Swiss crypto exchange nets big hitter CEO

Arthur Vayloyan has crypto experience in the mainstream banking sector Keystone

Former Credit Suisse and Falcon Bank executive Arthur Vayloyan has been named co-CEO at Bitcoin Suisse, one of Switzerland’s oldest cryptocurrencies exchanges. Bitcoin Suisse has been at the forefront of the initial coin offering (ICO) boom in Switzerland in recent months.

Vayloyan landed the job just a few weeks after leaving his post as Global Head of Products & Services at Falcon. His departure followed a top-flight clear-out at Falcon that saw CEO Walter Berchtold and chairman Christian Wenger depart under a cloud in September.

Falcon has recently moved into the cryptocurrency space. In July, it became the first Swiss bank to offer customers crypto investments by teaming up with Bitcoin Suisse, which conducts transactions on behalf of Falcon.

Bitcoin Suisse founder and CEO Niklas Nikolajsen will now share operational duties with Vayloyan as co-CEO, combined with his role as chairman of the board at the exchange he set up in 2013. In a statement on Monday, Nikolajsen said he and Vayloyan “discovered our shared enthusiasm for the potential of blockchain technology” when setting up the Falcon project.  “I am very excited to work with Arthur on the future of our firm and to unleash the potential of crypto-asset-management.”

The crypto debate

Along with Bity in Neuchatel, Bitcoin Suisse has been a pioneer of the nascent, yet growing, cryptocurrency industry in Switzerland.

Falcon - along with Swissquote, Vontobel and Cornèr – have lately become among the few Swiss financial institutions to actively dabble in cryptocurrencies. Other established brands have left the new digital financial system well alone, and in some cases spoken out against potential bubble and fraud risks associated with cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin.

However, Vayloyan disagrees. “Crypto-finance, crypto-assets and tokenization will most certainly have a great role to play in the future of finance, wealth management and private equity,” he said in the statement. For a short time, he also linked to the now-ailing Monetas blockchain payments project in an advisory capacity.

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