Contradiction or uncoordination? Why does BBVA advise against investing in bitcoin?

Photo: EEIMBBVA Bog Bank Nov 2019/CC BY-SA 4.0

It is known that banks are not exactly the main promoters of investments in cryptocurrencies, but they know that it is a market that is on the rise and there is not much they can do to stop it. Perhaps the only sensible thing they can do to avoid being left out of the game is to try to have some role in that market.

Probably, under this logic, BBVA ad Last December they began to offer the services of buying and selling and custody of bitcoins in their subsidiary in Switzerland. This would allow them to manage bitcoin transactions and have cryptocurrency deposits. Under the understanding that there would be a large market niche that is eager for these services.

Moreover, the head of Strategy in Client Solutions at BBVA, Alicia Pertusa pointed out: “Digital assets have great potential to transform the way value and information are exchanged through blockchain technology. Financial institutions, in collaboration with supervisors, can play a relevant role in integrating digital assets into current markets and infrastructures."

However, recently, the director of private banking at BBVA Spain, Jorge Gordo, he pointed on the occasion of the ninth Annual Private Banking Forum on Investment: “we do not advise investment "," we have told our clients not to invest in bitcoin”. The main reasons are: its unpredictability, wide volatility, complexity and market deregulation. Once again, all reasons already more than known in the crypto market.

Although the market in Switzerland has a little more "experience" with the handling of digital currencies, compared to the Spanish market, their statements are equally surprising, since they give diametrically opposite messages, being, in any case, , the same bank.

On the other hand, according to Economist, BBVA plans to replicate the services offered in Switzerland in its other subsidiaries, provided that regulations are put in place that give certain controls against bitcoin and other digital currencies.

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Marilú Lazo
Lawyer from the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú (PUCP). Director of The Crypto Legal Blog, she has experience in corporate advice, consumer protection, as well as in matters of personal data protection and new technologies.

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