Crypto whales illustration

Banking crypto whales in Switzerland

As we are helping more and more clients to cash out their crypto wealth in Swiss private banks, we give you a sneak peek into the process of banking crypto whales in Switzerland!

April 5rd 2023

How easy it is to buy or cash out crypto in fiat usually comes down to how understanding your bank will be about those transactions. This is why it is important to work with a crypto broker regulated in a trusted jurisdiction like us, which gives the bank the critical assurance that another regulated entity subject to equivalent KYC/AML standards will have already greenlit the client.

But when we enter the realm of crypto whales moving 7+ digits amounts between fiat and crypto, the vast majority of retail banks are out of the picture as they are simply not equipped to deal with that category of client.

For them, private banks are the way to go as they are specialized and used to onboard clients with unique profiles on a case-by-case basis. Still, in spite of their apparent appetite to open accounts for crypto wealth, it is still very challenging for them to do so directly. Most of their compliance staff has an inherent suspicion regarding cryptocurrency and their senior management is often fundamentally distrustful of anything with the word "crypto" in it. They are therefore not properly geared to onboard clients coming from that space and don't have the knowledge and tools required to perform a proper due diligence on the origin of funds coming from the crypto world. As a result, expecting a private bank's compliance team to do their job willingly and efficiently with a big crypto client all on their own is a long shot.

That is why it is not recommended to try opening an account with a private bank on your own. If you do, you will most likely be rejected as, again, crypto means headaches for them since they won't know how to start documenting your case. Worse, you can put yourself in jeopardy if a bank decides to report you to the authorities. Yes, that can happen: banks have a duty to report money laundering suspicion, even if they did not sign a contract with you! Misunderstandings about the client's story can therefore lead to such kind of very unfortunate consequences.

Getting the right help

Until banks will have evolved and get sufficiently familiar with the crypto space, an interface will always be required to ensure that things go smoothly. That is where specialized intermediaries like us enter the picture, as we can take care of all that work.

The track record that we have built in Switzerland as a regulated financial intermediary specialized in crypto services gave us over the years a solid reputation among the local financial ecosystem, and we have developed relationships with most of the private banks here that can be used to help crypto clients open bank accounts.

The process

When new clients contact us and express their needs for that service, we first onboard them through our regular KYC process, which is entirely done in-house. We know how privacy and data safety are important in the crypto world, which is why we always emphasize that point and stress the fact that all our clients benefit from Swiss secrecy.

Once that initial KYC is done, we then schedule a meeting to start drafting the file that we will use to present the client's case to the target private banks. When completed, that file will include a comprehensive portrait of the client's crypto wealth, its origin and its fiscal status.

Depending on the client's profile and wealth management needs, we will suggest the most relevant bank from our network (we only deal with private banks, which are focused on wealth management). With the client's approval, we will go on and request a bank account opening.

We then take care of all the follow-up work with the bank to ensure a swift process until the actual account is open and ready. Once done, we proceed to the actual cash out of the funds: the client transfers the crypto to our wallet in one or several transactions, which we then convert into the desired fiat currency through our liquidity network. In most cases, clients will cash out stablecoins that we redeem directly with their issuer. We have direct relationships with:

Tether logo
Circle logo
Binance logo
Stasis logo
Bitcoin Suisse logo
Lugh logo
Jarvis Network logo
Liquity logo
Angle Protocol logo
Frax Finance logo
Mai Finance logo

Finally, we transfer the fiat funds directly onto the newly opened private bank account, ready to be used. That whole process can be completed in less than a month!

What does it cost?

On our side, we charge for that service an all-inclusive one-off fee of less than 1% of the amount transferred. That fee includes all our compliance work, the preparation of the circumstantial report for the bank and the assistance with the account's opening.

On the private bank's side, they usually apply an all-in-one fee (custody and transactions) around 1% of the asset under management. We can usually help negotiate that fee down thanks to our good relationships with banks. Of course, additional fees regarding tax consulting and restructuring may apply, but in all cases we will ensure that you pay the right price.

The profiles we can help

Here is a non-exhaustive list of the different types of client profiles for which we have built successful cases for cash outs and bank account openings. They describe what needs to be demonstrated for a successful process, which is to detail what funds were used to generate what profit. Fortunately, the blockchain is an open ledger and tracing transactions is constantly getting easier with more and more sophisticated tools.

  • ICO investors: Angel, pre-seed and private sale investors in crypto projects usually sign investment agreements, which are used to document the profile. That's only half the picture though, as the legitimacy of the ICO itself will need to be demonstrated to convince the bank that the operation is clean.
  • Bug bounty hunters: White hat hackers can easily earn millions in rewards in the crypto space. It's usually simple to demonstrate the source and origin of those funds through the bug bounty platforms they've used, as well as through the issuers of the rewards.
  • Miners: People having mined crypto for a long time are often complex cases. Miners who can produce records of block numbers and hashes should be fairly straightforward. For others, a documentation of the origin of the funds will be trickier but can still be achieved through a demonstration of IT experience, hardware assets, electricity consumption and revenue flows.
  • Traders: A detailed record of the trading history usually does the trick, assuming of course that the origin of the funds used to start the trading activity can be evidenced. Transactions history can be exported from trading platforms, and we will take care of shaping it up so that the bank can understand it easily.
  • Yield farmers: Establishing the history of funds generated through yield farming on various DeFi platforms is usually quite straightforward, thanks to the many on-chain tracking tools available today.
  • Degens: If you got lucky aping into altcoins at the right time and getting out at the right time as well, you should only have a few transactions to document and as a result the story of your wealth should be easily demonstrable.
  • Hodlers: Last but not least, if you're among the lucky ones who got into crypto early and managed to avoid thefts, lost keys and other Mt. Gox, you probably qualify for this service! The main difficulty for hodlers is to demonstrate how cryptos were acquired in the first place, which can be tricky considering how messy was the early age of crypto.

If you're interested in cashing out funds with us, don't hesitate to get in touch!

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