The Czech institution Expobank CZ has launched an online service that combines traditional finance with cryptocurrency-related services. Clients can take advantage of features that allow them to trade crypto assets, buy precious metals, and invest in startups using their accounts.
Taking Advantage of the Crowdfunding Wave
Expobank CZ’s new cryptocurrency service is called Neo and is built on top of its existing online banking infrastructure. Not to be confused with the cryptocurrency called NEO, Expobank’s new service is designed to give users full control over the use of their funds. The new service was created in partnership with the Bitcoin “bank” WBTCB, gold and silver coin manufacturers Czech Mint, and Fundlift, a popular Czech-focused crowdfunding platform.
Fundlift may be especially interested in the wave of crypto-oriented crowdfunding represented by the countless multi-million-dollar ICOs that occurred in 2017 and 2018. Expobank’s partnership with Fundlift will give users access to the crowdfunding startup’s ICO services and the ability to purchase shares in existing companies through their Expobank accounts.
The partnership with Czech Mint may be especially attractive to investors who have been confused by cryptocurrency-related tax reporting requirements. The Czech Republic considers the buying and selling of gold to be tax-exempt.
WBTCB can provide effective custody services for Bitcoin investors who do not wish to hold their investments in a separate wallet. Verified account holders will have higher transaction limits.
Latest Move to Enhance Czech Reputation as Crypto-Friendly Nation
Expobank CZ’s move to enable its users to use crypto may help to enhance the Czech Republic’s reputation as a forward-thinking nation, especially in the cryptocurrency department. Prague alone has 150 venues that accept crypto as payment, including many popular tourist destinations. Online retailer Alza.cz also recently began accepting crypto assets. The large utility company Pražská Plynárenská also enables its customers to pay their utility bills in cryptocurrency with an online payment gateway.
Many nations and their banking industries are not so friendly toward cryptocurrency. Crypto exchange Zebpay has had to move to Malta after the Reserve Bank of India forced it out of the country, for instance. Switzerland has also expressed concern over its banking sector’s unfriendly attitude toward cryptocurrency.
Expobank’s new services may be a positive step in making the Czech Republic more competitive against less crypto-friendly nations. More specifically, the European nation may do this by improving access to banking services for cryptocurrency-related businesses that have had difficulty obtaining a bank account or had disputes with national central banks. Expobank CZ can connect crypto with its 20,000 users through its new cryptocurrency-related services if they aren’t already cryptocurrency users.