Liechtenstein-based Bank Frick is a blockchain pioneer. The bank plays a crucial role in the development of Liechtenstein’s blockchain sector.
Banks have considered blockchain companies as direct competitors for many years.
That’s for good reasons. Decentralized blockchain applications aim at cutting out middlemen, including banks. Who in the world wants to be made redundant?
As a result, banking remains a major challenge for blockchain companies almost everywhere in the world.
But as banks start to realize that the potential of the technology goes way beyond cryptocurrencies, major industry players have started to warm up to blockchain. Liechtenstein-based Bank Frick is a prime example.
Liechtenstein‘s banking sector is blockchain-friendly
All of Gaul is under the banks’ control, except for one small country of indomitable Gauls that still holds out against the powerful banks: Liechtenstein.
That might be slightly exaggerated. But it’s certainly correct that Liechtenstein’s cooperative banking sector is one of the main reasons why blockchain companies are setting up shop in the country.
Even in neighboring Switzerland, which has a global reputation for its easy-going banking sector, there are only five banks willing to work with blockchain companies.
Bernd Lapp of Swarm City says, “It is as if the Swiss financial institutions want to prevent crypto companies from flourishing here”.
Not so in Liechtenstein. Many banks are willing to work with blockchain businesses and are supportive.
“We have a lot of clients from Switzerland, amongst them over 200 corporate clients from the Crypto Valley in the canton of Zug. One reason for this, of course, is that Swiss banks are still struggling with the topic of blockchain,” says Edi Wögerer, CEO of Bank Frick.
Bank Frick is spearheading Europe’s blockchain banking
Bank Frick has been one of the key drivers behind the country’s blockchain sector in recent years.
The bank offers blockchain clients a wide range of services. For example the “blockchain business account” – a corporate account designed to meet the needs of blockchain businesses.
CEO Edi Wögerer says it is important “not to look at the topic [blockchain] in isolation, but to build up the relevant know-how in all the critical departments: in Business Development, Client Support, Trading and – very importantly – Compliance.”
Chief Client Officer Hubert Büchel explains, “Our services are in demand from companies across the whole of Europe. This is because they know that we can offer them reliable support in implementing their business models with cryptocurrencies and blockchains in line with the existing regulatory framework.”
Based in Liechtenstein, Bank Frick is a fully regulated bank under Liechtenstein and European EEA law. “We aim to place blockchain banking on at least the same level of quality as traditional banking,” says Hubert Büchel.
More than just banking services…
Besides offering banking services tailored to the blockchain industry, Bank Frick does much more to move Liechtenstein’s blockchain ecosystem forward.
Last month, the bank has announced the launch of a blockchain research program in cooperation with Liechtenstein University. The bank will provide substantial financial support for a period of five years and supports the university in establishing a certificate course on blockchain and fintech.
Bank Frick works with several financial service providers to enhance its blockchain offerings. Especially important is the cooperation with the banking software company ERI Bancaire. Both companies aim at improving the current state of digital banking solutions.
The bank’s strategic blockchain focus is important for Liechtenstein’s blockchain sector. Besides a supportive government, a cooperative banking sector is of essence for the industry’s future.
Edi Wögerer says, “this [blockchain focus] certainly has a lot to do with Bank Frick’s corporate DNA: being prepared to try something new. And in the case of blockchain, being a first mover definitely paid off.”
Image: ©Bank Frick