Swissquote might not be the most familiar name in crypto trading, but this doesn’t mean they’re not innovating. Swissquote is a Swiss online bank, first and foremost. Online banking is a swelling sector, as more consumers realize they don’t need bricks and mortar to store wealth, get credit/loans, or transfer funds across borders.
Swissquote is also a crypto broker. Built into their online banking services is the option to buy Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ether, Bitcoin Cash, and Ripple. Swissquote customers can use Swiss Francs in their checking account to pay for these digital currencies. As some international banks no longer allow users to buy Bitcoin Cash and other crypto with credit or debit cards, Swissquote has a true value proposition to offer.
Now Swissquote is offering its first-ever ICO. The LakeDiamond ICO (pre-sale already in effect) will be the first initial coin offering launched by a traditional bank (one subject to conventional banking regulations). With the ICO, Swissquote turns itself into a true “one stop shop”, where the lines between fiat currency and cryptocurrency blur more than ever before.
Switzerland’s securities, crypto, and banking regulations provide one of the most inviting environments for ICOs and blockchain startups. LakeDiamond is a subsidiary of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. They use reactors to create diamonds for industrial purposes such as lasers, watch building, and transistors. The company wishes to raise over 60 million Francs (1 Franc = $1 US) for the purchase of 50 new reactors.
One LakeDiamond Token will cost CHF 0.55, and the minimum investment for ICO is 33 CHF. The LakeDiamond ICO press release doesn’t specify what LakeDiamond Tokens will actually be used for. Will holders get company equity? Seats on the board? Diamonds?
The LakeDiamond token sale website indicates that 1 LKD will be equivalent to 1 minute of diamond production time. ICO buyers can use this time however they please – even to produce their very own diamonds and diamond technologies. LKD holders will also be able to “capture client diamond orders” as well, essentially selling their right to these products. Finally, LKD tokens may be sold on the secondary market for other cryptocurrencies or fiat.
This is a novel arrangement within the cryptocurrency markets and could have important implications for the future of ICO and cryptocurrency regulation. While it’s exciting that Switzerland allows public and private sectors to use ICO fundraising so freely, LKD sounds suspiciously like a security. This isn’t to say that digital cryptographic securities couldn’t have an important role in the market. In any case, the Swiss will likely sort it out in the coming days.