Investment interest in cryptocurrencies has hit a new feverish pitch recently. No longer limited to just the retail geek punters of the early days, a growing list of major financial institutions have changed tack — from calling investment in cryptos “Ponzi schemes” just a couple of years ago — to join the action.

However, Swiss bank UBS, which runs the largest wealth management business in the world, is not about to join the fray. “We are not for Bitcoin for various [reasons],” says Edmund Koh, the bank’s Asia Pacific president. “One of them is in the issue of KYC [know your customer] and AML [anti-money laundering]. We are very uncomfortable on the AML side,” says Koh in response to questions about the recent rally.

He adds that the technology underpinning cryptocurrencies is already “well-articulated”. “But the governance of it, together with the capital, is something which we are very uncomfortable with. Who actually owns it, and how the economics of it actually works; those are two sore points for us,” says Koh.

To continue reading,

Sign in to access this Premium article.

Subscription entitlements:

Less than $9 per month
3 Simultaneous logins across all devices
Unlimited access to latest and premium articles
Bonus unlimited access to online articles and virtual newspaper on The Edge Malaysia (single login)

Stay updated with Singapore corporate news stories for FREE

Follow our Telegram | Facebook