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Swissquote Becomes First Bank Worldwide to Launch ICO Service

Online Swiss bank Swissquote announced the launch of its ICO offering, becoming the first bank worldwide to allow customers to buy tokens issued within an initial coin offering (ICO) supported by the Swissquote platform.

Swiss Diamond Producer Set to Raise $60.73 Million in First Bank-Mediated ICO Ever

As the financial industry adapts to the emerging world of cryptocurrency and token sales, Switzerland soon gained the reputation of being a crypto-friendly jurisdiction for blockchain startups. Regulatory uncertainty led some banks in the country to close accounts linked to crypto startups earlier this year, but as the dust settles, bolder institutions are showing initiative.

Swissquote, a leading institutional and retail online trading broker based in Switzerland, is opening new opportunities for the cryptocurrency market as a pioneer within the banking industry, according to a press release. The first ICO available on the platform will be LakeDiamond, a spin-off of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. The broker will take care of the execution as well as of the custody of the tokens issued by the company directly against Swiss francs (CHF) through their trading account.

The company produces high-grade diamonds with specialized reactors for industrial applications such as watch movements, lasers, and transistors. LakeDiamond aims to raise CHF 60.5 million, approximately $60.73 million, in order to ramp up its production capacities by buying 50 further reactors. Each token sold will represent machine production minutes, according to Mark Burki, Swissquote CEO.

“True to our philosophy to democratize finance by offering services that are simple and accessible to everyone, we are now offering our clients the opportunity to help grow startups. Combining crowdfunding with the blockchain creates a new form of fundraising. Thanks to contributions starting at 33 Swiss francs, clients can participate without being required to invest large sums into venture capital or private equity funds.”

33 Swiss francs, the minimum investment amount, is equivalent to 60 LakeDiamond tokens (LKD). During the pre-sale, which started today and ends on December 11, 2018, clients will receive an extra token for every 10 LKD purchased until CHF 4 million are raised. Each token is worth CHF 0.55, but the conversion rate will fluctuate after the public ICO, from mid-January 2019 to mid-February 2019.

The company will look to raise the equivalent to $60.73 million in order to boost its diamond production, according to Pascal Gallo, chief executive of LakeDiamond.

“With its ICO, LakeDiamond is seeking to accelerate its growth and is delighted to be the first company using the new ICO services offered by Swissquote.”

Before the ICO platform announcement, Swissquote was already offering a cryptocurrency trading offering. The platform allows clients to trade Bitcoin, Litecoi, Ripple, Bitcoin Cash, and Ether.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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