.

It is not the size of a company that is decisive, but rather the agility and speed of a financial intermediary.

Dr Stephan A. Zwahlen, CEO

With its Federal Institutes of Technology, Switzerland has world-renowned technological research and educational institutions. The emerging entrepreneurship being observed in the fintech and crypto sectors is a godsend for our country. It is becoming a catalyst for the required transformation of our industry. Digital assets are thus becoming a fixed component of professional asset management. From a client perspective, the new asset class, which admittedly entails high risks, offers additional earnings and diversification potential. Financial intermediaries can also benefit from the efficient application of blockchain technology and the expansion of investment universes. The Swiss legislator has established a good basis with the Blockchain/DLT Act, while the regulator has also shown itself to be open to this topic. It is therefore time for our industry to seize the day!

This short article was originally published in the February newsletter of alliancefinance, the working group for legal certainty and stability.

Dr. Stephan A. Zwahlen CEO

About the author

Stephan A. Zwahlen (born 1978) has been Chief Executive Officer of Maerki Baumann since February 2016. He joined the bank’s Executive Board as Head of Investment Solutions & Services in April 2009. From September 2010 he held the additional role of Deputy Chief Executive Officer before being appointed Chief Executive Officer. Stephan Zwahlen studied Business Administration with a specialisation in banking and finance at the University of St. Gallen, obtained a doctorate from the same institution, and studied at the Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario (Canada).

Maerki Baumann – your reliable partner

We would be delighted to act as your reliable partner in the dynamic world of digital assets. As a regulated bank under Swiss law, we have proven processes and innovative security solutions in place to guarantee that all the relevant legal and regulatory requirements are consistently complied with, even in this relatively new business area.