Posted 1 year ago | by @devadmin

The second-largest bank in Spain, Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), has announced the launch of Bitcoin trading and custody through its Swiss subsidiary bank.

BBVA stated in a press release on Wednesday that it “has begun to roll out the trials of what will become its first commercial service for the trading and custody of digital assets.”

BBVA  is Spain’s second-largest bank after Banco Santander which is the largest bank in Spain. This is due to the fact that “it is the most advanced European country in terms of regulation and adoption of digital assets,” according to the bank.

The BBVA group was founded in 1857 and has 727 billion euros in total assets as of the end of September. The bank has 7,565 branches and almost 80 million customers in over 30 countries.

The bank explained that the new service will first be offered through its Swiss subsidiary, BBVA Switzerland, which is “dedicated to international private banking services.” Customers of BBVA will be able to “manage bitcoin transactions and have deposits in this cryptocurrency,” the bank explained.

“Starting in 2021, BBVA will offer its clients a service of trading and custody of digital assets, with all the guarantees of any other banking service, with a transparent system that is very simple to operate.”

“Digital assets have enormous potential to transform the way value and information are exchanged through blockchain technology,” Alicia Pertusa, Head of Client Solutions Strategy at BBVA said. “Financial institutions, in collaboration with supervisors, can play a relevant role in the integration of digital assets in current markets and infrastructures.”

The bank also expressed that its crypto initiative “comes at a time when several countries are taking important steps toward a new regulation on how these digital asset markets can operate.”

An anonymous source with information on the deal previously told CoinDesk that BBVA was preparing to “launch its Europe-wide crypto initiative from Switzerland,” prior to the announcement. Coindesk further reported that BBVA was among the first financial institutions to combine public and private blockchains in a live transaction on a testnet back in July 2018. In the same year, Francisco Gonzalez, the Executive Chairman of BBVA Group, called for a better understanding of Cryptocurrencies in an interview with CNBC.

Bitcoin is currently trading at [FIAT: 19,235.38] UP +4.3% in the last 24 hours according to Coingecko at the time of this report.