Frequently asked questions
Sygnum is the world’s first digital asset bank, and a digital asset specialist with global reach.
On 23 September 2019, twenty days after its Swiss banking and securities dealer came into full force, Sygnum Bank AG digitally onboarded its first customers and recorded its first customer transactions on the two most important public blockchains, Bitcoin and Ethereum. With this, Sygnum proved that digital assets are bankable, trusted and convenient, and empowered its clients to invest in the digital asset economy with complete trust.
The following month, on 31 October, Sygnum Pte Ltd in Singapore announced that it had obtained a capital markets services (CMS) licence from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), offering a range of asset management products for institutional and private qualified investors. Sygnum then became the first digital asset specialist to be regulated in both Switzerland and Singapore.
"Sygnum has taken up the challenge to develop a modern banking solution integrating DLT to design a new form of digital assets as tokens and to enable the secure and compliant storage of clients' tokens." – Luka Müller, Chairman, Co-Founder and Partner, MME
With Sygnum Bank AG’s Swiss banking licence, as well as Sygnum Pte Ltd’s capital markets services (CMS) licence in Singapore, Sygnum empowers institutional and private qualified investors, corporates, banks and other financial institutions to invest in the digital asset economy with complete trust.
We make the universe of digital assets bankable, convenient and trusted. Our clients use their deposited CHF, EUR, SGD and USD to securely buy, trade and hold an expanding range of digital assets integrated in one account. These include Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple’s XRP protocol token, a Digital CHF token for instant settlements, and soon a diverse range of asset tokens.
Sygnum’s portfolio of regulated digital asset banking services includes digital asset accounts and custody, brokerage, tokenization solutions, asset management, lending and B2B banking services.
"Sygnum really stands out with their vision to build the underlying infrastructure for the token economy. Given the team's experience in finance, traditional technologies and DLT, I believe they are the best people to realize the mission." – Loi Luu, Advisor, Co-Founder and CEO, Kyber Network
Sygnum was founded by Luka Muller (Chairman), Manuel Krieger (CEO Sygnum Bank AG in Switzerland), Mathias Imbach (CEO Sygnum Singapore) and Gerald Goh (Chief Strategy Officer).
The Co-founders had been granted a glimpse of the massive potential of DLT with the rise of digital assets such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. We believe that we are only at the beginning, and that DLT will be increasingly used for a wide range of financial services applications including the tokenization of financial assets, physical assets, and over time, anything of value.
Sygnum was founded to connect today’s high potential, but largely unregulated digital asset industry to the regulated world of traditional finance. Weaving together these two realities will help accelerate institutional adoption of digital assets. And this will make markets more efficient and transparent - and create a world where people can have more control, freedom and trust - and ultimately more direct access to value.
Our mission is to empower everyone with direct access to ownership and value.
"I believe Sygnum will bring its clients access to the revolutionary benefits of DLT in a trusted, legal and regulated environment. The founders setting up in Switzerland and Singapore is a commitment to that vision." – Patrick McGoldrick, Advisor, Executive Director, RNT Associates International
Our interdisciplinary team of DLT and digital asset specialists is the industry’s most diverse. The fast-growing team, now drawn from almost 30 nationalities, combines a passion and belief in digital assets with a broad range of backgrounds, including banking, trading, investment, venture capital, blockchain engineering, security, technology, and more. The team is backed by a distinguished group of individuals and institutions.
Our board of directors' industry knowledge and experience in major financial institutions ensures strong corporate governance in-line with global financial services best practices.
Our advisors have shaped industries and regulations both in Switzerland and in Singapore. Each of our advisors contributes in a significant manner to the success of Sygnum and supports the team in driving DLT banking innovation and shaping future strategy.
Together with our partners, we are shaping the development of a global, scalable and adaptive digital asset ecosystem and building the infrastructure of Future Finance.
Together, we have a clear and common vision of how to harness the power of DLT to transform the financial industry in the coming years.
"Sygnum uniquely marries "democratised" financial services with compliance based on DLT. Co-creating from two leading financial services centers, Switzerland and Singapore, and partnering in both with the two largest telecom companies is consistent with the logic of the underlying "distributed" technology. Moreover, Sygnum means a team of founders, leaders and partners aiming at a tokenized paradigm shift for targeted clients. I'm thrilled to be part of this team." – Gabriela Maria Payer, Director, Founder, PAYERPARTNER
A global, trusted and regulatory compliant digital asset ecosystem is critical to realising the potential of the next wave of financial innovation - asset tokenization.
Together with our strategic partner Swisscom and other industry leaders, Sygnum is shaping the development of the emerging digital asset ecosystem.
Alongside our partners, we are building tomorrow’s financial market infrastructure – and enabling institutional investors to invest in the digital asset economy with complete trust.
Sygnum is located in Zurich, Switzerland, and Singapore.
The decision to seek regulatory compliance in Switzerland and Singapore is first and foremost a strategic one, as the two countries are globally recognised as established and trusted banking hubs. Both jurisdictions have set stringent standards for the financial institutions operating within them, and these standards are a mark of credibility which is particularly critical in this frontier space of digital assets.
Switzerland is representative of stellar banking heritage and emblematic of the quality and trust that Swiss banks command globally. While Singapore, as a hub of fintech and innovation, forms the ideal base to pursue growth opportunities in Asia. It is the combination of these two strategic locations that will set the platform for Sygnum’s future growth.
"With its dual domicile strategy Sygnum leverages both complementarities and similarities of these two outstanding financial centers: centrally located in two of the world's most attractive economic geographies, Switzerland and Singapore share political stability with strong rule of law, high levels of ambition and productivity as well as a longstanding commitment to excellence and innovation." – Dr. Peter Wuffli, Director, Founder and Chairman, elea Foundation
At Sygnum, we empower institutional and private qualified investors, corporates, banks and other financial institutions to invest in the emerging digital asset economy with complete trust.
We believe there are three areas where we are powerfully different to other digital asset banking solutions.
Firstly, our portfolio of regulated banking services is seamlessly integrated and available as one solution – from same day trading settlements to tokenized securities and innovative digital asset investment products. Sygnum brings traditional banking convenience and simplicity to digital assets – all underpinned with institutional-grade security.
Secondly, Sygnum has its own independently controlled, scalable and future-proof regulated banking platform. We have the agility to configure secure infrastructure, operations and services to meet a range of diverse institutional needs – today and as the digital asset universe evolves. This means Sygnum can test and launch new services as opportunities arise, scale up projects at speed and provide banking experiences that are intuitive and cutting edge.
And thirdly, at Sygnum we believe in collaboration, not competition, and networks, not barriers. Sygnum is shaping the development of a trusted digital asset ecosystem with its strategic partner Swisscom and other industry leaders. Through this network of partnerships, we can deliver ambitious projects, operate globally at scale, and pioneer new DLT standards for financial services.
"Blockchain / DLT allows the creation of new forms of digital information, which has the same access and transfer functionality as a property right: the token. The token allows an efficient interaction between ecosystem participants which reduces transaction costs and balance sheet exposure." – Dr. Luka Müller, Co-Founder & Chairman
We appreciate the transformative power and usefulness of DLT. But decentralisation is not a panacea. On one hand, rules and regulations have been put in place for a reason – in most cases to protect the investor. This must continue. On the other hand, DLT is a trust and security engine that provides a great degree of control. Because of this, certain rules may become redundant, but not all of them.
Because we believe we are in a period of consolidation and transition, we seek to both maintain and uphold high regulatory standards and support their evolution as they embrace digital assets. Future has heritage.
Yes, like any bank and any securities firm in Switzerland, Sygnum Bank is required to sign the Self-regulation “Agreement between esisuisse and its members”.
This means clients’ deposits are protected up to a maximum of CHF 100,000 per client. Medium-term notes held in the name of the bearer at the issuing bank are also considered deposits.